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breakyoudown
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PostSubject: Video Games Implications   Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:33 pm

By Breakyoudown

A Simulation of Reality

Video games have been in high demand for a respectable amount of time. The industry has expanded a great deal. Gaming has constantly been improved, from better gameplay, to realistic graphics and character movement. Then an innovation was introduced that continues to dominate a large portion of the market. Online gaming is extremely popular, not just on consoles such as the Xbox, but on computers as well. Could online gaming impair the social life of individuals, teens in particular? This paper will discuss the social and political implications of the many forms of massive multiplayer gaming. MMG is its own industry and is able to target a very vast audience. Online multiplayer games impact individuals in a number of ways. How do videogames affect individuals psychologically? How important is gaming to some? This academic paper will go into depth in these areas.
Play Between Worlds by T.L. Taylor is a valid source for information. Taylor studies the social implications in almost an anthropological method.
“I had spent the past three years interviewing users, playing alongside them, joining “guilds”, and generally participating in the life of the game…I wanted to see how the players handled meeting each other offline and how people integrated their gaming lives with their “real” ones.” (Taylor, 2)
Taylor meets and attends conventions with avid fans of massive online games, specifically “EverQuest”. This poses the question, if gamers are willing to leave their state or province to meet someone for the first time who plays the same video game, does this mean that their current friends do not hold a significant place in their lives? At the conference, Taylor noticed that people act in such a way that symbolizes their online persona. She had witnessed a man who appeared to be selling roses. It turned out that he was copying his online “identity and actions” as he would often do such a thing during the game. From this information, I can accurately deduce that people want to be recognized as a basic need. People want to make a lasting impression so they will become iconic when compared to a rose for example. During the convention, an announcement is made that someone had stolen a large EverQuest banner, and the responsible person will have his or her character “banned”. Taylor explains that being banned “carries huge weight”. Being banned or unable to play can be compared to not being able to attend an important sports practice. Just like “real life” people have to follow a set rules or else they will be dealt with. Interestingly enough, puzzles were set up in the convention and prizes were awarded to those who solved them. This event took place in a hotel, and regular visitors were confused when witnessing people acting the roles of their costumes. After the competitions were over, the players had a chance to speak to the developers of the game to comment or suggest improvements in the future. When Taylor left for the night she logged on to the game and said hello to a user that she had met that day. Taylor had received very friendly feedback and she felt as if she had made some “genuine” friends that she would like to meet again. From this book, the researcher physically attended a gathering of dedicated online gaming fans. She was able to create a number of friends in that single day. Therefore, the gamers that she had encountered were able to socialize effectively even though they invest large portions of time in online games.
The second source is a book called Synthetic Worlds: The Business and Culture of Online Games by Edward Castronova. The book was sourced in two academic departments. A large portion of the book was written in California State University with help from the Dean. Edward also had “3,519” EverQuest players take his survey about how they felt about gaming. After three pages of acknowledging helpful colleagues and volunteers, Edward proceeds to speak about the implications of gaming. Castronova explains that typical EverQuest players will invest 20-30 hours into the game per week. Then there is what Castronova classifies as the “power user” that spends all of their free time in the game. “Some 20 percent of users in a recent survey claimed that their fantasy world was their “real” place of residence; the Earth was just a place you go to get food and sleep.” (Castronova, 2) In Asia, some accounts have lost “virtual items” and have filed lawsuits and have won. This book implies that massive online gaming isn’t strictly a child’s game to many. It’s a second life in which players are so immersed to thinking that their character is as real as themselves. Since they can interact with other players, and do tasks that have more of an impact on the world, “power users” view gaming as a better reality.
Games and Stimulating in Online Learning: Research and Development Frameworks, by David Gibson is another valid source of information. David was aided by a Harvard professor and had funds to conduct research. Gibson takes a look at the positive impacts gaming has on individuals. “Whenever one plays a game, and whatever game one plays, learning happens constantly, whether the players want it to, and are aware of it, or not…This learning takes place, continuously and simultaneously in every game…One need not even pay much attention.” (Prensky, 2002) His stance is that gaming is a form of technology that needs to be embraced. To not take advantage of such resources, people would be missing out on a source of education. Gibson see’s games as an exercise to help us with skills later in life. Throughout games, people process information at a rapid rate. Gibson’s book is a solid resource with many scholars aiding his research.
Video Games & Interactive Media: A Glimpse at New Digital Entertainment by Stephane Natkin is an academic resource. The book is a credible source because a portion of it was written in the master’s program at the “School of Video Games and Interactive media.” Students from the year 2002-2005 participated in the creation of this book creating realistic impressions. “a game presents a universe in which a player must follow a particular story, out of an ensemble of possibilities. This indeterminism should give the player the sensation of liberty and of responsibility for his choices.” (Natkin, 3) The book takes a look at video games and relates it to a personal level in which I agree. Many games offer morality paths in which a player can choose to be aligned with good or evil. If the player decides to be immoral they must accept its consequences may be negative. Natkin’s point is that gaming gives gamers the experience to accept their own actions.
Developing Online Games: An Insider’s Guide by Jessica Mulligan is my next credible source. Interviews were conducts as a primary resource for the book as well as the aid from an English professor from the Columbia University. A reason this book is a liable source is not just because of the author’s extensive research, but their willingness to correct any potential mistakes for future improvement. Jessica brings up an important thought; money is a large factor that should not be forgotten when gaming is considered. A typical new game usually costs $69.99 plus tax. Before a game can be bought, a system is needed. The Xbox 360 was released in 2005, and it still costs $300. A subscription for an online game such as World of Warcraft requires $15 per month to continue to play. I am led to believe that the cost of the game would motivate younger gamers to acquire a part-time job to be able to afford the steep price. The game could also create unwanted debt.
Playing Video Games: Motives, Responses, and Consequences by Peter Vorderer is the next evaluated source. “When Palladas, the Greek poet who flourished in the 4th century A.C.E., said that life is but a game, he hardly could have imagined how pervasive games would become…From security training simulations to war games and role-playing games, from sports games to gambling.” (IX, Vorderer) Vorderer has over twenty Universities cited that aided him in his research. Consumers are take games seriously and a survey displayed that many gamers expect to continue playing in 10 years. People of all ages are motivated to play games for the gratification of completing a challenge. Gamers take an “active role” in making a difference in these simulations. These roles may reflect in their day-to-day activities, especially in games where the difficulty continues to increase. On the other hand there are negatives in games as well. It can be seen as hedonistic when a player is completely dominant of their surroundings and the virtual world around them. Vorderer claims that these gamers may become bored in important daily activities.
My final source is The Video Game Theory Reader by Mark Wolf. “it is easier for some people to talk through the computer than through face-to-face contacts…Digital media, video games included, enable us- for the first time in history on such a scale- to manipulate our “selves” and to multiply them indefinitely.” (Wolf, 88) People choose the way they want to be perceived by other players. This can be directly related to fashion trends or the way in which we present ourselves. Gaming is no different than the fact that people always want to be respected. Self-image is much easier to achieve during games. There is no exercise or sleep required in gaming to appear appealing. A theory referred to as “deep play” is given a close look. Deep play is to be engaged with a game to the point of obsessive behavior. This theory is to be completely immersed within a game while “shallow play” is more of a casual approach to gaming. To immerse gamers more fully: goggles, headphones, gloves, are sometimes used. In a psychological study it has been proven that these items can cause “fear of height, fear of flying, arachnophobia, claustrophobia, and agoraphobia, and the fear of being in places from which escape might be difficult or embarrassing.” (Wolf, 77) This leads me to believe that the further one puts themselves into a game, the harder it becomes to adapt to the real world.
Video Gaming is an activity that can be beneficial if played in healthy amounts. People learn how to communicate with fellow players to create a relationship thus being able to complete goals set for themselves, or set in the games. My sources are credible because each book was supported by a number of University professors and have conducted interviews with gamers for a deeper understanding. Each author spent a number of years creating their essays and are clear in addressing their point of view. Controlling a virtual character can create an amusing sense of value of who or what one wants to be representing. As long as the gamer does not feel that the in game world is of greatest importance, the player should prosper from the simulation.

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PostSubject: Re: Video Games Implications   Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:37 pm

Just letting you know, I'm reading this now

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PostSubject: Re: Video Games Implications   Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:44 pm

Sweet Smile It took me 2 weeks lol

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PostSubject: Re: Video Games Implications   Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:47 pm

I enjoyed that reading. I think that online gaming is good to a point, but online games can cause many probems socially for the user. For example, when I used to play World of Warcraft I would play for extensive amounts of time. Over the summer, most of my "social interaction" was with people I had never met personally on this game. But if taken for what it is - a game - I think people can benefit from it. Not only does it provide a large release from the stress of daily life, but it allows a person to interact socially with new people, thus providing more knowledge of how to conduct youself in social situations.

Very enjoyable essay, + rep

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PostSubject: Re: Video Games Implications   Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:50 pm

I never looked at it this way. So the more people put themselves into the MMORPG the better because then they get to have their better life without the troubles and distractions of the "afk" world.

I'm kidding of course (sort of). Nice essay that must have taken forever.
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PostSubject: Re: Video Games Implications   Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:52 pm

Finished reading it. Very well-written, but I found what might be a mistake:

breakyoudown wrote:
If the player decides to be immoral they must accept its consequences may be negative. Natkin’s point is that gaming gives gamers the experience to accept their own actions.
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PostSubject: Re: Video Games Implications   Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:54 pm

I think online interaction is a very good thing if taken lightly. Like this form. I consider each of you friends, and I don't have to worry about how anything other than my personality affects your thoughts of me, if that makes sense. In life you have to worry about appearance, among other thing, wereas online all you have to do is worry about how you conduct yourself. It helps a person learn how to change their personality for the better. Above that, it also provide an environment where youcan talk to people and be free of the drama and stress that plagues normal life. On this forum, one can freely post and talk to anyone, and doesn't have to worry about the outside, normal world.

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PostSubject: Re: Video Games Implications   Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:55 pm

Axeforhire wrote:
I think online interaction is a very good thing if taken lightly. Like this form. I consider each of you friends, and I don't have to worry about how anything other than my personality affects your thoughts of me, if that makes sense. In life you have to worry about appearance, among other thing, wereas online all you have to do is worry about how you conduct yourself. It helps a person learn how to change their personality for the better. Above that, it also provide an environment where youcan talk to people and be free of the drama and stress that plagues normal life. On this forum, one can freely post and talk to anyone, and doesn't have to worry about the outside, normal world.

Exactly. I'm much more comfortable talking to someone on a forum, AIM, or Facebook than I am in real life.
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PostSubject: Re: Video Games Implications   Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:58 pm

I'm the same way. I have friends, but not as many as most. I guess you could say I'm an outcast. So in normal situations I'm not comfortable talking to a random person and breaking the ice. On online forums, the ice is aready broken so to speak.

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PostSubject: Re: Video Games Implications   Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:00 pm

I'm fine with talking to people in real life. The difference is that on a forum, you don't have to worry about impressing anybody with looks or actions. You don't really give a shit if someone doesn't like you, and you can express your feelings toward people in a more "real" manner.
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PostSubject: Re: Video Games Implications   Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:02 pm

That too. I think that since you aren't obligated to show your appearanc and impress someone, it means someone would like or dilike you based solely on how you act.

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PostSubject: Re: Video Games Implications   Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:08 pm

Forums are good to find people with similar interests and avoid the risk of being crucified. And make friends.
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PostSubject: Re: Video Games Implications   Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:36 pm

Indeed I feel like I've made most of my friends trust me by being smooth over msn because pauses are normal
You can also easily hide behind anything on msn

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PostSubject: Re: Video Games Implications   Mon Oct 26, 2009 9:59 pm

to long did not read Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Video Games Implications   Mon Oct 26, 2009 10:05 pm

Rolling Eyes

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PostSubject: Re: Video Games Implications   Mon Oct 26, 2009 10:38 pm

I would lol if a professor wrote "tl;dr" on someone's paper.
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PostSubject: Re: Video Games Implications   Mon Oct 26, 2009 10:38 pm

I would die happy

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PostSubject: Re: Video Games Implications   Wed Nov 25, 2009 4:04 pm

I don't know if any of you care, but I just got this paper back and I receieved 88%. Here is my teachers comments

Some interesting material here, and definitely responds to the question at hand which is to discuss social implications. I would ask for more clarification in terms of connecting game content and how narrative decisions are made (developing games insider’s guide). This is probably the best piece on gaming I received; however, I would encourage you to move beyond one website (google books) to find evidence. Try deep web and sources available to you through library. On the topic of MMGs, you’ll do well with Google books because this stuff is likely on line, but keep this in mind in terms of source diversity.
22/25

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PostSubject: Re: Video Games Implications   Wed Nov 25, 2009 6:59 pm

Wikipedia is NOT a legit source!
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PostSubject: Re: Video Games Implications   Wed Nov 25, 2009 8:12 pm

Rolling Eyes

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PostSubject: Re: Video Games Implications   Fri Nov 27, 2009 2:08 am

What I do is use Wiki as my actually source, but cite it's page citations (after making sure they are clean and credible)

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PostSubject: Re: Video Games Implications   Fri Nov 27, 2009 3:00 am

Lol resourceful laziness

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