Archive | May 2013

Summer: Back to Gaming!

So summer is finally here! That means back to gaming and back to blogging. I know some of you are anxious for more posts so I’ll get started immediately. I just Want to say thank you for all of your supportive comments and compliments and I have read each and every one.  This summer I hope to have some help and I still need volunteers! If you have a topic in mind you want me to blog about, by all means share it with me!

So don’t forget to follow on twitter and follow on Word press!

I’m anxious for Opinions!

Stay Connected,

Sir_Brucian


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Xbox One and Call of Duty: Ghosts

Last night marked the introduction to Microsoft’s next generation console and what an intro! Though I’m not an Xbox guy, I will certainly consider it now! The new Xbox is a worthy opponent to Sony’s PS4, with new engines and graphics and all the things that make a console desirable… and then some. The new Xbox comes fully integrated with Kinect which allows for motion and voice commands! Yes you can tell your Xbox to turn on the TV or go to Netflix or something. Microsoft has attempted to fully control your living room with the Xbox One. Unfortunately, this system will most likely be extremely expensive, costing maybe $750 USD (Unconfirmed speculation). The PS4 may also be the same price for competitive reasons. I’m looking forward to seeing some competition!

But for me, the most important thing of the night was the debut of Call of Duty: Ghosts. This game is not at all what anyone expected. The game has little or nothing to do with the previous Modern Warfare series, but creates a new story and cast to captivate gamers. This game takes place in a time where the U.S. military is crippled and the world has gone to the dogs, and only you and your team – the ghosts – stand between saving it and chaos. So far, it looks like it has nothing to do with Ghost from the MW series, but maybe it does. Maybe the group is in honor of the lost hero, I don’t know. All I know is that it’s on my buy list without a doubt.

I’m Anxious For Opinions!

Stay Connected,

Sir_Brucian

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It’s Here! Uprising for PS3

I’ve been waiting and waiting and it’s finally here! after a month of avoiding news about Uprising, all the waiting has paid off. The new Black Ops 2 Map pack. I’m sure all of you PS3 gamers out there are with me. This weekend, I’ll spend playing Mob of the Dead and the other maps that came out. And I may review it depending on if I have the time.

P.S. Tomorrow is my AP test. Wish me luck!

 

I’m Anxious for Opinions!

Stay Connected,

Sir_Brucian

Been Busy Lately…

I know lately I’ve been lacking material, and I am sorry. But here, it’s the end of the school year, which means finals, ECA’s and AP Tests! And studying… So though I may not post as much, I haven’t forgotten you all. I’ve actually been sketching out some new posts and I’ve yet to type them out. But I will get back this summer.

I’m anxious for Opinions!

Stay Connected,

Sir_Brucian

Video Games, Addiction and Violence

addictionIn connection to a prior post regarding my opinion on the link between violence and video games (here) I want to talk about video games in regards to addiction.  I mean, clearly gaming is not like the addictive substances like nicotine and alcohol, but how can video games be compared to deadly substances that cause hundreds of thousands of deaths?

katie

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In truth, they can’t. Not exactly. But they can be compared to other addictions like shopping, adrenaline, or even sex. They can wreck lives, and relationships when used in excess.  So ask yourself why you play video games. Of course most answers will be “Because it’s fun” but the science of it goes far deeper than that.

What got me thinking about video game addiction was when recently, I caught an episode of the talk show, “Katie” (Not that I watch that show, but it was on). The episode involved the case of a young man, who, as a teenager, shot both his parents, killing his mother and severely injuring his father. Throughout his high school career, he was a major athlete until an injury prevented him from playing at all. Lacking an outlet, he turned to video games. Over time he became intensely engrossed in the gaming world, spending on average 18 hours a day gaming; at one point, he spent 72 hours straight playing Xbox. This went on and on and his parents took notice of his withdrawn actions and lack of interest and banned him from playing video games in the house. Angry and distressed, he shot them both, killing his mother.

Many accredited his horrific actions to his constant use of violent video games, specifically Halo 3, an Xbox sci-fi shooter that is played by millions around the world. A psychologist on the show diagnosed the boy as being addicted to the games which then led to his severe misjudgment. The story was extremely sad and touching, however, it was far on the extreme end of the spectrum.  Few people actually play for several days on end, but it does get you thinking about what your brain does while playing video games.

braingamersSee the way our brains work is that they respond well to dopamine which is caused by or creates pleasure, depending on how you look at it. Many stimuli increase the body’s dopamine production; stimuli like drugs, sugar, sometimes exercise, depending on the person. Video games have also been shown to produce dopamine in many people; therefore people will continue to play video game, after all, who doesn’t like to have fun? But does this mean we will become addicts, or murderers? Not at all.

While listening to an NPR show called Radio Lab one day during an episode about psychotic killers and their mindset, I learned that there is a set of genes that, when activated, can cause a person to act without emotion, or get pleasure from certain things; including killing. This was tested in the vast majority of serial killers with the same results. The startling part was that a little over 9% of the U.S. population possesses this genetic code. But clearly there are not millions of serial killers running around… as far as I know.

In most people these genes remain dormant until activated. To be activated, the person must be subject to constant emotional trauma during early development (i.e. birth until late teenage years). This could range fro    m abuse, physical, sexual, or even verbal; watching a close family member die, or even being in a stressful environment.

Some consider violent video games to be a stimulus for these genes; that they can be traumatic enough to push someone over the edge of sanity. However this is not what happened to the boy mentioned above. After a lot of research, I concluded that this boy was simply suffering from some serious misjudgment after being hooked on video games for so long. When his parents banned him from doing what he was so used to doing, and with his house filled with guns (he lived in a hunting household), he made a judgment error and shot at his parents, killing one and wounding the other. Yes, the fact that the game he had been hooked on was a violent shooter probably contributed to his decision, but he was not suffering from the sociopathic murder rage that I described above. So this in no way shows that video games will trigger the serial killer genes. not at all. Many may argue that because the games are so addictive, they will increase the chance of an event like this happening. Well honestly, this event was caused by a lack of doing anything but gaming (albeit gaming on violent games). But constantly doing something that gives pleasure and then stopping cold turkey is shown to produce the misjudgment issues that can lead to murder.

But on the topic of violent games being traumatic: They aren’t. simple as that. I mean if you sit a four-year-old down in front of a game like Manhunt, then yeah, expect some problems down the road. But if someone had common sense like most of the world, that wont happen. Anyway, Video games just aren’t graphic and immersive enough to cause trauma equivalent of being abused constantly. In moderation, games are not harmful to the general public.SYN

My favorite argument against the anti-gamers is about a boy. A Manchester boy who loved to game, and began to make commentaries and put them on YouTube. As his fan base grew, he actually quit his job and left school to become a full on gamer. Yes guys I’m talking about Tom Cassell; Better known as the Syndicate Project. This guy is with out a doubt the best gamer I have ever seen! He must spend several hours a day gaming and does he look like a serial killer to you? No! He seems to me like one of the funniest, easy-going people in the world. he seems undisturbed by the stress and troubles of everyday life. After all, isn’t that why we all play video games? Yes, video games are possibly addictive but only when not moderated. So keep gaming!!!!

I’m Anxious for Opinions!

Stay Connected,

Sir_Brucian

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The Ghosts Are Real

When I got home today, I had in my email a strange message with the subject, “The Ghosts Are Real”. When I looked at the sender I knew what it meant. It was sent by Call of Duty:

It’s about time! The next generation gaming age comes in strong with the most successful gaming franchise releasing their new game. Though this is only the teaser, it left me itching to see the trailer and play the game. This is definitely on my Pre-order list.

To combine this with another leak that I caught wind of earlier this year, I remember seeing somewhere some information about the game. A voice actor for the game leaked that the main character was one who was arrogantly self-confident. This is just something I remember reading and may have absolutely no truth at all.

Anyway, the game is possibly about our old friend, Ghost, from Task force 141 who supposedly was killed along with Roach on Modern Warfare 2 when they were betrayed by General Shepard. Forget about spoilers on a four year old game by the way.  But the game could either take place before his death, or play on the fact that he did not die. I would prefer the latter because of the completely new doors it would unveil.

Did you notice the cut scene though? The mask is one that is far different than the one worn by ghost throughout Modern Warfare 2. See here:Gohsts2                                         Ghost

 

The difference is unmistakable, but what does it mean? is it someone carrying out Ghost’s legacy, or Ghost himself before/after TF141? I don’t know. All I know is; there’s a new Call of Duty game out there, and I cannot wait!

Also there was something else that I didn’t notice around the internet (mostly because I wasn’t looking). There is a next gen Xbox confirmed, and it will be debuted on May 21st. As it happens, check my Twitter feed and this site for the latest info


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I’m Anxious for Opinions!

Stay Connected,

Sir_Brucian

 

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