On Ian Bogost

I think what I obtained most from reading Ian Bogost’s book is that as a society we really do have a negative view towards “gaming” and people as “gamers.”  We picture them as middle aged men festering in their parents’ basements, eyes glued to the TV screen, only willing to get up in order to use the bathroom.  But this is not the case at all, everyone plays games, from Scrabble to Call of Duty, everyone enjoys playing games and they can be used for more than just entertainment.

Bogost writes how video games can allow players to experience surroundings that they would not have the ability to experience in person.  These vast stretches of space appeal to individuals in ways that they probably were not aware of; it is the mere fact of visiting either unknown places or places that one cannot visit as they would like to.  Video games are becoming more and more aesthetically pleasing, appealing to senses, and seeming more real than ever.

Being that I am a Political Science major, I found the electioneering section the most interesting, yet very unlikely.  It is relative to the issue I brought up with McGonigal’s book where some worlds just should not overlap; gaming and politics irrefutably should never overlap.  At the end of the day, it does not matter if video games are more than entertainment, they are still in a virtual world, and politics is something way beyond that.  It is something that essentially controls every aspect of our life and we should not use games as a way to aid electioneering.  Bogost explains how election strategy games do exist, but they are “about the political process” not “part of that process.”  To make it a part of the process seems a bit much.  Although the Take Back Illinois game may be heading in the right direction, but still the world of politics and the world around us is changing and evolving every second, a game can never truly simulate the effects of certain policies.

http://www.collisiondetection.net/mt/archives/2004/09/take_back_illin.php

Here is an article written on the Take Back Illinois Game, take note of the last paragraph- “If anything, it’s almost too much fun: The play value of the game almost overrides the message.” Exactly why the two worlds should not overlap.

Video games can still be used for more than entertainment, they can be for the aesthetically pleasing  appeal or even to those who really are in their parents’ basements, but either way Politics should not be a factor in this gaming realm.

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