Based on my experience of playing massively multiplayer online games (MMOG) both after this paper was assigned and before I came to US, I cannot agree more with the points Torill Elvira Mortensen makes in his article, ???Me, the Other???. I especially like these arguments he makes: ???to a role player, the game mechanics act as a context and a directive for the events that create the story??? (Mortensen 299); ???[there is] no need to pause to interpret the actions of the other, none of the mundane ambivalence of everyday life??? (302), and ???to play a role in a role playing game frequently involves having and hiding a secret ??“ the character becomes attractive because it is holding something back??? (304). There is also one claim that I do not agree that much: ???the gamers themselves are very clear about the distinction between the social real world and the world of play??? (302). How to create proposal argument essay?
There is also one claim that I do not agree that much: ???the gamers themselves are very clear about the distinction between the social real world and the world of play??? (302).
My group members first decided to play Counter Strike, a shooting game in which team members coordinate with each other to kill people in the other team. But then we found that the game was nothing like a real MMOG, so we switched to DotA ??“ a branch game of Warcraft, in which ten people play together each time, with five on one team and five on the other, respectively, trying to destroy their enemies??™ bases. Because we did not find a proper time to play online together, I played with one of my friend instead.
It was the first time I tried to play DotA. I spent a long time learning the rules and operations of the game, and then I found it amazing how the rules connected people from different places in the world together. Each person chooses one of the thirty-six different ???heroes??? ??“ characters with different names, gender, skills and backgrounds, to be himself. For example, I chose a girl famous for punishing thieves with her magical fire, which made me feel as if I was really a heroine like her, and what I should do was to punish my enemies. This way, I created a story by myself. During the game, as Mortensen describes, there were certain actions that made people feel they were really in a battle. Each hero has his own skills, and only those who knew the hero very well could use this character effectively. Also, different skills of different heroes might cooperate with each other and create a new powerful skill, so people in the same team must interact with each other during the game, trying to kill the enemy heroes and burn their base. Every time a hero was killed, there would be an announcement like ???myhalfsoul powed dragonkiller??™s head!??? or ???myhalfsoul is unstoppable! Someone KILL him!!!??? (???Myhalfsoul??? is my friend??™s name in the game.) People were fully immersed in the game, as it provided a vivid scene for people to believe that they were really in the story of the game.
In the game, we thought about noting but destroying our enemies??™ buildings. People talked only because they needed to find an effective way to win. As they were immersed in a world of battle, they did not act like what they do in their everyday life. Instead, they used their heroes to build up a brand new characteristic. My friend??™s favorite hero was called ???Shadow Devil???, and his skill was to absorb the power of every person he killed, so the hero became more and more powerful after he killed enemies. My friend told me (as I knew little about heroes) that Shadow Devil had a great weakness: it was extremely weak at the beginning, in terms of both attacking and defending. I was curious why he would choose such a character instead of those with either strong power to attack or thick blood that made the hero nearly immoral. He just smiled when I asked him: ???Because I like the feeling of growing, of becoming more and more powerful, and I believe that my hero would go beyond the others as the game goes on.??? When we played, he did everything he could to kill more people, although only bases??™ destroying was our goal. This gave the other people who did not know my friend a clear picture of his personality: confident, intelligent to find the best character for himself, and somewhat cruel. Actually, my friend is a very nice and easy-going guy in real life. His action agrees with Mortensen??™s claim: as games are clear different with everyday life, people behave differently in games.
It is not so obvious in playing DotA that people try to hind their secrets in the game, but my experience of playing another game before gives perfect example for it. I used to play a dancing game in China, in which people make different styles using the four direction buttons. Something special about this game is that it has a nearly real social system: people buy different clothes to distinguish each other; they chat with friends in the game; they meet new people; they can even get married in the game. I saw quite a few people spending thousands of RMB each month in the game to buy beautiful clothes, or wedding rings, and I could not stop wondering why they would do so. At first I thought they were really rich people and could afford buying those things easily, but then after I got to know more about some of them, I learned that a lot of them even do not have money to eat sometimes. I was really shocked, but they told me it made them feel good to be ???rich??? in the game, having many people admire them, or even fall in love with them because they ???looked rich???. They got married in the game with another person in beautiful and expensive clothes and proudly told every friend in the game how happy they were together, and how much they loved each other. It seemed to me that people were all trying to pretend to be someone they wanted to be, and the secrets ??“ perhaps they were actually poor or ugly ??“ were forever buried. It shocked me even more when one of my online friends got so sad when his wife in the game left him that he even wanted to kill himself. The role he played in the game became even more important than his real life. ???The character becomes attractive???, as Mortensen states, ???because it is holding something back???. Those, who spend nearly all they have online, are hoping to get back the feeling of honor, the feeling of being admired and loved, and the feeling of self-satisfaction.
Also according to what I experienced in the dancing game, I could not agree with Mortensen??™s point that everyone can easily distinct the world of game and the real world. My friend mentioned in the prior paragraph is already a good example of confusing himself of game and reality. Even myself, after a few months??™ playing, sometimes feel as if I was in the game in everyday life. I remember one time I went to the Karaoke with my classmates; I almost bounced my fingers on the table as if I was pressing the keyboard, when I heard the first word of the song. Many times I felt myself urged to tell others ???this is the fastest song???, as in the game the levels of the songs were determined by their speed. It took me several weeks to gradually stop these actions after quitting the game. It is always easy to get ???in character???, but it is not so easy as Mortensen says to get out.