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Sessler's Soapbox: Not So Fast, Obama

Posted: May 11, 2010
Sessler's Soapbox: Not So Fast, Obama
http://www.g4tv.com/videos/45873/sesslers-soapbox-not-so-fast-obama/
http://images.g4tv.com/ImageDb3/234893_LGST/sesslers-5-11-10.jpg
Video_45873
Adam takes President Obama to task over his recent comments about video games.

Comments are Closed

  • Kendei

    What makes a good game? That's quite a question to be asking people. Personally, I know what I prefer, and I can't even describe what makes a good game. People are different. We all have different views and we all have a variety of views on what we each like as an individual. I love story. I love that feeling of epic struggle. I can recall great moments that made me say to myself, "Wow. That has to /REALLY/ kill the main character." SPOILERS: Aerith's death scene, in Final Fantasy VII. When Jackie was forced to watch his love murdered in front of him by his uncle. Those are two scenes that just stand out above the rest, to me, because it's very character-driven and moving. There are other things I like, of course. But what I like is to immerse myself in the characters themselves and learn about them, good or evil.

    That being said, I think that we do have a lot to learn from games. I agree with A-Bittersweet-Life in that gaming teaches sportsmanship, competitiveness, and leadership. I recall running Gears teams with my four friends, calling out where they should go and when to attack and defend. I couldn't have learned such things elsewhere and, while it's just an imaginative world, it does have its applications in life. Games can also, however, increase reading skills. ..Of course now, with everything being mostly voiced, that's not much of a concern. But back in the day? I recall all the great RPGs that we used to play and /loved/ reading every single line of dialogue. Games can also increase visual skills, allowing a person to be far more aware of what is going on around them. I believe that researchers from the University of Rochester in NY managed to uncover that one, and it seems plausible. Someone that is used to having to always watch their back in a virtual world could easily adapt such things to real-life situations. Isn't that why the military has their fighters play modern, realistic shooters?

    Posted: May 11, 2010 3:08 PM
    Kendei
  • Kendei

    What makes a good game? That's quite a question to be asking people. Personally, I know what I prefer, and I can't even describe what makes a good game. People are different. We all have different views and we all have a variety of views on what we each like as an individual. I love story. I love that feeling of epic struggle. I can recall great moments that made me say to myself, "Wow. That has to /REALLY/ kill the main character." SPOILERS: Aerith's death scene, in Final Fantasy VII. When Jackie was forced to watch his love murdered in front of him by his uncle. Those are two scenes that just stand out above the rest, to me, because it's very character-driven and moving. There are other things I like, of course. But what I like is to immerse myself in the characters themselves and learn about them, good or evil.

    That being said, I think that we do have a lot to learn from games. I agree with A-Bittersweet-Life in that gaming teaches sportsmanship, competitiveness, and leadership. I recall running Gears teams with my four friends, calling out where they should go and when to attack and defend. I couldn't have learned such things elsewhere and, while it's just an imaginative world, it does have its applications in life. Games can also, however, increase reading skills. ..Of course now, with everything being mostly voiced, that's not much of a concern. But back in the day? I recall all the great RPGs that we used to play and /loved/ reading every single line of dialogue. Games can also increase visual skills, allowing a person to be far more aware of what is going on around them. I believe that researchers from the University of Rochester in NY managed to uncover that one, and it seems plausible. Someone that is used to having to always watch their back in a virtual world could easily adapt such things to real-life situations. Isn't that why the military has their fighters play modern, realistic shooters?

    Posted: May 11, 2010 3:07 PM
    Kendei
  • jmare

    I don't think that games can be anything other than fun, at least intentionally. The major difference between games and, say, film is the interactive element. Films can be uncomfortable and yet still be a worthwhile experience. Films such as Schindler's List or United 93 or Standard Operating Procedure can be extremely distasteful content-wise and uncomfortable to watch, but you can still feel enriched for having viewed them. Games have not yet progressed to the point, in my opinion, that they can touch people on the same level as films or books can.

    For example, the No Russian level in Modern Warfare 2 was either considered too much or people missed the point completely. Now this could arguably be due to a lack of subtlety in the level or the lack of an appreciable build up to the scene, but Infinity Ward could have made the scene more effective if they had required the player to complete the level. Of course, it could have helped if the level wasn't completely nonsensical.

    As far as education is concerned, I think that the notion that everyone should get a college education is ludicrous. Not everyone is intelligent enough or has the drive to complete college. That doesn't mean that they are bad people, just that college is not for everyone.

    Posted: May 11, 2010 3:05 PM
    jmare
  • RedRobe

    ok really this needs to stop politics need to please get the hell outta my games, now I know games are a emerging or emerged since they seem to be so prevalent in today's world if ya ask me, form of entertainment and what not.
    While I agree with a majority of what Sesslar has to say even in this Soapbox, I don't agree with his politics but that's not the point. What the President said could and even has been said about multiple things thru history Radio, Rock n roll, TV, Comics, cartoons, etc.etc.

    Now if you take out the politics and every thing this is a good thing on the way to truly legitimizing games as art, a form of speech and everything else we wish would happen to games in the public domain, so let the grandstanding and so forth come it'll only help games in the long run.

    Posted: May 11, 2010 2:57 PM
  • cjtiger300

    I can tell you this. Ever since I bought my son a DS for Christmas, his reading level has gone up exponentially! Mind you he is in second grade and before the DS he was behind where he should be. Now he is reading at a fourth grade level and his teacher asked how did we do it. I told her point blank that I believe playing his DS and having to learn to read to fully understand the plot of games has been a major factor.

    Reading wasn't high on his list of priorities in my opinion and video games changed that. Now we have a new rule in my house. If you want to play your DS you have to also be reading a book that school is not making you read. Now he reads all the time and I am so proud of him! The reason I knew this would work is it worked for me. I went through the same thing when I was his age.

    So I think Obama is lumped in with all of these other people who don't understand video games and it's sad. Just because you don't get it, doesn't make it a bad thing. People prejudge video games and the people who play them and that is also sad. We do in fact have a president who has no doubt been subjected to prejudices in his life, yet he is doing the same thing now to gamers. That is the definition of hypocrisy and once again, it's sad.

    Posted: May 11, 2010 2:55 PM
    cjtiger300
  • hardeebrad

    Gaming is a great tool for many mediums and even more talents to blossom from them. The thing that makes gaming fun is simple. No, seriously simplicity. While a complex game is a great way to burn away 30 hours, it's the games that take no mind at all to control yet all the brain power in your head to beat with ease. Lets take Uncharted 2 for example. Other than feeling like you were drake and being nose deep in the story. The controls were simple, the story while deep was still never convoluted, and the visuals SIMPLY beautiful. Make a game easy to pick up and play the game will succeed. Another prime example, UFC Undisputed. It was simple to pick up but pretty darn difficult to master. Other than simplicity a sense of reward is the most important thing in gaming. We play for bragging rights, for fun, and for a sense of accomplishment. Take MW2 love it of hate it. MW2 has the lethal combination of simplicity, difficulty, and it constantly pressed your reward button thats why you play 4 hours and it feels like 20 mins. Any game creators that can find that mix will be assured to sell or at very least get some awards.

    Posted: May 11, 2010 2:54 PM
    hardeebrad
  • A-Bittersweet-Life

    Video games have a lot to teach us. Video games have taught me that in order to progress in anything at all one must face the challenges/hardships and its not impossible. Video games have taught me about sportsmanship, competitiveness, and lastly, leadership. I don't think P.E. classes would've taught me a single bit of these in school.

    Posted: May 11, 2010 2:50 PM
    A-Bittersweet-Life
  • Raisinbman

    Adam is from NC...I'm in NC right now! omg LB and Anothony Hamilton are from NC, this is crazy!

    Posted: May 11, 2010 2:48 PM
  • JDarkley

    "...As more than just a form of entertainment," like art maybe? I kid, Mr. Sessler, I kid.

    I think when it comes to the issue of games as distraction is that only the irresponsible will be distracted by it. I know I should be written such-and-such paper when I'm on Wikipedia reading stuff I didn't know beforehand, but I find it fun to instantly process that information. Then I get on Twitter and discover what one of my friends thought of the latest SNL with Betty White. It's an irresponsible for of procrastination, but it's fun. Dammit, we need fun in our day to day life! But at the same time we need to perform the responsibilities in our day to day lives. So we must learn about moderation and striking a balance between what we need and what we want.

    Posted: May 11, 2010 2:48 PM
    JDarkley
  • GamebustaZX

    its a fact that this genertaion knows more about weapons than any other XD (thanks MW2)

    Posted: May 11, 2010 2:47 PM
    GamebustaZX
  • HolyOrangeCows

    Obama needs to realize that anything can serve as a distraction and he should lay off of one America's big industries.

    That said, yes, it's important that we learn not to allow ourselves to spend all time on play and none on education/work/etc.

    I wish games were more complex. They're too simple and they hold your hand. I want to think and analyse situations, not just walk down a corridor or set path and shoot stuff.

    Posted: May 11, 2010 2:43 PM
    HolyOrangeCows
  • Fulgrim87

    It is an interesting point that I think I have felt my whole life playing games. And thats that I couldn't find the words for how I felt or thought about specific issues in my life or the world around me. I saw this but certain games have helped me shape certain views that I again had but couldn't breath life into them through words.

    My best example of this would be Metal Gear Solid, and the message about war and nuclear arms within the series as well as what it means to be a solider in said wars. This was something that I have had to think of how I felt and dealt with all my life considering I come from a some what military family although I personally have never had experience in it. And because of that lack of experience but seeing my brothers and friends join and hearing first hand the things that our government did to them and the reasons for it, war and nuclear armament made me feel conflicted and some what angry.

    To explore these ideas in MGS and to hear many different points of view often each in conflict with the others ideals helped me shape my own personally thoughts and opinions on these matters. In short gaming helped and helped a lot.

    Posted: May 11, 2010 2:42 PM
    Fulgrim87
  • CyberSzabo

    Obama is a noob

    Posted: May 11, 2010 2:36 PM
    CyberSzabo
  • JustTheBeginning

    I personally have learned a great deal from this hobby (if that is a good word for it? Id like to call it a lifestyle). I do also play sports such as golf, baseball, and football and while you do learn teamwork, dedication etc, video games can actually teach you far more than sports ever can.

    For example my game of choice is LittleBigPlanet as I play it every other day. The amazing level creator really puts you in the shoes of a developer. Well maybe not for the casual player but if you get serious enough on making levels than that can certainly be the case. You learn how to manage your time efficiently, how to balance story and entertainment value, how to work around the limiting level creator to make the player feel emotion, and even math.

    I have learned a great deal from that game that has helped in real life. I cant say the average MW2 junky experiences this but for some, games can certainly be more than just entertainment just like sports or any other past time.

    Posted: May 11, 2010 2:36 PM
    JustTheBeginning
  • DKBomber13

    There are different kinds of games and people out there. Some people get hooked into games because of the interesting worlds and makes you want to see whats next. Some games are about competition, and those people who strive on competition stay hooked those kind of games. Then there's the game that's not a game. Some people get lost into these games whether their just relaxing while flying through flowers or playing with virtual toys. It all depends on the person whether they get hooked into it or not. So to me when making a game. Don't try and please everyone. You just want to try and please the audience your reaching for and your game will be much more appealing.

    Posted: May 11, 2010 2:34 PM
    DKBomber13
  • osubluejacket

    I feel that every person (youth included) should have a well-rounded cultural/educational experience. In today's electronic society, it's unrealistic to expect today's youth NOT to be engaged in interactive electronic media. Where I completely agree with Adam is that balance is required.

    As a child of the 80s/90s Nintendo and Sega were the platforms in the house and, shockingly enough, my mother played them as much as we did. She always "enforced" (nee' "beat into us") the need for variety, be it in books, film, newspapers, the internet, etc. I strongly feel that this type of guidance drove my sister (an online marketing professional) and myself (an interactive education designer/presenter) to be well-rounded, cultured individuals.

    As far as games go (books and films, too, for that matter), the thing that still captivates me is the idea of an escapist, interactive narrative. The idea that I can "shut down" my own life for an hour or two a day and get lost in a narrative with a fantastic environment is what compels me to play. I sincerely hope that game developers continue to move forward with games as an interactive narrative that can further deepen a connection to a unique culture that continues to advance the nature of entertainment.

    Posted: May 11, 2010 2:33 PM
    osubluejacket
  • Undertaker89

    So, Adam Sessler for president?

    Posted: May 11, 2010 2:32 PM
    Undertaker89
  • Darkstorn

    I am one of the few who have no problems with Obama's comment. I think he makes a valid point in stating that information has become so commoditized as to actually make said information less valuable - especially considering he was speaking to a group of college graduates. I think that's very helpful advice for a group of young people heading out into a world increasingly surrounded misinformation and ignorance.

    Oh, and Northern California FTW!!!

    Posted: May 11, 2010 2:32 PM
    Darkstorn
  • thePcgamer

    this is a good point. I agree Sessler, I agree

    Posted: May 11, 2010 2:28 PM
    thePcgamer
  • A_Can

    agreed

    Posted: May 11, 2010 2:27 PM
    A_Can
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