science | design | engineering | common sense

Realism in games

leave a comment »

I used to play FPS games, but what I’ve gotten into is games which combine the FPS and RPG styles into a game which is way more then either. You have the really intense, tactical nature of an FPS, with the overarching strategic depth of an RPG. You go into combat in one of these games and you’re not just blasting at faceless enemies, you’re thinking about whether you should use this weapon or that, because the ammo for that weapon is really expensive and took a lot of effort to get, you’re thinking about alternative strategies before doing something, you’re thinking of the real, actual things you would have to worry about such as food and water and security and clothing and alliances and friendships and the ethics of your action and what side you choose to side with in conflict. I think that’s why I started playing FPS games on their hardest difficulty, not only because it was a new challenge but because at the highest difficulty, FPS games started to need that kind of real thinking and the immersiveness got to an unreal level sometimes. Playing Halo on Legendary, I didn’t just run and gun through the game, I had to learn/invent new techniques to get to my objectives, I had to plan ahead and act cautiously sometimes and at other times try something really crazy because it just might work. Playing this way teaches you things about problem solving and about yourself. I remember once when I ran over an overshield thing in Halo, which gives you virtual invulnerability for a period of time, and then ran straight into the teeth of a strong position and started decimating it. This was a position I had been trying to get through, a tough problem in the game (problem: a rock climber’s term for a something hard, a tough section to climb or move to make). I nearly made it, too, shortly after I realized that I had just blasted my way through much of the enemy position without any advantage. I had not picked up the overshield, like I thought, and had managed to survive as long as I did on sheer gall and speed. It was only the thought that I was impregnable that had given me the will to use the crazy, offensive strategy that I had employed, and it had worked. Take this with many moments I have had in virtual worlds (games) where it has been much more then just a simple game, and it all bolsters I really think that virtual worlds are not just an entertainment medium. People may have their own reasons for playing a game like “The Sims”, reasons I do not understand, but at some level I hope the world is better because we now have the ability to carry out and experience things through a medium in the rules allow us to stretch ourselves in a way we cannot in the real world. I just hope that we can have more games that encourage real engagement and parallels (not necessarily direct, but in the way that artists tell lies to tell the truth) with the real world in a way that goes beyond click whoring. It says something about society, the games we play, about what we long for, about what we hate in ourselves and thus do in a virtual world, about what we will not allow ourselves to do in the real world and thus experience online, about what we force ourselves and others to be in the real world that we feel the need to participate in something which we have made up.


Written by logand

November 5, 2012 at 2:49 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: