Video Games As Escapism Essay

946 words - 4 pages

Drops of sweat form on your brow as you grip the rifle. Your heart is beating out of your chest as you creep through a virtual world. You are in control. Law—what law? Go ahead, steal a car, shoot innocent bystanders. The world is yours.

Why are people so wrapped around video and computer games? Why are people so captivated by these inventions, spending countless hours in front of a screen?

When one’s mimetic experience is in conflict with, or is suppressed by the dominant fantasies of the West, one turns to escapism as a form of counter-fantasy or alternate fantasy, as it offers comfort and allows one to regain control and empower oneself with the least resistance. For many people, the world of video games is a perfect escape from the primary world to a secondary world without deadlines, stress, or responsibilities. People play them because they are exciting, entertaining, and a great way to relax, as well as an outlet for unexpressed emotions, fears and desires.

The dominant fantasy of video games is that their virtual violence directly correlates to aggressive behaviour in the mimetic world. When one escapes from the primary world and enters into the secondary world of a video game, the gamer experiences all the acts of violence and considers this violent behaviour as acceptable. This results in a growing trend involving players murdering their siblings and even their parents; and shockingly, young children have carried out large-scale planned attacks. Parents are the ones to be blamed because they are the ones who purchase these violent games. Even though, these games are clearly rated “M” or 17+ parents still purchase them for their young children. This dominant fantasy can also be wrong, some gamers can tell the difference between reality and video games. Repeated exposure to violent video games does not always lead to aggressive or violent behaviour.
Assassin's Creed is an action-adventure video game in which the player primarily assumes the role of Altaïr. In this game the player – who is actually playing a character who remotely controls the body of Altaïr via a machine called “the Animus”, effectively a ‘virtual world within a virtual world’ – enters the tertiary world where they carry out a series of assassinations ordered by the leader of “the Assassins”. The player takes part in any number of daring side objectives in these open world environments, including climbing tall towers to saving citizens who are being threatened or harassed by the city guards. In Assassin’s Creed the gamer is placed in the shoes of heroes, and this gives him/her the opportunity to defeat mighty enemies, conquer adversity, and even save the world (as we all know, a true hero always saves the world!). Having this level of influence upon an entire realm can be extremely comforting to...

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