Tag Archives: Gamers

Treatment of Life and Death in Videogames

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I read this interesting article called Loss of Death: Suicide in Videogames. It was fascinating because it brings up the question of how we treat death in video games. The author (Ryan Kuo) poses the question:

The vignette raises questions about the way that games treat life and death — questions that still haven’t been answered. Does a surfeit of lives cheapen our notion of life, rendering it as easily dispensable as coins or bullets? Or is the cycle of life, death, and resurrection a rich platform for contemplation?

Kind of a big question isn’t it? What does the perception of having multiple lives in games have on the human psyche? Furthermore, what would happen if we took that vital piece of integrated gameplay out of gaming altogether?

Personally I think the removal of multiple lives from gaming would cause a kind of outcry in the gaming universe at first. I think perhaps a few gamers would enjoy the challenge of trying to survive without dying through the whole game…but they would be a minority in the gaming world. Such games, I feel, wouldn’t survive (pun intended).

Humans want to be allowed to make mistakes. They want to be redeemed of those mistakes. I think that is a great appeal for gamers. Gaming offers the do-over we don’t get in real life. That is why I game personally. Then again, I cannot really allow my feelings on the matter to be the standard for the gaming world.

Leave your thoughts below.


If Video Games Aren’t Violent…Then Why Does the Army Use Them?

A Humvee Simulation Station

Recently in our computer Ethics Class we had been watching a video about Technology in our nation. It was a documentary from PBS I think, done in 2009 or so, and very well done I might add. Any how, While we were watching it brought up the issue of Recruiting Centers opened in the New England area that used Video games to attract teens to the center. Wait…what? Video games being used by the military? As gamers continually running into information about video games being the cause of violence etc…one can be sure we’ve ┬áheard it all before, but this was compelling news and worth looking into.

Here are a few links about the matter:

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/06/10/video-game-heavy-army-recruiting-center-philadelphia-mall-closing-end-july/

http://www.gamepolitics.com/2009/05/03/protesters-arrested-army039s-video-game-recruitment-center

http://www.g4tv.com/thefeed/blog/post/695224/activists-protest-army-video-game-recruitment-center/

The Gaming Stations

Basically this is how the articles can be understood, the army was using the centers to attract gamers who potentially could join the army. What does one say? Good for them (kidding) and free video games for us! But in all seriousness, this is actually an excellent marketing scheme. In ones personal opinion and many interactions with gamers, people who play video games tend to have better hand eye coordination and develop fine motor skills in order to effectively play that games they enjoy. Not only that, but increased video game playing can train your brain to better switch between tasks (note: REFUSE to call it multi tasking because you cannot perform more than one task at a time in the same paralleled stream of thought, however your brain can swap between tasks quickly if trained). Gamers who can do these tasks make excellent soldiers because of these abilities.

As for promoting violence, the statistics about video games and violence have been around for ages, and many people have been trying to prove that it is actually the video games themselves that cause the violence. However, if that were the case, and with the production of more and more violent games, how come our nation’s violent crime rate is at an all time low? Just because statistics show a correlation, it doesn’t necessarily show causation. Perhaps it is not the video games influencing violent behavior, but already violent people who are attracted to such games? Maybe the information is biased (as almost all information is)?

Not being the most avid gamer, one is not defending the use of violent video games. What is being done is stating the facts. There is much error in data samples, and biased information is always out there. What is suggested in matters such as these, is to look into what can be found as undeniable fact. Here is a website that summarizes some myths about video games and a few tips as to how to approach such data.

http://www.pbs.org/kcts/videogamerevolution/impact/myths.html

I wouldn't mind gaming there!