It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Why Do We Do This? (Computer Games / "Virtual" Worlds)

page: 1
<<   2  3 >>

log in


posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 09:42 AM
Not sure where this belongs to, but I think Philosophy and Metaphysics might be adequate.

As so many, I am playing PC or console games for a long, long time already. (I had my first computer when many here were probably not even born yet). We say we enjoy it and spend hours in such virtual game worlds, probably not thinking anything about it.

Right now I got interested in a MMORPG (after having played WoW for a long time), this game is called "The Secret World".

Basically, what it is that you play a character in world which can only be described as the biggest imaginable nightmare ever.

Imagine a world which is FILLED with zombies and other kinds of monsters which are out to get you, literally on every street corner, behind any tree...within any building you come across. You want to go to a certain location, say you want to walk from your location X to house Y or to a store...and on your way there you will encounter dozens of extremely powerful zombies so that any movement, any task you are undergoing is becoming a constant "fight to the death" against enemies who would mercilessly kill you if they could.

From a psychological perspective this is entirely ABSURD if one thinks about it.

We have technology (computers) which allows us to create virtual, alternate worlds and where we can choose to spend a significant amount of time in, away from the "real" world.

What do we do? We think about the most horrible imaginable nightmare scenarios where death and destruction is everywhere and we voluntarily set ourselves right in the midst of it - and then we play a "virtual character" which lives (has to live) in this world and we actually consider it entertaining.

Maybe it's just that I am getting older..but OF COURSE I do enjoy those games (otherwise I wouldn't play it), this eternal challenge to overcome obstacles, the challenge to survive and to fight and then come out a winner - but isn't it just entirely bizarre WHY we do this? Why would we voluntarily create an alternate "horror world" and then (from all things possible) choose this to spend time our in? Just my $0.02 that from a certain point of view it's simply an odd thing.

posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 09:46 AM
You can always play Mario instead...

posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 09:51 AM
My husband and I played City of Heroes for a number of years. He'd still be playing if they hadn't shut it off.

It wasn't nearly as nightmarish as Secret World, which I have tried. I've also flirted for a time with Knights of the Old Republic. Neither of those grabbed me like CoX did.

Both of us are supers junkies, and in the end, we liked the community of people who played the game. It was about the things the community did to make the game fun even though the world and its scenarios were the same.

We ran with a crowd on a server who pulled off things that took server-wide cooperation and often did them just to prove they could. They ran serverwide holiday events on a yearly basis. Events that took lots of planning the forethought. There was no drama. Most of us were adults who played for the shear enjoyment of playing with each other, not for loot or anything like that.

There were costume contests (CoX still has the best character creator out there). Global chat channels where just anything and everything (even politics on occasion) could be discussed without a lot of vitriol (and when it started to happen we'd back off into jokes).

It was just the best place to go and relax and hang out.

I might pick up another MMO if I could find one with that feel because I certainly wasn't playing it for the challenge by the time I quit and other MMOs I tried don't challenge me playwise anymore.

As for running a virtual world, when I get that hankering, I fire up my Sims.
edit on 31-12-2013 by ketsuko because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 09:52 AM
reply to post by NoRulesAllowed

I think it's sad that we spend so much time and money planting the seeds of violence and fear in the minds of our communities. Just as we are what we eat, our psyche "eats" the input we feed it through our senses, and uses that behind the scenes to influence who we are.

Who we are has become a nation of violence-loving, narcissistic people who are desensitized to murder, pain, and wrongdoing. Personally, I think violent media is poison for the soul. I believe when we glamorize murder or fear, we plant the seeds of murder and fear deep within us, and they are hard to uproot once they have started to grow.

I would prefer we planted the seeds of love, helpfulness, and positive competition, rather than these homages to evil. My 2 cents.

posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 09:59 AM
reply to post by NoRulesAllowed

It could be because we are wired to survive. In your day to day real life, how much actual critical thinking do you have to do where there's chance to outthink someone who about to get you? How often do you get the satisfaction of outsmarting an "enemy" or overcoming a "threat?"

You've raised a valid point in questioning our reasoning for enjoying these worlds of fantasy destruction and death. But couple the idea that not everyone has ever faced, not does everyone continuously face a real life struggle as depicted in the games, and you begin to see what makes them appealing. Because they're fantasy, there's no major consequences if we fail to kill that zombie, or if that sniper turns around before we grab their dog tags, or if we don't quite land that plane just right. But if we do, there's some sense of accomplishment there. Sure, it may not be as intense as a real life version of the same event, but it's closer than most people ever get to it. Are there better alternatives to fun experiences rather than games? Absolutely! Why not go hiking in the mountains, or take some real flying lessons? Quite frankly, because the world of a video game is much safer and much more accessible. And that may be the very biggest thing about the whole question of why we play those crazy games, it's serving different that we may never experience otherwise.

What a wonderful question to start the day with!

posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 10:06 AM
Another dream within a dream is all it is.

posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 10:12 AM
I have the kind of business that requires a tremendous amount of focus (dangerous gig) all while being very entertaining/social. Often I have to be nice to people I do not like. This creates a desire to shoot people.

My favorite game for the last decade has been Americas Army. A simple team based shooter. I have tried many games and have yet to find one as fun as hunting humans in a realistic environment.

When I kill someone in that game I know they are sitting out for the round (no re-spawning) that makes me happy in a twisted kinda way. It is much more fun than your average shooter. That being said I have to agree with you about the challenge of trying to survive. It feels good to win.

In all honestly I prefer the world online to the one outside lately. Sad but true.

Keep in mind I still find plenty of time to ride my motorcycle. Yet another solo pursuit.... People as of late just piss me off. I used to worry about too much time playing games online but it is less expensive then going anywhere lately.

Killing Zombies feels great because we can at least have an effect on the world we are playing in. Unlike the absolute lack of effect most of us have on the world in reality.

posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 10:17 AM
reply to post by Mapkar

Right there with you, we are built to solve problems and real life for many is not challenging enough.

I played WOW since 2004 and have become bored with all of the changes that have been made to dumb it down and make it easier for the kiddies to play.

Looking forward to ESO as I have also played Morrowind and Skyrim for years.

Get ready to begin your adventures in Tamriel—we’re excited to announce that The Elder Scrolls Online will be available worldwide for PC and Mac on 4.4.2014 and for PS4 and Xbox One in June 2014! We can’t wait to get everyone in-game!

posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 10:26 AM
The human brain gets a dopamine 'charge' not unlike a sustained mini-orgasm from a combination of hand-eye coordination play; and it doesn't particularly make a distinction between hunting a lion on the savannah or a pretend adversary inside a monitor. The game designers and teevee types long ago figured out exactly what refresh rate, what scene change rate, would make us want to keep our eyes open and concentration focused, not even hardly blinking lest we miss something, which in itself becomes so addictive that it's hard to walk away.

Different people respond differently and some are totally immune or bored by these games; I haven't played video games since about a three minute stint on Pong way back when; I find them incredibly boring and pointless, but I can understand the appeal especially the group-linked server games; that's a Halloween costume party or Renaissance Festival type thing; taking on another personality for several hours. It's an interactive geek party.

I guess the real question is, what are you learning by playing these games, are people too young to understand becoming inured to violence with them, and what else could you be doing with your time that might be a better use of it? And are you willing to let your brain be 'taken over' by the people who design these things? They're getting rich. What are you getting?

posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 10:52 AM
You get a place to take out your aggressions against opponents that cannot be hurt and a way to vicariously experience some element of life and limb risk that we still are evolved to experience but our modern life seeks to completely remove us from.

posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 10:59 AM
reply to post by NoRulesAllowed

The same reason people play football or go skydiving. But much, much cheaper.

posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 11:21 AM


I guess the real question is, what are you learning by playing these games, are people too young to understand becoming inured to violence with them, and what else could you be doing with your time that might be a better use of it? And are you willing to let your brain be 'taken over' by the people who design these things? They're getting rich. What are you getting?

No offense intended but these games can be used for learning.
MMORPG’s can help with management training in areas such as:

Goal Setting; Short Term, Mid Term, and Long Term

Leadership Skills; Conflict Resolution, Delegation, Leading a Group

Event Organization; Estimating Time, Scheduling, Promoting

Teamwork Skills; Working in a Group, Taking Criticism, Listening to others

Research Skills; Finding Information, Organizing / Presenting Information

In August 2006, CDC set up its first test site for sharing public health information in an on-line, "cyber community." The community is named Second Life and had more than 3.3 million members.

Gaming tends to be regarded as a harmless diversion at best, a vile corruptor of youth at worst. But the usual critiques fail to recognize its potential for experiential learning. Unlike education acquired through textbooks, lectures, and classroom instruction, what takes place in massively multiplayer online games is what we call accidental learning. It's learning to be - a natural byproduct of adjusting to a new culture - as opposed to learning about. Where traditional learning is based on the execution of carefully graded challenges, accidental learning relies on failure. Virtual environments are safe platforms for trial and error. The chance of failure is high, but the cost is low and the lessons learned are immediate.

I don't believe he is doing this anymore but Todd Bryant, Language Program Admin Acad Tech
Language Program Administrator Dickinson College a nationally recognized and highly selective liberal arts college located in Carlisle, Pennsylvania was using World of Warcraft and Other MMORPGs to Foster a Targeted, Social, and Cooperative Approach Toward Language Learning. learning/

For more detail and some expired links see my post here.

posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 12:05 PM
reply to post by NoRulesAllowed

i truly agree that our society has squandered it's newfound technology on feeding fearful and violent impulses instead of actual ENTERTAINMENT..
honestly I think that (like most problems these days) we can point the finger mostly at this little paradigm called marketing..
It's pretty much guaranteed that most people will have some fear and rage to tap into, so the game will most likely "appeal" to a wide-range..


I think that videogames would be even MORE popular than they are, were they to be treated as a REAL art medium and seen as an extension of what film is capable of. Before film, we had live theater and when film came about, those films were made to look like the then-familiar setup of a play..
not long afterwards, film came to be used to accomplish feats that could ONLY be done on film, and i think that this is EVENTUALLY where videogames are headed..

instead of simulating danger, fear, and aggression.. just think about what we could accomplish with a game that allows one to learn, explore, build, and simulate just about any conceivable course of events.. we could teach the layman the complexities of physics in an intuitive way, and allow people from across the globe to collaborate in thought and science..

But as with all art, it is a reflection of the times, and videogames are certainly that.. people seem to believe in THEIR potential to be a hero and risk-taking being who selflessly battles opposition, but we have yet to accept that potential in other people and hence have a sort of suspicious and cynical outlook on their fellow beings.. as you said, monsters and enemies around every corner..
but once it is violence and brutality themselves that become the enemy..

progress might be made quicker than anyone can believe.

posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 12:10 PM
We humans are built for surviving, we also love to compete and we are pleased when we accomplish a difficult task.

Video games brings all those primal instincts to work, well, many of them...
For most of us, our everyday 21st century lives really don't offer much challenge, especially a variety of challenges. Like sport, video games are there to utilise skills that are never put to use in everyday tasks.

Video games made me much smarter, keener and more adaptive to real life situations. Move away from watching TV and focus those lost hours on gaming and your brain, reflex and eye coordination will be enhanced, thus accomplishing life tasks faster and more efficiently...

Of course, like everything in life, use with moderation.

posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 12:26 PM
For what it is worth, this is my opinion.

Video games are an escape from reality for humans, exercise for the brain if you will. It gives us something else to focus on other than our day to day duties. Humans for all of recorded history have enjoyed this escape and it comes in many forms.

If I dream about killing people or have a nightmare about demons does this make me a horrible person? No, this is my brain creating a virtual world for my consciousness to escape into away from reality. What about daydreaming about a world in which I am the president? Before books were common, people looked forward to Bards and Glee men coming to their villages to share tales of wars and mythical happenings from far away lands. What about imagining myself into the book I have been reading or the TV show I have been watching? As humans we love all of these escapes from reality and there isn't anything wrong with it, we are hard wired to enjoy it, possibly need it.

posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 12:33 PM
Like all fantasy, the "real world" doesn't provide these scenarios. We watch horror movies to be scared without any immediate threat to self. We play Grand Theft Auto to play a criminal without harming a single person. They are synthetic experiences so we don't have to take part in the actual experiences.

posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 12:43 PM
reply to post by NoRulesAllowed

Just thought I would speak for the minority ? - I mean those who never play computer games.

I have never been interested in computer games and ,to be honest, I have difficulty in understanding the addiction to things such as Xbox and Playstation. It is scary to see how people are so taken over by virtual games. Apparently it is even worse in countries such as Japan.

Ironically, I consider the gamers to be the real-life zombies. It is really sad that so many clever people have fallen prey to the virtual world and have effectively stopped "living".

Why do people do it ? In my view it could be a subconscious acknowledgment of failure to shape their environment. Sadly the more they retreat into the virtual world, the more it becomes difficult to impose the will on the surroundings.

posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 03:32 PM
Why do we do this? Well I think it is a relief and a pause from real life for one, to get away from the normal burdens and restrictions of life.. Also it is a chance to do and have things without repercussions that we would not normally be able to do or have. (Flying around like in wow, killing another person without being jailed, etc) Basically just an escape from reality, and to do what we normally could not.

Someone who has no money can become rich in a virtual setting. Someone abusing or talking trash can be delt with or killed in a virtual setting. It is just a chance to do and dream and play whatever our hearts desire. That is the best way I can personally describe it. Mainly just fun interacting with others in ways not normally possible.

posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 03:33 PM

Another dream within a dream is all it is.

He has a good point there.. Short, simple, and to the point when it comes down to it.

posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 03:52 PM
reply to post by NoRulesAllowed

Because thats what nature did/does and we are nature. Creation of any kind is an exploration of potential and possibility, variety is the spice of life, we crave novelty, sensual interaction, we like danger more when its sure to be safe.

edit on 31-12-2013 by ImaFungi because: (no reason given)

new topics

top topics

<<   2  3 >>

log in