Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Why First Person Shooters Are Good For Us

For every nutjob who gets in the news because he went on a shooting spree and it turns out he loved violent video games, there are thousands upon thousands of us who use games like Call of Duty: Black Op II or Killzone Shadow Fall as a non-violent way to work out our frustrations.  That's just one of the interesting points made in this New Yorker article delving into the appeal that first person shooters (like the two games mentioned above) hold for many of us. 

I definitely experience the immersive quality the author talks about, as video games are one of the best examples, for me, of "getting in the zone," as we used to call it at work.  And I can see how the control aspect applies, as well: in a first person shooter, especially a highly-competitive multiplayer match, everything happens so incredibly fast that you're constantly making split second decisions and choices that have the feeling of being life-and-death.  It's an illusion, of course, because 'death' in that environment usually only lasts a few seconds, but somehow it always feels slightly more real than that.

It's a great article that should be of particular interest to those who don't play first person shooters and can't understand why the rest of us do.

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