All About blackmagic037
Intro to Virtualism
The simple idea of Virtualsim revolves around an individual substituting the reality they're given naturally for an artificial more pleasing reality for as long as they can handle it. However, if the individual mistakes the Virtual World for the Natural World, the individual can be dangerous to themselves or others. Virtualism can be achieved through multiple means, whether it is through PC, Console, or Handheld system. It is your right to question your reality, but never challenge it. It is the right to break away from the world you are given at birth. A Virtualist will "Tag" "ID" or "Alias" themselves while playing in their new reality, as they should. No one wants to be the same person while playing, as this defeats the purpose. The individual you know in the Natural World is not the one you know in the Virtual World. The nervous and shy are suddenly more outgoing and social. The friendly and happy may become the cruel and ruthless. This is the very essence of Virtualism. It's about forgetting who you think you are and being able to be the opposite if you so choose. No restraints or consequences in the Virtual World.
The term Nirvana comes from the Buddhist belief that once an individual has achieved all they can in their life they will stop the reincarnation process and finally be free from suffering, pain, and death.
This is very much a part of Virtualism. However, Virtual Nirvana can be achieved numerous times. As with Nirvana, Virtual Nirvana is the freedom achieved in multiple ways, (ex. Leveling up, beating a level, earning a special ability, or beating a game.). Like Nirvana, it is the freedom from incarnation, or in this case "respawn". Freedom from boss battles and minions. Freedom to go on to the next world or game. There is also a vast amount of knowledge or wisdom a player can earn while and after playing. Such as, where to shoot, where to jump, remembering each map and key locations. Obviously this does not pertain to each world or game, because each game has different rules or objectives. Different from landscapes to physics. A gifted Virtualist will manage to get lost in different world no matter how many games they've played.
Glitches and Game Manipulation
Other knowledge or enlightenment includes things a player has discovered accidentally that were not supposed to be part of the finished game but uses to their own advantage. A glitch is a minor technical problem in a game. These problems can be anything from walking and seeing through walls to being invincible after a certain number of steps or actions. Glitches are random segments of code that create an undesired result that were either looked past during the testing stages of the game or simply could not be fixed without major complication. Game Manipulation on the other hand is even more unavoidable because it has to do with the principles within the game rather than the code. Game Manipulation can include a player running along textures or surfaces of the game to get from "A" to "B" without being detected or pressing a combination of buttons to get more shots out of their gun faster than the other player. These things are looked down upon in competitive play, but over looked when a player plays in private and not with others. There is an ongoing debate amongst Virtualists about whether these things are "Fair Play". Those for Glitches and Game Manipulation argue that it fair game because "Anyone can do it". Those against it say that it's not because "It wasn't intended to be in or used that way in the game".
Gaming and The Mainstream
It used to be that people that played video games were looked down upon. They were criticized for their hobby. They were "geeks' or "nerds". We were childish for spending our free time looking at a screen and pushing buttons. Games have been the scapegoat of our generation. They are the blame for such things as child obesity and violent behavior. Though it is very true video games are no longer for children and are often steered towards a more mature audience. The problem with society today is that they are confused about what video games have become. Parent still dismiss ALL video games as childish fun and not giving a second thought to what they are buying their children. Then if these children do happen to shoot up a school or steal a car they blame video games, as if somehow that is the magic answer to get them out of trouble for their and their parent's bad judgment. A good number of parents would not let their children see an R rated movie in theaters at the age of 7. But these same parents will turn around and buy their 7 year old a Mature rated video game. And then these same parents blame video games for their child's violent behavior.
What's the Difference?
Virtualists find it very unnerving that it is said video games cause aggression, when nothing is said about football or rugby where you're trying to inflict real world damage on another person. However, this is dismissed as "part of the game". It is a means to win. These are real people and they really get hurt. Some video games follow the same guidelines as a means to win. However, no one really gets hurt and can walk away from the game anytime they want. Virtualists find it unfair that we spend hours controlling our surrogate avatars and actually control the outcome of the game, and the mainstream calls it a waste of time. The mainstream calls it "just a game". These same people will watch a sports game and yell at their TV screens without controlling the outcome in anyway, yet this is accepted?
In order to make video games more "legit" the MLG was created to oppose what the mainstream calls "Sports". Teams called "Clans" will face off in a competitive video game of their liking. The players are not paid to play as with sports, but they are paid if they win. There has been much conflict among the Virtualist community about whether the MLG should continue. Virtualists argue that the MLG players lose sight of their love for the game and focus more on the money. The MLG has also supported Game Manipulation* (*See "Glitches and Game Manipulation" in the Virtual Nirvana chapter)
The Casual Gamer
There have been many video games that capture the eyes of the mainstream. Mostly games with a level of interactivity (EX. Dance Dance Revolution) or peripherals (ex Guitar Hero or the Wii game system). Casual games are usually more simple in nature which is another reason it appeals to mainstream. Virtualists are worried that video take "the casual route" and not be as rewarding or immersive as their older predecessors. In short, Virtualists fear that casual gamers will ruin games by their easy nature.
The Game Based Movie
As the video game industry grows and becomes increasingly popular, the movie industry sees the opportunity to make profit. Games such as DOOM, Tomb Raider, and Max Payne (as well as others) have been made into movies. However, game based movies are extremely notorious for being sub par or just bad, with the screenwriters complete lack of knowledge or acknowledgement for the original story. This may also be because screenwriters understand that Virtualists or Gamers don't want to see a movie they've experienced first hand through gameplay and cut scenes. This could also be because screenwriters want their movies to appeal to everyone and not just to gamers as to make their budget back, and then some of course. Virtualists are waiting for the day their favorite video game is turned into a credible film.
Video Games as an art
To this day video games have not been recognized as an art form. Virtualists themselves even question whether or not their favorite form of entertainment can be considered art. Art has many forms, from paintings to literature, and cinema to landscapes and architecture. These are all forms of art. So why not video games? If one was to think rationally about it, video games seem like the ultimate art form.
So why do I game? Cause I do more than you do in a day.
I am a Street Racer. I run from the cops, take turns with speed and precision, win the race and your car with ease. I get the money, cars and the girls.
I am Humanities Last Hope. Stolen and cloned, talk to the AI voice in my head and get coordinates on which way to attack. Run, jump, stick, assassinate and save Earth and it's exsistance all before lunch.
I am a Soldier. Picking off known terrorists organizations, and collecting intel is my job. Call me SAS or Marines, or you could just call me a one man army. I take out your country with my Barrett 50. cal and Desert Eagle without breaking a sweat.
I am a Fighter. Ninjitsu, Tae kwon do, Kickboxing. You name it I've done it. Take a good look at these skills cause in a second your eyes will be to swollen shut to see anything else.
I am a Skater. From ollies to triple kickflips on the side walk, to a Crossbone and axel stall at the X Games. I don't have the scars but you can take my word for it.
I am all of these things and more. And when I sleep I dream about electronic bleeps and text that say "Achievement Unlocked". I dream about all of the things I'm going to be tomorrow. Wake up, smile and do it all again the next day.
Who Am I?
I am gamer. I am Taylor. I am SAINT 04.
15Apr 08Video Games. We know em. Love em. And play em. But there is something going wrong with video games now days. So let me share my views and opinions on the video game industry lately.
Being a gamer since I was 3 I've had the privilege to see the evolution of games as they were to grow into mainstream (sadly). If you've been playing as long as I have then you'll see that things have changed for the worse.
Here are my reasons I think its all going downhill:
1. Innovation- Now days it just seems like developers are all in it for the money. Play you're favorite shooter. Now ask yourself why you like it. Most of you will answer because its fun (duh). But ask yourself why is it fun. Is it the saving replays to gloat about sticky kills in Halo 3? Is it earning the right to put red tiger camouflage on you're Barret 50. Cal Sniper Rifle in Call of Duty 4? Or was it watching a dwarf die from falling 50 feet from a building because his smoke spell ran out half way through the jump in Shadowrun? All of these games had innovative features without a doubt whether you liked them or not. But what about those mediocre shooters like Blacksite: Area 51, Kane and Lynch, or Clive Barker's: Jericho? These games felt like they were so rushed that developers didn't care whether or not that it was a good game. They just wanted to put something out so they can catch a quick buck. You remember when your favorite toy broke as a child you were so disappointed and then you asked yourself, what am I going to play with now? Well this is what it feels like to have played any of those games. Don't get me wrong I completely understand the pressure of bringing something new and fresh to the table.
But when you play the mediocre games listed above or any mediocre game at all, do you ever ask yourself what the hell is so special about this game? Why would I waste a free Movie Gallery rental, or an entire $60 on this piece of crap?
Taylor aka SAINT 04
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