The Philosophy, Art, and Social Influence of games
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Ack
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An article about a video game's effect on a person

by Ack Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:01 am

http://hellmode.com/2013/03/21/this-isnt-the-article-i-wanted-to-write-about-tomb-raider/

We spend a lot of time discussing video games in our lives, and on this particular board we have speculated on a variety of topics concerning feminism/sexism in games, violence, psychological therapy, and using games as a tool to heal. This article hits all of those topics in rapid effect as it discusses how this particular reviewer was triggered into experiencing an abusive and violent attack against her by her own father while playing the recent Tomb Raider.

I think it should be read by anyone who wonders how video games have evolved and aren't simply children's toys but have the power to impact us and mark us in ways we never thought possible and also to potentially heal us of the psychological wounds we have received over the course of our lives.
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Re: An article about a video game's effect on a person

by Hatta Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:31 pm

I think that's the first time I've seen the concept of PTSD "triggers" used without the implication that the triggerer has done something wrong by revictimizing the victim. I've even made the suggestion that triggers in safe circumstances could be beneficial to the sufferer (as in phobia desensitization), and been attacked for it. I'm not surprised that blog post has a comment thread far longer than the post itself, I'm impressed that they're mostly positive.
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Re: An article about a video game's effect on a person

by irixith Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:39 pm

Very interesting article about a personal experience with a game, I really enjoyed it. I wish more people would take the time to really "review" a game, rather than just the regular graphics, check, gameplay check, etc.

Many of the commenters make me sad for the gaming community and the human race in general.
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Re: An article about a video game's effect on a person

by Curlypaul Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:11 pm

Yeah that was very insightful and emotional for me to read, thanks for sharing that.

My little girl (12) wanted me to get this so that she could watch me play. She was impressed with the lead being a female and I thought it would be good reinforcement for her compared to the normal images of females that she is subjected to. Now that I have read that I'm not sure if I want to expose her to such poignant drama yet
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Re: An article about a video game's effect on a person

by SteveyMajors Mon Mar 25, 2013 2:15 pm

A harrowing story, but it's refreshing to see such a sincere and personal testimony about a video game. I'm glad she shared that with us.
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Re: An article about a video game's effect on a person

by Hatta Mon Mar 25, 2013 3:31 pm

irixith wrote:Many of the commenters make me sad for the gaming community and the human race in general.


I didn't think they were that bad. The ignorant comments were mostly along the lines of "I don't care about drama, how's the game?". Which is a lot better than outright misogyny, which I expected.

Curlypaul wrote: Now that I have read that I'm not sure if I want to expose her to such poignant drama yet


12yos are pretty sophisticated. If she's interested, let her. But be there to talk about domestic violence and other issues that may arise. You don't have long until parental input is ignored simply because it's parental input.
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Re: An article about a video game's effect on a person

by Key-Glyph Mon Mar 25, 2013 3:39 pm

What a great article. She's brave to share this.

I'm glad to read her thoughts on video game triggering, because it's a phenomenon I've wondered about ever since I saw another gamer's similar confession over watching Shepard get spaced in ME2.

This issue came to mind while recently playing Dragon Age: Origins, too. As a lady city elf, the plot involves you and your female friends being calmly marched off by rapists who, in addition to being royalty-ish and therefore essentially unopposable, are giddily clear about their intentions. I felt physically ill watching one of my NPC friends cower next to me in a locked room, desperately praying for deliverance before our captors arrived -- and then later watching her being suddenly and bloodily cut down by the villains as an example to the rest of us. I couldn't begin to imagine what victims of abuse might feel during these scenes, what with my own feelings being so disturbed despite having never experienced such horrific situations in real life. I wondered whether or not those gamers would deem the game "worth it," much less "powerful" or "healing," in the end.

Although I myself couldn't decide if my experience with DA:O was powerful or just provocatively pulpy, I'm glad that this author found meaning in her experience. I like how she makes her case that Tomb Raider was not aiming for cheaply titillation. Pretty eye-opening.
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Re: An article about a video game's effect on a person

by emwearz Mon Mar 25, 2013 5:05 pm

Thanks for sharing this Ack.

I myself found Tomb Raider very emotionally engaging, personally I found it a little bit similar to Far Cry 3 (in terms of the character development), so I spent a lot of the game feeling like I was revising a story I played just a couple months earlier.
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Re: An article about a video game's effect on a person

by Curlypaul Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:53 pm

Hatta wrote: You don't have long until parental input is ignored simply because it's parental input.


Thats a good point lol

I'm not sure if she knows what she is letting herself in for with this one. I mean she wouldnt watch a violent film, or a thriller or even an action film, but she is drawn to watching those kinds of games being played. I want to get it for myself anyway so I guess we'll just see how she reacts and take it from there.

irixith wrote:Many of the commenters make me sad for the gaming community and the human race in general.


You know, I never thought to look at them and I normally do check out the comments section on anything I read. I must have subconsciously skipped past them in case they made me mad, and it sounds like they would have
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Re: An article about a video game's effect on a person

by Anayo Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:44 pm

I only read a few paragraphs of the article Ack posted. I didn't feel like reading the rest.

I had a similar experience with the movie "X-Men First Class". There's a scene in that movie where Magneto deflects a bullet that hits Charles Xavier and makes him fall over. Then his friends all kneel around him and he's calling out, "I can't feel my legs, I can't feel my legs."

A few months before watching this a friend of mine dove into shallow water. He's still in a wheel chair because of this. I felt kinda numb after this happened, like I should have been strongly affected by it but I wasn't. Then I saw the scene in X-Men I just broke down into an inconsolable mess. I don't even remember the rest of the movie.

So, I can relate to the guy who wrote the thing about the choking scene in Tomb Raider. For some people scenes in games or movies that trigger reactions that the creators never expected.
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