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.
You are absolutely right. The game was indeed called, "Ping".
But only in the UK, where the word, "pong" refers to a pungent and offensive smell.
I've never been much of a video gamer myself - ok I like car racing games and Galaga, but not a lot else.
I do however enjoy Dungeons & Dragons. When I first started playing D&D back in the '80s, the Assemblies of God conducted a hate campaign against role-players, using Jack Chick comic books (which they put in everyone's letterboxes) to accuse us of being devil worshippers. I particularly remember one little comic book where, when the characters reached the dizzying heights of 8th level, the Gamemaster showed them the "real magic". I have been repeatedly disappointed, as I have played many, many characters well above 8th level in many campaigns run by several different Gamemasters, but still no-one has shown me the real magic :-(
Jack Chick lied!!
At around the same time, one Assemblies of God pastor wrote his own little comic book in the same style Jack Chick and put it in letterboxes in Tasmania. This little comic book (which, to the best of my knowledge, the Assemblies of God has never disavowed) told people of the devastating Evil known as Aboriginal people ...
This was around the same time that another Assemblies of God pastor, Frank Houston, and his son, Brian Houston, were splitting from the Assemblies of God to found their new church, Hillsong.
But, indeed, significantly after Frank raped a number of very young boys, and while his son Brian was still assisting him to cover it up.
BTW the difference between role-playing games and other games is that they are co-operative rather than competitive. The players work together to achieve a common goal.
I so love having people with no morals whatsoever sitting in judgement over me ...
I remember reading that article and writing the post above.....almost 5 years ago.....and I still play video games......so no long term harm then :-)