Thursday, 8 December 2011

Video Gaming, Fringe or Mainstream - Can It Be a Family Affair?

Right now it is fair to say that most people are wishing for at least one Tech Toy or Game for Christmas. Schools have typically been unsupportive of video gaming. “Anti-social, leads to low academic performance, violent and conducive to introverted behavior”. Hmm… can this be the truth behind a multi-billion dollar entertainment industry?

First, video game production is an exciting, sophisticated, complex industry that involves every kind of expert. Video games are highly creative which is what draws the audience to them in the first place. Someone who doesn’t like doing homework is ‘sure as hell’ not going to sit down in front of some video console unless they really want to. Video games open up whole new worlds that gamers can step into. Video games are highly instructive allowing the gamer to experience events or contemplate them in a dimension out of harms way.

I am a Dad, soccer coach and work in the entertainment industry.
Julien Pierre (10), Sebastien (13) and I have been playing for a while now but every time we buy a new adventure game (Uncharted 3, Assassin’s Creeds) the phenomena recurs. We sit together in front of that TV screen for hours, cheering for one another, sharing the remote control, exchanging turns, commenting on level difficulties or on graphics quality. Triggered by the amount of energy and passion even mom will join the party.

It is true that most times after dinner we gradually migrate to different individual activities, TV, iPad, Iphone, PC. It’s not hard to misinterpret such moments as evidence that technology has become an alienating force in the contemporary home. I remember watching black and white TV programs with my parents, we all had conversations during the commercials, even if it was just to say, “Wasn’t that stupid?” Then again, the popularity of television led to decades of ‘experts’ questioning its negative impact. There is nothing passive about video gaming and it is nothing like ‘watching TV’. I haven’t got an avatar yet but I’m working on it and there are several of the ten top video games on our list.


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