My Sentiments Exactly: The illusion of choice

Charlie of Xboxer360 writes, "Games are a fantastic retreat in the whimsical world of fantasy, guns, wealth, depravity and any other exciting themes that in the real world are simply to grim to barter with metaphorically speaking. We have the choice to explore sub-historical worlds close-but-far from ours such as interpretations of Ancient Rome or World War I, or we can delve into the mystical world of fantasy and childlike wonder as we immerse ourselves into disbelief. No matter your fancy, games are about engaging a medium with a set of constraints; your choices are your own, right?

Whether you’re Gordon Freeman sprinting down the streets of City 17 or the Nerevarine incarnate on a holy pilgrimage to slay demons, you’re in control of your character. It’s up to you what you do, what guns you use, the path you take; ultimately you’re the driving force behind that game. At least, this is the impression games like to give us; do we really have control over our experience in a game, or is it just a farce?"

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Mr Tretton1764d ago (Edited 1764d ago )

"Do we really have control over our experience in a game, or is it just a farce?

No different than life. It's just a game has an operating system with lesser flexibility. (relatively) Cause and effect reigns either way. Choice has always been an illusion. The word has no real meaning.

coolbeans1764d ago (Edited 1764d ago )

You had no choice in stating that. :P


ifritAlkhemyst1764d ago

Freewill damn you!! Don't tell me I don't have it or else my life becomes meaningless...


I find more comfort in a deterministic universe.

p0tat0stix1764d ago

I'd say the universe is more probabilistic than deterministic. There's always a small chance of deviation, but most of the time things go as they are likely to.

Games are just telling stories, and we're just playing the story with our thumbs. Multiplayer is, however, overwhelmingly about choice. That's why it keeps us coming back.

Godlovesgamers1764d ago

"Choice has always been an illusion".

Really? How do you know that?

dcj05241764d ago

Every choice we make has a outcome. But how do you that you made the choice? Because you decided? You decided that in your brain? You're brain just sends electric siginals to you're body. You controlled the electric signals? How? You just do? When you think about it our whole being could be an illusion. You just do stuff and think you decided it. There are alot of drugs that can make you think that. Enough of my drivel lol. I'm confusing myself.

ifritAlkhemyst1764d ago (Edited 1764d ago )

No, you're right and there have been neurological studies that have confirmed it. Brain signals fire off milli or microseconds (i don't remember which) before we become conscious of it.

I've always viewed our conscious as essentially an ephemeral residue of the actual physical process that governs our thoughts and actions.

dcj05241764d ago

That's the creepy thing. We make the choice/thought befote we become conscious of it.

DragonPs41764d ago

even though we have the choice we all die in the end.

Kevlar0091764d ago

Everything we do is a choice, even in doing nothing we choose to do nothing

I don't think anyone can forget the first time they played through Bioshock 1. So often we follow orders without question we forget we are being merely guided through our experiences. In the end it's what we take from them what matters. As a form of entertainment video games lead us to a specific emotion, so it is through an artist's point of view we formulate our own conclusions.

Our greatest option of choice is choosing to finish a game. Nearly everything else has been contructed specifically by the Dev to elicit emotions, they only thing they can't control is when we decide to end it

gamingfriend1764d ago

Fuck me I think ill smoke a phat jay to write anything deep lol, better getting rolling boy.

Elusive_Charlie1764d ago

One of the comments I got as feedback in private was that it felt like the article touched on a lot but didn't go into enough depth; I think I might do a follow up on this with a little more depth in one area if that'd peak interest.

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