McGonigal’s Fix #8- Skepticisms

Amongst McGonigal’s many so-called, “fixes,” one of the ones that stood out to me was her eighth one that was titled, “Meaningful Rewards When We Need Them Most.” Within this section, she targeted something that I actually really agree with. On page 149, McGonigal asserted, “Games, of course, help put people back in control. Real gameplay is always by definition voluntary; it is always an exercise of our own freedom. Meanwhile, progressing toward goals and getting better at a game instills a sense of power and mastery.” I think she made a very accurate point because in today’s society, people tend to always want to be the best at everything and achieve the highest that they can. That is not to say that having those desires or dreaming big is wrong at all. Playing games, affords the opportunity for a person to be in competition with themselves and maybe even if its a multi-player game, for them to work their way up through levels, to ultimately have beat the game. There is a satisfaction of self-reward that accompanies being able to figure out or beat a game.

There is an aspect to this that I would be skeptical about, however. Personally, I think that this mentality on self-mastery through video games could lead today’s and future generations to be, in a way, unaccepting of failures or maybe being “second best.” If a person tries endlessly to master one video game and for some reason they are unable to do so, it could bring upon feelings of negative self worth, maybe depression, and severe anxiety (at extreme levels, of course). While this would not always be the case, for those who have strong attachments to the game, this could invoke feelings of self stupidity and could potentially lead to harmful or rash outbursts. I believe that video games do run that high risk, but I suppose that any hobby could run the same risks, so it is definitely something that video game creators should keep in mind, especially when coming up with levels of difficulty in games.


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