Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Blog Post #8

Playing Dinner Dash was pleasurable. Pleasure arises especially when I the restaurant gets busiest and I am forced to quickly discern the tasks needed to be done while rapidly clicking at the raised hands, etc. as well as trying to make chain actions. As this happens I enter a state where all my attention was captured by the game and I was able to forget about who I was and where I was – for a few moments the flow of the gameplay became the entire world. And as Flo the avatar followed the clicking of my mouse and one by one brings the little crisis to a temporary resolution, I felt in control and satisfied. According to Soderman, the pleasure was at least twofold: in being completely absorbed by the flow of the game, I was temporarily detached from the troubles and stress I was facing in my real life; in resolving the crisis one by one and succeeding in the time management tasks, which are essentially what I am constantly confronted with in real life, I enter a kind of rehearsal/training experience which intensify the sense of satisfaction brought by my success because of its resemblance of real-life experience.

This is the typical kind of games which I sometimes find myself playing in the middle of writing a paper, a way through which I seek some sort of resting, to temporarily get away from the complex and stressful paper-writing task. My 15-munite break, according to Soderman, is the typical kind of leisure time enjoyed by women, much more fragmented than that of men’s. The emergence and growing popularity casual games could be read as adjustment made in accordance with the needs of female gameplayers. But then, as the whole society is moving towards the tendency of having more fragmented leisure time and having to “snatch” a break, it could also be read as that the society is undergoing a process of feminization. Moreover, the efficacy and effects of taking breaks through playing games such as Dinner Dash needs to be questioned. Instead of relaxing between my paper writing, the intensity of the game tires me so much that by time I get out of the game I am actually deeper in need of a rest. And then there is the risk that one might be so absorbed into the rehearsal of time management tasks in the game and the pleasure brought by it, that he/she spends too much time on the game and fails to manage time well in the real life. Additionally, as Soderman points out, if all we do for the “third shift” is to engage in games like this and try to enter a state where self-consciousness is lost and thus thinking is excluded, we would deprive ourselves of the ability or channel to contemplate and make possible changes in real life which will truly improve our conditions.


Anna's section

No comments: