All posts by michaela03


I wanted to share this article on Eric Cantor and his misinformation regarding a study on World of Warcraft and its affects on senior citizen’s cognitive function.

Even if Cantor was correct in stating that it costed 1.2 million dollars, do you think it is wasteful government spending? McGonigal basically thinks that video games can one day save the world and previous studies have shown that video games can help brain function, so should we keep spending money on such studies? Or is it a waste?


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.

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.

McGonigal’s Ideas; Not So Epic

McGonigal makes valid points throughout her book and is irrefutable at times, but overall I think she takes it a bit too far.  I agree with the fact that video games can stimulate the brain and in the long run actually do good for it, but turning life into a game is pretty asinine and juvenile.  Her Fix Number Six; Epic Scale, is completely overboard.  “Compared with games, reality is trivial.  Games make us a part of something bigger and give epic meaning to our actions.”  McGonigal’s SuperBetter game may have helped her through her difficult recovery from a concussion, but this cannot be applied to everyone.  I think goals can be achieved without turning it into an actual game; awarding yourself points and power boosters, it’s striving for something in reality that strengthens you as a person and builds character.  The virtual world and real world should never overlap.

McGonigal writes, “What the world needs now are more epic wins, opportunities for ordinary people to do extraordinary things — like change or save someone’s life — every day.”  I cannot see how playing a game for an insane amount of hours every week will “save someone’s life.”  I think her ideas at face-value sound great, but when you actually delve deeper into them they are exaggerated and plain crazy.  We are at a point in the world where everything we do is completely digital; internet, social media, gaming, it is taking over and if anything, that is what should change.  What ever happened to reading a book or playing on a sport’s team?  That’s enough to bring confidence, motivation, and “epic wins.”

I agree that video games can help ADD, I have seen numerous articles on how doctors are attempting to help their patients with specially designed games to figure out what is happening in the brain, but turning life into a game and mixing realities is a recipe for disaster.

This video is pretty bland and boring, but it basically shows how we can hack the brain and see if it is under active or over active and subsequently treat it as necessary.  Therefore gaming can be positive, but McGonigal takes it much farther than it should be.