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External Article: What gaming has taught us: Hobbies

Trent is back with the end of the original 3 part series which DS-X2 has been posting. What gaming has taught us reaches its final stage with an observation about hobbies.

If we thought of what gaming could teach us as just what we play, then no doubt we would be all playing real life like Grand Theft Auto, but underneath this coating of content comes learning subconsciously, which ends up creating our own hobbies. I’m going to look at a few more interesting extra hobbies which gamers now enjoy.

Web: Last decade it was more profound then what it is now, but the internet had never been the same since the influx of hobbyist gamers arrived.

It wasn’t just the desire to talk and discuss the world of gaming, what had sprouted out had become a generation of internet sensations, different websites in different years which were created by video gamers either about a specific game or series, or just plain and simple about video gaming.

Because of how broad video gaming can be, there was never a shortage of interesting and informative websites around the subject. But while the hobby itself developed peoples writing and social skills online in the form of websites it also developed a more advance skill.

Websites are developed most of the time using a scripting language, a decade ago the range of programs which could perform these tasks themselves where far and few. So video game fans who wanted to make their own website had to learn how to design one.

Seven years ago, I myself entered the internet website scene by veering off from my video game hobby. When I started it was on a simple host such as Yahoo Geocities (which has now been closed down), I didn’t know much about coding or even what I wanted to do in the long run with the project. But what I did learn over the coming months how to create designs and more sophisticated websites, which while using bizarre methods in the end I perfected the methods of web design with my own style for my own sites.

The internet hobby of learning various skills to design and control a website had been long missed in the new decade of social networking, and various other new services, but before then the acts of the extended hobby kept alive various services which are slowly dying out.

Photography: The subconscious desire to take photographs has been implemented long and hard over generations into gamer’s minds.

There are lots of video games which involve the use of a camera. Nintendo wise, one of the big players is the Zelda series, which both Wind Waker and Majora’s Mask contained a camera which you had to take pictures of various things to complete missions.

These pictures would solve mysteries and unlock paths, but while some answers are obvious others are not. Gamers would find themselves wondering around looking for the right thing to take a picture of, and then find themselves in a new world which they just want to take pictures of anything for the heck of it.

They are no longer trying to finish the goal of the game, they have a camera which can take pictures of anything they want to develop pictures of there in game world. A game like Animal Crossing Wii for example has the ability to take the pictures you have took with the in game camera option and then copy them to your SD card. Using this function you can then take the pictures you have of your in game world and show everyone.

After exploring in the video game, a gamer will have the compulsion to get their own camera and explore the real world. First taking shots of things like family members, and then advancing to taking pictures of the world around them, making their own video game world with photography of the real.

Driving: In some ways it is bizarre and quite pointless to have this listed, as the video games which portray driving are just simulations.

It is impossible to learn and understand everything about driving from playing video games, but in the same token it is possible that driving in video games can help you grasp some things in real life.

Lots of games there driving isn’t realistic, and that really doesn’t improve my point. But most video games have close to accurate speed interpretation, meaning if you’re going fast and start doing a sharp quick turn you’re going to crash into a building.

A game like Grand Theft Auto 4 has more realistic crashes, which give the player the impression of what speed does to the body, even the drinking and driving sections of GTA IV have the screen blurred and the controls more looser, giving the emotional experience to the player of what driving while intoxicated can do to the mind.

While most people want to believe that GTA is played by the correct target audience, it isn’t- but while we have the attention of the young audience, why not put in more and more realistic experiences and consequences for various actions.

Another more light hearted way gamers learn how to drive by playing video games is the more education side which has exploded with things such as the Nintendo DS and other handheld devices.

Gamers can now learn how to pass there driving test by playing education games which teaches about the road rules, safety instructions and the typical questions which would be asked for that region to get your licence.