Games Changing Perceptions, and Spilling Over Into One’s Cosmos

On Wednesday in class, we proposed many issues and discussed many subjects on community, one of the more important questions (I felt) being: What blurs the line between games and real life/where is the line blurred? We pondered that one for a while.

We talked about how Victor Turner says that you can enter into this ‘space,’ you perform a ritual, or perhaps maybe a right of passage of some sort, and then you come out of the ‘space’ changed. What I found most intriguing was that whatever you did in that ‘space,’ it would spill over into all other aspects of your life. We discussed this in other words in class by saying that your new perspective would then expand into the rest of the cosmos.

We also discussed the “magic circle (of play)”  where there is no spillover into the cosmos because you go into the space knowing that it is just a game, so therefore you will come out of that ‘space’ after the ritual (or whatever else it may be) unchanged (because you already knew that it was just a game).

Liz came up with yet another theory of the “magic circle,” her own version of a meta-culture type of circle, but I would like to focus on Turner’s attitude out of these three ideas in this entry. There are some unsettling games that have been created such as “Christ Killa,” where the whole point of the game is to go around killing all the different Jesus’s. The first person shooter goes around shouting, “Wake up, Jesus! It’s time to die!” What kind of change might this game provoke? I supposed it depends upon the person; the change for a very religious Roman Catholic might be coming out of the ‘space’ with extreme disgust or anger, or the change might make an individual think it is okay to go around killing.

How does this spill over into one’s cosmos? Again, the spillover could occur in many ways, depending upon that person’s perception of the game. In class we played “V-Tech Rampage,” and the change that I came out with was me needing to think harder about why people would make such games. Liz had some insight to one of the games we discussed; apparently “Super Columbine Massacre RPG” was made specifically to be a first person shooter game, perhaps so one could see what the Columbine shooting was like from a different perspective to gain different insight(s). Yes, it is true that I probably do no share the same feelings and emotions as the shooter I am playing, but that does not mean I cannot gain a new or more in-depth outlook on the situation.

I feel I have a lot to say about Wednesday’s discussion and I feel I have written plenty to think about in this entry as it is. Therefore I am going to write another separate post addressing another question that I felt was also one of the more important subjects we discussed. (That way this post doesn’t get too bogged down and will hopefully be easier to read.)

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