Inventing the Self


December 4th, 2013 by Yitian Liao · No Comments

Even when you’re overdoing a good thing, it will become bad eventually.

In God Jr,  Jim, the father, was searching for meaning and healing in the wake of his son’s death, which he felt responsible for. He tried to make memories with his dead son through video games and attempted to get to know his son. In the third section, “The Children Scraw”, Jim took the Bear from the game as his role, the game’s hero. The interaction between other characters from the game and him reveals his feeling of being the killer of his son and also built the bridge between father and son, hero and supporting characters. The process of the game, such as levels, quests and monsters, is like a spiritual treatment for the father. Game, here, is a tool.
Game can be other tools, as Ito and Brittani describe in their articles. “It is largely a form of friendship-driven sociability; while gaming is certainly important, it is not the central focus (p.206).” And, it could seize the mobilizing and even be a professional pursuit. Making a game is like promoting a brand, which is about public communication. It is not the age that the producers tell the users what to play and what to like any more. Consumers choose games that they think can represent and satisfy them (in terms of identity, life-style, social needs) the most.

When I was young, the first game my dad and I played together was Virtual Cop. It was violent, associated with guns, and quite masculine. Like Ito and Brittani said, some games are not made for girls, so my dad bought me SimCity later. Then I gained interests in decoration, construction plans, and when I started playing the Sims, the only interesting part for me was to build the house. Once I got the chance to pick up my own games, I played many RPG games. Ito and Brittani note that game can be the media to establish friendship and I was on that route to make my male friends. Plus, most of my pre and post Three-Kingdom knowledge was from games based on historical events.

According to my dad, he was worried about me at that time, but he realized I was not so bad after he heard some other kids who skipped classes and went to game shops to play games. This is the common thinking when people talk about game and game addiction Parents get terrified when their children start playing them frequently. Moreover, according to ito and Brittani, “in line with recent research in this area, we also believe that lack of access to game-centered sociability is of greater concern than the fears about game addiction (p. 240).” However, instead of this, shouldn’t we worry they don’t have other ways to socialize?

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