With the development of video games, our experience in games is more real. As we can see in the documentary, video games addiction has already become a problem for some children. But whether this problem will expand in the future? If we can experience exactly the same or even better than the real world, why shouldn’t we spend more time in the sim world?
I think the reason why games are so attractive is because of its imperfect simulation. In the game Gator Hero, people react to the visual image and music by tapping the keyboard, which creates a delusion that we are creating the music. * Though players never create a music, they can gain the happiness of creating. In the newest SimCity, we can design every road, every school, every hospital and consider the welfare of out citizens. we can get a sense of achievement of creating a new city in few hours. What people really care about is always the sense of achievement instead of achievement. Though nothing real is created, we can gain happiness. Video games delete those difficult elements which exist in the real world, through which achievements become easier. What’s more, video games also delete those negative elements which may cause bad experience. In the book How do we do Things with Video Games, the author’s criticism of a notorious simulated torture game is not that it’s too realistic, but rather that it’s not realistic enough. He argues that the dangerous thing is to depict torture as a pleasantly sanitized activity; if we could live through an accurately simulated experience, we probably wouldn’t want to do it and we would oppose torture more strongly. *
Another factor that influences our experience is the level of visual reality. As we can see in the official trailer of SimCity and The Sims, everything looks so real. Perhaps in the near future, we can get extremely similar experience in the video games as we experience in the real world, especially with the development of virtual reality technology.
The real world is much harder than the simulated one. Too many people can’t get a sense of achievement in the real world. However, games are much easier. We can make a “big achievement” with little efforts. I think video games potentially provides us an opportunity to flee away from the real world. “Internet addiction is not an illness, but a phenomenon”, a child in the documentary said. I totally agree with this idea. I think the reason why we addict in video games is because we can get what we lose in the real world from video games. As we can observe, video games are not like heroin, which causes indistinctive addiction for everyone who use it. Video game only attracts those people who are losers in the real life, like the children in the documentary. So whether video games will become a problem in the future? I think it’s irrelevant to how real the simulation is, but how good the reality is. The only way to avoid Matrix is to creating a world which can creates opportunity and esteem for everyone.
*Bogost, Ian. How do we do with Videogames? University Of Minnesota Press, August 5th 2011