Is it that bad?

I truly appreciate the different genre that we have encountered for the last book of the semester.  this book seems like a crash course in 80’s pop culture.  I was familiar with some of the references suggest some of the games that were mentioned, but other references went over my head.  in general, I do think that this book is a good read but I believe that a hardcore gamer would appreciate this book much more than I did.

When reading a book that has won many awards I like to read the praise that is given to the author and their work.  Before entering Level One I thought I came across another critique what was actually an excerpt from Anorak’s Almanac.  It states that, “Being human totally sucks most of the time.   Videogames are the only thing that make my life bearable” (Chapter 91, Verses 1-2).  I think that it is safe to say that we have all wished that we can be something else rather than what we are. However I’m taking this class and doing numerous outside readings, there are many people really believe that the statement is true. Is reality really that unbearable that people have to find solace in the world?

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3 thoughts on “Is it that bad?”

  1. I agree that videogames do play this role in many peoples lives. Movies and books can be an escape, even vacationing works that way, but actually actively playing in a whole other world is truly what makes videogames so unique. Especially considering how incredible graphics are, they are much different than previous games in the 1990’s.

  2. I think for some the reality may be unbearable. If you look at the main characters from the book, Wade had a horrible home life, Art3mis struggled with society’s judgment of her birthmark, and Aech was kicked out for being a lesbian even though her mother paralleled her in terms of using OASIS for not being judged by her race. The OASIS seemed simply like a reprieve from society. You could be a man, woman, elf, orc, whatever, and no one really cared. In a world where you can have the physicality of anything, how you look ceases to matter. I think that puts more impact on the person behind the avatar, which is something that can be greatly satisfying if you’re judged in the real world just by the way you look.

  3. The book creates a context so hopeless that escape into OASIS seems like a reasonable decision, in a way that I don’t think it does in reality. The world of the game, besides having some distinct dystopic qualities, like impending doom and massive resource shortage, is also wracked with an intense shallow prejudice against all things which break from the norm, whether it be sexual orientation or for birth marks. OASIS is thus shown as a venue for equality where people can congregate without fear of being judged, in an otherwise vapid and superficial world. But this isn’t exactly an accurate representation of the gaming world. In fact it seems that dealing with other people through virtual mediation allows for a person to indulge in their prejudices, rather than be rid of them. Just consider the gaming culture’s reputation for using gender and sexual orientation as ammunition for trash talk.

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