Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Videogames are an entertainment apex predator?

There's an interesting article over at Penny Arcade today.

The relevant part is at the end:

Videogames are, in entertainment terms, an Apex Predator; nothing else compares to them, minute for minute, they deliver brain chemicals at an unprecedented rate.  They’re pure HFCS, and the other things you fill a life with don’t deliver those squirts with the same regularity.  It’s a matter of acclimatization for people maturing in this environment.  In the end, I can say with confidence that books are right out, and movies; dubstep and porn gifs will be all they have left.


I don't know precisely how 1) true or 2) good this is.

That is, as someone who grew up a console kid, I tell you now that videogames, at least for me, just got boring. Rock Band was the last thing I had a lot of fun with. The videogame I play the most now is Androminion--and that's because I like playing the card game. I use my XBOX to play Netflix.

My kids would all rather watch movies or read than play videogames. Even that alligator-water game.

I suppose both Mr. Holkins and I are operating out of a pile of confirmation bias but I would surmise that if the assertion is true then we'll see a backlash akin to the organic/slow food movement. 

Regarding how good it is--well, we know (and seriously, studies continue to pile out) how bad a diet of straight sugar/HFCS/etc. is turble for you. I'm interested in Holkins' knowledge of this and the fact that he says right before the quote "I don’t think videogames are a social ill." He is, of course, referring to the tragedies regarding school shootings and kids playing video games (which folks is stupid but not because desensitization to violence doesn't occur; it's a stupid argument because other factors and warning signs are far more important in the scheme of things--much like guns are "to blame" because they're easily accessible, etc.) but it's clear from his analogy that they're some kind of ill.

Unless he's going to argue that all entertainment is an ill which is odd given his choice of job.

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