I have just finished watching an episode of Stargate Atlantis entitled The Game. It will be unavoidable for me to discuss this episode without spoiling the plot for you, so if you haven’t already seen it and would like to watch it without my biased opinion I suggest you stop reading now!
The poll questions this week is:
“Is video gaming portrayed badly in the mainstream media?”
The brief outline of the story is as follows. Major Colonel John Sheppard and Dr. Rodney McKay discovered a lab that contained what seemed to be an elaborate strategy game. They began playing and were having a good time. A team visited a planet and found images of one of the players scattered around the main city. These images were seemingly of their God”. In reality this “game” was in fact a real world and the instructions of the “players”, via the computer consoles, were transmitted to the “real world” and were carried out. It’s an interesting premise with plenty of opportunity to explore action versus consequence etc. As the story line evolves the two main protagonists become more and more intransigent and aggressive. That is a little disconcerting but the next develop is more worrying.
Even though the fact that it is not a game but a real situation is known it doesn’t stop two other people from participating in another “game”. These two players quickly get carried away. The impression giving is that games players are:
- Unable to control themselves
- Unable to separate game from reality
Actions portrayed in this manner only go to re-enforce stereotypes and certainly don’t represent the reality. Or at least I hope they don’t. In a previous episode the female lead character pretended to like World of Warcraft to distract the attention of a scientist. This character was shown as being totally obsessed with the game.
There will be some readers who will be rolling their eyes and saying “Not again?” after my recent post entitled Booth Babes Are Bad. I believe that public perception is very important and we, as a gaming community, need to do what we can to improve that image.
Perhaps what we need is somebody to engage a firm of Public Relations specialists to ensure that words like “Gamer” don’t have negative connotations.
Is video gaming portrayed badly in the mainstream media?
- Yes, we get a raw deal: 92%
- No, it’s a fair reflection of the truth: 8%
- Total votes: 39