Last Week after Reading the Game Blogs
Souvik Wednesday, December 03, 2008Every night, I check the feeds on gaming-related blogs all over the world. That done, I then read the news. I am doing the same tonight; just like last Wednesday. Only I couldn't sleep last Wednesday and haven't been able to sleep much since. I do not want to describe what happened that night in Bombay ... I cannot describe shock and I do not have words to express the continuous anguish that I have felt since.
For those of you who don't know it, Bombay is a bright, vibrant and friendly city. It rarely sleeps and almost always puts up a merry smile despite the trials and tribulations that mark my entire country. I loved it second to my beloved home city Calcutta. For me, it even has a videogame connection: I storyboarded my first games there.
Last week's events had left me asking myself a question i did not know how to frame. Yesterday, at a lecture I gave in my university, a student exclaimed, 'but videogames make you violent'. At other times, I would have parried this with clever repartee or shielded myself with the Byron report. Yesterday, however, that dull persistent feeling of shock made me ask a question in return. How about religion, then? How about fanaticism, frustration and hatred? Videogames can be blamed easily; violent videogames can be censored and banned. Religion cannot - at least, in democratic and civilised nations. Perhaps, we need to look somewhere else for the root of our aggression - into ourselves, first and foremost.
As usual, I am doing my rounds of the gaming blogs tonight. Mine will probably be the only one to say anything about this. Then again, I guess you have to be in the game to know its bosses. In this case, i hope you never are.
'Literature is a combinatorial game that pursues the possibilities implicit in its own material [...] but it is a game that at a certain point is invested with an unexpected meaning' - Italo Calvino