perjantai 31. elokuuta 2012

Games as means to...what?

What is the purpose of gaming? Leisure? Learning? Sociality? Honing ones skills? Being the best? Well. It can be all of those, and there is no reason to hold, that there should or ought to be one and only reason.

torstai 2. elokuuta 2012

Ethical domain of games, the problems of unintentional and intentional indoctrination

I think this issue needs more attention, especially from the developers. Also I think consumers ought to be more informed. I'd like to hear your opinions on the matter. Am I taking this too seriously? Is there enough awareness already? Who has the responsibility, the consumers or the developers?

What is the problem when including things like racial prejudice, sexual discrimination, nationalism etc.? You can assert them as truth in the story. You are a creator, who can make any idea/idealogy to fit on the story, in which it will seem legit and reasonable. How is this different when it's done in movies, books, or generally in a piece where the creator constructs the story and it's elements? This is about which is effective, and while these other forms of media can immerse you, nothing can immerse you more than a game.

What worries me is that these assertions and implications are usually quite transparent, they still tend to be easily overlooked. Games, atleast for me are things to make me relaxed. So I don't start to analyze them or deconstruct the underlying reality, I'll just go for the "ride". A while a go I played the game Homefront. I'm not sure is this just me, but in the game I actually wanted to kill the koreans invading the world, they were already dehumanized to me by the intro etc. I felt like I was the survivor, and we have to kill these or be killed, and this is the only solution. Of course I didn't after the game think that koreans should be killed, but it's scary how subtly you can go with the flow of the game. I think this is because when we play, we try to go with the flow of the game. Because if we didn't, we couldn't enjoy the game.

In most modern shooters, your problem is always "do I shoot, or will I be killed", and the enemy is nonsensical screaming "zombies", with no compassion or mercy. The war is also being glorified, and shown as what it really isn't. Of course I understand that in FPS you shoot, and you don't try to negotiate. The problem I'm having is that these games try give a "realistic" and "authentic" feel to them, they're not arcade games by any stretch of the imagination. I think that developers atleast have the responsibility to research the facts. Like in Call of Juarez : The Cartel, there are plain lies and wrong information. Like how mexican mafia steals women from USA to sell as sex slaves in Mexico. This game is based on a real life situation, which makes it appalling, and really disrespectful towards the lost lifes of innocent people.

I'm not saying that games should be controlled by laws or any institutions. Or that these kinds of games shouldn't be created. I just think that developers ought to become more aware of these issue, and also the consumers. I recently watched WTF Is Spec Ops, and in that game they really did it right.