I think playing video games is an escape from real life situations; people can be who they want, when they want, and their are no consequences for their actions. Video games are a popular form of entertainment for people of all ages. I think social media has definitely done their fair share of advertising to push certain games on people. It is interesting that each click you make or page you like, or other websites you go to, Facebook is there to advertise a certain game to your liking. In a way, it feels like an invasion of privacy, but to Facebook and other social media sites, it is all just a more accurate way to brand themselves. As the Man article mentions, “Online retailers such as Amazon and offline retailers such as supermarkets are heavily dependent on profiling new kinds of individuals based on data other than that of the demographic kind.” This new profiling has tailored your needs to a certain brands. So is it our fault if our generation is becoming ‘obsessed’ or ‘addicted’ to video games. Everywhere we look, we are having it thrown in our faces. I remember my best friend the summer of 7th grade was obsessed with World of Warcraft. He would literally be at his computer for 10-12 hours a day; something I could never understand. Now that I reflect back on that situation, is it so unusual that he was addicted to this interactive online game. This fantasy world connected him with people all over the country, like as in Second Life. I think people are using these worlds as escape mechanisms and ways to create another life; I don’t think they are ‘addicted’ or ‘obsessed’ with the game; I think they just prefer their digital “world” or “life” over their offline life.

patrick-farmville

Tanz article mentions the online game ‘Cow Clicker’ where people literally just click on a cow. There is not point to the game, or no end, yet people are entertained and enthralled by this game. Is it the simplicity of the game that one likes? Do people who have never been near a farm or cow get a sense of escapism when playing a game such as this? — I think all the above! As the article mentions, “The inherent virality of the game mechanics Bogost had mimicked, combined with the publicity, helped spread it well beyond its initial audience of game-industry insiders.” This shows that even an undermined and completely dumb game can become a hit amongst the public. I think as the article mentions, it is about the publicity, or branding that a company does for their product. In this case, being able to send messages to Farmville friends created a connection between the two games; therefore, it’s popularity grew. A game that people are obsessed with online is Candy Crush. My mom is up to level 200 and continues to play the game — even though you do the same thing every level. I feel like Candy Crush is a challenge at first, a quick fad, that you eventually get over. So why haven’t some people? I think because my mom is not used to playing video games, it gives her something to do — it cures the boredom.  With her inexperience at playing games, something like clicking on pieces  of candy, I think makes her feel part of this social world, because she can compare scores with other players, or even give them lives.

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