Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Julius_CH3_Penny_I

Considering first person shooters like Quake, the author asks if those games were "the ironic product of young men with no war to fight" and "the cultural/psychological backwash of two generations of cold war mentality". Still Simon Penny does not give us an answer to that often asked question.

According to Penny, all kinds of simulations are training a certain behavior. If that was true, playing the Sims would make you a better person in life and it would be easier for you to interact with others. Less complex scenarios like a flight simulator indeed train behaviors and are used for training, but I doubt that first person shooters train violence.

The human culture has always been violent and games have been to. For hundreds of years children have been playing policemen or cowboys with several kinds of weapons (or even games like paintball). The shooting games do not train behaviors but satisfy simple human needs to deal with aggressions and play with hand eye coordination. We forget too often that aggression is a basic human emotion that has to be acted out in some way. Good ways to deal with that are sports or games. It is very important to make a difference between healthy individuals and those with emotional disabilities.

Penny says that "even most Quake players have a reasonable grasp of the difference between simulation and real life". But also in this quotation Penny judges the player for no reason. ("EVEN most Quake players ..."). Someone without an objective view on these games can also not see the grotesque aspects of humor that often play an important part in the game. Especially Quake that has been blamed so often is probably one oft the most harmless games because of its absurd fantasy setting without any connection to the real world.

1 Comments:

At 9:20 AM, Blogger Mark said...

"According to Penny, all kinds of simulations are training a certain behavior. If that was true, playing the Sims would make you a better person in life and it would be easier for you to interact with others. Less complex scenarios like a flight simulator indeed train behaviors and are used for training, but I doubt that first person shooters train violence."

Though I agree with most of what you say your agrguement falters here. "The Sims" is just that a simulation of suburban idylic life. It is by no means anything like real life. Taking trained behaviors from it will leave you alone, jobless, low on funds, and dancing when you go to the bathroom. Real life if far more complex and rich and so I see it dificult to draw any real useful llessons from it.

 

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