Nostalgia is something powerful in society but even more so Geek Culture. It is used to sell us new products,…
Errant Signal released a wonderful video yesterday about politics in video games and the importance of engaging in critical discourse about them.
Title ”Keep Your Politics Out of My Video Games”, the video opens with a description of gamers’ attitudes towards critical discussions: on one hand, they want video games to be taken seriously and respected. They want their gaming knowledge and skills to be acknowledged. On the other hand, they can react rather aggressively to any form of critical analysis of, say, the representations of ethnic groups, women, LGBT or gender roles in games.
I admit without shame that I often cheat when I play video games: I have skipped missions on Starcraft when loosing repeatedly became too frustrating. I don’t think I have ever played Quake on anything else than Godmode. Cheating allows me to manipulate the game experience, exploit the aspects of it I enjoy the most and free myself from some of the more demanding aspects when I don’t enjoy them.
However, because I cheat to enjoy easy and fun gaming, I would not go out of my way to cheat. Additionally, I would not cheat if the game-play is enjoyable and rewarding. And I have found that cheating can rob you of some of the best rewards games have to offer. When I got stuck on the final stage of Portal 2, I looked up a walk-through and ended up discovering the final step without wanting to: to this day, I wonder what kind of amazement I would have felt had I been able to figure it out for myself.
Among the most common comments about people who like playing video games is that they are wasting their time. In fact, after her first TED talk, in which she argued that video games can make a better world, Jane McGonigal started receiving this comment, in this form or another, repeatedly: on your death-bed, are you really going to wish you’d spent more time playing angry birds?
Last week, women who work in the video game industry started massively tweeting about the attitudes and harsh comments they have to face in their field.
As I read some articles on the topic, some of the declarations I read sounded familiar, some made me laugh of despair, and some made me so angry I wanted to cry.