Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Two Sides to a Coin: The Video Game Dilemma

Peace and blessings,

As someone who was a former gamer, took a few years off, and is now a more refined gamer, I was intrigued to come across these two video games. With regards to the question "Does life imitate art or art imitate life," I am a firm believer that first and foremost art imiates life. Therefore, I believe that many movies, comic books, literary works, paintings, and music have deeper meanings attached to them than what we we normally ackowledge or give them credit for. With regards to the question "Do some video games go too far," my answer is an emphatic yes. Alittle over a year ago I got into a good discussion with a friend of mine over the video game "grand theft auto," and my position was basically that the game, as well as many other games, is inappropriate not just for younger kids, but for gamers of all ages. Anyway, back to the issue at hand....

I've recently had a chance to play this game, and as a first impression I would have to say that I like the set-up. It's more educational than action-based, more about consciousness-raising than cool graphics. I think that as long as the intentions are in the right place, certain video games can be used as tools to educate people on issues, people who probably spend more time playing video games anyway than reading about or watching the news. But then again, with all the bias and distorting of information going on in the (mainstream) media, who could blame them? Anyway, I think this
  • video game about Darfur has potential

  • This
  • video game about Columbine
  • however, is a different story. For some reason, I seriously question whether or not the intentions were in the right place when making this video game. From what i've seen of the video game trailer, I think that this video game was a bad idea. And even if the intentions were in the right place, one has to have a certain amount of respect for the victims and their families. With the Darfur game, I think that aims of the game are potentially benefical in terms of trying to end the conflict because it is trying to promote awareness and action and denouncing violence. With this Columbine game, I don't think that the ends justify the means.

    What do you think? Do you think that a video game can promote awareness and positve action? What is your take on these two games? Weigh in and speekonit...

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