Nearly all my life, video gaming has been an attractive pastime. My grandparents bought that ridiculous "ping" (probably wrong name) game for the old B/W television set in their living room and all the kids that visited had a crazy fun time tossing that ball back and forth to the left and the right side of the screen. As I entered my teens I loved Frogger and Asteroids and Galaga, but disliked Pacman with a passion. Later, when the games went from table top to large standup machines with large screens, I was into Tetris and Hopi (?name? large gorilla had to save princess from monsters and jungle challenges) TOKI (just came back to me) as well as racing games (cars and bikes, much for beauty of the visuals). But I had no interests in combat games, even tho in real life I've practised martial arts on and off. Then came computer games, consoles, and now online games and tho I have tried warring games, I simply end up being a farmer, not a warrior. I choose MYST series over war any day. Unfortunately, in the gaming world, warfare is now very much the dominant genre and other game styles are becoming extinct.

 

So here I stand, 35 years of on-screen gaming, and yet still can't get into warfare/colonialism gaming. I no longer truly believe in the philosophy of pacifism, and I have my aggressive outbursts in real life and even desires for revenge. I used to get into fights in school, and occasionally in bars, I tend to be a 'justicière' yet I cannot intellectually condone a single dollar spent in military effort. I despise anything military, yet a vast majority of gamers are into it. When I've played online war/colonial games, I encountered a great many very "moral" people, people with husbands, wives, children, pets, siblings/children at war, stay-at-home dads, and oddly enough, few non-parents.

 

At the age (teens) when a majority of converted atheists were leaving religion, I was leaving objective morality (I was always a strong atheist). I've tried to correlate the warring game instinct with various life choices that I encounter online, but I could not find any. The colonial/warring instinct simply seems prevalent, across borders, cultures, genders, and religions, or lack thereof.

 

I have come to think that warring/colonialism is considered a morally appropriate behaviour by a vast majority of humans, even tho most humans "state" they are for peace and against colonialism. If video gaming can be considered a good approximation, a virtual reality experiment, for human nature I think is quite effectively demonstrates that war/colonialism is a fundamental human trait.

 

Before online gaming, I thought gaming was a hobby more prevalent among single lonely geeky type people, but I've found that to be entirely not true. The online gaming community I found was typical of humanity at large. I think it's a fairly good sampling.

 

I am curious to know what 'moral' observations fellow gamers have of this subculture.

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In the educational system, I have witnessed that the more institutions attempt to repress 'violent behaviour', the more underhanded the violence becomes, such as shootings and increased psychological bullying. I almost think people need some violence in their life, in a physically controlled setting, in order to be healthy, and outside the realm of our other religion of professional sports...

But this is also an entirely other discussion... than why some people want/can play violent video games whereas others can't...

George Carlin always knows how to put it better than myself. :)

I am also puzzled why in the US violence has a much lower restriction than sex. In Europe we generally censor violence (18+ unless of historical importance) but not genitalia (unless pornographic)- even on childrens TV (!). (See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKX5wUkzeiE&feature=related @ 4 mins)

It does appear to me that children take much less harm from sex (a productive activity) than violence (a destructive activity).

My post is not regarding taking gaming attitude into real life, but about the capacity / or not, that we have to do battle/colonialism in the gaming context itself. I find it very hard to do even tho I am competitive in very many other gaming forms. Most posters have responded that they find it much easier than I.

In multi-player gaming, conquering cities and territories by battle literally can mean destroying weeks of labour/prep and loss of money. Admittedly, playing only against a machine has no real victim. But in multi-player gaming, losing can cause depression, stress, family tensions. Multi-player wars in VR are not victimless, they have real-life impacts. I've known several fellow gamers who've quit cold turkey after bad losses.

You completely sidestepped my second paragraph. Yes, there are RL consequences, usually not death mind you, but still...

hmm, sore loser syndrome, yes that is a possibility, indeed :(

I have no issues with losing in other competitive scenarios... like I mentioned previously, I rarely play to win, only for fun. I have heard complaints in-game from hardcore players about players who quit after losing, some name calling like sore losers... Any time I lose hard, I tend to bounce back with a vengeance and rebuild/reinvest. It's the boredom that always eventually gets me to quit. Building/rebuilding is the fun/exciting part.

Yes I'd say sore loser does explain some people's experience of warring games, especially those who spend money to play. Myself I don't gamble either. No propensity to it whatsoever.

I play fps games online almost exclusively. I find the objective games to be boring and I hate watching TV. I haven't watched a network show on my TV in probably 5-6 years.. I think this is just personal preference though. Its all about the competition for me. Not only do I play with friends that live in different parts of the country but coworkers as well.

 

I don't believe in colonialism, empire building or any of the other reasons we are at war right now. And if you look at the games the army was using to train soldiers- they weren't using them to train how to shoot or stab someone. They were training them on tactics, situational awareness and other things.

 

I just don't see how video games make society any more violent than how board games like Monopoly made people try to bankrupt others.

Hey Ben, I urge you to give some network shows a chance. I dont watch much TV anymore either, once i got rid of cable. But there are a few core shows that make me laugh and that are truly well made:

The Office

Family Guy

Modern Family

30 Rock

games the army was using to train soldiers

 

actually I watched a documentary exactly on this last year, I think on a news show called Vanguard Journalism on Current TV. How much gaming has come to be included in military training. Presently in use by the USAF are un-manned planes operated from computer screens, by gamers. It is the future of air warfare.

In the Air Force, it is not limited to virtual yesterday and real today. We are now hitting targets, remotely, screen driven, with unmanned planes. The old WWI reflex is completely gone in this new remote killing context, it is on-screen, it's not so real as having the person actually physically in your face.
When I was young we played Pacman. It was harmless. We did not grow up listening to repetitive music while running around a room munching tiny pills. - lol

LMAO, munching pills on repetitive music turns me into an angel :)

Major cognitive disconnect! I can love everyone then!

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