The Bologna Blog

a blog about all of the "bologna" in our minds that lead to writing.

Am I Us or Me?

with 2 comments

MMOs, RPGs, MUDs and all of the other kinds of online multiplayer games out there are, I have to admit, very fun. In World of Warcraft, I get to be a level 80 blood elf paladin. My sword is called the Claymore of Ancient Power, and for someone who hasn’t played for even a year yet, I feel I am not too bad. In EVE online, I work for a corporation, mining asteroid belts, while pirates attack me. I am paid in a currency called ISK, and the more I have, the more I can equip my ship with better mining gear, better rocket launchers, and get even better ships.

Eventually though, I end up thinking to myself… for all the effort I put into these games, I could be putting the same amount of effort into my real life. Sure, I don’t get to go through speed at hyper speed, or fight Onyxia, but this is what I have, and I need to make the most out of it. It must be nice for Doug, the college junior in Sherry Turkle’s article “Who Am We?”  http://j.mp/rrOT9 Getting to experiment being a woman, a macho man, a rabbit, and… a furry (look up this term; I will not explain it here). MUDs provide him with the anonymity to indulge in fantasies, and be someone who may be looked down upon in real life.

One could probably say that MUDs are today’s version of the science fiction book. When books became easy to acquire and the population learned to read, it is safe to assume that the readers would sometimes escape their reality and get lost in the stories they read with an obsessive nature. Now, parents urge their children to stop spending hours in these games, and to pick up a book. Ironic.

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Written by augeregua

November 20, 2009 at 2:03 AM

Posted in Reading Response

Tagged with , , , , , ,

2 Responses

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  1. First off, Michelle, you kind of took me off guard saying you play World of Warcraft. I might be stereotyping here but from at least my own experiences, I came to a simple conclusion… not many girls play video games. That’s why it nearly blew my mind when I read this. I love video games, but WoW is just a Pandora’s box of geekdom that I’m not willing to open. However, I can fully relate to the first sentence of your second paragraph.

    All the effort you put into these games, you could easily use in your actual life that doesn’t involve wizards and dragons. I felt the exact same way when I used to play The Sims. (We’re actually talking about it in class right now, which gave me the idea to write about this.) After putting about ten billion hours into this God forsaken game, it became clearly obvious that I cared more about the lives of my sims than I did about my own.

    Then I thought, “Wait a second. My Sim is a doctor making $300,000 a year, but what am I doing with my life besides controlling his?” This is the question that finally pulled me away from that game. I can only imagine you thought very similar after reaching Level 80 Blood Elf Paladin.

    halld76

    November 20, 2009 at 4:04 AM

  2. Your comment “I could be putting the same amount of effort into my real life” and halld76’s comment ““Wait a second. My Sim is a doctor making $300,000 a year, but what am I doing with my life besides controlling his?” are really at the crux of the challenge behind understanding what is going on with video games and gaming. Too often we see a diversion between the “real” and the “virtual” world. However, we must recognize that it is us, in our present “real” world that is interacting with the machine to control our avatar in the virtual environment. That act of control is part of the “real” world and very real learning takes place as a result of it. See, for example, _Confronting the challenges of participatory culture_ (available free online at http://bit.ly/5OU5A). The key is figuring out how we can leverage our online self to enhance our real, just as we use our real self to enhance our avatar.

    BW

    December 2, 2009 at 12:17 AM


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