Are video games responsible for real life violence?

It’s been 78 years since the first video game was displayed in New York, at the World’s Fair in 1940, and the development of video games has never been clearer than now. The games of the early years look nothing alike the games of today, showing a staggering development in just 3/4th’s of a century. The first games were traditionally big metal machines, performing tasks involving simple mathematics and a few binary numbers. However, it wasn’t long before the machines could handle vastly more information, to the point where the computer became the best board game player in the world! The graphics part of the games lagged behind the mechanics, but in the 60’s and 70’s, the visual part of games were improved, and the well-known arcade machines soon hit the public.

Today, games has the best possible graphics and mechanics to create the best possible experience for users. It has gained a cultural status in our society, and its influences has increased, both positively and negatively. In what way a game influences you is up to yourself to decide. But a society might share a different view on video games than you, which creates a dilemma. We have all seen the titles in the media and tabloids: “Violence is caused by video games”, “Violent games increase aggression”, “Video games influences people to using violence” and so forth. From the viewpoint of the media, it might seem like games are bad for you. But are they really?

All games have a purpose of making the users consider and reflect on certain aspects of our lives. It makes you see the world in a different perspective or scenario, possibly forcing you to do choices that would be different from real life, like Mary Flanagan suggested. In genres like action games, it is common to see a “manhunt” game, especially in the modern times. Here you have no choice other than completing something unethical. You might not find using violence in games as a big deal, but does that mindset travel over to the real world aswell?

I have played my fair share of action games, several of them which one could categories as “manhunt” games. These games forces you to perform violence in order to complete the tasks set by the game developers. But even if i might be violent in a game world, do those thoughts travel with me to the real world? The simple answer is: No. The mechanics of the game and the mechanics of the real world does not match at all. I feel that the quote from Henry Jenkins describes my thoughts very precisely, by using the United States as an example. Sure, a very small amount of the violence we see in society today has a link to video games, but i think that has a lot to do with how we view the games vs real world. Most people see a clear difference between the two, and therefore the violence in the games are never seen in real life. In the end, it is all up to how you view video games as a moral compass and influence in your real life decisions.

 

 

That was all for this blog post. See you next week!

More than a game

So, this week has been fun, we had a look at coding in Basic in lab on Monday, which was a fun way to start the week, it was cool to see how the old programs worked. The peer game presentations this week was really good too, I especially liked the ones about Dark Souls and Senua’s Sacrifice. I haven’t played ether of the games, and I haven’t even heard about Senua’s Sacrifice, and it’s always entertaining to hear and learn about new and well-made games. I have heard about Dark Souls, but I have never tried it out, mostly because of the things that I have seen and heard about the game, and that it is supposedly a very difficult game, so I just didn’t bother to buy or try the game out. I believe that it is probably a very good game if you take your time to learn it, so I might try it out one day.

Senua’s Sacrifice sounded like a genuinely good game, who focuses on a lot more than just entertaining the player, and this game caught my attention mainly because of that reason. So the main character seems to struggle with voices in her head that keeps feeding her with negative thoughts and comments, the main character believes this to be a curse. This game looks to be filled with emotions and seems very powerful, it most definitely has a deeper meaning and tells a powerful story, it seems like a lot more than a regular Viking action game.

So this blog came of a little short, I don’t have any DDAs to share ether, mainly because I haven’t done any in a while, which I have to start doing, so that will be all for now.

Per out.

City Sky Line & Senua´s Sacrifice

In lectures this week, some volunteer students from class had a brief presentation about a video game they like or find interesting. I thought this was fun and educational because I don’t know much about which video games that exists. The different presentations were about quite different games so I got a taste of some of the video games that exists. There were especially two games that caught my interest and that I would like to try out.

 

City Sky Line

One of the students from class had a presentation about a game called “City Sky Line”. When you are playing the game, you are a mayor that builds roads, houses, commercial and industrial zones. I think it is cool how you can design a city of your own. The game involves community mods and community created assets. The two terms “mods” and “assets” were new to me. Assets make the game look more the way you want, and I learned that a “mod” (short for “modification”) is an alteration that changes some aspect of a video game, such as how it looks or behaves. Mods may range from small changes and tweaks to complete overhauls, and can extend the replay value and interest of the game. If there are no mods in “City Sky Line”, the game is boring to play in the long run.

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From the game City Sky Line

People are actually using the game as a tool to plan city management. It is also interesting to think about that people can work through a lot of justice usage and social differences in the design game play.

 

Senua´s Sacrifice

The other game that caught my interest was the game “Senua´s Sacrifice”. This game is a dark fantasy action-adventure game. The main character, Senua, struggle with psychosis who suffers from the condition but believes it to be a curse. Senua is haunted by an entity known as the “Darkness”, voices in her head known as “Furies”, and memories from her past. The developers of this game have worked closely with neuroscientists, mental health specialists and people suffering from the condition. This game seems very powerful and filled with a lot of emotions. At the end of the brief presentation of the game, she showed us a movie with many quotes from real persons that have been playing the game and could relate to Senua´s condition. The game has also helped a lot of people to understand for examples their sister, girlfriend or fiancée because they could experience the illness themselves and then understand their loved one in a better and different way. The video was very touchy and in the combination with the music they had chosen to these quotes, I actually almost cried a little bit. It was sad and beautiful at the same time.

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Senua, from the game Senua´s Sacrifice

 

Have a nice Saturday!

Positivity and new games

I wish that we had more lectures in DIKULT103. So many things to learn about and all these exciting things about gaming history. All these things that I didn’t know and all these games I want to start playing. The last week, my gaming interest has begun to rise. I’ve always been interested in games, but I am a person who likes to play the games that I’ve always played. I usually don’t like to try out new games, that isn’t related to games I usually play. But this has changed. After the Peer Game Showcases this week I have started to try out other games.

 

Some of the games that have been showcased this week were “Cities: Skylines”, “One hour, one life” and “Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice”. The favorite of these games is “Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice”. As I understand, the game is about a cursed girl in the Viking age. She hears voices in her head and these voices are telling her things like “You’re not good enough” and “You can’t do it”. All these things break her down. I cannot imagine how some people can live with this. One of the reasons I want to play this game is that I want to get a picture of how people with these kinds of physical illness manage to get through their day. I imagine it is like hell, and maybe the game will bring a lot of unpleasant feelings, and experiences.

 

A friend told me last week “You’re always positive in your blog posts”, and looking back on my posts I see that it is a lot of positivity. Well, some of the reasons is that:

  1. I am a positive person.
  2. If something irritates or frustrates me, I try to look forward.
  3. I try to find a solution if any problems occur.
  4. I genuinely like this subject.

I made this list and wanted to say something, but I forgot it. I guess what I was trying to say is that this subject is matching my interests. One thing that maybe brings some negativity to this subject is that we don’t have that much time to experiment and play around related to gaming and gaming history. But I guess that I just have to accept it.

 

Last week I started to play the game “Fortnite”. In the beginning, it was alright, but it wasn’t a game that I prioritized. After some days it became a game that I wanted to try more. In the weekend I started to play the game with some of my friends. The gaming experience changed immediately, and it is now one of my favorite games. I can’t explain the reason why I like this game that much as I do. It is just an excellent game. I think the graphics are unique with the cartoon(ish) style. It is my first time trying a Battle Royale game, and maybe this influence my thoughts about this game.

 

 

God helg!!!