In the past, I like to play some kind of little games to spend my leisure times. And at present, after six weeks study of the video game culture, I play the same kind of games as usual; but the difference is that now I can category myself into the casual gamers, and I know that the game type that I like is also the casual game, which is easier to learn and play aiming to attract more casual gamers’ attentions and always reflect positive emotions to unconsciously encourage people to keep playing. Before I started this course, I only regarded video games as the entertainment tool. However, after I read and listened each lesson, I found that the game world is a magical space, which includes various culture features, race and gender representations, some social issues and the technological developments. In this course, I realize that video game is not only an entertainment manner with complex design work, but also it is a reflection of culture. Because every game could transmit different messages or literally tell the specific perspectives to players. Besides, I know why players have tried many times but they still cannot win in the game, because those kind of games is the mode of ‘no ending’ and ‘no winning’.

Overall, I am so proud that I decide to enroll such an interesting course which could continuously stimulate my interests on the media filed, and it corrects some of my prejudices about video games, because everything has two-side effects – positive and negative and at most time it reflects many good viewpoints guiding us to understand the world in a different way.

Thanks Mark’s lectures!


Blog – Game world, the real life

When I first saw the title of the game – Every Day the Same Dream, I thought that it must be a kind of puzzle game that aims to challenge player’s logic. And after my first playing, I found that it is just a simple game, which could let gamers use arrow buttons to control the movements of a virtual character and press spacebar to make ‘him’ do something; and it seems that the purpose of this game might be to let people realize how a typical office worker’s life looks like.

However, during the second playing, I noticed the words which the elevator lady’s said – “5 more steps and you will be a new person”; hence, I continued to press the spacebar to see what would happened differently when the character get into a different scene and whether I could ‘be a new person’ in this round. Till to the moment when the character suddenly jumped off the rooftop, I was shocked and realized that a boring life might make a person depressed so that he would choose to end his life and get free. However, I asked myself, if he has a distinct way to live, will he be happy? So I decided to choose something different: letting ‘him’ do not wear clothes, leaving his car and walking to a farm to pet a cow, catching a falling leaf before work, and at last he was fired because he did not wear his tie. And the game screen faded to black again. This time, I had not let ‘him’ to be a new person, as the usual life was started again. At this moment, I felt so confused that whether the game just wants me to watch my character suicide and the ending must be the death, in order to let me understand how hard the future life is; but it might not be true, as I remembered that the elevator lady had said that there was only “one step” left to be a new person, when last time I played. So I tried to let ‘him’ do not go to the work and go back when ‘he’ arrived at the car park, then ‘he’ met a homeless stranger who took ‘him’ to a graveyard; and when I press spacebar again, the homeless man said he would take ‘him’ to a quiet world. And then, the game automatically shifted to the beginning scene without any fading scene, and I thought this time the game would show me a happy ending. Surprisingly, ‘he’ moved automatically, and there is nothing around him as usual: no colored TV, no wife, no elevator lady, no traffic, no boss, no colleagues; and finally when he arrived at the rooftop, there were another ‘him’ stood on the rooftop, but ‘he’ could not move forward to save another ‘him’, hence ‘he’ was forced to stand there and watched another ‘him’ jumped off the roof at last.

This game always makes me sad and confused, because this gameplay seems to portray a typical modern life – everyday, most people have to repeat the same routine of living and working, they do not have much free time to enjoy life, and they have to face many competitions which may make them stressful. However, if you try to choose another way to view this world or have a break, I believe you will feel differently and may find a fruitful manner to free yourself up for a better life, and the death is the worst way to solve any problem.

  • Q

WEEK 5 Addiction to the violence

Media is a tool that can transmit various things and perspectives to the public, which may be positive or negative. Specifically, videogames as a kind of medium which could give people pleasures and gratifications when players play games and accomplish all the tasks; however, some gamers, who have the lower self-control ability, are passively put into the virtual world, and they would get addicted to videogames, due to the continuous tasks and their increased sense of achievement in the game. Therefore, in recent years, there are more and more news criticizing videogames and reporting the tragedies which result from the addiction of Internet and videogames. For example, a teenage boy was addicted to play the videogame World of Warcraft (WOW), he spent much money investing the character and spent much time accomplishing each task; but on one day, the character in the game died, and then the boy suicides as the ‘he’ died. From this tragedy, I found that this young gamer had already immersed him into the virtual role, and the character’s life is his life.

My parents are anti-gaming parents, because they thought that playing videogames is not only waste times; but also make some gamers involve in the virtual world even enjoy the excitements by killing people in the gaming world, and the gamers also enjoy the feeling of win, as it is easier than getting an A in the real world exam. Therefore, videogame is referred to in terms of moral panics which are addiction and violence; some young players want to take part into the magic world because they can get unusual powerful things, and they thought that mimicing the violence and taking it into the reality is so cool.

– Q

WEEK4: Real gamer in the virtual world

Games is a kind of interesting activity that people use to fill in their leisure time, but with the development of the technology, videogame as a new medium, which is rapidly integrated into this big society and is affecting even changing the social culture and gamers’ minds at the same time. Due to the features of videogame, it provides a fictional world for gamers to have fun, or it may be helpful to reach gamers’ imagined potentiality in an infinite space. Specifically, at most cases, gamer would imagine himself becomes the virtual person on the screen, and it seemed that he was truly experiencing and doing the related actions. So videogames could bring funs to most gamers as it makes people feel relax; but sometimes it would lead gamers to be addicted in the virtual world because it may satisfy gamers’ mental and physical needs or shortages which come from their real social life.

Take an example, the online role playing games, especially for the game contents include war, fighting and gun, most gamers would create the virtual person (or soldier) in a videogame which is based on his own characteristics, and then the gamers’ psychological and physical reaction would be changed by their own mood or the development of the game: sometimes they might feel happy because they won, and sometimes they get angry as the person they create is dead in the game, in the virtual world. However, this kind of bad things or violence in those videogames would influence some gamers’ minds in their real life, such as they might enjoy and mimic the violent things through bullying others or release their virtual pressure and dissatisfaction by suicides.

Therefore, videogames would bring positive and negative influences to gamers, sometimes it is a great way for people to spend leisure time and get fun, but sometimes it may make few gamers involve in the violent and negative virtual gaming world which would affect their real social life. Thus, gamers should not copy the virtual situation to your real life, because you are the real person and it will not really happen in the real world.