Video Games And Influence

from the depends-on-who-you-talk-to dept

In our recent post about some old rockers complaining about music video games being no substitute for actually playing instruments (not that anyone claimed it was), one of our commenters, Comboman, made a rather amusing point concerning complaints against video games:

Video game critics claim violent games will make kids want to imitate the game and do real violent acts. Now they’re complaining that music games will make kids NOT want to imitate the game and do real music?

To be fair, it’s a different group of people complaining this time, but it is rather amusing.

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Comments on “Video Games And Influence”

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37 Comments
Richard (profile) says:

Re: A damn good point

As I commented before

http://www.techdirt.com/article.php?sid=20090913/1709366172#c445

there are many instances of this contradictory doublethink around.

The reason is simple. These people don’t start from a rational analysis and use it to arrive at a conclusion. Instead they start at a conclusion (usually based on a combination of self interest and emotion) and then synthesise some “analysis” to support it. Also each topic is separate in their heads so the contradictions aren’t obvious.

Add to all this the “something must be done” mentality and you see the result.

moore850 (profile) says:

A detailed explanation

Violent video games are an issue because in the games, the violence is the solution to the game’s obstacles. This is behavior you don’t want kids to emulate.

Music video games are an issue because in the game, NOT creating music is the solution to the game’s obstacles. This (NOT creating music) is behavior you don’t want kids to emulate (i.e. you want kids TO create music or at least to value the creation of music).

Yosi says:

Re: A detailed explanation

Correction:

While this is true, that in violent games, the violence is the solution, in music games, this is not the case.

In music games, you ARE creating (or playing) music as a solution to obstacle. You are not creating it in sense that it is not actually real-world music; and you are not really playing guitar in “Guitar Hero”.

But by the same token, in violent games you’re not using real weapons either.

The goal of FPS games is to shoot (violence), while the goal of “Guitar Hero” is [b]play guitar[/b] (music), duh!

Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:

Re: A detailed explanation

The idea of Guitar Hero and Rock Band is to play music. To create music one must be in a small sub-set of players. Not everyone can create music, but with practice everyone can play someone’s music. (plus in Guitar Hero you can create music)

So, since it’s impossible to get everyone to create, I’d say a game that introduces everyone to new art (as well as several skills) is a good second.

Call me Al says:

Re: Re: A detailed explanation

That and a game which introduces people to a wide variety of music they may not have encountered before. I’ve discovered so many great songs from those games that I doubt I would have ever found without them.

I’ve played violent games all my life and have yet to shoot anyone. I am also fairly sure I am not the exception here ๐Ÿ˜‰

John Everyman (profile) says:

Not really...

I find this particularly funny because one of my friends started playing drums on Rock Band all the time and it got him into playing real drums.

Also I think it should be noted that Rock Band/Guitar Hero are not substitutes because they are very different from actually playing the instrument. I play electric bass and although I find these games very fun they cannot replace the real thing. To kind of illustrate this, the first time I ever played Guitar Hero I thought it would be easy since I play a real instrument but this was definitely not the case and it took me a few hours to get used to the game. Muscians need to stop complaining.

Different Mike says:

It got me to play the drums

Allow me to share two personal examples of how Video games got me interested in doing the same activity for real:

I never played a day of tennis in my life. A few years ago one of my roommates had TopSpin for the XBox. Thanks to the game I learned the basic rules and scoring for Tennis. I was then inspired to look up more details on how to play, bought a tennis racket, and I now play real tennis on a very regular basis.

I purchased Guitar Hero World Tour when it came out. I had never played the drums before then. I started playing the drums in the game and progressed through the difficulty levels. A good friend of mine who has been playing drums for years watched me play. At first he was of the “pfffft, it’s just fake instruments” mindset but after watching for a bit he said I should see if the skills translate to a real drum set. A few days later I went to his house and started banging on his drums. My friend then asked again to make sure “you really never played the drums before?” He was quite impressed with the amount of progress I had made having only played the video game before that. I have now jammed on his drums on a number different occasions, and while there are some definite differences, lots skills you learn from the game translate to a real drum set. At the moment I live in an apartment, which prevents me from purchasing a real drum set, but once I move into a house you can be quite sure that I will be getting one, and until then can keep working on my skills without annoying my neighbors by playing the game.

Jackie says:

We just got Rock Band Beatles in our house. Besides the time we spend together as a family, laughing and playing, we’re all learning a lot about the Beatles and really coming to appreciate them. I didn’t even like listening to them before, preferring covers by more modern bands, but now I can appreciate their genius and enjoy listening to their music. My brother just bought the White Album.

I win: gaining appreciation of music.
My family wins: Time spent together.
Beatles Win: My bro bought their album

Anonymous Coward says:

What I've seen:

I’ve seen people into Guitar Hero/Rock Band start playing real Guitar and Drums…

Multiple people who got hooked on Williams Pinball Hall of Fame for the Wii turn into real life pinball collectors…

I know people who are into classic cars now that were sparked by their addiction to driving video games…

I’m yet to meet anyone who plays Halo that goes out dressed in blue killing everyone that he sees dressed in Red. Nor have I seen any of them even carry a gun or express any interest in real life guns. Same goes for the COD crowd.

People can be influenced by any number of things, but most people’s morals kick in and let them know what behavior is appropriate and what is not.

That extremely low percentage of people with little or no moral compass can be influenced by any number of things. Does anyone really think we should try to rid the world of all of them?

iNtrigued (profile) says:

They're wrong

I see a lot of people on here that started playing or knew someone that started playing an instrument because of these games. On the other hand, how many people do you personally know that has emulated the violence from Halo or whatnot? I know my brother recently bought a guitar and is starting a band with his friend because of Guitar Hero, but he has yet to go and purchase a weapon to start inflicting damage to things.

imbrucy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: They're wrong

I can completely sympathize with that. The only thing about the Halo series that I ever got violent or angry over was the stupid cliffhanger ending to Halo 2. But having had a PC crash because of a virus infection after the first reboot after getting into to Windows I can definitely say that made me more violent then I’ve ever been.

Fluffy Bums says:

Playing music in games makes kids more aware

Playing music in games makes kids more aware of the music itself and it could help them understand music better than just listening to it. How many of us ever picked up and instrument and created music? Probably less than 1% so whats the problem? Poeple like to bitch especially if they are old timers.

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