by Kyle and Andrew
Jane McGonigal argues that in video game worlds we become idealized versions of ourselves–more creative, more outgoing – we perceive ourselves as better. Because the cost of social failure is so low, we are allowed to be bold and take a more aggressive and truthful approach than we would in a physical world. In our travelogue, we hope to look at this phenomenon in the context of in-game and out-of-game relationships. One of our goals is to try to catch a glimpse of how real people interact with others in games and how they perceive and react to these interactions.
Because we think games involve some form of simulation, like Frasca’s piece on Ludology describes, people who may deem themselves socially inept have a chance to interact in a new highly social space that is separate from the physical realm. McGonigal states that in video games, we are able to experience scenarios “beyond the threshold of imagination…and when you get there, you are shocked to discover what you are truly capable of” – an epic win. For McGonigal an epic win would be doing something large for the greater good. But these epic wins are currently being focused differently. For a lot of people, it is being able to create and maintain deep and meaningful bonds and friendships that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to create in other spaces.
Read the rest of this entry »