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The Big [Games/Media/Art Theory] Thread

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    XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    plus video games are a graphic representation of .... whatever the artist wants it to look like

    Ebert is just an old fart who walked into it and walked right back out more gracefully than most

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    ElaroElaro Apologetic Registered User regular
    Yeah, I had an interesting thought about video games the other day:

    They require a lot less discipline by the gamer to be played than, say, tabletop games, role-playing activities, or sports. In the latter, the players are responsible for the rules being respected: they can easily mess up and make an illegal move, and it is up to them and the other players to keep track of whether a move is legal or not. Thus, the experienced non-video gamer is more familiar with human responsibility (what people can do, what to do when people aren't respecting the rules, etc.) than an inexperienced non-video gamer.

    In video games, the computer is responsible for the rules being respected: it is a lot harder to make illegal moves in video games and impossible without the use of another program. Abusive behavior without such a program is not a "cheat", after all, but an "exploit", and it is up to the developer, not the players, to patch them. Therefore, experienced video gamers are far less familiar with human responsibility than experienced non-video gamers, and that shows in how they interact with each other and the rest of humanity.

    Why do video gamers more frequently have unreasonable expectations concerning developer responsibilities and abilities? Why is the frequency of multiplayer gamers who are antisocial/toxic surprisingly high, considering they need to play with other people? It's because video games demand far less self-awareness and self-control than other human activities in order to be succeeded at, and therefore video gamers, people who play video games for a large chunk of their free time, haven't developed as much ability at those things than non-video gamers.

    In more technical terms, I'm talking about option constraints. In non-video game activities, we constrain our options: we exclude some things that we can do, that we can imagine are possible to do, from the things we consider doing based on perceived danger, on friendliness, on personal preference. When we play a video game, these option exclusions are done for us: we can't cross a colored line in Pac-man, for example. We can try, but the player-controlled Pac-man will not be able to so long as the program doesn't let us. We don't need to practice removing "cross the line that represents a wall in Pac-man" from our options list for the same reason we don't need to practice removing "flying by flapping your arms like wings" from them either: it just doesn't work. Video games are much more like toys than non-video games in that respect.

    This is one way that video games are different from other artistic mediums. (And toys, like tabletop games or designing a sport, are an artistic medium.)

    Children's rights are human rights.
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    ElaroElaro Apologetic Registered User regular
    Children's rights are human rights.
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