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timber maniac


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Which video game has challenged your perspective on the way you live your life and how?

The video game I credit is a role playing game called Final Fantasy 7.

The conflict of the game begins immediately. As you play the story unfolds and you learn of a corporation that is extracting 'Mako Energy' from the planet by means of giant reactors. This 'Mako Energy' is then converted into electricity that is used in the city surrounding the reactors. It is a lucrative business. As a player, you begin the game with your character being directly involved in a vigilante terrorist group; a group whose goal is to destroy these 'Mako Reactors'.
Though the character you play cares little for the goals of his group (your character's main interest is making money), you continue to be involved in these vigilante missions. As time progresses in the game (meaning you complete more story-line) your character learns that 'Mako Energy' is found in all of the creatures and plants that inhabit the game's world. When a life ends this 'Mako Energy' flows back into the planet. It is then recycled by the planet and used to create new life. You understand that the extraction of 'Mako Energy' will result in the disabling of the planet's ability to support new life, and it also means that the planet is itself a living thing (as a player you can visit a place in the game and hear the planet itself making painful noises). You learn that the corporation's president is aware of these facts and is yet still planning to progress with the extraction of 'Mako Energy'.

How did this challenge my perspective?

Growing up I had been exposed to many different ideas of accountability but only at the age of 12, with the help of this compelling story, did I seriously contemplate my role in society. I wondered what kind of character I was, and what kind of character I would like to be. The story made it clear that those who act from a source of greed were ostracized from a moral society. I decided that indifference towards suffering cannot be hidden and that greed will never be satisfied.


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  • Jan 27 2012: I have a couple stories about this. I have been a gamer since there were video games (literally). So my first creative works were to design (on paper) videogames at a time when it wasn't plausible for an individual to make one.

    I was playing The Sims 3. For those who don't know what the game is, The Sims series puts you in control of a number of people who live virtual lives with much of the same banality and aspiration that real people do. They have jobs, dreams, etc. and your directing their actions (often against their impulses) is what has them get what they actually want out of life.

    I had a Sim who I wanted to be a novelist (which is something I've wanted at various times in my own life), but in the game, the Sim-- almost regardless of what activity she had just completed-- would go over to the computer, sit down and play videogames. I would become angrily frustrated-- I kept having to click on the Sim and order her to "Write novel". Again and again. And then I had that "a-haaa" moment-- where I realized that I, sitting in my chair, playing the Sims, was doing exactly the same thing the Sim was doing-- avoiding working on my novel to play video games. I have not played the Sims since.
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      Jan 27 2012: What a great AHA moment.....I loved your experience with the Sim game Fletcher. Thank you for sharing.

      "Things do not happen. Things are made to happen" John F. Kennedy
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      Jan 27 2012: Fantastic story!
    • Jan 27 2012: Very apropos...
    • Jan 27 2012: That is an awesome story, Fletcher. It really was an a-ha moment. I'll watch with interest for your first novel. :)
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      Jan 28 2012: This is exactly why I am incapable of playing The Sims. I always make only one sim, and I make him as similar to myself as possible. And I would watch this Me learn how to paint, watch him learn how to grow nice vegetables, watch him make whoopee and get married, and I would sit there and think, "Shit, I can do that too. Instead of spending a couple of hours watching my sim rank up in Guitar, I could actually learn a little guitar."

      So for making you get up off your bum and actually make something of yourself, I agree that The Sims is an excellent game.
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        Jan 28 2012: When I play the Sims 2 game I tend to create the house and fill it with characters that I made look like they were from my favorite japanese comics (usually Naruto characters). Then I interact them the way I would have wanted to see them in the comics I read. This never lasts long and I get bored easily, but I love to create the house and do the floor planning.

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