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Not Totally Agreeing With The Beginning of Chapter Three

Looking at the beginning of chapter three, “Social Realism” in Gaming by Alexander Galloway, I find it a bit offensive at first.  Sony’s main objective was to try to recreate something more realistic and create a new phrase for gamers to use, “shock and awe.”  Don’t get me wrong, I love my sports video games, for Sony’s EA Sports to come out with the best sport video games known to gamers have been amazing.  The realistic views of being on the field to make a touch down or homerun, taking a punch to the face in a boxing ring, and or even feeling that amazing hole in one after hitting one hell of a shot in golf.  Sony has created the best sport games known to man.  However, how realistic do we as gamers or individuals have to get when it comes to hand to hand combat video games such as any of the Call of Duty Series?  I may sound hypocritical at this point, because I do love watching people or playing these sort of games.  But to use the term “shock and awe” towards war based video games should not be a phrase to represent this game system.  Going on an argument made by Ronald Reagan stating that video games could prepare individuals for any close contact, fast reflects, and so on in life?  I feel with this statement I’m also going to have to disagree.  It’s interesting but I feel the best kind of results to prepare ourselves with is to actually put ourselves in those type of situations face to face




5 thoughts on “Not Totally Agreeing With The Beginning of Chapter Three

  1. I suppose I would think about it this way: training is always about creating some kind of simulated scenario that prepares you for the real ones. This is true whether one is in a classroom, in military basic training, or, perhaps, playing a video game. Looking back at the training of soldiers, at one point, firing ranges used bullseyes as targets, but later it was discovered that soliders performed better in combat if they trained by shooting at human-shaped targets. (You can insert your own interpretation here: e.g., shooting at human shapes helped prepare soliders for shooting at actual humans.) Though thankfully I have no personal experience with this, I highly doubt that playing Call of Duty prepares one for someone actually shooting at you. On the other hand, could gaming prepare you for operating a drone strike? Could gaming prepare you for participating in the infoscape of the contemporary theater of war?

    Let me take it out of the military context. In FIFA soccer in career mode, you play an individual player who is playing a particular position on the field (e.g. center midfielder, striker, etc.). The game prompts you at times when you are out of position and calculates a score for your performance that is based on the role you are supposed to play. I do think that a young player could get a better sense of how to play a given position by playing the game.

    Posted by Alex Reid | June 13, 2013, 9:24 am
    • That’s what exactly what I’m stating though. Video games that tend to have any sort of shooting is not going to give those individuals the training that is based in real life or reality. The drone strike concept I agree, it doesn’t give the players experience of what an actual strike could be like but it does give these individuals and or gamers the knowledge of what could possibly happy if one or themselves were in that type of situation.

      Posted by ecflyer91 | June 13, 2013, 4:51 pm
  2. I’d like to take the FIFA example one step further and refer to one of my favorite books: Ender’s Game. In the book, the main character is exposed to many games, both video games and board games, that help hone his military command skills and assess how far he has developed. While a game like Call of Duty may not correlate directly to becoming a better soldier, it could still teach soldiers things about the battlefield. For example, if a map is realistic enough and the AI is intelligent enough, it could give a soldier a good idea of where an enemy would hide or which areas are the best to bunker down in. In a real time strategy game, a field commander could learn the best ways to deploy troops from a pure man management standpoint. Of course the best way to learn these skills is to actually take time and practice in real life, but in order to get started and get an idea of what its like, video games are often a good start.

    Another less related note is that surgeons often times use video games to prepare for surgery. The concept here is that video games improve hand-eye coordination and dexterity, so it isn’t as if aspiring surgeons can play a video game and suddenly become world class surgeons, but video games can help hone certain skills that are useful in real life surgery. The basic concept here is that video games as a training tool are helpful, but they are not the only training tool, just part of a bigger puzzle. As for a war game like Call of Duty inspiring “shock and awe,” it should, shouldn’t it? I’ve found Call of Duty to be a very realistic game, and sometimes when I play it I’m thankful that I most likely will never have to find myself in a situation similar to that my character is in because the game is realistic enough that it does strike a little fear into me.

    Posted by Ben Tarhan | June 13, 2013, 11:17 am
  3. I have heard a lot of critiques of video games over the years claiming that they are not realistic and they give a false sense of what real life experiences are actually like. For example, going with the idea of Call of Duty or any game similar to it, it makes it seem as though the military is full of action all the time, and that one person has the power to change the pace of a war. While this may be true in extreme cases, what the video games do not show is the constant waiting around that may be involved in a real life military mission. Soldiers may sit in a hiding spot for hours waiting for a specific target to come by. Of course these types of things would not be included in a video game because no one would play it. Many times games seem to glorify and intensify the actions of real life, making people falsely think that they are prepared, just like movies have in the past. However, if one is able to acknowledge that fact and take the content of the game with a grain of salt, something can be gotten out of playing. If anything, the strategies involved in Call of Duty are very complex and can show the complexity of many military operations. The same goes for any game that may possibly teach you how to do something. Whether it be a military game, soccer game, or a flight simulator, it causes the player to think as if he was in the middle of the action and take it the complexity of every single moment being played.

    Posted by jamesste | June 13, 2013, 5:10 pm
  4. I also disagreed that video games could really prepare people for handling real life situations. I especially disagree with this when it comes to war games. I’ve done a lot of reading about how US soldiers feel about these games. They enjoy playing them but not only are they obviously unrealistic when it comes to the emotional and physical strain of actually being in a war, but the tactics that are used in these video games are not very similar to the ones that they actually use. Some people think that these games may be able to train soldiers in how to react in certain situations but in my opinion the only way someone will really learn is to actually physically be in that situation. I personally feel the same way about sports games. While they may give the player ideas on how to carry out certain plays and such, chances are, it probably wouldn’t help in a real life game. Your opponents in the video game may not react the same way that your opponents in real life would.

    Posted by sierrasu | June 14, 2013, 10:40 pm

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