NPR's On The Media

Video Game Changers

This week’s On The Media podcast involved video games.  Not the bloody, gruesome, sniper filled games my brother likes to play, but games portraying real life.  Now, I would not say I am completely against violent video games, I just think they should be played responsibly; where the player doesn’t get lost in some virtual death trap of a world.  With that out there, I was intrigued by the games suggested by creators, Anna Anthropy, Sebastian Janisz, and Michael Molinari.  These games, based on memoirs and diaries of real people’s lives and experiences, sound compelling.  Of course I realize playing a game without killing may sound boring to some.  What’s the thrill? What do I get out of it?

I pose these questions as a person who does not play video games, so I can only imagine what those who do must think of these games.  Anthropy’s game, called “Disphoria,” is based around her personal struggles with transgender hormone therapy.  I do see how this game is probably not relatable to most, but how many of us battle monsters or hold sniper guns in our day-to-day lives?  What excites me about these games is that they are based around reality.  A reality of struggle people can relate to, regardless of the kind of struggle it may be.  The other two games, “That Was Yesterday,” and the last, one about depression, work in a similar way.  Real life struggles are transformed into huge, dense walls to overcome.  The solution is not climbing the walls, but patience, and other qualities that are not often found in the video game world.  I wonder how many people will be willing to play a game that reflects real life situations and feelings, instead of exhilarating killing sprees.

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