Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 30 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Life Arts    H4'ed 8/13/16

Reality games but not reality shows

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   No comments
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Eric Walberg
Become a Fan
  (13 fans)

Kawaii #5 Pikatchou
Kawaii #5 Pikatchou
(Image by Takadanobaba Kurazawa)
  Details   DMCA

These days we hear a lot of "Pokeman Go". What do you think about the effect of reality games within US and around the globe? What will be the future of these games, which attract ten of millions? Do they reinforce or neglect which aspects of human life?

Video games have become the staple of children with the advent of the computer age. The Japanese are the most innovative. Along with Nintendo, the most popular is Pokemon (Pocket Monsters), first issued in 1996, where humans, known as Pokemon Trainers, catch and train their 'pocket monsters' to battle each other for sport.

The latest games, called virtual reality games, allow the player to surrender his/her mind to a computer world of sight and sound, a magic black box on the head, where the mind can feel all kinds of physical effects -- flying, teleporting at will to other planets in a heightened, superhuman reality, like an angel or a god.

Neural science is advancing rapidly now, and harnessing computers, we can be sure that such games will have more and more features over time, stimulating the brain to create smorgasbords of sensations.. Their promoters argue they offer an escape from a boring reality. Most of us must do repetitively tasks in our work, travel the same route to work every day, and eat the same old meals.

Second Life is the most personalized virtual-reality game, created in 2003. Its users (there are over one million) create virtual representations of themselves (avatars). They can explore the word, meet other residents, socialize, participate in individual and group activities, build, create, shop and trade virtual property and services with one another. Truly an alternative life and community.

This new art form/culture has arisen at the same time as the film world has been captured by superheroes. The most popular films in recent years have been Superman Vs. Batman, Captain America: Civil War, and Tarzan. We are constructing fantasy worlds to escape our dysfunctional, boring reality.

Pokemon has been criticized by some Christians over perceived occult and violent themes, and promoting materialism, but Sat2000, a satellite television station based in Vatican City, has countered that the Pokemon video games are "full of inventive imagination" and have no "harmful moral side effects".

In 2001, Saudi Arabia banned Pokemon games and cards, alleging that they promoted Zionism by displaying the Star of David in the trading cards, as well as other religious symbols such as crosses they associated with Christianity and triangles they associated with Freemasonry. The games also involved gambling.

The ever-increasing control of our minds and lives by TV and computers, where uncontrolled violent and sexual content can be seen by children as well as adults, is surely a frightening development. A study of reality shows that have aired in the United States since 2005 reveals that 14 of the celebrities have committed suicide. It has been shown that suicide rates go up after reporting of suicides on TV.

The good news is that the influence of media such as fictional films and sitcoms on behaviour is minimal, as people intuitively recognize that they are fictional, and generally do not imitate the characters depicted. This extends to the new easy access to pornography online and films depicting promiscuity. Teens are actually waiting longer than in the past to have sex, and teen pregnancy rates are at historic lows. So apocalyptic fears of moral degeneracy (or Zionist mind control) are overrated.

So read a good novel, watch a good movie, play a video game, but don't get hooked on reality TV. Use culture to raise your understanding of reality, sharpen your mind, but not to compete with others in a live re-enactment of the dog-eat-dog world.


Interview with Panjereh* Weekly

*Persian for Window

Valuable 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Eric Walberg Social Media Pages: Facebook Page       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Eric writes for Al-Ahram Weekly and PressTV. He specializes in Russian and Eurasian affairs. His "Postmodern Imperialism: Geopolitics and the Great Games", "From Postmodernism to Postsecularism: Re-emerging Islamic Civilization" and "Canada (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Timelines 2000-2010: US, Europe, Latin America, Africa&Asia

ISIS and the Taliban: Writing on the wall for Afghanistan

Timeline 2000-2010: Middle East

Renouncing Jewishness: Shlomo Sand and Gilad Atzmon

Tab Hunter: American culture's hat trick

Euro crisis: Prison of nations

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend