A few excerpts from my Dissertation.

I am writing about Video Game Addictions, and have covered this over three chapters.
c.1 - Addiction
c.2 - Hyper-Reality
c.3 - Video game Addictions

Here are a few excerpts from it.

[i] An addiction is used to describe an obsession or dependence on something. It can be influenced by a genetic predisposition, psychosocial and environmental factors. People whom are addicted to something show characteristics of uncontrollable use of said object of which they are addicted too, continued use despite any possible harmful side effects and harm to their health, and uncontrollable cravings. In some major cases people can become physically dependant onto a substance that they are addicted too, these tend to be a certain class of drugs. Withdrawal of said drug would cause severe side effects. With regard to drug taking, bodies can develop a tolerance to the substance, and in order to gain the 'high' that the user seeks, they may have to increase their dose.

Big Brother is hyper-real because the people that are on the program tend to act differently in order to get more camera time and to try and gain the viewers respect and votes. But there's also another layer that takes it from being reality to being a hyper-reality, and that comes through the editing. The editing of certain clips to make it interesting, to make the viewer believe things. By leaving out certain clips and only showing the clips and information the editors want to show, they can portray somebody in a completely different light than what really is the case. 'Reality Television' is extremely far from reality, it is in actuality 'Hyper-reality Television' where the use of editing, and the over acting of the people on the show creates a copy of the real world, where the viewer think there is never a dull moment in that house, and wonder why they have moments of mundanity in their life's.

We can see this in a lot of things. Take for example, supermodels. They have their breasts enlarged, they have surgery on their faces to keep away wrinkles and they dye their hair. But on top of this, none of the photographs are real. They are simply photoshoped (doctored and edited on a computer) to enhance their beauty into something that is actually a 'hyper-real'1 form of themselves. A beauty that the media shows us and tries to persuade us is real. The media, and society in general, have become so obsessed with the 'perfect' person, that they are doctoring photos in order to achieve said perfect person, a perfect person that is in actual fact entirely fictional. In most cases the model in the aforementioned photos are beautiful when stripped of all the external products. But because of all the cosmetics and doctoring the person in the image then becomes 'more real than real'. Jordan, the supermodel is a hyper-real person. She is fake, she has had extensive surgery to change herself into what she believes is the ideal woman. So much so that people are now following suit in order to become like Jordan, the object. They want to become someone that isn't real.
The same can be said for the sexual content shown in pornography, that's not how people realistically have intercourse. It is a hyper-real depiction of intercourse. Some people can become 'addicted' to watching pornography, and the act of watching sex can become more stimulating then sex it self. It is more a fictional television program than reality because of the directors producing it, it is no longer real and is instead a product. People are now trying to have their sexual organs enlarged to be more like the actors in their videos and are trying to have intercourse in the same unrealistic manner. This is a problem because young teenagers whom are new to sex education are getting the wrong impression of reality because of these films and can lead to depression and low self esteem when they realise they aren't adequate when compared to the actors in these videos, whom are in actuality a minority.

The same analogy can be associated with a wide range of products, when you watch a soap opera on a television, it is more real than real life, there is always something going on, and always some interesting event every single day. Watching it makes life seem boring, and people seek the soap opera life, which doesn't even exist to begin with. It is a hyper-real reality and loosely based on real life.

Facebook contains a serious of Simulacrum, ranging from person details too photographs of certain events. However, it also contains many simulations. One of which is 'the wall', here, you can type on peoples walls. You can put any message you like, and they can write back to you. You can arrange to meet up, or just find out how the other person is doing. These things replace the real, they are simulations of real life conversations, but in the comfort of your own home. Some people prefer this method of communication as they can be doing other things at the same time, and you don't have to deal with peoples emotions in real life, after all, you can not convey tone easily simply by text.

Video games by their very nature are designed to be immersive. They are fun to play, and can be a great way to escape from the real world. Video games are a Psychological addiction. In the case of video games, the media says that some people can become so addicted, that if the access is to be taken away, they can then become violent and aggressive. This isn't necessarily an addiction in the classic sense, it is more an addiction to avoiding the real life by escaping into a hyper-real image.

Through the development of technology, creating realistic and entertaining games is becoming more and more possible. It is possible to produce believable hyper-real worlds for consumers to escape to for enjoyment. Video games known as MMORPG's have become to get popular in recent years, with the main title being 'World of Warcraft,' wherein the player can explore and play in a huge world designed for hundreds and thousands of other players to play on simultaneously. These games simulate real world mechanics, such as shops and talking with people, it can be so immersive that some players want to be immersed in It all of the time as they prefer it to the real world, which of course is also considered to be a hyper-reality. Most people would quickly ridicule somebody for enjoying one of these 'MMORPG's', or a virtual world in general. But according to baudrillards' theory, the world is a hyper-real world, a virtual world. So surely society is already living in a virtual reality already.[/i]


After writing and researching this essay I believe I have a fairly good grasp on hyper-reality. But I am not too happy with the overall content of the essay. It suffered from too much Kiiro Blade, I had to prioritize what I would spend my time on, of course Kiiro won. Let's hope I don't suffer because of it too much! :-[

1 comment:

Alison said...

Hey John,
Lisa introduced me to the world of Sims last year, and the reason I play is simple ... in this world I control everything, and if I don't like how something turns out, I just restart from the last save. Not to mention I can slap characters around that annoy me ... lol. Seriously thats a great topic you have chosen

About Me

My photo
I am a video game artist at Dovetail games, working on Train Simulator 2014, 2015 and an unannounced title. I also graduated from the CG Arts course at UCA in 2010 with a First Class. www.jonstewart.co.uk