Sam Speaks is a bi-weekly opinion/feature column, on almost every topic imaginable. Please note that the opinions expressed in these articles do not reflect those of The ISPP RUSH as a whole, nor those of the school.
Quite recently, I watched Rock, Paper, Shotgun’s Fair Forward, a YouTube video series that discusses how certain video games fail, and what lessons can be learned from their failures. This particular episode isn’t about one specific video game. Instead, it’s about how video games are portrayed.
Before we get to the video, I wanted to talk about how I find that the way that video games are portrayed on TV and movies is, quite frankly, insulting.
There’s a certain expectation when you hear the word ‘gamer’, and most of them are negative. Take a look at this:
If you were assaulted by articles like this all the time, then you’d think that the whole world was one day away from being shot up by a bunch of teenagers who spend way too much time playing Call of Duty.
Video games are constantly boiled down to this misrepresentative, negative image, even when there are so many non-violent games out there. The mainstream media thinks that the only video games in production are about shooting foreigners, when that is so far from the truth.
I’m going to list, off the top of my head, all the video games that don’t involve you shooting, maiming or killing people:
- Mario Kart
- The Sims
It is infuriating to see video games taken down like this. Most people see video games as a waste of time, as a distraction, as something negative. But they’re force-fed this false image through Fox News, BBC, CNN, all the mainstream media outlets.
Video games can be works of art. Their interactivity can elevate even the most common stories to something much higher. Unlike movies–which are bound by a time limit, actors, sets, etc.–video games can tell stories that simply wouldn’t work in any other medium. Unlike books, you have a real, tangible impact on a story in a video game.
But I think I’d best let the video do the talking.
You can find the link to that specific episode here.
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