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How EA Sports Made Me Slightly More Athletic Thursday, May 22, 2008

#1 User is offline   Chefelf Icon

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 04:21 PM

How EA Sports Made Me Athletic More Athletic Slightly More Athletic

On yesterday's episode of Buzz Out Loud (Episode 729), one of my favorite podcasts, a listener wrote in and said the following:

QUOTE
Violent video games

Hey jamoto,

Canít remember the episode but itís the one discussing the effects of violent games.
So I got to thinking, if violent games encourage violent behavior, then surely sporting games should encourage the same? And musical games make you more musical?

Just a thought.

Cheers

Kevin


I hesitate to bring this up because I am afraid that it will lend credence to the idiotic theory that violent video games make people more violent. My intention is quite the opposite. The reasons why arguing that violent games (or movies, for that matter) cause violent crime are too easily dismissed to be worth debating. However, Kevin's email poses an important question: Do non-violent games encourage their players to engage in the same non-violent activities?

Perhaps this is a bad example of video games' non-violent influence, but I'd like to use the example of how video games caused me to start playing hockey.

When I was in high school, my good friend Paul and I got really into the EA Sports NHL Hockey franchise. I had played previous versions of the game but the version that really got me hooked was the PC version of NHL '94. It was during the player lockout and after playing the game nonstop, continually winning the Stanley Cup with various teams we were growing antsy for the actual hockey season which was still delayed.

With no other hockey to watch we took a drastic step: we decided to actually play hockey. You know, physically.

We went out and got some sticks, purchased a net, goalie pads and a number of orange balls that could easily be fished out of the shrubbery when they went missing. I even bought rollerblades and taught myself how to rollerblade. Over the next few months we became extremely involved in all of this, spending hours and hours outside usually with myself, or my cousin Jeff taking slapshots at Paul who was shockingly adept at stopping the puck (read: silly-looking orange ball).

I can't imagine this is unique to me. Video games often caused me and my friends to venture outside and use our imaginations to replay what we'd seen in the games.

After playing Ultima IV I raided my mother's spice cabinet and created viles of reagents to use so I could create my own spells. I took this out in the woods behind my house, prepared for a possible orc attack. Thankfully the orcs never came but there is no harm in being prepared.

After playing the original Legend of Zelda my cousin and I went into my father's woodpile and scavenged pieces of wood which we hammered hilts on to create our own wooden swords to battle Ganon. For some reason we were convinced that my swimming pool was Ganon's toe. Apparently our perspective was a little off what is represented in the game.

After playing Space Quest I became very interested in science fiction and began reading a lot of science fiction books and writing my own terrible, terrible science fiction stories. Years later I would be delighted to discover that as embarrassing as these stories were, they were on par with all of L. Rob Hubbard's books. This would have reflected better on him if he had been 9-10 years old when he'd written the Mission Earth Series.

After playing Grand Theft Auto III I did not go out and shoot hookers. If the inability to steal that damned ice cream truck and complete my car garage didn't tip me over the edge then nothing will.

I've killed a lot of various lifeforms in the past 30 or so years in the form of goombas, peahats, trolls, orcs, tanks, worms, Ur-Quan, mafia bosses, metroids, octagon batteries, ghosts, space invaders and Covenant Elites. That being the case, I haven't killed anyone in real life. I haven't even gotten in a physical fight with anyone in real life. In fact, I haven't even ever punched anyone in real life. (Note: I tried to punch my cousin once but it didn't really connect because she was much too elusive.)

The only affect on my life from video games seems to be positive. The affect has been in the form of an increased amount of creativity, a desire to actually get outside and play sports, an interest in reading, and a desire to write extremely poor science fiction.

It would be interesting to see a study on the positive affects of gaming, as was suggested by the hosts of Buzz Out Loud. Clearly that won't be funded by any of the governmental agencies who fund the studies of opposite affects in an ongoing effort to make the world safer by eliminating all artistic endeavors they deem to be in poor taste.

I'm sure the positive affects are not huge either. Games are primarily just a means of entertainment. The reactions and influences from them is largely dependent on the individual playing them. If you have a few screws loose and are considering shooting up your school, then a few dozen hours of Grand Theft Auto may just push you over the edge. But then again, maybe reruns of T.J. Hooker would do the same.
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#2 User is offline   Cemetery guy Icon

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 07:16 PM

I've got to agree with you on this one. I grew up on the Three Stooges. I know, I know, they may not be the height of comedy to lots of the younger age groups, but to me and my generation, they were like Gods. I'm sure if you go up to any male over the age of say 50, and say just a few words from a Three Stooges routine, they can repeat the whole thing. (Women do not fare as well in this experiment. For some reason, they just don't get it.) Ask the same males what they remember from high school chemistry and you are met with silence. I digress. I never remember one time when I or any of my lunatic friends ever grabbed someone by the nose with a pair of pliers, ran a saw over someone's head, or poked someone in the eye. As dumb as we were, we all realized that it wasn't real and someone could get hurt. Believe it or not there were those who thought the Stooges were too violent for us.

I've never really played any of the games you mentioned as I had to work 20 hours a day to pay for them, but I'm happy you were able to distinguish between what was real and what was fantasy. You and Paul slaying mythical beasts was healthy for your imagination. Playing hockey was good for your health although I can't say the same for the health of the garage door when you missed the cage.

All in all I guess you turned out all right and to the best of my knowledge you never stole a car.
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Posted 22 May 2008 - 11:56 PM

http://www.asofterwo...ndex.php?id=302

That's all I've got. I think the effects of video games on one's actions vary wildly from person to person. No game has ever made me go out and do something taken from said game. I'm not counting going and playing Mario Bros. with friends or some stupid thing when I was little. I think that's different.

Also, Cemetery Dad:
TO THE BEST OF YOUR KNOWLEDGE. *WINK WINK*

This post has been edited by Heccubus: 22 May 2008 - 11:56 PM

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#4 User is offline   J m HofMarN Icon

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 02:04 AM

You got in a dig at L Ron Hubbard! <3

As for me, between Lord of the Rings and umpteen bazillion fantasy video games, I bought a sword and ended up outside at least once a week figuring out how to use it, and later ended up crafting a metal sword, a few bows, arrows, and staffs from wood I'd either found or purchased in the case of the arrows. Later I sold some of the staffs for quite a good sum.

I've also figured out how to design medievally clothing, and made quite a few long term friendships through gaming groups.

There is a downside to it all though. I played GTA 1 on the playstation, spending hours and hours trying to figure out what happened if you killed all the army guys that came after you after the FBI died. In those long hours me and my friend ate a lot of chips and dropped crumbs in the sofa cushions, so thanks to that corrupting influence the sofa smells a bit like doritos now.

DAMN YOU VIDEO GAMES! You werent content to ruin my life, you had to ruin my sofa's life too!

This post has been edited by J m HofMarN: 23 May 2008 - 02:06 AM

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 02:30 PM

QUOTE (J m HofMarN @ May 23 2008, 03:04 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
so thanks to that corrupting influence the sofa smells a bit like doritos now.

This sounds awesome.

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#6 User is offline   J m HofMarN Icon

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 01:30 AM

You just say that because video games have desensitized you to the smell of doritoes.

Quote

I don't know about you but I have never advocated that homosexuals, for any reason, be cut out of their mother's womb and thrown into a bin.
- Deucaon toes a hard line on gay fetus rights.
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Posted 24 May 2008 - 03:16 AM

That doesn't make sense. If I were desensitized to the smell of Doritos, why would I think that something smelling like Doritos was a good thing? I wouldn't be able to smell it anyway.
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Posted 25 May 2008 - 02:00 AM

People who wish censorship are those who believe children will act out what they see in video games because children do act out what they witness. Though video games of today can hardly compare to actions movies from the late 1980s and early 1990s. Parents who wish for their children not to be exposed to inappropriate content should sell their television, computer and gaming consoles. They shouldn't send their kids to school or let them out of the house either. I am sick of people trying to change the laws of the country because they are too incompetent to supervise their children.
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Posted 19 June 2008 - 03:02 PM

In my experiences, gaming was always a let down to me. For a time video games had their part in my life but all in all, it was always more fun to go outside and do something. I enjoyed catching bugs, sparring with friends, setting things on fire, and being a hooligan!

I remember Nintendo's debut console (8-bit) and how I cringed at it. I was 6 then and I wanted action figures and Legos. Super NES was better for some titles (mainly fighting games) but even that wore off after getting into real fights.

Video games only provided temporary "gum chewing" for the mind after work and casual time wasting with friends.

My kudos to J m HofMarN and Chefelf for being creative after a session of gaming.
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