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View Diary: I am a Gamer (332 comments)

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  •  But your story illustrates an mportant point (7+ / 0-)

    To the extent that games might bleed over into our perception of the real world, they do so by causing us to reflexively try to interact with the real world in game terms.

    Your brain tried to kill the bird with a text command. Mine might trigger me to try to click on it with an imaginary cursor and execute a sequence of keystrokes. An FPS player's might make him want to face the bird square on and click frantically.

    Now, it is possible that the brains of people who have actual experience with guns/edged weapons/etc might be able to connect the abstract representations of 'shooting' in a game with the actual process of aiming and firing a weapon. I know that in the case of driving games, I have a lot more 'bleedover' between my game experience and real-world experience than I do in genres where I don't have real-world experience with the actions in question; racing games cause a lot more visceral reactions/physiological arousal for me than other genres do, and I'm able to carry over certain techniques and conditioned responses from them into real-life driving.

    But without that pre-existing connection...well, I don't play shooters much, but I have played some, and they did absolutely nothing to prepare me for the actual experience of firing a gun. Having the real thing in my hands, experiencing the weight and the recoil and the abominable was absolutely nothing whatsoever like Half-Life. I wasn't even a half-decent marksman. And I had absolutely no inclination to run around shooting people with it, not even in a fleeting fantasy thought sort of way (as compared to racing games, which totally did make me think about sliding through turns and shoving other cars off the road with my actual vehicle). The things I learned in games just didn't transfer. I think I'd have to spend a lot more time with real guns for my brain to make the same sort of connection.

    "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

    by kyril on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 02:22:50 AM PST

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