Video Games Need Characters

Well first off, I want to start by saying that these titles caught my attention, but as soon as I contintued to read I was not impressed by the articles. I felt as if there was a lot of information that didn’t need to be included in the articles and didn’t give an as clear argument as I thought that they would. But after reading the articles, The Atlantic post titled Video Games are Better Without Characters seemed to catch my attention much more than the other article. I disagree with most topics that were brought up in the article because I believe that video games do in fact need characters. From my personal experience I have mainly only played video games with characters in them. I feel as if this type of video games allows for the gamers to be more engaged and overall allows them to experience the game as if they were actually a part of the game. Going off of Tommy’s last post, he talks about how you get the experience of being a professional athlete. This is something that only a small percentage of people actually get to experience during their lifetime. However, by having characters in video games all of the sporting video games out there are allowing many kids live out their dreams of becoming a professional athlete. This would be impossible without the presence of characters in video games. Although I dont have much experience of video games, all of the ones that come to mind when I think of video games all include having characters.

Video Games do not always bring violence. There was a section in this article that I think stereotyped a lot of video games into the category of being violent.

“They’re maligned as pointless drivel serving no purpose and simultaneously criticized for encouraging outrageous, irresponsible behavior and delinquency” (Bogost).

This statement actually kind of made me mad while I was reading it. I felt like it said EVERY video game out there that has characters in it is pointless and encourages “outrageous, irresponsible behavior and delinquency”. Which I do not believe at all. This article overcomplicated the idea of video games. Many people play them as pass time and for pure entertainment. Sure maybe they don’t have too much of a purpose. But also maybe their sole purpose could be just to allow people to have fun! That alone is enough purpose for many video gamers to play it. Personally I think that the video games that this article was describing would not do well on the market.

To touch on the other article a little bit about the downfalls of trying to tell stories outside of your own experience. What I thought was most interesting about this article is I thought that the original idea of video games was to “tell a story outside of your own experiences”. Many people do not have personal experience of playing professional sports (NHL 17), driving cars recklessly running from the cops (Grand Theft Auto)and a first hand experience of fighting in a war (Call of Duty). One thing that I did agree with that this article pointed out is that when these video games are trying to tell stories outside of your own experiences, a lot of these games tend to be characters of men.

“But while developers are increasingly committed to this work, the industry as a whole is still largely male and white. There are few women or people of color in leadership positions, as Jayanth was with 80 Days, who have the background and point of view to handle these stories well” (Brewster).

This especially makes it more difficult for me, being a girl, to be able to relate to some of these experiences even if they are intended to be outside of my own experiences. Some games would not make sense to have women characters such as professional athletic games like football because there is no professional football for women. However, one example that women could be used as characters is Call of Duty because in real life women can still serve our country.

References

Bogost, I. (2015, March 13). Video Games Are Better Without Characters. Retrieved September 27, 2017, from https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/03/video-games-are-better-without-characters/387556/

Brewster, K. (2017, May 22). The Pitfalls of Trying to Tell Stories Outside Your Own Experience. Retrieved September 27, 2017, from https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/9k9vw5/the-pitfalls-of-trying-to-tell-stories-outside-your-own-experience