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Video games

2009 April 12
by Hillary
Rock Band Cover

Rock Band Cover

So I while I enjoy computers and even like second life, I find video games kinda terrifying. I used to watch my brother play games all the time when I was little, however I never wanted to join in. In high school when my guy friends would play games like Halo and Mario Cart, I had a lot of fun hanging out with them, but I never wanted to join in. I was really scared that I would be awful at the games because I hadn’t grown up playing games and wasn’t at all used to what the controls did. So when in class on Wednesday when I realized I would have to play a game this weekend I was pretty scared and really unsure how I was going to do this. Then on Saturday I found out that some friends of mine where going to play Rock Band and I jumped at the chance to join in. I figured if I had to play a game I would want to be with friends.

So after watching them play for awhile, paying close attention to how it was done, and once I had some good old college student snack food in me (french fries, so many fries), I took up a “guitar”. At first I was understandably awful, but it didn’t actually take to long for me to get some semblance of a hang of it, and in the end had a lot of fun. After reflecting on it I realize there were some key factors that allowed me to really enjoy myself. Firstly I was with my friends in the real world and I knew they would not judge me and didn’t mind showing me the ropes. Secondly, we were not competing against anyone, just against ourselves to do better. Thirdly, Rock Band is definetly about being a group, for instance if one member fails, another player might be doing well enough to “save” you so you can keep playing. It builds a really nice atmosphere in the room of everyone watching out for each other. Fourthly, the music was a lot of fun. All of these things lead to a really nice night, with lots of conversation and laughing and just having a lot of silly fun.

I found it interesting when we were picking our characters to represent us, we tended to either pick one that we thought looked really cool (a.k.a some one we would hang out with if we could) or someone we found attractive. I thought this was interesting because I had noticed that that was what I did in Second Life too. I make my avatar look like someone I would like to hang out with, not necessarily something that looks like me. Really in second life I stick with my idea of a doll, or a puppet that I’m controlling and creating. Alexsandra Hyun, is not me, she is like a doll for big kids. This is not to say that I feel like I have a connection to her, but she is not me. It might also be interesting to know that I really don’t interact with other people in Second Life unless I know them in real life.

2 Responses
  1. Baibh Cathba permalink
    April 12, 2009

    I am the proud owner of both girl avatars and a skinny “emo” guy on Rock Band. I know earlier in the year we also brought up race in conjunction with gender, anyone ever choose a different skin color with their gender? How close an association did you have with it? Was it like Hillary’s “doll” experience, a “this is who I’d hang out with” scenario, or an “I wish I was the avatar” situation?

  2. Alex M. permalink
    April 13, 2009

    Hm, the Rock Band avatar seems like the exact opposite of the Mii. There is almost no way your Rock Band character can look like you, even if you buy all the clothes and upgrades. I think it’s interesting that you based your selection on who you might hang out with. I wonder if other people have different criteria or just kind of eeny meeny miney mo it.

    Also, Baibh C., I’d never thought about skin color in avatars. I think that when I make an avatar then first thing I do is try and get my skin color to be similar. If there is nothing close to it, I just can’t think of it as being me.

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