The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Video games try to eclipse reality

Viewpoint by Joshua Knopp/entertainment editor

Allan Alcorn was one year removed from earning his bachelor’s in electrical engineering and computer science when his new employer, Atari, charged him with creating a game to simulate table tennis as part of his development as a video game designer.

We’ve come a long way since Pong.

Even then, players were paying to make an avatar do something that they could walk across the bar and do themselves for free. Now, this mentality has gone out of control.

Pong was no trouble. It was simply a proof of concept. EA Sports has been around since 1991, allowing buyers to pretend to be on a sports team, but that isn’t the problem either because you’re still sitting on a couch with a controller.

The problem started with 1998’s Dance Dance Revolution. The now-legendary arcade game featured a stage with four arrows laid out in a cross and prompted players to step on the arrows in a coordinated pattern, making them actually dance. Herein lies the problem — why not go to a club and actually dance?

Guitar Hero took PlayStation 2 by storm in 2005, allowing people to play through their favorite songs on a four-button “guitar.” The Wii Fit has now sold 22.5 million copies by allowing people to not go to the gym. 

Dancing, playing guitar and working out are all legitimate activities that go on every day out of necessity, but instead we are being encouraged to stay home and make CGI avatars do these things for fun. And now, the controller for Power Gig: Rise of the SixString is a fully-functioning electric guitar.

How close are these companies going to get to a video game about picking up groceries before we as consumers realize that we can do all of these things in reality?

I have no problem with video games in general. Through them, we may enter a world where we may ride on a dragon, steal cars without consequence or cut down legions of gunmen with a primary-colored blade of pure energy.

Or we could pretend to go to the gym, dance where we can make absolutely sure no one is looking or play a real guitar at the pleasure of an imaginary audience. Your choice.

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