‹ rotational

Videogames in being taken seriously shock

April 28, 2005 ・ Blog

It’s still a pleasurable shock to find pieces of writing that thoughtfully consider games as intrinsic and valuable parts of present-day culture. I’ve read a couple just this week: Games in the favela is a short but very sweet account of encountering games arcades in favelas (though you may well have guessed that from the title). Videogames offer glorious alternate realities to local kids who’d otherwise have a good chance of being recruited into the drug gangs:

Nothing therefore made me happier than seeing small children safe and playing in little videogame arcades. Not often you hear that…

Stephen Johnson has blogged about his new book Everything Bad Is Good For You, which argues that, actually, contemporary Western culture is a lot more sophisticated than the ‘dumbing down’ arguments give it credit for. He uses videogaming as an example of that with a satirical thought experiment based around imagining a videogaming world that is rudely being flooded with new-fangled books.

… perhaps the most dangerous property of these books is the fact that they follow a fixed linear path. You can’t control their narratives in any fashion—you simply sit back and have the story dictated to you.