Comm 203 Videogame Blog

After reading through “Talking About Videogames” by James Newman, I have gained insight into, what Newman calls, the “myth of the solitary videogame player” (463).  Newman believes that social remoteness in individuals is not a result of videogames, as some believe.  He briefly discusses the key points in his first book that disprove this myth.  The first false assumption is that videogames are a single-person event, when in fact they are not.  Rather, Newman addresses the fact that all videogame consoles are specifically designed to allow several individuals to play.  Some game systems have four controller hook-ups, while others can connect to Wi-Fi to allow players to share their experiences with others all over the world.  The second false assumption appears on page 463; he states, “Second, it utterly refuses to entertain the possibility of the existence of videogames cultures of talk, discussion, sharing, and collaboration”.  Similar to films and television, people enjoy discussing different aspects of videogames, whether it be at the office, school, a party, or over dinner.  Magazines, such as Edge, specifically dealing with gaming are even being published.  There truly is an entire press for videogames.  
Before reading this chapter, I always associated social ineptitude and withdrawnness with videogames and I still believe that there is a definite association.  However, videogames do have the capacity to allow players to communicate and work with others to reach some final goal, whether those other players are in the same room or across the country.  On the other hand, I feel some people may use videogames as a way to play a solitary game with no social interaction.  This was not the intent of the game consoles developers, though.  They encourage the interaction and social experiences a game can provide.  On page 464 Newman states, “Importantly, this technical capacity for multiplayer gaming is not left as an under-exploited feature and the majority of contemporary titles offer some form of multiplayer mode that encourages co-operative or competitive collaboration.”  From personal experience as a child and even today, I have always used videogames as a social event.  When I was young, my brother, my father, and I would spend time on the weekends playing videogames.  It was a way for the three of us to bond and have fun.  We communicated and worked together.  And even today I still enjoy playing videogames, although I only actually play occasionally.  My favorite thing to do is play online on the X-Box 360 with my brother and friends.  Using the headset to talk to others all over the world always excites me.  Additionally, just the other day I was playing Super Nintendo with a friend and we were able to relax and have fun.  In conclusion, I never really considered videogames before to be a social interaction, although the evidence was always right in front of my face.  I now understand that videogames are a tool to allow social interaction between people in the same room or across the world.   


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