Many theorists explore the idea that we ‘create’ our own reality. Whether through positive/negative outlook, karma, or just believing wholeheartedly in the power of the Universe, we are constantly using our minds to make changes around us, consciously and subconsciously.
When we play video games, we enter another reality. Essentially it is possible, consciously speaking, to leave reality (whatever one perceives that to be) and enter a whole new one. Books, with their magical use of language, have the same effect- they take us into other worlds.
Recent reports about young adults in Japan imply they have ‘gone off’ sex- or opted out- in favour of Apps and new MMORPGs that instead allow them to have ‘relationships’ within their games. According to these people, it is way more worth it than conforming to Japanese traditions that essentially ‘trap’ some people into lives they do not want to live.
So they really are choosing games instead! And if you don’t believe me, read the report here: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/20/young-people-japan-stopped-having-sex
So what is the connection between VG’s and consciousness? Well, think about when one is really immersed in a VG: fully into the game, on an 8 hour session. You are literally ‘living’ nowhere but in that game. You only ever ‘pause’ to eat and excrete, as those are the human body’s (or vehicle) most basic needs- the rest is all upstairs. I presume bouncing along some kind of electrodes in the brain cells or something, but I don’t know, I’m not a not neurologist nor a physician, unfortunately in this case.
But I do know what it is like to be immersed in a game. Three days straight playing GTA V and one cannot help leaving the house after that much gaming and looking around for a car to ‘steal’. I also turned out a decent aim when I first tried clay pigeon shooting and at the time I couldn’t help but think it was down to all the Resident Evil 5 I’d been playing.
The difference from books is the way we consume VGs’s, and their dependency on your conscious reaction to fulfil the true experience. You can’t ‘play’ a game without consciously controlling it. It is a requirement.
L1 to aim, quick!
R1 to shoot- but don’t waste your ammo!
Make every move count.
Games such as Heavy Rain even broke the consciousness barrier with the entire structure of the game being based on you- the main character- making decisions. Such decisions are then reflected within the narrative of the game, right through to the final scene- your actions as a gamer have consequences.
The Last of Us topped my fear meter like no game ever before. The blockbuster effects and realistic gameplay immersed me. For the best part of 24 hours my life was that world. A game that insists your first ‘kill’ is putting a dying man out of his misery is one that would surely resonate.
I believe VG ‘experiences’ stick with us, in our memory banks like ‘real’ memories. Of course they don’t follow you around everyday to the point where you are actually stealing cars or shooting people for the hell of it. But, if the world as we ‘know’ it did go to shit, or we were in a zombie apocalypse, or there was revolt and we had to learn to survive without and against authority, us gamers would certainly be contenders in the survival game.
So do VG’s make us better Revolutionaries?
I’m sure most of you who bother reading this will do for a reason and will have had similar experiences with VG’s or consciousness, or both. Many say COD inadvertantly recruits young men for the army (read into that what you will), thus, the connection between VG’s and consciousness seems to seep through many different levels.
I am making the conscious decision to stop tearing this apart now. In conclusion, it is clear in my mind that VG’s make us better Revolutionaries. But that is just my mind, who knows what goes on in everybody elses?