CATS: Multiplayer

“Via a lecture programme you will be introduced to a number of competing theories which attempts to explain the phenomenon of New Media; both as a SUBJECT and the EFFECT that it has on society and culture. New Media surrounds us; shaping HOW we communicate and WHAT is communicated, creating new societal structures, groups and cultural objects that have never been seen before in human culture.

TASK: Introduce, define and contrast three competing theories which explain what New Media is and the effect it has, arriving at a fully formed conclusion about which theory you believe, if any, to be the most accurate. Validate throughout using quotes and paraphrases, and any additional imagery you deem relevant.”

I have just had a conversation with Sally and seems like doing a new media about concept art is not really a good idea, since the essay is more about the technology rather than creating a game etc. So we have both decided that I will write an essay about Multiplayer and the effect it has on society and the culture and how it helps us communicate with others around the world. Because I do play a lot of multiplayer games, so I shouldn’t have too much trouble with writing 1500 words about the most common part of communication these days.

What is a Multiplayer game?

Any game that allows more than one playing it at a time is a multiplayer game. Most common multiplayer games are played using the internet connection which allows you to connect to various players all around the world. Although there are some games that only allow connection between the continents or certain countries in order to avoid latency issues. For example, if you’d play a game that has its servers based in Germany you would have less latency the closer you are to the country. Although these days the internet speeds have developed which means that sometimes it doesn’t matter at all. But I remember the times where I played a “Global” Version of a game called Maple Story, although its servers were set in the America which means that I did struggle with the latency or (lags) until I discovered the same game but with its servers being set somewhere in Europe.

World of Warcraft is an example of a Massive Multiplayer Online game or MMO for shorter. The servers for MMO games do allow thousands of users connecting to the same server at the same time. Other multiplayer games like Command And Conquer or and strategy game that allows multiplayer game-play can support from 5 to 50 players at a time without any trouble. Although these games are now rarely seen. You still get the odd Black Ops game with Multiplayer in it, but sometimes people more often focus on the multiplayer side of it rather than the campaign and the story mode of games. Which is not a bad idea because it shows that a player has a need to connect with other people from around the world. Even though this does sound nice and seems like players want to make friends like this, and they do and often they do succeed as during theses times internet connections and friendships are much easier to maintain especially for people with anxiety problems or just people that don’t get out of the house quite often. Now some people might argue that the luxury of doing most things online is the reason why some people do get anxious quite easily in public situations or it can be a reason why people don’t get out of their houses too much which can lead to health problems, although in my opinion that cannot be blamed on the internet it all has to do with the will and the mind of the user.

But of course like with everything there are advantages and disadvantages of multiplayer gaming. Using my own knowledge and other resources I am able to list the advantages and disadvantages of such gaming.

  • Social Interaction – Social interaction is one of the biggest things when it comes to playing online because it allows the player to connect with other players from all around the world, this also leads to co-operative play which makes the players come together to complete a difficult task that seems impossible to a single player.
  • Confidence Builder – Everyone likes to be praised once in a while for doing something, even if it is like going to a shop. Basically when you play together and you manage to complete a quest with others successfully, everyone gets praised not only from the game but from other players as well. This in my opinion enhances the bond between players which can lead to additional adventures together.
  • Anxiety Solution – This is something I can really relate to, as I used to be a crippling ball of anxiety few years ago. I’m not saying that multiplayer games did help me because there were other personal factors that did help me out with overcoming my anxiety problems. It is because no one can physically hurt you over the internet, you might get the few haters (which I will go into detail soon) but that is nothing major if you have your mind set in the right position.
  • Excitement – Multiplayer games are probably the most exciting games of all time, because it just allows you to share same things that you find fascinating with other players from around the world.
  • Escapism – Multiplayer games help players escape their day to day problems and actually talk to other people about it during the game play which sometimes is more effective than talking to a family member.
  • Educational – Some games are actually educational, and because we as people are automatically curious about things. By connecting with other people from different countries with different culture backgrounds you can learn about their cultures which in the end makes you more educated about that specific subject.
  • Problem Solving – Some games train your brain in a way that helps you look at things differently which helps your problem solving skills. And I can speak from experience as multiplayer games do expect you to be productive which then makes you think about how to be most productive and efficient in real life.
  • Brain Development – Not only multiplayer games but any other games like action shooters help to develop your brain. It has been proven that people that play action shooter games like Black Ops can spot small differences way easier than someone that doesn’t play games as often. It’s because of the attention to detail that you sometimes need to look into when fighting an enemy that is hiding between the bushes.
  • Brings family members together – Some multiplayer games like Mario Party, Singstar, or any sort of Wii Sports games etc. do bring families together. Especially on a Friday night where you have nothing else to do so everyone gets together and competes against each other.
  • Exercise – Some multiplayer games like Wii sports or dance central do promote exercise because everyone likes to compete with their families, and these sort of games do require you to get up and do physical things rather than pressing few buttons whilst being comfortably sat on the couch.
  • Networking – Believe it or not but its not only kids and young adults that play multiplayer games over the internet. You can meet all sorts of people, sometimes (very rarely) when you play an online game and you make friends you might meet someone genuine and it can lead to a friendship outside of an online world or even a job (depending on the person who you’re meeting and on the connection), although you have to be very careful with that which is why I said that this happens very rarely and mostly it can be a scam.

But of course with everything there are disadvantages as well.

  • Play Time – Because it is a multiplayer game, sometimes you can’t just stop a game especially if it is a game that is played using the internet connection. But there are few multiplayer games that can be played with the people in the same room as you (on the same console/PC) which will allow you to pause the game and carry on from where you left off. Also there are LEGO games which can be played together but don’t always have to, and if one player wants to stop they can just sign out as a player and the remaining player still carries on. That is possible because LEGO multiplayer games are not made to be played against another player but its there so that 2 players can work together to complete puzzles and levels.
  • Cyber bullying –  This is a big thing in the online gaming world. Maybe not so multiplayer gaming with the same people in your room. But when you play over the internet, people use the “You can’t get hurt over the internet” theory to their advantage. They prey on the weak ones and just assault them using words which can cause the victim to stop playing the game and not find any joy within the game. Because cyber bullying is a big thing, no game actually tolerates it so it is possible to report the player for bullying which will have consequences on the attacker.
  • Addiction – Because multiplayer has so many advantages, it is fairly easy to get addicted to it and forget about the real world. Sometimes it can even cause health problems like bad posture, feeling stressed quite often, or even obesity.
  • Identity – This is something else that occurs over multiplayer games. People sometimes try to be someone they are not. I mean it is safe to stay anonymous in the internet world but it only gets bad when someone is using it as an advantage, which is something on a line of cat-fishing.

NOTES: How certain chromosomes affect different parts of brain (stress handling, attention span etc)

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