Intentions of Creators of Games & Limits to What You Can Talk About In Communities

There was one other question that I felt was important that we ended up touching upon in class on Wednesday but I thought it should be its own separate post: What is the difference between a game teaching us to understand how someone ‘sick’ felt, and a game teaching us to act that way? Do people have to have something ‘inherently wrong’ with them to bring the game into the ‘real’ world, like some people blame video games do? I would say absolutely not. Remember our earlier class discussion about ARG’s and finding clues in a newspaper (in the ‘real’ world)? This is my evidence backing up my ‘absolutely not’ statement. Perhaps even in textual narrativity there may be a way/ways that a person will bring the game into the world the person lives in (depending on how much the person identifies with the context of the game/storyline). I am not much of a gamer myself, but if was, I could probably come up with at least a few other examples.

To answer the first question I mentioned in this blog post, no one except the creator of the game knows what the intentions were for making it, although I am sure many of us would be/are curious to know. Some even come up with theories, like how Bogost thought that “JFK Reloaded’s” game design features suggested “that the developers stated goal was a ruse meant to inspire new perspectives on the historical event itself” (“Persuasive Games,” 132-133). I have noticed that many first person shooter games that we have recently discussed in class could have this aspect, or just perhaps being able to gain more perspective on the event which the game was based upon.

In another whole area itself, but still related to the first question about games and intentions, was what we talked about in class for what the army does sometimes for placing people in the field. I found it interesting that the Army uses a certain video game to help place people in the field by logging onto the person’s video game account (with permission) to see his/her stats (what the person was best at versus what the person was worst, or mediocre at). So even though they did not create the game, they used the game for their own intentions, which I think touches on a whole different part that was not addressed in my first question of this blog entry (but does relate). It does seem to me a bit unrealistic to decide what guns people should use based on their stats (because shooting a real gun feels incredibly different than hitting a button on their controller), although I do not see it unrealistic do use people’s stats to log into other abilities, maybe such as aiming, but more so the mentality of different positions people get into to put the person in. However, I do not know exactly what the Army uses for placement options when they look at a certain person’s video game’s statistcs.

I couldn’t decide to put this part last or first, but it got put in the end of this blog, but either way I feel it appropriate to discuss this since we have been on the unit of communities. Some communities in cyberspace are more formal, like religious prayer groups when they might meet in a chat room, per say, versus writing on your best friend’s Facebook wall about all the fun they had that Friday night when they went out partying. The same applies to real life communities. But either way, when you are having a discussion of some sort, I feel you should think about what you say/the way you say certain things and always be aware because it might offend people. I think communities grow closer and more together this way. Of course, depending on the setting and situation depends on how open you can/should be (formal versus informal), but either way, respecting boundaries makes a group/community more cohesive, in any ‘world.’

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1 Comment »

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