Saturday, August 28, 2010

What is this blog all about?

I guess you can call it a sort of a diary if you will. I'm not going to post anything personal in here though, it's going to be more of a place to clear my head and pour out my thoughts. Right now I'm both angry and frustrated at the same time. The reason - as ridiculous as it might sound - videogames. Moreover online multiplayer games.

Ok so now you're thinking that I'm another pissed gamer who missed that one headshot, was one second too late to dodge the bullet or just got camped over and over again. As frustrating as those might already be, my reason lies a bit further, in humans.

Computer games simplify. They make you a god of your own world. In real life, you might not be able to even lift your own fat ass off your chair, but in the imaginary computer world, you are the all-powerful sniper, who can spot an enemy 3km away and manage to score a headshot with a minimal effort. I may have exaggerated a bit, but the point is this: when you are given the power to do everything, all that is left are really your own urges. You don't have to care if someone dies when you run them over with yout humwee, they'll just spawn after fifteen seconds and be pissed at you for a while but won't even remember it in the next game. The omnipotence strips you of having to work for your goals, it makes you forget how to think yourself. Every solution is handed to you by the game. Modern shooters rarely require any kind of problem solving skills.

So where is the problem in just phasing out and forgetting about all the troubles you have in real life? Consider this, you are being fed every day that same stuff that has been labeled by the society "information". The information in the games is as real as the information in the news, though their function is different. However, your brain doesn't know it. When you play all day long a mindless shooter, your brain starts to adapt. You zombify yourself and forget how to use your extraordinary thinking capacity. You think I'm wrong? Let's have an example from the gaming world.

In the early 21st century the online multiplayer fps games where pretty much all about team deathmatch or capture the flag. Very good examples are the legendary Half Life mod Team Fortress and of course GoldenEye 007. The objective is simple, kill the other players or the players of the opposite team. As times passed the developers began to have ideas, "What if we made the objectives more complex?" And so came about capturing the flag, delivering the bomb to the objective, securing the communications array and broadcasting the false transmission, destroying the opponent's base and advancing to the next one and so and so on. The tasks became more complex but what happened? The players began having problems solving the tasks they were given. It's fairly simple task to just hunt down the red scout, but managing to pull off a smorescreen for advancing under sniper fire, calling the airstrike just before tanks arrive and not on them seem to be a whole lot more difficult. They players are used to being given simple tasks and it has evidently effected them. You might argue that part of the problem is the lack of communication and you're absolutely right, it is, a part of the real problem. Frankly, the best players usually are those who have the ability to think before acting while considering the true goals of the game and not just concentrate on hunting for that pesky little sniper.

The gaming world often reflects the real world in high speed. These gamers who have had their ability to creative problem solving dulled are in fact the future firemen, police, doctors, steelworkers, etc. They are the what society is slowly evolving into. Simplifying information and removing the thinking part is not a feature just in games, it's visible everywhere in the media. And this makes me concerned.

It's easy to just curse that player in your team who just got in your line of fire and scored you a team kill but think about it, why is it that they don't think about their actions? In society the changes are more subtle and cannot be observed as easily but they are there. For example, why cook a meal when you can buy convenience food. Or why bother seeing people when you can have your true soulmate calculated in the internet?

People are becoming more and more lazy and it bothers me a lot. It's disturbing to notice how gradual the change is and at the same time realize that almost everyone else doesn't.

1 comment:

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