In my last post (I am no warrior . . .) I wrote about my observations of on-line role-playing games. One reader, Skadhu from Microfishing In The World Pool, had some interesting comments in response to what I said. Here is an edited version of that response.
I had made the comment that “I think there is a huge danger in spending too much time in a virtual world, and not paying attention to what is going on in the real one. Maybe in moderation gaming can be a form of escapism, but I wonder whether the aggressive/violent nature of these games is making us (the usually gentle souls) more aggressive in real life?” to which Skadhu responds:
First, the critique of virtual worlds as escapist is valid BUT applies to just about everything else people do as well. People escape into books instead of paying attention to what’s going on around them. Or stamp collecting. Or whatever. Lots of people who don’t play video games and for that matter aren’t obsessive about any activities manage to ignore things they don’t want to think about. I don’t think the issue should be framed as a problem with video games, but as a problem with finding balance in one’s life, whether it’s balance between fantasy and reality, or a balance between serious and fun, or a balance between your favourite activity and everything else.
Also, there are lots of story-based games that don’t involve gore and killing. One of the earliest and most well-known is the “Myst” series, which is essentially incredibly complex puzzles strung together with an intriguing storyline and beautiful graphics. I also just read today about one called “Portal” which I thought sounded interesting:
A couple of games I would recommend (click on links to go to site):
Machinarium: the makers, Amanita Designs, have some games you can play on-line through their website to get a taste for their approach.
Sword and Sworcery: there is some whacking of wolves/monsters in this, but it’s definitely not gory—and it’s quirky, very different from other games I’ve seen.
Skadhu also addressed my observation re: the skimpy outfits that the female characters in these games wear (see point #1 of I am no warrior . . .), posting:
- First a link to this humorous take on it: Female Armor Sucks (do not miss this video! ~ Lisa)
- And then a link to a serious analysis by an armorer called Fantasy armor and lady bits
Thank you to Skadhu for allowing me to post this edited version of their comment.