Culture and Video Games

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This photo pretty much sums up my first love for a video game ever, Sonic Adventure 2 Battle for the Nintendo Gamecube. Oh man did I play this game on hours end over and over again. I ended up playing this Plants vs Zombies game for the first time. I have seen this game a lot over the past couple of months but I never understood the hype around it however now that I have played it I can say it is very fun! I liked the simplicity of it and how it guided me through the first couple of levels instead of just having the player figure it out. I also enjoyed the zombie aspect since I am a big zombie fan. I also enjoyed that it was a little violent (you know in a cute way I guess?) but it wasn’t overly gory or anything.

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I mean look at how cute the plants and zombies are!

The thing I didn’t like about it is the fact that it was a way to waste some time. Playing it reminded me of my time in high school and playing addictinggames.com during computer lab based class to make the time go by faster but I didn’t have to go to a proxy server to load the webpage.  I think people play video games for a few different reasons but the two prominent ones are the social aspect and they find the challenge aspect fun. I remembered how I never was allowed to have any form of online game play during my entire high school career and that was the biggest reason why I never really got into them like my peers. It seemed like everyone was talking about COD or Halo during every class and I desperately wanted to be a part of it. The other reason why I think people enjoy playing video games is because it is a rewarding and fun way to challenge yourself with virtually (I am so punny) endless levels and difficulties.

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How are video games used in culture? hmmm so many possibilities to talk about!! Well I will just stick to the reading…

As discussed in Beams’ “Death From Above” the military already has tons of different ways it uses video games to influence and train soldiers in proper military culture norms and scenarios. It provides a safe, but realistic, way to make mistakes. Also video games like Second Life provide a platform for people to become the person (or creature) that they want to be and interact with thousands of people at any desired level. I do see a potiental for people becoming to heavily reliant on video games (or more or less the internet for socialization and interactions. I believe video games can be used as a way to connect with people who do not know. It is an easy way to start to get to know someone, “hey have you played that new GTA? What did you think?” etc. But their could be some stigma tied to interactions.

they could think of you like this

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PS: My favorite myth was myth 11: “If violent video games cause increases in aggression, violent crime rates in the U.S. would be increasing instead of decreasing.” Like people actually believe that?? Oh my gosh people will believe anything on the internet.

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5 thoughts on “Culture and Video Games

  1. I used to think of my time spent playing PVZ as wasted. Now I feel like I’m staving off Alzheimer’s, a disease that’s taking my mom away. I feel my neurons firing as I try to figure out how to kill those damn PVZ2 voodoo zombies — the ones that carry a half dozen crazy plant munching chickens. (Personally, I like to electrocute the little buggers.) My grandmother did crossword puzzles and stayed pretty sharp until her death at age 99. My mom dozed off in front of the TV at night. Her mind is gone.
    I plant gardens to kill zombies, play Dr. Mario on an ancient NES and enjoy Words With Friends. Oh yeah, I also, you know, read books. A lot of books.
    –Deidre

  2. Bret,

    As I read through your blog I had to LOL at the fact that you mentioned finding a proxy server during school hours to play games because that’s the exact same thing that I did. “Drugwars” say what? Anyways, I love how you incorporated the myth about video games because it’s so true. Anything that anyone says could be taken the wrong way, thus falsifying almost anything these days. See you at the Christmas party on Thursday. Wear your ugliest sweater, dude!

  3. You bring up a good topic regarding the stigma of the gaming culture. This reminds me of work ethics and the loss there of, the amount of time spent gaming could be better utilized in the aspect of some sort of production.

  4. Very entertaining Blog! I like the reference to your own personal life and experiences with video games. When I was a child I had the original playstation nintendo. I loved playing Mortal Kombat, Teken and Street Fighter. However as I got older I didn’t get new games consoles. The closest I had was Leap Pad. My family switched to only allowing me to play educational games. I am sure this contributes tremendously to me not being a gamer.

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