Elders’ Reaction on GTA V

Recently there is a popular video clip on YouTube showing elders who are not familiar with video gaming, playing Grand Theft Auto V. The clip has reached 7 million hits.  REACT ,the youtube channel that uploaded this clip, has indeed made similar videos to show how elders react with different games such as Mario and Call of Duty. Perhaps GTA appears to be too criminalizing and negative on different forms of media, the elders having fun on this new game becomes a catch to the online public.

Although the elders had a hard time figuring out how to use the controller, they soon enjoy the gaming realm, having fun stealing cars, bumping to people on sidewalks, or even beating or shooting people. It seems that video games like GTA is not really an issue of encouraging crime to them, but rather a game that helps people to relax and entertain themselves.

In an episode from television series Misfit, gamers are manifested as addictive criminal that cannot distinguish the difference between virtual world and reality. The episode seems have exaggerated the effect of immersion that the game could bring.

It is difficult to neglect the hypermediacy provided from the game, such as map, health or number of ammo appears on the gaming screen, can remind us about the mediation. There might be some people that want to steal a car or shooting people to have re-experience the excitement of the game in real life, but it seems such crimes will not likely happen on people have normal cognitive sense.

Shaping video gamers as a psychopath just stereotypes and worsens the image of gamers. Indeed, gamers can come from all walks of life: different countries, ages, race, sex and could be as normal as those elders who played the video game.

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Video Game “Addiction” Propaganda

There was a time that my mother counted down the exact time to collect her crops on FarmVille and she sent me loads of requests to unlock next game tiers. Is this a game addiction? If I consult a therapist, they might say ‘yes’ and advice proper mental treatment for my mother at that time, but I believe that most of us will not consider this as “addiction” as my mother seems not a problematic adult or you might have similar obsessive experience. It does not limit to gaming. Sometimes we might be obsessed in reading a book, catching up television series etc, but people seldom label it as “addiction” because these activities seem “normal” and “healthy”. Even people once called “internet addiction” seems not quite a problem now as millions of people have get used to the fact that internet is quite inseparable to our daily lives.  The mass media so-called “video game addiction” seems to be a propaganda rather than a real problematic issue. The media often overemphasizes on the negative effects of video gaming, like the documentary showed in the following video:

The documentary interviews the “addicted” gamers and experts of the addiction centre. Throughout the clip, playing video games are portrayed as serious crimes like taking drugs. The gamers in the clip are portrayed as patients that needs essential treatment. The comments of the gamers were often cut before they finished their sentence. One of the gamers called Diana who is able to play video games for long hours while maintaining a proper balance between work and play, but her gaming habit is conveyed as “dangerous” and “risky” due to the editing and comments of the professor in clip.

Video gaming does become addictive on some people which seriously affect their social lives, but it is more likely that such negativity is just a propaganda shaped by the media. Playing video gaming is really as problematic as how it is mediated by them.

ID: 5749854 Sarah Yung

Week 4: Elders’ Reaction on GTA V

Recently there is a popular video clip on YouTube showing elders who are not familiar with video gaming, playing Grand Theft Auto V. The clip has reached 7 million hits.  REACT ,the youtube channel that uploaded this clip, has indeed made similar videos to show how elders react with different games such as Mario and Call of Duty. Perhaps GTA appears to be too criminalizing and negative on different forms of media, the elders having fun on this new game becomes a catch to the online public.

Although the elders had a hard time figuring out how to use the controller, they soon enjoy the gaming realm, having fun stealing cars, bumping to people on sidewalks, or even beating or shooting people. It seems that video games like GTA is not really an issue of encouraging crime to them, but rather a game that helps people to relax and entertain themselves.

In an episode from television series Misfit, gamers are manifested as addictive criminal that cannot distinguish the difference between virtual world and reality. The episode seems have exaggerated the effect of immersion that the game could bring.

It is difficult to neglect the hypermediacy provided from the game, such as map, health or number of ammo appears on the gaming sceen, can reminds us about the mediation. There might be some people that want to steal a car or shooting people to have re-experience the excitement of the game in real life, but it seems such crimes will not likely happen on people have normal cognitive sense.

Shaping video gamers as a psychopath just stereotypes and worsens the image of gamers. Indeeeds, gamers can come from all walks of life: different countries, ages, race, sex and could be as normal as those elders who played the video game. It seems that the elders from REACT have went ahead the media in cleansing the hostile reputation of video gamers.

Sarah Yung 5749854

Every Day The Same Dream: A Game About Life

Every Day The Same Dream is a 2D exploration game.  I would describe it as a cruel game about life. The gaming mechanism is easy to understand: wake up, get dressed, take the elevator and drive the car to go to work.  The world of concern of the gameplay is exactly like real life, but it is extremely creepy when the game is made black-and-white with spooky music playing in the background. The game will loop over the same way if I let my character go to work and wake up to start another day.  So in my second and third try, I tend not to go to work and keep pressing “spacebar” to see if there are other options. I walk the opposite direction of the parking lot and a homeless person leads me to a graveyard.  When I replay the game in different way, the faceless elevator lady tells me “4 more steps and you will be a new person.” The step number decreases every time when I find new options to play the game like meeting a cow or not dressing up to work.

I run out of options when the elevator lady tells me “I more steps and you will be a new person”. I must exit the office and jump off the roof in the game to “be a new person”. I was a bit sad at the moment of seeing my character jumping of the roof. I tried to avoid this option. After I jump off the roof, I still wake up for another day. Then I realise perhaps I have become a ghost, there is no one in the world. I watch someone (myself) jump off the roof as I exit the office and the game ends.

I like the agency provided in the game as much as how I hate it. It is warm when I can choose not going to work, leave the car and go to touch a cow. It like to catch the yellow leaf – the only colored item from the game and hate it when the game forces me to choose suicide as a compulsory option to finish the game.

The game makes me feel that life is dull, robotic and hopeless when we follow the same route of living.  Thankfully my life is not like the faceless man from the game, as I can wake up and attend interesting and inspiring lectures about videogames. In real life we have more fruitful choices to make which direct us to a meaningful life. I am sure there are millions of choices awaiting us to discover and enjoy before our lives come to the end.

Sarah Yung

ID 5749854

Unforgettable Emotional Gameplay: Call of Duty Black Op – Mason and Reznov

We all know that characters from videogames are not real, but it can stuck yourself emotionally into the content when you know the character too well.  One unforgettable experience of that was playing Call of Duty: Black Op few years ago.

The game is a first-person shooter, but different from other games from the Call of Duty series, the game follows a single storyline throughout the entire game and I played as an assigned character called Mason. Therefore, I was unconsciously drawn into the character of Mason and the narration of the game. In the game I (as Mason) befriended with a Russian former soldier named Viktor Reznov who escaped with me from Soviet prison at Vorkuta. In the game, Reznov was supposedly killed during the escape, but later Reznov still reappeared in the game due to the brainwashing of Mason during the imprisonment which resulted in dissociative identity disorder. He thought Reznov was still leading him to kill the Russian villains (Dragovich, Kravchenko and Steiner) but in reality he was the only one who killed them.

Although I am not Mason, I was entirely immersed into Mason’s emotions and his world of revenge during the gameplay as well as the fixed storytelling. Ludologists probably would not like the narration and fixed storytelling here as it interrupts the actual gameplay. However I was really thanks that I do not have to kill the villains myself, because in my world of concern I know it is wrong to kill people for private revenge.

Apart from being Mason in the game, the shaping of Reznov’s personality and charisma is probably also why I was so emotionally influenced about the revenge. The narrative here carries an important role to the affect of my emotions.

The extraordinary graphics as well as the shaping of Reznov’s character – long beard, Johnny Depp Carribean pirate-like masculine style and charismatic Russian accent made me fall in love with Reznov. So I was so eager to revenge with him and temporarily forgotten the immediacy – the real world that I was in.

This game probably has the best narration and emotional affect throughout the Call of Duty series. Reznov is still the most impressive affective videogame character up to now.

Sarah Yung ID: 5749854

Week 1: Fun Videogaming Experience

Playing videogames has been part of my life since I was six. It is amazing to see how the games keep improving and evolving. In the past, games were mainly just about earning achievements and unlocking levels, but games now are more about gaming exploration and visual quality, which I enjoy the most.

My favourite game up until now is The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, an action role playing game that allows players to explore a realistic virtual world and do thousands of things like living in the real world. I like how the game reacts with every action I do in the game. For instance, if I steal something while not hiding, I will be caught by a guard, asked to pay off by debts, ended up in jail or got beaten. With expansion mod made by other players, the game can be even enriched with more quest options, new landscapes, skins and weapon choices. I love this game mainly because the theory of agency is applied in here.

One of the funny Skyrim gameplay videos found on YouTube (Do not play it if you are afraid of violent content):

Other than Skyrim, I am also quite a fan to co-op games. My very first videogame played is a very cute 2D coop game called Bubble Bobble 2. It was on the first generation of PlayStation, and I played it with my brother in summer holiday, fighting monsters and bosses. After we grew up a bit, we also played Age of Empires II together. We also play Team Fortress 2 these few years but not much like before as we are getting older and busier.

As a casual player of videogames, I wonder how videogames will be further explored in lectures. In recent years I am also aware of how videogames become increasingly male-dominated (with some degree of misogyny) and crime-oriented.  Hopefully we may know more about it in the following lectures.

Sarah Yung
ID : 5749854