I admit I have been guilty of seeing video games as thing but leisurely entertainment and never thought of them as more than art until this paper. recently I now see it as so much more. I look at my experience with gaming from a different perspective now and see that it says a lot more about our world than you would think just from playing these games for ourselves.
If I had to write my first post again I would write about so many more of my experiences and in different ways because I now know so much more about what makes a gaming experience. My video game shelf is filled with so many experiences I could have touched on in that first post; failed experiments with game genres I’ve left to settle in dust and games previous to me that are worn from the hours and hours I’ve spent playing them.
Over these 6 weeks my feminist view of gaming has emerged again to defend the validity of female game, and I wonder if these views would have influenced how I expressed my gaming life in my first post. Should I have written in detail about how I loved the first Call Of Duty game? Possibly but these views hadn’t been brought to the forefront of my mind yet when I began writin these posts.
I love games and I will always love games, even when I’m a lot older and just playing the morning crosswords to ward of dementia. Everybody enjoys play in some form; whether it’s competitive, personal, real world or virtual everybody has experiences with play. I now know how much of my own I have and the place I hold in society for having these experiences.
Video gaming and gamers often find it hard to be taken seriously. It isn’t unusual for friends and family of mine to tune out as I mention a plot or release of a game I enjoy. Every shoot ’em up game is jumped upon as the media releases articles about gamers that reflect negatively on gaming as a whole.
Video games are judged by critics and the media as other mediums are. The media look no further than the latest ‘Call of Duty’ and ‘Grand Theft Auto’ titles as they discuss the tragic murders of parents by children or outbursts in schools.
There are assumptions made by critics of any medium as they take small segments of product as a reflection of the entire medium. Media critics are unlikely to have played the games at all, let alone played a wide enough range of genres to judge the entire medium fairly. I saw this in literature when I was in Year 12 of highschool as a Creative Writing teacher decreed Harry Potter as not having enough literary merit to be used as a case study. Shortly after she admitted that she had never read the series, just as those who judge the artistic merit of video games have typically never played the games they are critiquing.
The media doesn’t generally like to glorify industries as contentment and happiness doesn’t sell as well as scandal. it makes sense then that negative effects of gaming and game related violence would be reported more prominently than any media showing gaming in educational or progressive lights. What we can ask ourselves is if there is any critique without bias when it comes to video games? And is there any right or wrong when it comes to whether the video game industry is a good or bad aspect of our world?
Games typically don’t make me very emotional but the most emotional moments I’ve ever run across during gaming was in my play-through of Pokemon X. A lonely old man is staying in a house in Anistar City and asks if the player could lend him a Pokemon as company since he’d lost his wife. I couldn’t refuse that and typically it’s the sort of thing an RPG rewards you for so I gave him one. Every visit he would offer to give it back to me until finally you complete most of the game and return one last time. On the last visit your Pokemon is waiting for you in its’ pokeball but the man is missing. In his place is a note of thanks, and the player leaves with the understanding that he died. He leaves you with a comet shard as well as the Pokemon and despite the high value I never sold it. It’s a very sad and dark side story for a Pokemon game and it’s a hard one to shake.
Stories like these in the games ground it in reality, because they’re things we live and understand in our real lives. It stuck with me for that and because it is unlike anything else in the world of the game.
I grew up watching and playing games, as did most of my generation and some before. There are little consoles I haven’t owned or played, despite knowing I’m contributing to the most basic and greedy consumerism of the video game industry. The kinds of games I would play were never based on what console they were on or the graphics but on whether or not I liked the game. Pokemon Omega Ruby might have come out earlier this year but the original Pokemon Yellow still remains one of my favourites of the series because game play is important to me.
The biggest experiences I have with the gaming community ironically aren’t actually from gaming but from the internet. The #1 most subscribed Youtuber on Youtube (Pewdiepie) plays and reacts to video games, which says a lot about the popularity of gaming on the site. I’m amazed that gaming can trump even popular cinema channels such as Cinema Sins and Honest Trailers I also watch. It has even resulted in a additional Honest Game Trailer series, just as humorous and successful as its predecessor.
Honest Game Trailer: ‘The Last of Us’ – Smosh Games
Recently I have dived into the scary realm of the online gaming community myself, participating in a video podcast series covering the release of Pokemon X in 2014. The series is the reason I brought the last two games and remembered why I enjoyed the series. The gaming community is thriving and definitely has been a big part of my life.
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