With the recent controversy over comments made by Fox News regarding the violence in Bulletstorm, it has got me wondering if the games I have played over the past 15 or so years have shaped me into the well rounded individual I am today. Now while many of my friends may disagree with that last point and tell you that I am in no way well-rounded, I don’t think that any of them could say that I get sudden urges to kill, murder or maim.
So called violent video games aside, does playing Dirt 2 make me think that I am a rally driver or singing on Lips lead me to believe that I am the next Mariah Carey? To be honest I have to say that the answer is no. Well, not in the real world anyway. Yes it’s true I get totally immersed in whichever game I am playing but when I turn my console off I’m boring old me again. I will admit however, to getting more from playing my Xbox than increasing my gamerscore.
To start with there’s the social aspect – most of my friends are on XBL and I’ve met many others that I have come to call friends. It’s also a talking point. Being an accountant the last thing I want is to become a stereotype. When trying to connect with non-financial people in work, they seem to think I’m a bit more human when they find out I play Xbox. Gone are the awkward ice breakers at the start of meetings, now its ‘what rank are you now on Black Ops?’.
I’ve also noticed that, as someone who spends most of my working time either in front of a computer or in meetings, after a stressful day sometimes the best thing I can do is come home and put on a game. Whether it’s a bit of Kinect Sports, Black Ops or Halo Reach, the day’s troubles are forgotten and my stress levels rapidly decrease. I’ve even been known to resort to the mentality of a 3 year old when playing Kinectimals- it must be all those cute kitty-cats! To be honest, I wouldn’t like to think about my temper if I didn’t have my Xbox to distract me and maybe that’s the biggest influence of all.
So… what do you think? Have your gaming habits made you the person you are today? Do you get more out of gaming than a sense of achievement for finishing a game? Leave your comments below!