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February 7, 2012 at 12:53 PMComments: 1 Faves: 1

Some Semblance of Control

By E.M. Wollof from SLN More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the Game for Gain Blog Series

My sincerest apologies to those who may have been waiting for the next Game for Gain blog (...crickets...), I have no excuse, other than Skyrim, for my absence. That being said, I'm back and ready to roll....

The Illusion

In today's blog, I'd like to get down to the absolute root of why we become gamers...control. On a day to day basis, the average human being has very little that is completely within their control. I would take the time to list out everything, but no one person is the same, so let's go over a few of the things that are within your complete control:

  • Sleep - when you do it, how it happens, even the quality
  • Mental processes - though many relinquish control of these in our "modern" age, your thoughts are your own.
  • Intake of energy - food and drink mainly, are completely within your control, only when they are available
  • Personal Choices - refer to mental processes

These are extremely basic examples of control in the average life of a human being, but they are some of the most fundamental. When reading this, can you notice that most of the worries and cares that go on in your average day aren't on the list? Don't lie to yourself, the answer is an absolute yes. In today's fast paced style, we have come to take those things that we do control for granted.

Taking the idea of what we can control a step further, let's take a look at personal choice. The first few moments of an average day have to do with some breakfast, maybe a brisk walk, a shower, then a drive to work, right? The next time that you are using all the products involved with those simple tasks, ask yourself why you purchased that brand, or even that product at all, I guarantee at least one of those products will leave you wondering. Could you truly answer why you bought Dial soap instead of a relatively unknown brand that cost the same? Could you tell me why you brush your teeth with Colgate instead of Crest? Could you explain to me why you are eating Raisin Bran and 2% milk?

Most of you would answer, "Of course I can answer that question," then you would tell me "Because I like it," or "Because it is better for me," always teetering around the idea that you may not have had any control over the product that you chose. Rather, you read an article, saw an ad, or heard from a friend about the product initially and, when faced with the myriad of choices at your average super market, you picked up the familiar product because it gave you comfort. It is hard to avoid, you shouldn't be ashamed, just conscious of the fact that it could happen.

A Wee-Bit of Control

You may be asking what all this has to do with playing a stupid video game? After all that rambling, please get to a point.

Gamers game to recapture a small bit of the control that they lose on a daily basis. Has the boss been shattering your fragile existence daily? Pick up a controller! Has the wife been howling at the moon? Pick up a controller! Are the kids all hyped up on mountain dew (that you purchased without thinking)? Pick up a controller!

Bottom line, when you enter into a virtual reality, though it may be of external design, that character you control is yours. Every step, every choice, every miniscule detail belongs to you. You identify with the choices that your character makes, you even say to yourself, "Yea, I totally would have chosen to rescue that planet instead of letting it get obliterated." Will that choice ever come to pass in your lifetime? Probability is pretty low, but that isn't the point. The fact is, you were able to make that choice based on your own facilities, the choice was yours and you will deal with the consequences in the same manner.

Even in a video game you can't control everything and you know what? That is completely fine with me, because when I am questing my face off in a mysterious land where everyone thinks I am a god-like hero/villain, I feel a little bit of control slip back into my life.

Join the Revolution folks, it may restore some sanity....

What did you think?


Previously:The ADD/ADHD Debate

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1 Comment

  • See, I've always wondered this and I am happy to see more into the inner workings of why gamers game. Also, I admit back in the day I loved playing Gamecube's Animal Crossing game. I know nerdy game. :P Not as capable or cool as games I could have chosen and what the gamers would have chosen. But I could control what my character did in the game and it was a nice break.

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