Sunday, February 5, 2012

Video Games

Seeing how popular video games have gotten in recent years didn't really surprise me. I feel that it is one of the primary ways that an individual can live a "virtual life" the way they would actually want to. For instance in Grand Theft Auto V, I would always drive around like a maniac killing innocent bystanders because to me that seemed fun. Now in the real world if you asked me if I would do that, I'd respond saying not in a million years. The fact that what you can do in the virtual world is simply limited by the game boundaries gives me the freedom to do whatever I please in the certain setting of the game I'm playing without feeling guilt or sorrow.

I recently started playing Skyrim and I will agree that its a pretty bomb RPG and that it's super addicting. The only thing that I didn't like was that once I turned on my xbox, I could have kissed that day goodbye. There were back to back days that I'd wake up, wash up, and start playing and thats all I'd do the ENTIRE day. It was a bad addiction like smoking and one of the most productive things I recently did was get rid of the game.

These days its pretty crazy seeing how in depth you can get with your game character or "Avatar". I never really knew what an avatar was until i read Waggoner's essay. It was interesting to see that it really meant "descent" so in essence it was a part of you which you can structure in any way you wanted to. As a child I never knew what creating an avatar was so I would always make them look stupid with wacky faces and weird skin colors and clothes. But when I started playing Skyrim, I noticed how much I made the avatar be what I wanted to be. In my case, it is pretty safe to say that I wanted to put myself into the situations my character was in and see how "I" would survive.

1 comment:

  1. There's a reason I haven't picked up Skyrim: addiction! You are one of the millions of gamers who have this love/hate relationship with the game.

    I like your Grand Theft Auto example about killing virtual people versus actual people. Those who criticize violent video games argue that it makes the gamer violent in real life. There is no evidence to substantiate this ridiculous claim. I, on the other hand, feel a sense of relief, as if my stress is being released with each bullet I shoot into a fake cop chasing me because I ran over 15 pedestrians. It sounds like pure evil to frame it as a stress reliever, but this is perhaps what the filmmakers of Gamer were trying to say about the human condition. We like violence, sex, all that stuff, but there are limits to how we want express those desires. Video games help with that expression in a very benign way. That is to say, we're not actually hurting others.