In the previous lecture we discussed war games which discuss the moral and ethically question of the war genre of gaming. War genre gaming can be set in any time period from alternate,futuristic or any made up scenario it can be seen in different styles of gaming from the RTS(Real Time Strategy ) or FPS(First Person Shooters). In the class we gave our interpretations of war ,this lead to a talk Johan Huizinga who was one of the founders of modern culture. He stated that :
“Summing up the formal characteristics of play we might call it a free activity standing quite consciously outside “ordinary” life as being “not serious ” , but at the same time absorbing the player intensely and utterly”
This lead to a talk about the gap in Huizinga’s Magic Circle(which is a safe place to play) where players in a game play in a comfortable environment where the rules can change within the circle.
Crawford characterizes computer games as representation, interaction, conflict and safety. “a game is an artifice for providing the psychological experience of conflict and danger while excluding their physical realizations, a game is a safe way to experience reality”.
War Games :
Many people these days define that young children should not play war games as it desensitizes them to war that they seeing the opponents in as a war only as AI bots that are programmed to fight. Although I can understand these points that violence of war is left out of most games to create a “enjoyable experience” while gunning down other opponents I can’t credit them alone as of desensitizing people . As for an example a child could turn on any news network and hear the statistics of soldiers who where killed in a fight and nearly most times kids won’t be able to register this and more than likely accept that this is the norm that soldiers in war fight and they die in a way this is more desensitizing than any video game could be. This can be highlighted back to a point made in Potsdam 1945 when the allies leaders met after arguing over opening a new front Stalin responded that ‘when one man dies it is a tragedy, when thousands die it’s statistics”. As it shows the soldiers more of a number than actually person. I like the opposite at times as a game such as Lord of Rings Battle for Middle Earth you can create troops and build like any RTS game however these troops can continue on from mission to mission and I personally found myself trying to protect these troops because in a strange way I was attached to them as they have been around since the first mission and I found put so much time into leveling them up I didn’t want to see them die . Another war game example is Red Alert 2 Yuri’s revenge , Yuri has powerful mind control abilities that he takes over people to do his bidding and you have to find a way to defeat him and save the world from his tyranny. The thing is tho he has troops that are mind controlled such as his workers who have no weapons and are pretty weak to kill but you feel guilty killing them as they scream for their “Mommy” and start crying at times . I think this important as it’s such a small touch in the game that it leaves you feeling bad for doing such a thing. So personally I think that sometimes the opposite can occur to desensitizing in certain war games.
American Army ?
American army is basically a First Person Shooter created by the American Military the reasoning on why it was created was by Colonel Wardynski who recognized that a video game might be helpful to the U.S. Army in the strategic communication efforts by providing more information to prospective Soldiers and to help reduce the number of recruits who wash out during the nine weeks of basic training. It’s meant to the best top of the line shooter to give a real simulation feel for games.With several thousand players online at any one time between 2002 and 2008, it ranked in the top 10 FPS.
What I think about American Army?
Many people would argue that this game trains kids to become desensitized to battle scenario implying that the enemies are only AI bots that the army are using this to train potential recruits for the future but I funnily enough don’t agree with them for certain reasons
- And the end of day its still only a simulation,I find it Naive of Colonel Wardysnki thought that this would help stop the number of recruits dropping out after nine weeks training because there is a massive difference between sitting on your couch,picking up a controller and playing the game compare to the actually thing of getting your gear,getting yelled at by your drill instructor,hauling around your heavy equipment and so. It’s tough and no simulation can every really prepare you for the real thing.
- Age Restrictions , most of these types of games have age restrictions so that they can’t be played by minors although at times the implementation of this is pretty lax it is there.
- Choice of different games.
Three essential components of a game: Gameplay, Technology and Story
Technology and gameplay are I think are intertwined together as the gameplay can only be feasibly within the technology you are using as result this means in a way you can be restricted. As we can see from the early to Atari where they used squares to represent characters and the enemies the technology gave them their boundaries in which they can work. As the Technology expands we can now see the gigantic jump in detail and in gameplay since those days for an example a game such as Deus Ex Human Revolution which can immerse you into the very surrounding of the world and the detail put into it.
Although Story can be important, it’s only as important as the game allows it to be. Stories can suck a player into the game making them feel vital to the game and creating a sense of intrigue into this world and its environments . At times the story can be so powerful within the game it can make the player question his/her’s belief system and what they may think is morally correct or sensible again I believe Deus Ex HR(I really love that game) does this really well and the ending speaks for it self. No one ending is the bad ending,nor is there no good ending only your interpretations on them. I believe story can be vital at times but within context.