In Control

After the discussion in class today (and in class too), I kept asking myself – why do people like to play games? I keep thinking about whether we like to play games because it is an “escape” or whether we like them because we enjoy figuring out the secrets and breaking rules. I think what it really comes down to is we like to be in control. I know that when I play games (which isn’t too often, but who doesn’t like to occasionally play?!) I enjoy the feeling of deciding what to do with the character. It is kind of what we talked about with virtual worlds, people like to create what to do. Whether it is finding the secret passages, getting points, etc. I believe that control has a lot to do with why we dive into these games.

As Sherry Turkle explained Roger, the fifty-year-old businessman who gets into a different state of mind when he plays games, I got this thought again. Roger states to Turkle when talking about playing video games, ” …My mind is clear. Things pass through it. I make connections. They say its mindless, but for me it’s liberating. I am in control of the game but my mind is free.” I thought it was very interesting that he likes to be in control even when he isn’t thinking about anything. This transitioned very well in the reading to Turkle’s next point about the connection of mental and physical capabilities in gaming. She states, “…the experience of feeling a continuity between mind and body is part of the inner game…” Those individuals who game begin to learn the motions and patterns so well that they no longer have to think about it – they will just react. Sherry says that knowing these motions and rhythms makes the experience of gaming exhilarating for people. Do you think people game to get their minds off of everything else? Do they really have a continuity between mind and body?

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