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January 4, 2006

A Reflection on Video Gaming I

Games are more than just abstract--they are abstractions of life. From Koster's A Theory of Fun, I found it particularly engaging that games are iconic representations of reality that have the ability to teach. Usually we as a society think of fun as frivilous, but Koster argues that fun and enjoyment can be derived from activities that we don't consider frivilous.

From Possessing Barbie, I learned that games can be just as real an experience as RL. What we communicate in the gaming world does not get watered down by any stretch of the imagination just because it is mediated. Our words and actions have an impact whether we are standing face-to-face with someone or standing on opposite sides of the planet.

From It's a Wonderful Life, I found that games have not evolved to the level of thinking that our world is in. Too many games are littered with binary reason and logical fallacy. It's a Wonderful Life teaches us that sometimes you have to lose to win. Values such as self-sacrifice, community, and love are not currently taught by games. Instead we see games teaching individualism, competitiveness, and self-gain.

Perhaps this is because we haven't payed enough scrutiny to games. We as a society think that "frivilous" things are not worth scholarly inquiry. This is why there is limited scholarship in the humanities on games. The fallacy is that we assume that things we consider frivilous are not important. They may seem to be unimportant, but everything around us--no matter how frivilous we consider it--has a significant impact on who we are as individuals.

Therefore, it is imperative that we carefully examine and evaluate the "frivilous" even trivial aspects of human life and interaction for the sake of informing their development.

Posted by EvanReynolds at January 4, 2006 4:38 PM

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