Violence in Video Games: The Misrepresentation of a Generation of Gamers

“Life is like a video game. Everybody’s got to die sometime.”  These words were spoken by Devin Moore, who was later sentenced to death for murdering two police officers and a dispatcher before making his getaway in a police cruiser (Alabama, 2005).  “ . . .[I]n almost every generation is the new medium that comes along. And it’s subject of almost a hysterical attack,” First Amendment lawyer Paul Smith says, referring to the theory that violent media, art, and entertainment will create violent children and adults (Alabama, 2005).  This theory has been applied to books, movies, comic books, TV, and now video games.  The newest of these mediums is virtual reality, and the most ubiquitous use of the technology is in gaming.  In 2009, 68% of American households played computer or video games (22 charts, 2010).  In 2008, 97% of teens played computer, web, portable, or console games, 99% of boys and 94% of girls (Pew Internet, 2008).  When a medium is as pervasive as television, it behooves us, as a society, to examine the effects in an honest light.  The media is awash with articles about how video games are causing our youth to act aggressively and commit crime.  The aim of this paper is to shed light on these accusations, as well as show how Virtual Reality can help our society instead of destroying it.  As virtual reality becomes the favored pastime of our generation, the effects on society are important to understand. Continue reading


MMO Free-to-Play vs Paid

I thought about typing up all the differences between the games for paid subscription, “premium” (typically spending some money, but not a subscription) and free, but then I realized that just linking the information would be easier and more effective… especially once I realized that SWTOR makes it freakin’ impossible to understand. Continue reading

Free-to-Play Hour 2

So today, I’d like to talk about instances. As I may have mentioned in my previous post, I love that DDO is totally instanced. It means that not only are you (and your party) the only people fighting your baddies, you can also determine how difficult you want that adventure to be, and because of the inherent stability of the adventure, you can feel free to complete it as you like. I’ve made many characters with zero fighting ability because I knew that my guildmates would be there to kill things and I could just be a straight-up pacifist healer. You can also go through some dungeons without killing a thing (and get extra XP for it to boot!) if your rogue is a good sneak or your arcane can cast Invisibility. There are many ways to get through an adventure, and it is rarely as simple as “run in, shoot everything as you see it” as it seems to be in most of these other games. So… on to the 2nd hour! Continue reading

The Free-to-Play MMO Gauntlet

It’s been a while, huh? I’ve been very busy with a full plate of gaming (Black Ops 2 multiplayer, NCAA Football 13 dynasty, Madden 13 coach career, & Epic Mickey 2 are the typical ones right now), an official college course and two Coursera courses, a three year old and a short vacation to the in-laws. I am currently planning yet another final paper using gaming as the focus (in this case, the linguistic analysis of Black Ops II players), and briefly considered a comparison. The language used by gamers is different depending on the context, such as competitive vs cooperative, shooter vs MMO. I thought I might do a comparison between Black Ops and my former Permadeath guild in DDO. In Black Ops, a player is not likely to ever play with that group again, unless they are friends or added to the friends list. In DDO, our guild never met in person, but we still got to know one another well enough, even with aliases, and had friendships come from it. It is not surprising then how infrequently hostile, offensive, or abusive language (like that common in Call of Duty multiplayer) was heard in DDO. The mask of anonymity can lead to actions that someone might otherwise oppress. Continue reading