10/25/16

In the article “Game Theories”, written by Clive Thompson, I find it interesting that once the character Thompson writes about Edward Castronova decides to himself he has no important role in reality, he turned to alternate reality. But then he still found a way to connect the two, even if he didn’t mean to. Castronova found he could do what he planned on doing in the real world (be a successful economist) in the game, EverQuest. In a way, this could reflect how in reality there are an acknowledged set of rules of ‘how things work’ driven permanently into your mind by society. Steps that are set up in order for you to ‘follow the status quo’; for example after graduating high school, you go to college, then you get a good-paying job, then you get married, and then you start a family. This system doesn’t work for everyone, including Castronova, since he didn’t do too well in school and he didn’t really fit in to any group in is reality as he says, “I’ve always been an outsider. I’ve just been floating around outside communities”, however in EverQuest he was one of the best of his field. He didn’t follow the ‘status quo’ but he still succeeded on his own terms.

Another point in this article where society is mentioned is during the change in interest about the video game and others of the medium; “Experimental online worlds had been kicking around for years, but they took a leap forward in 1997, when Ultima Online- a medieval fantasy world similar to EverQuest- launched, and quickly amassed a hundred thousand users. The idea of having a second life online suddenly didn’t seem so geeky, or, at the very least, it seemed a profitable niche; companies like Sony and Microsoft swarmed online”. The shift from video games being ‘geeky’ to ‘profitable’ and popular with “more than fifty active games worldwide, and anywhere from two to three million people playing regularly in the U.S.” shows a predictable, yet only potential, change in society’s opinion about playing video games coming. However there are those who are still dead against people playing video games, more specifically their children. Concerned parents provide a big voice against violent video games and argue that the games will eventually communicate to their children that violence is alright to take a part in reality. My question is, are these concerned parents taking into account all of the adults who have played video games since childhood and are not violent in any way in real life? There are even studies that they could look at, like with Edward Castronova, who while not a ‘rule-abiding’ citizen or fitting into the ‘status quo set up by society, experienced success, and has no record of violence of any kind. I have more questions as well; like are these parents upholding and ‘rule-abiding’ citizens in society? And would they feel so strongly against (violent) video games if they were not?

Game Theories by Clive Thompson

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2 comments

  1. bboessen · October 31

    Some interesting thoughts about the Thompson piece here, but they are not connected in a coherent and organized way. Really, there are two separate ideas here, either one of which could form the basis of a solid Response. Plus, the ratio of analysis to quotation here is fairly low – nearly a quarter of the response is quotation from the article. That’s not necessarily an issue, but if the piece is also at the minimum length, there is a question of depth there. Finally, you should still name both the article and author explicitly, and link to the piece so your reader can find it.

    Keep working on this.

    Like

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