Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Presentation: Video Games and the Rise of the Internet

The goal of my topic was to cover the history of video games in relation to the internet. As the game industry grew, its reliance on the internet grew. At first, video games only used the internet for basic online gaming and discussion forums. In the current generation of video game consoles, however, consoles have grown to have various aspects of new media. Social networks are a prevalent part of today's consoles, modding and user-created content are actually possible with today's consoles compared to the last generation's, and online gaming has expanded from simple server-based gameplay to including functions seen in virtual worlds and MMOs.

Controversies have also played an important part in the game industry as well as research making outlandish claims about games. Although the response to these controversies and attacks has changed, what hasn't changed is how people still use games as a scapegoat for their own insanity and/or lack of common sense.

There were also some points that I wanted to get to in the presentation, but had to omit because of time constraints.
Game companies are using sites like Facebook and Twitter to promote their games and companies. Fans of Atlus, Fans of Bungie, and other such fan groups can all be found on Facebook. Twitter, meanwhile has been used for both standard marketing/advertising of games as well as character-based Twitter accounts, such as the one for Kevin Butler, Sony's VP.

Doom and Counter-Strike were slammed by the media for supposedly being the causes for shootings in schools. In the case of Doom, maps were supposedly made to replicate Columbine's layout. Proof of the existence of those maps has yet to surface. In the case of Counter-Strike, the game was blamed for the Virginia Tech shooting before the shooter was even identified. According to the shooter's roomates, he never played any video games at all.

Fox wasn't the only source of fun phrases regarding Mass Effect and the Xbox. Conservative blogger Kevin McCullough stated that
"Mass Effect can be customized to sodomize whatever, whomever, however, the game player wishes," and "with its ‘over the net’ capabilities virtual orgasmic rape is just the push of a button away."
Fox was still undoubtedly the leader, of course, with Martha MacCallum and Cooper Lawrence getting the most attention for their completely lack of knowledge on the game prior to bashing it.

Were video games to blame for massacre?
WebArchive: The Sex-Box Race for President by Kevin McCullough
Wikipedia's article on Mass Effect (link to media coverage of the sex scene)

For anybody who's interested in looking at the bibliography, the Powerpoint can be downloaded here.


  1. I just wanted to say your presentation was awesome. Especially that handout at the end. So much statistics and a nice clean professional look.

  2. Your presentation was great. I knew that a lot of things and you prepared a lot of things. Handouts were awesome....

  3. Games and internet basically go hand in hand. I mean, I can't think of a game right now that doesn't offer online gaming. So many games are being played online against other players of the same console. This is really smart because gaming companies are generating a new source of revenue.

  4. I thought I knew a lot about games before but you presentation especially your handout have really taught me new things about the gaming industry.

  5. I've always considered video games more of "old media". The only reason why it should be considered as new media is because of the internet capability that it now has. It's cool how users can interact with each other so much more in all type of games now.

  6. I don't think that video games are old media not only because of their Internet capability but also because they are one of the first virtual worlds!

  7. I found you "counter-bashing" Fox news pretty amusing. Though I do agree there is MORE than reason to do so. It be interesting for a statistical study to come out attempting to quantify the effect of Counter-Strike on the psyche of teens...too bad I was absent for your presentation according to the comments above it was one I shouldn't have missed lol