Anyone who’s read my recent posts will understand how I immerse myself in to gaming and how I use it to distract myself from reality. This only works if the visuals or story arc are convincing.
What would happen if we applied the story-lines and actions from gaming to real life?
You can see how such a scenario plays out in the film Crank which is not Jason Statham’s finest moment (there should never have been a second one made) as there’s no believable plot. The film looks like the premise for a video game, which might have been a better bid for the storyline.
What I’m after is the effects and ramifications of playing something like GTA in your everyday business.
Are you like likely to go around beating up people, mowing down gangsters in a drive-by, and start shagging prostitutes in the back of your car? Probably not, but you could if you wanted to.
Obeying the law obviously hampers this somewhat, which is why you get that level of freedom within the games but there are those out there who lead such a lifestyle and I’m sure it’s probably not as colourful and rose tinted as the games would paint it to be.
Thankfully that’s one of the beauties of gaming. When you’ve finished beating someone to death with a giant purple dildo you’re not going to be arrested in real life.
I’m quite relieved that such a thing isn’t a common occurrence in real life just as I’m thankful that the level of realism in gaming isn’t too realistic.
Games would be pretty crap if they exactly replicated your life.
Need for speed would be disappointing if all you did was sit in traffic on the M25 for hours on end and I really don’t want to have a character wake up with the need to spend an hour in the toilet because they ate a dodgy burrito the night before. Real life can be dull which is why gaming helps us to break away from it.
Some games feature items that get close to mimicking some of our daily habits which can be fun to see on occassion and add a bit of humour through the use of having to save a game by visiting a toilet (Dead Rising) or by being intoxicated and maybe chucking up for a short while (Saints Row).
I’d be surprised if a character has to make an emergency visit to a hospital in the middle of a game because their ingrown toenail went septic or you have to stop and do the dishes before you can continue. It just isn’t going to happen.
At least, it shouldn’t happen.
There are some weird Japanese games out there that get the player to do some mundane tasks but they’ve not made it over the water thankfully, at least not in any great way. There’s some weird stuff going on in the frantic mini-games of Wario Ware: Smooth Moves that should probably be ignored unless you’re a pre-teen and find plucking nasal hairs fun.
Could we gamify our lives to the extent that we are rewarded for the completion of daily tasks or by repetition of visiting venues and destinations?
Foursquare is an app based service that would seem to think so. You’re rewarded with badges in much the same way you’d get achievements in games and if you ‘check-in’ to a location often enough you become the mayor. Big whoop!
I’ve tried to stick with it to see what benefit it offers but it doesn’t do anything more than catalogue where I’ve been which is quite handy as I’m getting older. As I get more senile I’ll be glad of a backup of all my activities.
For now I’m happy for things to look realistic and play like a game, life is complicated enough.