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Future 2020: Video Games


The Ghouls are talking about one of their favorite hobbies, Video Games! We discuss why video games are evil, but not in the ways you think and how they're also incredibly powerful! We watched Stay Alive and Sword Art Online to get a glimpse into the horrors of being trapped inside the game where if you stop staying alive in there, you cease to stay alive out here.

RED: Quotes, someone else's words.


Kat's Facts - Do Video Games cause violence?


Video Games cause violence DEBUNKED

The amount of time spent playing video games has increased steadily, from 5.1 h/week in 2011 to 6.5 h/week in 2017 (The Nielsen Company, 2017). Players use video games for very different reasons such as to distract themselves from daily hassles or because they enjoy the social relationships they have developed in the virtual world. Potentially problematic video gaming has been found to be related to various reasons for playing such as coping and escape, socialization, and personal satisfaction.


Common fears for video games: Addictive and promote isolation and dissociation.

Peter Gray Ph.d from psychology today Today, worldwide, hundreds of millions of people play video games. The vast majority of those players are perfectly normal people, meaning that nothing newsworthy ever happens to them, but some small percentage of them are killers, some are extraordinarily depressed, some are suicidal; and every day some video gamer somewhere does something terrible or experiences something terrible. All this is also true of the hundreds of millions of people who don't play video games. This is why case stories, by themselves, are worthless.

Assistant Professor Nicole Martins, Ph.D. At Indiana University stated "They get some enjoyment out of it. They like the feeling of being scared," Martins said. "Maybe the enjoyment comes from the fact that you're getting this rush, knowing that no harm is really going to come to you."


Sources:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150629124506.htm

https://www.psychologyofgames.com/2015/10/the-psychology-of-horror-games/

https://vocal.media/gamers/why-horror-games-are-scarier-than-movies

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1037/a0018941

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0146167213520459

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01731/full

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/freedom-learn/201502/cognitive-benefits-playing-video-games

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/freedom-learn/201202/video-game-addiction-does-it-occur-if-so-why



Gabe's Film Analysis - How are gamers portrayed on screen?


As a rule, gamers in horror movies are troubled: loners marred by tragic pasts, bloodthirsty obsessives bordering on sociopathy, and all manner of degenerates, ne’er-do-wells, and nogoodniks are the only people who enjoy video games in these films. Where are the folks who simply like to unwind after a long day at work with a little gaming? It’s true that sometimes a movie plot is just a movie plot, but the message imparted time and again seems to be “games are dangerous and bad for you.”


If you want to see the terrors of video games on screen you have to reach far back in media. Today’s fears of video games revolve almost exclusively around, VR/AR/XR as that is how our technology has advanced. But if you reach back to the 90s and early 2000’s you can see the height of the “Video Games are Evil” or “If you die in the game, you die in real life trope.” we see in the film Stay Alive. The main idea behind this fear was the (at the time, limited) escapism that video games tempted people with. There’s this idea that we would no longer be able to distinguish reality from the video game world, which is only more pervasive now with Virtual Reality (we’ll get into that), but video games were the gateway drug to such an idea.

One of the first attempts at blurring this line and furthering the Video Games Make People Violent rhetoric was in the film, Brainscan, where In the first level, “Death by Design,” it interfaces with Michael’s subconscious via hypnosis, and when he steps into the shoes of a killer, it’s literal. “Real? Unreal? What’s the difference?” argues Trickster, the game’s host.

We are introduced to this loose moralled gray area where real murder is the same as fake murder??? No wonder parents think their kids are becoming murderers from playing COD.

New Media will always be terrifying to older generations.

After Columbine, parents quickly took to blaming Marilyn Manson and his “devil worshipping” music which the killers listened to were to blame. Even, Eminem has been accused of causing violence due to his lyrics and message. It didn’t take long to point fingers at video games and see them as the catalyst culprit of violence amongst young people. How can you explain kids shooting up villains on screen for hours on end and them not being affected to the point of desensitization?


Arcade, is another super fun game movie where young people are trapped in a video game that was accidentally made malicious by way of a dead child who had been abused in life’s brain cells being turned into the playable AI. I wish I was making movies in the 90s.

Stacie Ponder, who wrote an awesome article for Kotaku, titled: Video Games, According to Horror Movies, explains some of this hilarious narrative quite well. Alex, the protagonist visits the developer’s headquarters, your typical corporate office complex after finding out her boyfriend is trapped in the game. It seems there’s only one “programmer” for the game, and as you would expect he wears a lab coat. He didn’t mean to make a homicidal game, of course; that was just an unfortunate side effect from using the brain cells of a dead child abuse victim when creating the AI. And who among us could say they’ve never made that mistake?.

Lab Coat hands Alex the game “schematics,” a large piece of paper that displays the location of all the keys required to reach Arcade. It’s a shocking glimpse at the 100 percent true way video games are made.


There’s something to be said about these characters we see playing video games on screen. Oftentimes, they’re loners, secluded and disconnected from the outside world. They are social inept and easily sucked into this fictional world, an escape from their otherwise lackluster life. IN video games, we can be heroes. We can look however we want to and we can choose whichever destiny we want. We lose sight of reality and become desensitized to pain and violence, becoming hardened machines ourselves. However, in reality we’re soft puppies who spend hours dressing up and designing our character to look silly or tough or fun (check out Monster Factory for some fun character creation) and its a fun escape for the moment. One of my favorite memes was this post where it’s like, “People saying video games cause violence.” and then its like, “Me, whenever I choose a negative dialogue option and the character gets upset.” and it shows them like sad.


Let me just say, go read that article because Ponder is fun and witty and I truly enjoyed reading about video games. She says all the things in my heart. But my favorite quote from the article was this, Unfortunately, as video game-centric horror movie rules dictate, when one does not, in fact, stay alive in the game, one also stops staying alive in real life.

"Second Life" launched to the public in the summer of 2003, only three months after the start of the Iraq War. Roughly three years later, it reached a million users, impressive for a social network at the time. Magazines and blogs wrote glowing coverage of it. Universities built campuses in it. Brands built outposts.


Sources:

https://kotaku.com/video-games-according-to-horror-movies-1819857294

https://kotaku.com/video-games-according-to-horror-movies-1819857294

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/NewMediaAreEvil

https://digg.com/2018/second-life-in-2018

https://www.wired.com/2015/08/geeks-guide-gamer-stories/

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/30/steven-spielberg-video-gamers-ready-player-one-gaming

https://venturebeat.com/community/2012/03/16/embarrassing-and-dishonest-tvs-portrayal-of-gaming/


Media from this week's episode:


Stay Alive (2006)

Director: William Brent Bell

For a group of teens, the answer to the mysterious death of their old friend lies within the world of an online video game based on the true story of an ancient noblewoman known as the Blood Countess.


Sword Art Online (2013)

Director: Reki Kawahara

In the year 2022, thousands of people get trapped in a new virtual MMORPG and the lone wolf player, Kirito, works to escape.


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