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Veteran Member - Level 11
After days of blogging and responding to the serious subject
matter associated with my gun control, video games and violence blog (including
a four page response to one member who wanted to discuss the matter further),
it's time to take a break from all of it and approach tonight's feature with a
little levity. I somewhat enjoy tackling the tough issues, but it reminds why I
got out of blogging about current events, politics and other controversial
issues a few years back and started focusing on video games - it's much more
fun and cheery, and doesn't get me all fired up. I didn't want to completely
stray away from the topic at hand, so I thought I'd use it as the subject for
this blog, only with a comedic twist. I mean no disrespect to the seriousness
of these issues before us, but maybe looking at it from a different angle can
help us all smile about it.
Using the logic that exposure to violent video games over
time will somehow result in the gamers that play them developing violent tendencies,
I have to wonder if this is true of other behaviors. I have been playing video
games a mighty long time - all sorts of games including: puzzle games,
adventure games, sports games, simulator games...and yes, even violent shooter games.
Although back when I started playing games, they weren't all that graphic as
you fired your little square bullets at a blob that looked more like a stick
figure drawn with a fat crayon than an actual person. But the point is I've been
playing video games my whole life. So, besides being violent, what other traits
or behaviors can I expect to acquire having been exposed to video games for so
1. Numismatists - Certainly when you think of collecting coins,
the various Mario games comes to mind, but it by far isn't the only game that
has you collecting them. I've played nearly every Mario game that has ever been
released and a ton of other games that have you collecting treasure chests full
of coinage. I couldn't even begin to tally the untold riches I've amassed
collecting coins over the years - millions maybe? If prolonged exposure to a
certain subject matter rubs off on you, then I would have to be well on my way
to becoming a numismatist - someone who studies or collects currency, including
2. Calisthenics - Anybody know what that means without
looking? Yeah, me either, well at least not officially. Calisthenics is gymnastic exercises designed to
develop physical health and vigor, usually performed with little or no special
apparatus. Sound like any games you've played. Oh, I don't know... I think we
call them platformers, those games that have you running, jumping and climbing
over all sorts of obstacles. Of all the genres I've played, this was probably the
first and longest running. Sure, I've played plenty of shooters in recent days,
but platformers came out in the 1980s and I've been playing them ever since, so
they have a huge head start. Oh no. Am I in danger of become a gymnast?
3. Adventurer - From Monkey Island to Kyrandia and
everywhere in between, I travelled the world over several times for years now and
got the t-shirt to prove it. I've pointed and clicked and combined pieces and parts
to solve riddles. I've filled up my hearts in Zelda and made the acquaintance of
a strange little character named Geno. I have been so desensitized to adventuring
I don't even worry about getting eaten by a grue anymore.
4. Laborer - Clinical research might not have had enough time
to evaluate whether prolonged exposure to Minecraft is likely to cause you to
want to randomly dig ditches, build structures or excavate resources from the
ground, I'm here to tell you there is zero link between playing Minecraft and
actually wanting to go outside and perform any of the activities found in that
game. It might be a bit premature to conclusively say there is no relation, but
early statistics seem to suggest you won't emulate behavioral patterns found in
Minecraft in real life. You might spend your whole day contemplating it, but
you won't actually take any action.
5. Driver - I remember the very first driving game I ever
played. It was called Night Driver on the Atari 2600 and used the paddle vice
the joystick. It was rather cheesy. This blocky object representing your car
stayed centered in the screen and you used the paddle to control the movement
of the road - yes, you were essentially steering the road around your car. It
was horrible. But since that game, I've been playing driving / racing games
ever since. I remember playing Test Drive on the Commodore 64 way back in 1987.
I've played tons of them including nearly every Need for Speed game ever released.
I've learned some particularly nasty habits from my driving games like driving
under semi-trailers, over sidewalks and through golf courses. I've ran from the
cops and bumped slower drivers off the road. I've done burnouts and donuts and
caught air flying over hilly roads. I never really believed violent video games
could cause you to be violent, but having played many driving games where you
can drive as crazy and totally illegal as you want, don't think I haven't dreamed of doing
something like that in real life. Of course I've always been able to refrain...
The weekend is nearly here. It's snowing outside. And I get
to go in 2 hours late. Woo Hoo!
It's game time!
I love this topic; as someone who plays Ace Combat, I find myself thankfully spared from accusations that I'm going to one day just get in an F-18 and go fight in a war somewhere.
I think an intersting comparison, though, is the ease of access to acting out certain scenarios. Gamers can't just go outside and build a house, fight a dragon, or fly a jet. But most gamers (old enough to play M rated games, anyway) can go out and purchase a firearm, so long as they pass a background check. For better or worse, it's incredibly easy for someone to get their hands on a weapon these days - and this is just covering legal methods. In other scenarios (like Newtown) firearms can be acquired by those who would not be able to buy them legally.
I wonder if the ease of firearm access is a factor in why video games are so quickly blamed for this type of violence, as opposed to stabbings, vehicular manslaughter, etc. Or, why games are rarely praised for their beneficial effects (such as studies linking playing games to increased hand-eye coordination amongst surgeons.)
My favorite point you made was when you were talking about Minecraft. Though so many people like it, it is too funny picturing them digging holes randomly or mining in real-life.
Wonderful job Saint, I think this is just what we needed.
You actually get in trouble if you try to play minecraft in real life. Fun blog Saint.
I completely agree with the driver statement. I remember when I first got my driver's license. My parents were wondering why I was so calm driving, and I said, "There's no blue shells in real life."
After 5 years my state quarter collection is nearly complete! Just a couple more quarters to go.
I have indeed felt the urge to practice my parkour skills now and again. Still haven't quite got my vaulting skills leveled to 100%.
I often go walking through my woods just to go exploring. I hope to see a fox one day, but will need to level my tracking skills a little more, so far I can only track them in snow or on river banks.
I was digging a hole with a post hole digger a while back (to put a post in it), and could't help thinking how much harder it really is to dig out a single blocks worth of dirt.
Since I only recently got my permit, I haven't really had the urge to level up my crazy driving skills.