Lit 80, Fall 2013
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[ABSTRACT] Videogames: Purely Entertaining Or Perception Altering

November 8th, 2013 | Posted by Zhan Wu in Uncategorized

[Abstract]

The gaming market has been continuously spiking as computer and digital devices emerged around our lives from the 1980s till now. The exponential increase in video game companies has led to a boom in players as well. Video games, compared to its first emergence, seem to play a much bigger role in our lives now, and still little do we know about how such a potential medium could influence our thoughts.

This project aims to investigate the different genres of videos-games, such as action-adventure, role-playing (RPG), strategy games etc. and seeks to compare and contrast how these games, set in virtual (digital) worlds,  subconsciously alter our perceptions and decision-making process in the real (physical) world. The project will first attempt to boldly recontextualize the setting, plot and characters in various games to illustrate the societal impact if people acted exactly like video game characters. Subsequently, to comprehensively and specifically discuss the impact of games in our lives,  numerous attributes of games, such as linearity versus non-linearity, sandbox versus just narrative, will be scrutinized. Game samples that are representative of each attribute will also be taken into account. By making these concrete analysis, the project attempts to ask the reader: How do different game genres and game styles change our perspectives in our real world?

Last but not least, the project seeks to research how subconscious perceptions of the physical world is different for a person who is playing a game (controlling the protagonist and making the decisions) and for a bystander who is watching a game. To minimize error, the same part of a game (genre and attribute to be determined) will be presented to the player to play and remediated as a video for the “watcher” to watch.  This interesting comparison will give us a glimpse about how interactivity/interpassivity of video games encompasses potential societal implications.

 

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