Man verses Machine

On page 24 I found a very thought provoking statement on what a video game really is compromised of. Cline stated, “There, inside the game’s two-dimensional universe, life was simple: It’s just you against the machine. Move with your left hand, shoot with your right, and try to stay alive as long as possible.” I found this to be interesting because if you think about the core of a video game, that’s really just exactly what it is. It is man verses game, or, in a more drawn out sequence, it is the man controlling the controller, and the controller controlling the game itself. There is no secret magic behind it where the controller itself can make you beat the game. There is no vendetta that the controller has against you. As Cline said, its rather simple. It is you against the machine. It is two-dimensional. People tend to get all philosophical on video games, but really, it is just a simple concept to simple means of enjoyment.

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2 thoughts on “Man verses Machine”

  1. “People tend to get all philosophical on video games, but really, it is just a simple concept to simple means of enjoyment.”

    I would argue that the same point could be made for any sort of entertainment we indulge in. A book is just a momentary string of words, music is just random notes, and movies are just moving pictures. If we look at all of these things at their core, they aren’t any more impressive than a concept to a means of enjoyment. It’s going beyond that and applying it to humanity that makes it worth while. Yes, in video games it is just you and the machine, but there’s also reading in the dialogue, listening to the music playing and judging the tone, reading the animated facial expressions, and potentially making a life altering decision for your character. It’s never as simple as “Oh, well I pushed the A button” even if that’s the act you’re doing. What you’re representing is what that A button did, and that’s what makes up game philosophy.

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