Does gaming hurt us?

2016-01-31 17:13:14 by BLHull
Updated

I am a huge fan of artistic expression, and a huge fan of gaming.  I think interactive entertainment presents an incredible opportunity to teach everything from basic math to teamwork, reaction time, problem solving and even empathy.  

But there is a movement to tear down gaming and promote censorship of expression.  In the 1990s this movement was launched from the far right- moral police that tried to convince us digital violence and nudity would destroy our young people.  Today the threat of censorship comes from a new hate movement on the far left.  These fact-free idealogues make their careers out of trying to convince anyone who will listen that gender relations and our basic humanity is under threat from gaming culture.

Now I am all for gaming being more inclusive, but inclusive means there is content for EVERYONE to enjoy depending on their game of choice- and things like sexy female characters or pointless violence are an enjoyable escape for millions of gamers- these things are here to stay.  So raising awareness of tropes in specific games is really only useful if you are a designer bent on innovation that you believe will have wide appeal while at the same time bring something new to the table.

Claiming the majority of games are blood thirsty, sexual, or perpetuate racism/classism/sexism only happens because admitting their findings are carefully cherry-picked wouldn't turn any heads.

Fortunately the facts are in, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with gaming or gaming culture.  In fact with the advent of interactive entertainment we have been able to broaden minds, tastes, and experiences, and now that we are on the cusp of Augmented and Virtual Reality we can expect that to increase 1000 fold in the coming years.  So let's hope the future is developers that continue to take risks and bring us ALL types of games for all types of gamers.

 

Video games more effective than medicine for treating depression:

http://laptops.reviewed.com/news/computer-games-may-be-more-effective-than-antidepressants

 

Disproving the link between gaming and sexism:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/olliebarder/2015/04/10/new-study-finds-no-link-between-gaming-and-sexist-attitudes/#52be32f621ad

 

Disproving the link between gaming and violence:

http://www.pbs.org/kcts/videogamerevolution/impact/myths.html

 

Video games have exploded in the last 30 years, and ALL types of violent crime have plummeted in that same time frame:

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/09/17/upshot/perceptions-havent-caught-up-to-decline-in-crime.html?referer

 

ALSO if you've played Ele-Masters, and you're curious about the lore, you can check out some of my sci-fi short stories for Amazon Kindle in the links above.  I am currently working on a fantasy novel "Earthbreaker" which I indent for wide release.  Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy the games!


Comments

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JK-FlipFlopJK-FlipFlop

2016-01-31 18:40:03

Wow, this is not what I expected. I thought it may be related to obesity or other health problems. But, to relate to your post, I can't believe some people have nothing better to do with their time than try to stop video games. If anything, I feel better after cutting up some bodies with a chainsaw, and it doesn't make it any less satisfying that it wasn't real.

BLHull responds:

Exactly. And my hope is that with AR and VR we will see more and more immersive, addictive game experiences that add real exercise and teamwork in a way that we can only begin to imagine. Picture a 14 year old girl addicted to an RPG that's teaching her times tables and getting her ripped lol.

With the real threat of violence and death plummeting in first world cultures we need to make sure our culture does not backslide into a sedentary mass. I personally won't go near a VR horror game, but open world and parallel universe games that get the whole body involved in a truly interactive story will be par for the course.

Our laser tag arenas will be replaced by huge VR arcades, and it's gonna be awesome. As to the far left freak-outs, they are symptomatic of a larger problem in our culture where people get fixated on 5th hand accounts they read on twitter and tumblr and then try to apply that to their daily lives. Fortunately for us, and for them, the real world is very different.


DiegoGTRattyDiegoGTRatty

2016-01-31 19:02:10

Couldn't have said it better. I mean, videogames. They are meant to be played to avoid jumping off a cliff in a lamborghini while running from the cops because you pulled off a "What Are Those" prank gone sexual and...

You get the point. Escape from reality. :v