Browsing Category Controversy

The magic of Pokemon Go

Over the past few weeks people have been breaking their old habits and straying from their usual behavior. They have been taken to changing their normal routes home from work or to simply wandering the streets, parks and other public spaces, seemingly at random. However, these odd new movements are not random at all. They are actually quite the opposite because these people are chasing the invisible Pokémon that now have come to inhabit our cities.

Pokémon_Go_Fuller's_Brewery_ad
A pub in Portsmouth, England advertising a PokéStop location on the premises

The success of Pokémon Go, unforeseen even by it’s creators, is currently dominating the app world, claiming the focus of every social media site and shocking the stock market. Shares in Japan’s Nintendo soared as the phenomenal success of Pokémon Go has triggered massive buying in Nintendo shares. From a marketing point of view, this game opens a whole new door for smart business owners to come through. Many businesses have discovered the success of buying the in-game ‘Lure’ item which attracts Pokémon to your location for 30 minutes. This way you can tempt consumers through your doors at the low cost of £1.58 an hour. Pokémon Go has proven itself to have the power to control the movement of a vast amount of people. For this reason the potential effect of it’s business and marketing opportunities are staggering.

Pokémon_Go_-_screenshot_of_mapFor those of you who live under rocks: Pokémon Go is a free-to-play location-based augmented reality mobile game released in July this year. Making use of the GPS and camera of your phone, the game allows players to capture, battle, and train fictitious little creatures called Pokémon.

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Are pro gamers athletes?

Today I stumbled across the video below on YouTube. It made me wonder. Are gamers athletes? What defines an activity as a sport and a person as an athlete? Is it the physical effort? Strict rules and competition? Does the skill level have to be high? Does the person have to be a professional? The definition seems ambiguous at best. Golfing, dancing, curling and even chess are all activities considered sports yet most people outside the world of gaming would hesitate before calling a PC gamer and athlete based on his performance in a video game.

Oxford English Dictionary defines a sport as “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.” In this definition video games fall short, but so do other sports that are still socially accepted as an exception to the rule. Other activities such as Cheerleading (which has been determined by a federal judge to not qualify as a sport) should by the Oxford English Dictionary indeed classify and be up on the list together with football and basketball.

What’s your opinion? If you are (or hypothetically were) a professional gamer, would you call yourself an athlete?

Photo attribution: Photo derived from “Ases en la EPS” by artubr licensed under CC by 2.0

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Gaming Controversy – The effects of gaming

Ever since I came across the blog Gaming Conversations I have wanted to do a collaboration with Braxwolf. After writing “Between men and women…” I realised from the comments that followed how interesting an open discussion about controversial topics can be. So here we go. I have chosen the gaming controversy resulting from discussions of the topic censorship and gaming. Does the content in video games change the behavior and attitudes of a player? Does that mean we should censor certain content? In this blog post I will present some different points of view and leave the subject open for discussion.

In today’s age gaming has become a medium of storytelling which provides their audiences with an interactive power not other forms of narrative can offer. This can help us more easily immerse and open ourselves to feel empathy for the characters who’s story we are experiencing. It’s a beautiful way for the art of storytelling to develop. But what are the downsides of this? Just like any medium of storytelling we are affected by it’s content.

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Between men and women…

“Between men and women there is no friendship possible.There is passion, enmity, worship, love, but no friendship.”
-Oscar Wilde

Is this statement true or false?

Oscar Wilde is one of my favourite authors of all time. That kind of intelligence and wit together with the power to express it in words is nothing but attractive. It’s a shame for women everywhere that he is gay… and dead of course, that’s another complication.

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What is a gamer?

A gamer. Who is that? If you would take it literally, it means someone who plays a game. So that would make practically everybody a gamer, and it would be a pretty empty word to describe yourself. Like t.v. watcher. Or driver. Gamer is not an empty word though: you see people calling themselves a gamer everywhere.

The connotation I have with the word gamer is someone who plays games professionally, or at least passionately, or is a games connoisseur. Hence, I would never describe myself as a gamer, just like I would never describe myself as a pianist. I’d say, I play the piano, or I play games. To me it would sound wrong to state that I am a gamer.

But the word gamer is out there. Not just for the professional gamers. There is something else going on here. It is the designation of a subculture. It is an identity label. Like hipster, foodie, emo, goth, etc.

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Language, pls! Gaming slang, offensive?

When I started playing SWTOR my past gaming experiences were very limited. I remember playing a bit of Sonic on my uncles old SEGA but at the time I must have been about nine years old. Over ten years later I ran into SWTOR. Since reading and writing has always been a passion of mine I found this new medium of storytelling fascinating. I eventually found the little button on the minimap which lead me into warzone queues and that was that. I no longer cared about story content, I could beat people up in warzones instead. Well, get beaten up mostly really but for some reason I still enjoyed it immensely.

Needless to say at this point I was clueless about half of the things being said in chat. I was quite proud over having grasped the concept of the different roles (tank, healer and dps) but on a daily basis I was looking up acronyms like “ikr”, “aoe”, “pug”, “gg” and “fps”. Expressions like “casual”, “rekt” or “grind” were as incomprehensible to me. Urban dictionary was my best friend while unsuccessfully trying to camouflage myself as a real gamer like the rest you. I have to admit, the first time someone called out they were getting raped in a warzone I was confused.

After having played the game a little longer and thankfully gotten at least a little bit better at it the language too started coming more naturally. Urban dictionary and me no longer needed each other. Without thinking of it I was using the terms that had once been so alien to me.

One day when I was on TS with a few friends something interesting happened that I could not have predicted.

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