All Work and No Play

25 Sep

Reminiscent to what is said in the speech of Ewan Mcgregor’s character from “Trainspotting”, MMORPG players need to pick a class, pick a species, pick a weapon, pick skills to upgrade, pick your armor, and pick your allies. Gamers all over the world unite on a daily basis on games such as “World of Warcraft”, “Call of Duty”, and “City of Heroes” to use their skills determined by their character’s class to play one another and escape from reality. But what is reality, what does it entail for these gamers? Work, family, bills, so games offer a means to escape from all the mundane of the real world as they become someone else and step into the character’s shoes to utilize their talents and skills to advance in the digital world. In this world, particularly in games such as “Elder Scrolls III: Oblivion” and it’s expansion packs, gamers can have their characters start their own families and grow in a certain skill set to have it become their profession so they can make money. From all of this, it becomes easy to see that the game world and real world are slowly becoming one in terms of the person’s life.

All of this and more is noted in author Nick Yee’s article, “The Labor of Fun: How Video Games Blur the Boundaries of Work and Play.” Calling into question the habits and second lives of gamers, Yee notes “that video games are inherently work platforms that train us to become better workers.” Is this a valid observation of the gaming world? In games like “Star Wars: Galaxies”, yes, as Yee then goes on to point out that “pharmaceutical manufacturing is one of many possible career choices in the game” and that players can “operate a pharmaceutical manufacturing business for fun” (378-380). Essentially, gamers are unknowingly finding themselves developing and creating a separate profession and home life away from and in addition to their real life. Why do they do it then? My idea is that they feel a need to have more freedom in their life but they don’t want to give up the rules or restrictions of reality. This goes back to prove that while the worlds are separate and governed by their own rules, they are becoming harder to find distinction between.

Works Cited

Yee, Nick. “The Labor of Fun: How Video Games Blur the Boundaries of Work and

Play” Common Culture: Reading and Writing about American Popular Culture.

Ed. Michael Petracca and Madeleine Sorapure. Sixth ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ:

Prentice Hall, 2009. 377-82. Print.

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csims's blog

Another amazing bgsu blog

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