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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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  • Feb 7 2012: I am not sure that a video game has changed my perspective on life, but I do believe they can make us numb to certain things. I am a veteran and was a war hawk when I was younger. The older I get, the more I see the human side of war. It is not all about the covert operations that we see on t.v.....many times it is about the women and children who are caught in the crossfire. Having said that, I believe the introduction of the "Call of Duty" first person shooter games gives the students I teach a different view of war. They don't understand the toll that war can take on the people or the economy of a country, they see the war as cool explosions and sniper headshots. Many kids are drawn to the military with the expectaion of a "gaming" experience without realizing there is not an option for a restart.

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