Essay on Casmier videogames

Submitted By Alekya-Tummala
Words: 1124
Pages: 5

Alekya Tummala
English 2650
Professor Casmier
8 June 2015
THE 21st CENTURY VIDEOGAME PLAGUE “The original field of aesthetics is not art but reality – corporeal, material nature. Aesthetics is born as a discourse of the body. It is a form of cognition, achieved through taste, touch, hearing, seeing, smell – the whole corporeal sensorium” (Buck-Morss 6). In the 21st century, the development and proliferation of video games has shown the world how pixelated, simulative art can be made into a reality, a phantasmagoria of sorts, by invoking reactions from all the senses in the human body. However, by “flood[ing] the senses and fus[ing] them as a “consoling phantasmagoria” in a “permanent invitation to intoxication””, video games block out reality and destroy the human being’s power to respond to external stimuli in the real world (Buck-Morss 24). Consequently, I believe video games anaesthetize an individual’s body and soul by placing them in a virtual reality that not only provides a false human sensorium, but one that is substantiated via a Panoptic influence. (Foucault 234). Video games create a virtual reality by being the source of stimuli and also the arena for motor response, thus becoming the circuit that connects the human sense perception to motor response, a circuit that is naturally completed by the external world. They provide us with a sense of sight through the enticing images and videos they portray on the screen, a sense of sound through the background score that plays as the characters in the games perform implausible acts of heroism, and a sense of touch through the buttons and joystick on a controller that not only controls the actions of a character in the game, but also vibrates when one’s character is under duress. While “our sight or vision presents us optimally with surfaces,” “sound gives a perception of interiors as interiors without their being opened up” (Ong 122). Video games seamlessly meld the two senses through fantasmatic effects and in doing so, provide us with a clear definition of the mood and setting of the video game. For example, if one is playing NBA 2K14 on the Xbox, every time his team makes a basket at home court he will hear cheering followed by joyful music, much like he would if he were at a live basketball game. Not only does the fantasmatic effect of associating cheering and euphoria to his player making a basket let the gamer know that he is at home court where all the people are happy to see him score, but it also reminds him of a real life game. However, in order to transform this reminiscent state into a vicarious one and make the gamer feel as though he is actually playing in a real life game, video games give the gamers an intimate feeling by incorporating the feeling of touch through the use of the controller (Ong 135). Gamers use the senses of sight and sound in order to judge how they should react to what is going on in the game via pushing the buttons on their controller and then are rewarded or punished also through their sense of touch depending on the consequences of their reactions. Going back to the example of the scenario where the gamer scores a basket at home court, in a video game after the gamer scores the basket, the controller will vibrate vigorously in order to symbolize the crowd cheering and showing their enthusiasm and in order to replicate the stands shaking and vibrating from the crowd stomping and clapping after a player makes a shot in a real game. Thus, by connecting sense perception to motor responses and mimicking the circuitry of the external world, video games take their victims to a different, illusory world in which every individual is under the misconception that he or she is living in and is part of the real world. Unfortunately for the human organism, this illusory world is overflowing with stimulations of the organism’s various senses that eventually, with time, the organism becomes numb to the senses themselves,