The heroic character in video games
By Preston Sotelo
Many video games give the opportunity for people to showcase their inner hero as a video game character. Videogames allow any individual to engage in engaging in heroic quests or daring adventures.
However, video games have come a long way from the days of arcade classics like Pac Man, Centipede and Pong. With improved graphics engines and powerful new gaming consoles, there comes a greater ability to tell more complex stories in games as well as present expansive new worlds for gamers to explore.
According to video game journalist, Brianna Shuttleworth, it is the increased interactivity leves of video games that draw people in and engages them more emotionally than a movie or book necessarily would.
"It's been shown to trigger you in different emotional ways and draws you into the character," she said. With that engagement comes the reinforcement of heroic morals and ideals as she found that most people, when offered a set of difficult choices in the game, made the moral choice.
Games create imaginary sitatuations in which rules are involved. Videogames, a form of play, allow one to escape his or her world and create another world. This world or the individual quests allow players to carry out their choices without fatal consequences. Play encourages loyalty, community, competitiveness, and patience.
Imagination is a crtical component to complete the fantasy.
"Imagination is a big part of making the moral choice that heroes make and what makes people heroes. Playing these games reinforces heroic traits through action rather than verbal instruction," said Shuttleworth.
For example, many video games feature similar situations for the player to engage with and act upon. In the game, Mass Effect, one must make several difficult decisions that determine the survival of a species as well as the final fate of the teammates. Situations like this in games are ideal to develop the "heroic imagination," which allows kids to test their moral principles in addition to analytical skills and find the hero within.