Playing Into Their Hands?

Sometimes I find it hard to read about gaming, because in truth I always feel initially that I don’t really care about that stuff, but the reality is that even if feel like I don’t connect with the subject matter, I can understand the implications. I wonder if the disconnection from reality which is created by being immersed in a virtual world is bad for humanity, for humanness, or if in fact it can teach us more about those things and give insight.

From a virtual reality perspective, I just don’t know why you would want to pretend to be fighting in a zombie apocalypse, it bewilders me. Maybe it’s because of a sense of powerlessness in real life, that we see ways to feel more powerful in virtual worlds. I’m not sure, but I do know that in the virtual world we are not real in many senses; we are an avatar in a game; a glowing, perfect representation of ourselves on Facebook; witty and concise on twitter.

Where and when are we real? Does it matter? What we do with our virtual realities is surely relevant to who we really are. How can we be more truthful without being forced to? Is it better that we can hide behind a veil online? The idea of impacting reality with virtual reality absolutely terrifies me, because I wonder if, “It’s all about the collective controlling the individual with oppressive “reputational” systems that cannot be escaped.”(https://www.opendemocracy.net/raph-koster/virtual-worlds-disappearance-through-pervasiveness).

The question is, why does it scare me? Am I looking at this in the wrong way? Am I seeing negative when I should be seeing positive? It scares me because of the control, the manipulation, the passivity of the gamer, the oppression, the filtering, the subtle impacts on mindset. All these things contribute to a dangerous perception of power and control; of freedom and oppression; of the blurring of the real and the unreal.

I wonder whether these virtual, constructed realities are there to give people a false feeling of power in a world of powerless, mindless consumerism. Are people just constantly being manipulated to imagine themselves as something they want to be, thereby falsely gaining the autonomy they actually crave but is somewhat unattainable in the real world? Is the line being blurred between reality and virtual reality for good reasons or bad? There is an increasing emphasis on real ties being created in virtual reality, but why? There is a definite economic angle here, people can use real-world money to purchase virtual world advantage, and of course anything motivated or influenced by the drive for more money should be suspiciously questioned. If real life becomes a game and games filter into reality, do people just stop noticing the distinction between the real and the virtual? Are they then more malleable as passive consumers? At what point are we automatons? Are humans, as gamers, actually playing into “their” hands?

References;

https://www.opendemocracy.net/raph-koster/virtual-worlds-disappearance-through-pervasiveness/
http://digitalartistresidency.com/uncategorized/virtual-worlds-connected-societies/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *