"In All for a Virtual Cause: The Reasons behind MMORPG Success" Article Review
Part 1 (Summary)
In All for a Virtual Cause: The Reasons behind MMORPG Success, J. Noel Trapp explains Five Ws - what, who, where, when and why - which define gaming’s streak of incredible luck. Having covered the history of games evolution, he accentuates the crucial role of brand-new ability to interact with both H.I. and A.I. (Human and Artificial Intelligence). In the example of City of Heroes, by NCsoft, he illustrates activities that meet major psycho-social needs of a player: team raids to experience collective achievement, chat room to socialize, and the virtual reality itself to simply escape from everyday problems. Complex system of in-game communication ties people together resulting in strong real-life like relationships. Being acknowledged of gamers loyalty, NCsoft succeeds in commercializing its product and becomes a financial staple of the industry.
Part 2 (Personal response)
The article left me double-minded as the ideas given in and my personal experience contradicted, yet once preconceptions are neglected I would tend to agree with the author. Based on past interactions with overly-obsessed players, my opinion on gaming is rather pessimistic.
Virtual reality replaces real one, hence gamers lose sense of the world they physically live in. They become extremely interested, almost absorbed, and fall out of the time flow; hobby turns into 24/7 addiction. The disorder interferes with everyday duties causing lack of personal hygiene, weight loss or gain, muscle weakness and fatigue.
Online chats satisfy the need for socialization but lack skills of interpersonal communication. Once a gamer occurs in an environment where he has to talk eye-to-eye, he would most likely show anxiety, awkwardness or anger rather than confidence and affection.
Mental health encounters problems as well. Violent games repetitively show that causing harm is acceptable and even more – it is rewarded; children with gentle and unfinished mindset start to identify hurting with receiving an achievement. Then impulse for aggression and anger develops.
Despite negative features, gaming has beneficial ones. As most of in-game actions require concentration and strategic reasoning, they boost up your memory and sharpen decision-making skills. Additionally, since they take all your attention, your mind gets time to relax and forget about troubles – that is how games reduce stress and depression.
My diverse opinion boils down to a compromise: games were created for entertainment and must remain as a hobby. If not too time-consuming and addiction-like, they are improving us, elsewise they are destroying us. This fine line is an aspect of personal choice and must be defined …