Throughout my life I’ve spent countless hours on a console. If it’s one thing I’ve learned it’s cognitive dissonance, an emotional intelligence. People have the ability to turn on or off cognitive dissonance. Something I used to struggle with as a vegan was fighting or using animals in a simulation. I turn that off and enjoy the experience. The problem is the experience in a video game simulation has become too real, and that’s where the big picture comes into play. Not everyone responds the same to stimuli.
A developer creates a product that is intended to entertain, but can really root out some deep internal frustrations, sadness, hunger, and even manifest anger. The developer or artist creates a narrative that one can follow or try and choose their own path, depending on how the sandbox they are in is built. Ex: You’re attacked by a trained dog that the only objective for that dog is to try and deal damage to you. By default, you may hesitate. After a few different dogs attack you, you learn that the dogs will always attack you so you throw in some cognitive dissonance and dissociate the dog from being a friendly creature. I’m glad there’s more games that let you pet animals.
Through countless battles and deaths one internalizes defeat and can become very frustrated. It’s ones internal failure that manifests this anger, strong enough to snap a controller in two. One of my personal goals is to remember that video games are intended for entertainment and to tell a story. Trying to laugh off a defeat is likely more healthy than externalizing a defeat and using a destructive behavior.
There’s a lot to be learned and understood in the Gamindustri. Entertainment is an excellent opportunity for self reflection and understanding. There’s also a lot of young undeveloped minds who partake in the same experiences. I can’t fathom how some of the simulations impact other players emotions and behaviors.
Update: Playstation, Nintendo, and Microsoft are formerly addressing some of the issues in online gaming like bullying and harassment. You can read more about this on Xbox’s News website.