Like a majority of the video game community I have sat down and played several hours of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 over the last week. However, It only took a few minutes into this endeavor for myself to feel a familiar sensation wash over me.
I consider myself to be an easygoing guy. I play multiple PvP games and certainly I get frustrated, but for some reason MW3 allows me to transcend to a new emotional spectrum filled where screams of agony and new, interesting swear combinations crafted on the spot fill my household. My friends have all had similar experiences. They are a group of easygoing gentlemen yet they enjoy nothing more than to take what could be a relaxing afternoon and spend it violently shouting at randomly selected strangers who can’t even hear them. A few minutes of quietly listening to xXGunndyad0wnXx yelling about “noob tubers” on the group chat and I begin to realize this may be a global phenomenon.
An entire generation of adults, excitedly forking over $59.99 to be cyber-humped and called a “fagzor” by hyperactive 12-year-olds.
When I finally stopped myself – after yelling something akin to “MOTHER FUCKING DONKEY BULL SHIT ASS” – I reflected on this anger. I tried to recall the last time I had allowed a video game to push me to such limits. And then I remembered. It was Modern Warfare 2.
What causes this to occur when playing these specific games?
My immediate thought is its content. Video games are all products of immersion. MW3 immerses you in what could be considered THE worst-case scenario. Your soul purpose is to sprint around an arena filled with dozens of people who hate you while trying your hardest to murder as many of them before they can murder you. You know what I call that? I call that a nightmare.
The entire situation oozes stress. The dying alone is enough to burden you with thoughts of futility. “If only I had turned left instead of right.” “I can’t believe I didn’t look around that corner before blindingly sprinting off to my death.” “I JUST SHOT YOU SEVENTEEN TIMES IN THE FACE WHY DID I DIE AND YOU’RE ALIVE THIS GAME IS BULLSHIT.” When you finally gun a man down, the reward is so split-second-short that there almost isn’t one and before you know it you’re shot in the back again watching the screen turn grey. I honestly get mad just thinking about it.
Perhaps that’s the game’s purpose. It’s an outlet for me to vent whatever needs to be vented. That of course brings me to an entirely different question.
Is this game’s ability to plunge me into a hulk-like nerd-rage necessarily a bad thing?
I’ve heard tales of several spouses that are quick to ask “Why do you even play that game if it makes you so angry?” The most common response is “Because it’s fun.”
“Just having some good ole’ fashioned fun honey!”
Not in the traditional sense of laughing and enjoying company, more so in the game’s ability to not only take me to a place I haven’t seen but also cause me to feel emotions I don’t normally feel. I personally believe it’s better to scream at a computer screen because some guy sniped you before you could even see where he was than to yell at the poor girl at the checkout counter because “Those lemons were supposed to be on sale I HAD A COUPON THAT SAYS SO I WANT TO SEE YOUR MANAGER.”
What do you think? Do the Modern Warfare games transform you into a torrent of touretted screams? If it does, do you consider it to be a bad thing? Are there any other games that cause you to jump up and down whilst trying to snap your fifty dollar controller into two?
Post your thoughts in the comments!