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Science & Technology no image

Published on March 28th, 2012 | by Hannah Riley
Image © [caption id="attachment_9430" align="alignnone" width="563" caption="© Rebecca's Photography, flickr"][/caption]   Last week it was announced that the video games are outselling DVDs and music in the entertainment industry. However, the irony of this is that the shop GAME is on the verge of bankruptcy and it was announced yesterday that 270 of its 609 stores in the country have been closed. So not only does the nation prefer to be in their bedrooms playing games in a virtual world as opposed to going out and watching a film, but we also prefer buying games online to buying them on the high street. It is alarming how engrossed we are in a world that doesn’t even exist. Humanity appears to prefer the hypes of virtual experiences rather than reality. As technology continues to advance, the more society becomes reliant upon it. It’s hard to imagine what life would be like without the equipment which is now seen as basic. Without mobile phones, email, internet and computers, some may argue that society would be on its knees. But it seems that our dependence on these luxuries has reached a whole new, unhealthy level. The word ‘entertainment’ implies that gaming is for fun but it is actually consuming more of our lives than we really think. Many teenagers see the online platform provided by consoles as an alternative to socialising for real with friends. Some argue that the social skills of the younger generations are deteriorating as a result of gaming. As a teenager who doesn’t hear the ‘Call of Duty’ that so many others are, I believe that there could well be a link between this analogy and the best selling video games. Excluding the most popular ‘Kinect’ Adventures, the top 17 best selling games for X-box 360 are all violent. I’m not particularly disturbed by this fact as I don’t believe that crime orientated video games lead to youths becoming mass murderers- I actually think that we have more sense than that. However, I do believe that there is a reason for this particular genre being so popular, as these games provide the player with an identity which is clearly embraced. Perhaps the powerful image of a villain installs confidence, something which a vulnerable teenager might lack. Comfort is found in these virtual worlds and false identities. Young people are choosing to retreat to their bedrooms instead of going out into the real world and socialising; how likely is it that the ‘strangers’ teenagers talk to while playing video games are the types of people they would approach for a conversation in a real life situation? Not very. Talking to someone you don’t know comes down to confidence and practice, but it seems that the desirable, fictitious identities that the gaming industry provide, along with the TV screen hiding one player from another, are only removing teenagers from reality. Basic life skills are being sacrificed. I accept that not all gamers are insecure teenagers as many young people do just play for fun as opposed to subconsciously wanting a different identity. And it’s not just teenagers who enjoy spending time on their PlayStations, X-box’s etc. – it’s adults too. Many people have grown up as gamers and as advances of graphics and quality have soared in recent years, several have chosen to continue their childhood hobby through to adulthood. The example this sets isn’t exactly impressive and if children are to follow the footsteps of parents who do sit and play video games then the nation will be as reliant on gaming as it is on the internet; it will become a necessity. Meanwhile, as the craze continues, GAME has gone into administration and the company is looking for a buyer. A total of almost 6000 jobs are on the line, some of these have already been lost and many workers will only be paid until the end of the week. This is evidence of our society opting for a world ‘online’ rather than high streets full of shops. The virtual world is jeopardising the real one.

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What ‘Call of Duty’?

© Rebecca's Photography, flickr

 

Last week it was announced that the video games are outselling DVDs and music in the entertainment industry. However, the irony of this is that the shop GAME is on the verge of bankruptcy and it was announced yesterday that 270 of its 609 stores in the country have been closed. So not only does the nation prefer to be in their bedrooms playing games in a virtual world as opposed to going out and watching a film, but we also prefer buying games online to buying them on the high street. It is alarming how engrossed we are in a world that doesn’t even exist. Humanity appears to prefer the hypes of virtual experiences rather than reality.

As technology continues to advance, the more society becomes reliant upon it. It’s hard to imagine what life would be like without the equipment which is now seen as basic. Without mobile phones, email, internet and computers, some may argue that society would be on its knees. But it seems that our dependence on these luxuries has reached a whole new, unhealthy level.

The word ‘entertainment’ implies that gaming is for fun but it is actually consuming more of our lives than we really think. Many teenagers see the online platform provided by consoles as an alternative to socialising for real with friends. Some argue that the social skills of the younger generations are deteriorating as a result of gaming. As a teenager who doesn’t hear the ‘Call of Duty’ that so many others are, I believe that there could well be a link between this analogy and the best selling video games.

Excluding the most popular ‘Kinect’ Adventures, the top 17 best selling games for X-box 360 are all violent. I’m not particularly disturbed by this fact as I don’t believe that crime orientated video games lead to youths becoming mass murderers- I actually think that we have more sense than that. However, I do believe that there is a reason for this particular genre being so popular, as these games provide the player with an identity which is clearly embraced. Perhaps the powerful image of a villain installs confidence, something which a vulnerable teenager might lack. Comfort is found in these virtual worlds and false identities. Young people are choosing to retreat to their bedrooms instead of going out into the real world and socialising; how likely is it that the ‘strangers’ teenagers talk to while playing video games are the types of people they would approach for a conversation in a real life situation? Not very. Talking to someone you don’t know comes down to confidence and practice, but it seems that the desirable, fictitious identities that the gaming industry provide, along with the TV screen hiding one player from another, are only removing teenagers from reality. Basic life skills are being sacrificed.

I accept that not all gamers are insecure teenagers as many young people do just play for fun as opposed to subconsciously wanting a different identity. And it’s not just teenagers who enjoy spending time on their PlayStations, X-box’s etc. – it’s adults too. Many people have grown up as gamers and as advances of graphics and quality have soared in recent years, several have chosen to continue their childhood hobby through to adulthood. The example this sets isn’t exactly impressive and if children are to follow the footsteps of parents who do sit and play video games then the nation will be as reliant on gaming as it is on the internet; it will become a necessity.

Meanwhile, as the craze continues, GAME has gone into administration and the company is looking for a buyer. A total of almost 6000 jobs are on the line, some of these have already been lost and many workers will only be paid until the end of the week. This is evidence of our society opting for a world ‘online’ rather than high streets full of shops. The virtual world is jeopardising the real one.

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  • Ben

    There are a lot of assumptions in this article without much evidence to back it up. I'm not saying the claims are right or wrong, but how does the author know if young people are gaming rather than 'going out' and socialising. Could they not be doing both? It could also be argued that if young people are socialising on line, this provides them with a much wider set of people to 'talk' to and it may broaden their horizons and give them an insight they may not get in the real world. As for Game going into administration, I think this was as inevitable as Blockbuster having troubles after the video rental market crashed due to online services such as NetfFlix, it’s just the next evolution. If Game and Blockbuster did not see this coming and try to embrace the new technology then maybe they don't deserve to remain in business.

  • Wow! It’s awesome blog post here. Really very interesting for the read. I enjoyed it. thanks.

  • jtenedero0

    Many people are now addicted playing Call of Duty because of having high 3D graphics with full of action and shooting game play.

    Best zombie games

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