Online Gaming Boom Outpaces Real-Life Critiques

Cultural attitude toward virtual world reflects antiquated view
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted May 31, 2008 1:14 PM CDT
Online Gaming Boom Outpaces Real-Life Critiques
Three 10-story high murals promoting the debut of the computer game GTA Grand Theft Auto IV are seen on the Figueroa Hotel in downtown Los Angeles Thursday, April 24, 2008.   (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

The dizzying growth of the video game industry continues to alarm cultural Luddites, writes Tom Chatfield for the Prospect, but the critics are trapped in video gaming’s past. They haven't adjusted to the development of social, team-based gaming worlds, treating games “as an odd mix of the slightly menacing and the alien: more like exotic organisms dredged from the deep sea than complex human creations.”

Take, for example, the management and cooperative skills required in a guild raid in World of Warcraft, or Eve Online, where 4,000 players in 22 guilds recently spent the better part of a year building a spaceship. With games increasingly challenging us in creative, “human” ways, a lot of the fears of a population brainwashed by “robotic” entertainment are moot—but will we simply play them too much? (More video games stories.)

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