Hannah Bales

BA (Hons) Games Design

Hull School of Art and Design

Year 1

Open University

November – December 2015

Media and technology is advancing more and more each day; video games being an example of a form of new media that most of us use. * We revive old media and name it as retro as well as creating new artifacts; however, the real question is ‘why do video games entertain us so much?’ Mulligan, Patrovsky and Bartle all believe that we are becoming so immersed in video games that we see it as a viable reality, we have the state of mind of an extended reality and we get so attached to the gaming environment that gaming novices state us as a ‘Tourist’ for exploring in games. Norwood believes that gaming is slightly similar to religion; I agree with this theory as you have many different groups of gamers that get so immersed into gaming that it becomes a part of their lifestyle; “A spiritual level should be considered. Despite the apparent religious connotation, the idea of a higher level of need is an interesting one.” In relation to Norwoods theory a spiritual level should be considered for Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

Marshall McLuhan refers to the story of ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’; a story that explores Walter Mitty’s everyday life but also shows the life he coverts and the person he aspires to be. Every gamer strives to appear an iconic character that they can sometimes create within a game and this is how gamer immersion links to ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’. Walter Mitty dreams about being someone other than him mainly because his life just consists of working, eating and sleeping; too much repetition therefore no progress towards a success of achievement; this is where I believe the gamers start to dream. So many games is different and unique therefore offering us unlimited exploration of many virtual environments.

*The gamer audience reportedly stands at 33.5 million Britons – 69% of the population.