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My Perspective on Gaming

Hillary G's picture

      While discussing gaming, I was interested in the difference between virtual reality and “meatspace.” Meatspace refers to the publicly shared physical reality of our society—it’s where most people carry out their daily lives. A lot of avid gamers seem to give up this reality, at least to some extent. But no matter how invested a person becomes in a virtual life, they can never fully escape the fact that they are still a part of the collective meatspace, and exist in this reality, too.

      I wonder why so many people reject their “real” lives in order to live a virtual or “second” life. Is it possible to live a happy, fulfilling life in both worlds? Or has this MMO technology actually given people the option to disregard the real world in favor of an artificial one?

      Perhaps they invest themselves in online games because they want to have more direct control over some aspect of their lives. After all, success in the virtual world can often offer more instant gratification from working toward a goal. Perhaps it is more rewarding to achieve a high level or status in a virtual world that they help create, than it is to be promoted to Manager at a real-world business. Knowing that their goals are achievable by simply clicking the right buttons may be alluring to some folks who are not keen on exerting too much physical effort in a pursuit that may not bring success.

      Or perhaps some people play these games as a way of relating to other people. It could serve as a way to establish their real or desired identity in a comfortable space. For some, it is easier to connect with people in virtual communities, where people can portray themselves however they want. It gives them the opportunity to represent their “true” identities, or their alter-egos. The main character in Teknolust did a variation of this by creating 3 clones with different personas that reflected different inner aspects of herself.

      Perhaps it is somehow liberating to embody a virtual character that does not have the same limitations that the player has in “real” life. The player’s gender, race, and class are virtually irrelevant to their success in the game. Thus it provides a mask that they can design, without worrying about the effects that their physical characteristics would otherwise have on their social interactions.  



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