Why After Gears 3 You Will Need Battlefield 3

Why After Gears 3 You Will Need Battlefield 3


And Why After Battlefield 3 You’ll Still Want more 

Now, let us examine a typical gamers’ habits in more detail. At work / school, a variety of situations arise in which the gamer feels frustrated and often powerless. Let’s say their boss asks them to work late. They are angry about it. “What right does he have, the son of a –“ and so on. They wish they could just tell their boss to go to hell but they cant. Heck, we all feel this way sometimes, many of us quite often. And often we don’t have a satisfactory outlet for our frustration and feelings of powerlessness in real life (though of course, there are other outlets– exercise, for example– but to a gamer, games are their outlet). And so we gamers turn to games. So, after the boss / teacher has annoyed the gamer the gamer naturally thinks, “I can wait to kick the crap out of some dudes online.”

They then later go home, head online, play some games, get their sense of power and let off some steam. The natural sense of empowerment of the trigger/bullet mechanic of shooters satisfies their need to let go of their anger / frustrations and in turn they learn (subconsciously) that the answer to being angry at their boss / teacher is to play a shooter, and indeed, let me say, that works wonders (Many times has this author used games to chill out). [br] [br]

What is unfortunate (for gamers, and definitely not unfortunate for developers) is that in letting their anger out in a game, the gamer then feels no need to change their situation at work. Every day their boss / teacher annoys them they’ll just wait to go home and kill some people online. Nothing changes because the gamer is able to get rid of their anger in a completely remote /unrelated manner (the game has nothing to do with the work. The game will let the gamer cool down but will never actually change the situation at work and indeed, by getting rid of their anger, will actually prevent the gamer themselves from changing their relationship with their boss). So it is that a gamer’s dependency on the satisfaction of pulling a trigger and seeing a character die is born and continues seemingly ever onward. [br] [br]

Of course, no one game can last forever. Gears 3 will eventually die off, in part because players complete the campaign, but more importantly, because players become desensitised to the deaths they create in Gears 3 (for more on this see, How Horror Movies Cure Fear). And because the player has become desensitised to the violence of the game, Gears 3 (or whatever game they are playing at the time) is no long able to fully satisfy the gamer’s need to let out their anger and to get that sense of power. Either the gamer gets another shooter in which they can pull a trigger and see a death that is satisfying enough to let off their steam and make them feel empowered, or the gamer keeps that anger inside them, waiting for an alternative outlet. [br] [br]


Thankfully, developers are very wise as to the time of their release (at least for the most part) and release their game right when the gamer’s satisfaction is at its lowest. Thus, the outlet that was Gears 3 becomes Battlefield 3 and so on, and the only way this will ever change is a) if the gaming industry finds another gameplay mechanic that is as satisfying as the trigger/bullet mechanic or b) the player finds their own alternate outlet for their anger.  [br] [br]

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More on the Psychology of shooting games [hr]
FPSs & Real life war          Psychology of shooting games       Why you should play more games               FPSs: Why we Kill              Psychology of the First Person Perspective           Terrorism & FPSs           On Video Game Addiction          [hr]

Paul Harrison

Paul M Harrison is an entertainment journalist, novelist, and blogger, and a specialist in the theory of storytelling. Paul Harrison can be contacted via his personal website or on Twitter or Facebook.

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