video games: window into our nation?

Follow this link to an article about the best selling video games of 2011.

Were you surprised by any of the listings?  Which games have you personally played?  What do the games listed here reveal about American culture?  Be detailed and thoughtful here, pulling in your personal experience but also considering the larger view of the list.  After you write your own post,  respond to at least one other person.  Remember to insert your name!

This should be completed by Tuesday, October 9.

About dceac

Denver Christian High School Seminar Program
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43 Responses to video games: window into our nation?

  1. Luke says:

    I really was not surprised by many of the top selling video games in the US. I love to play video games such as Modern Warfare and Call of Duty. These games are very popular for teenagers to play. It is very easy to understand for me why these games are so popular because of first hand playing experience. Some of the games on the list though I have not played include the dancing games. I think the list of the different video games speaks to Americas obsession with role playing games. In our world we are sometimes looking for an escape of our daily lives. When we turn on the Xbox we step into a whole different world. When I play Tiger Woods 12 I feel as if I actually am the professional golfer on the screen. For a short period of time during the day I am ” Luke Spykstra the number 1 golfer in the world.” America loves video games and anything to relax our mind and have a good time is something everyone wants to do!

    • Mat says:

      I find it funny how easy it is to do well in the games as apposed to real life. It gives you a great sense of accomplishment, and then you find out how bad you really are when you step out on the course, don’t you Luke?

  2. Katie O'Brien says:

    As I have gotten older video games haven’t apealed to me as much, but even if they still did I dont think I would play most of the top games. Personally I don’t like the “shoot em up” games such as Black OPS and prefer the games like assasins creed, but thats just me. My family does own Just Dance 3, my parents gave my sister it as a christmas present last year, but that game is one of the few video games that is only fun with a large group of friends. Now a days many video games are made for one or two players meaning they are usually a single activity. I think this shows the entertainment need of american culture along with how much we accept and want to do things on our own. I remember when I was playing some video games when I was younger I’d get mad at my sister when she offered to help. Video games appeal to the solitary as less and less games are equiped with more than a two man multiplayer.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think this just shows how lonely we as Americans really are. We call ourselves independent but I don’t think that’s really it. It’s more like we are just alone; but we choose to be. We would rather sit alone on a couch playing games in an alternate world than go out and socialize with people. It’s sad really.


    • Erin says:

      I agree. I think video games give people a sense that they don’t need a community of people around them to support them, because they can just escape to another world and not have to deal with having real life relationships.

    • Luke says:

      I understand how you don’t like the “shoot em up” games. Some of these games are violent and don’t always appeal to a female audience. I thought you had a well written paragraph. Keep up the good work!

  3. Erin (1st Period) says:

    In this article, I was surprised at how many war-type games there are. 5 out of 10 are war games, and I don’t know what Elder Scrolls is, so maybe that’s a war game too. The only games I’ve played are Just Dance 2 and 3. To me, it seems like most video games are geared towards guys. In American culture, I think video games are more popular with men, so of course, the game makers are going to create games that they are going to be interested in.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with you, Erin. That was also something that really stuck with me. They know just what they should incorporate into the game in order for it to appeal to the biggest audience… the boys.

    • Nicole says:

      I agree that video games are mostly geared toward men. Girls are sometimes seen as weird or if they are largely into violent video games.

    • Hayden Langerak says:

      I agree with Erin, gaming is generally male focused. Walk into any gaming store, most likely the employees are men. Girls are not really into gaming, because most games involve fighting or war and that is a big selling point and that’s what most guys want in a game. Some games are “party” oriented, so that you can play in groups and other games are oriented towards little children. While this is some of the market, the biggest part of the gaming industry is centered on guys and what they like.

    • Thanh Nguyen says:

      I agree with you, a lot of them are war games and it’s interesting to find that the game maker usually go with majority. None of them are really girly for girls, just mainly for guy or for both girls and guys (Just Dance).

  4. Anonymous says:

    I think that video games related to violence are really popular because they are like second chances. Through them we are able to fight and kill and when we die… we can do it all over again. It’s like there is no consequences for actions. I think this appeals in our culture today because everything we do and say has repercussions.


    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with Hannah on this second chance idea. We use video games as a portal into another life in which violence and immorality doesn’t affect our consciences, and we have unlimited chances at redemption, even after we fail.

    • Merissa says:

      I agree with Hannah that the idea of just having no consequences for our actions is very appealing in our culture. People want to be able to have as many do-overs as possible and not have to reap the consequences, and therefore video games appeal to many people.

    • Joshua Rossi (2nd Period) says:

      I do think it does have something to do with the games but you also have to think of all the violence that is on TV and also in movies. Very good point though.

      • Katie O says:

        I agree that we all love they idea of having no consequences for our actions. Video games can let us live this out with out any worries at all. Yet in real life there are consequences and no checkpoints making these fantsay worlds more apealing.

  5. Mat says:

    Here in America, we like to kill and dance, with an occasional break to play some football. Although these games may be entertaining, I have never personally played any of them. It is also funny how all the games have an aim towards men, with the exception of Just Dance, which could go either way. The testosterone in these games reaches an all time high, but just sitting on the sofa lowers it. So although we try to be manly, we end up just being lazy, fat, bald guys sitting on the couch. And that my friends, is what America is all about.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with us ending up as fat lazy bald guys later in life. Some Americans can get so caught up in video games that they don’t care about their actual life. They just want to live in the game and don’t care about the real world because it isn’t a simulated world that if you screw up you can just load at the last checkpoint and have a redo.

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree that the video games become a prioity in people’s life. It wastes time when you could be doing something better. When people play it they begin to feel that they are part of it and get so caught in whats going on but when they turn it off they have to turn back to realilty because none of these video games are real life for any of the people that are playing it, they are just pretending like little kids.

  6. Anonymous says:

    After reading the article, I was surprised at the amount of violence in popular video games over the last year. 7 of the top 10 video games involve killing, death, and mayhem. A few of the games, like gears of war 3 and call of duty black ops, are intensely graphic. Most of those games have bad language, and some have a suggestive dialogue. To me, this shows the desensitization of our culture to immorality in general. I agree with Erin, who said that most video games are geared towards men.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with Simon and Erin in that the violence and bad language of the top games have become the new normal. People today hear and see much of what is in these games and are unfazed by it. Although there is a lot of extreme things that go on in these games that are seen on occasion but are highly looked down upon such as killings.

  7. Joshua Rossi (2nd Period) says:

    This article says a lot about the kind of things Americans are pulled toward. The top games are all dance games and war games. I think that with that it shows we do not have a very wide range of games we like to play. Although there are other games out on the market there are some that are more appealing than others. Some game designers also have better graphics, which in todays culture is pretty important to many gamers and also just average people who occasionally play the games.

  8. Merissa says:

    I was not very surprised by the listings, but the only game I have ever personally played is Just Dance. I think that most video games are aimed towards a male audience, and many of these games have to do with warfare and sports. It is surprising how acceptable violent games are in our culture, and how many people don’t even think twice about what they are doing in these games. The main objective in many games is to kill as many people as possible, and it’s astounding that Americans do not view this as harmful at all to youth or that it will have lasting effects, but in fact I believe that it makes youth more prone to believe that death and warfare is not a big deal.

    • Mikey says:

      It IS astounding that Americans play games like this… I had not really made the connection about videos being centered towards males. It really is amazing that the top video games are almost all violent. Some of my friend play shooting games to take out their anger on something other than friends and family. I have seen that among my friends, shooting games are more addicting than almost any other kind of game. You are pulled into the action while you are just chilling on a couch with food and your remote. For some reason, killing fake people is popular.

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree. Many Americans just play video games because of the enjoyment. We don’t realize the actual affect. I feel like our mind set on war is probably different than other peoples. We take it more as a joke on the games and don’t think of it as serious in real life.


  9. Mikey says:

    None of the games surprised me. They all seam legit. Well… Just Dance 3 and 2 are obviously not my style, but other than that they all made sense to me. I have only played MW3 one time. I think that these show that Americans like envisioning themselves as other people. As soldiers, as batman, as someone that they are not. Just the titles show this. The shooting games help some people vent… Well, that’s their excuse anyway. The games also make you feel powerful. You can shoot people all day long, and then when you get killed you just regenerate yourself. Or you can be a superhero and fight crime… You have the power…

  10. Nicole says:

    This article shows that over half of the top ten games are violent and involve killing people to reach a goal. Another popular game is a football game; so with war and sports together I think it’s safe to say that video games are generally aimed for boys. The only two games on the list that would be considered for girls are Just Dance 2 and 3, which are the only games on the list that I have personally played. I’ve watched my brother play games like Modern Warfare and Call of Duty enough to know that they don’t hold good values. The whole point of the game is to kill as many people as possible without dying yourself. I think this shows how our culture is actually violent even though most people don’t regularly show it. Video games are a way to live through something without actually having to deal with the consequences of your actions.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wow I agree that “video games are a way to live through something without actually having to deal with the consequences,” and thats how people manage in life. We just try to get by long enough until we can express our troubles. More often than not, it is through a game. That way we feel no actual guilt because it is “only a game.” Kind of disgusting how we think.

      -Allison (2nd period)

  11. Anonymous says:

    I wasn’t surprised by the amount of shooters in this article because most of the games in my collection are. I’ve played all of them except Just Dance and Madden 12. Most of these games have multiplayer capabilities, which shows that we like to play with our friends and talk about them with our friends. Most of these games have great graphics, which adds a good sense of realism. So when playing games like shooters or Batman, we feel like we are the heroes. Then when were done playing the game we can still feel like the hero because the games we play are so close in realism to the actual world. After playing The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, I feel like I can take on anything, because my character closely resembles me. Almost all video games give its players the options to choose the characters looks. This means we can actually put look-a-likes in the game. This combined with the reaslim of graphics engines today really makes us feel like the heroes of the world. This could be bad too, however. With my experience as a gamer, I know that how I do in games often reflects my attitudes to others for the rest of the day. I think this can lead to built-up anger in teens and they can end up hurting themselves or others. This can lead to teens feeling like they can actually rule the world because their characters do. Overall, I think Americans try to be someone they aren’t. This could also show that we have low self-esteem and we need other things to prove to ourselves that we and cool, like being a strong charcter in video games.


  12. Anonymous says:

    These statistics are not shocking to me. A lot of times we see plenty of commercials for shooting games such as Call of Duty. I hear more people talk about war games as opposed to dancing ones or happier games. This shows that while we like to have fun dancing around with friends, a lot of America prefers the violence. Perhaps it is because we like to feel powerful. We find it fun to have the power to win a war even if it isn’t real. Also, whenever you die you can just start over and get a second chance; and who doesn’t like second chances. I have personally played Just Dance as well as Call of Duty and both are fun. While Just Dance is better to play with friends because of the upbeat music and dancing, Call of Duty can be fun when you want something with action. Of course, there is also a football game that is popular. Many people are obsessed with sports, but most prefer to watch them rather than play them in a video game. Overall, Americans prefers violence, sports, and dancing fun in video games, even if not so much in real life. These game ratings are no surprise.


  13. Anonymous says:

    After reading this article, it was surprising how many games there were that were geared towards guys. I personally don’t ever play video games but my brothers do and most of the ones that they play are some of the ones that are listed. Guys are more into the action packed games so that’s why the game makers have created something that is geared more towards them. American culture shows that more guys play than girls maybe because of the fact that more of the games that appeal to them.


    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with your opinion because women don’t like to play action games though they use to play, sometimes. Most of guys like to play the games because they want something to experience a new world.

      James Jee (1st)

  14. Anonymous says:

    Most of the games under best selling were predictable because of the action packed into them, but “Just Dance” just didn’t seem to fit in. Modern Warfare 3 was predictable and so were the other violent games, which is really pathetic. The fact that we can say that our culture encourages violence to the extent of making a game out of it, sickening. At the same time seeing “Just Dance” was an uplifting surprise. I can understand how it might have become a best selling because of its fun, upbeat competition in the game. Actually seeing it on the list was shocking. I myself have never played any of these games but looking on the reflection of our culture I have come to one conclusion. Amidst the depressing fact of encouraging violence, a glimmer of hope still holds through the family dance game, “Just Dance.”

    -Allison (2nd period)

  15. hayden says:

    This artical does not suprise me a bit. Most of the games on the list involved war, I personally love to play the war game. Most of the war games on the list I myself have played and enjoyed. when I play games, it gives me time to relax from a long day. It also gives me a sence of being a part of something in role playing game.
    Some games are,I guess more gender focused such as MW3 and black ops. It seems that more guys seem to gravitate toward the role playing game, while girls tend to gravitate toward like just dance. I myself, while have played with girls online in MW3 and they are very good.
    The American culture is effected. It allows the player into a different world… gives them new strenths and it does matter who you are anyone can play. volence can effect the player too. how they act after playing can effect the society.

  16. Anonymous says:

    After reading this article just like everyone else said most of the games are geared towards guys and mostly involved with violence. I don’t play that much video games but from the top ten list I have played the just dance ones. What I noticed from the list is that a lot of the games are sequels to pervious top ten games. Like Modern Warfare 3, Just Dance 2 and 3, Battlefield 3, and Gears of War 3. This means that most of these were once already a popular game but they have to improve it in some way and come out with another one. This is just a way for the video game companies to get more money by making you buy almost the same game you already have.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I think this article revealed a lot about American culture. It shows how much we like action packed and violence filled agains. I believe we like, mostly, these types of game because we are unable to be as violent in these games as in real life. If we were to do the things the characters do in today’s culture it would be punished by fines and even jail. These action and violent packed games gives us the opportunity to do things we can’t otherwise to in today’s culture.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think this article revealed a lot about American culture. It shows how much we like action packed and violence filled games. I believe we like, mostly, these types of game because we are unable to be as violent in these games as in real life. If we were to do the things the characters do in today’s culture it would be punished by fines and even jail. These action and violent packed games gives us the opportunity to do things we can’t otherwise to in today’s culture.
      – Kenzie

  18. Thanh Nguyen says:

    I were not surprised seeing this list because I have seen several of them at some acquaintances ’houses, they are: Just Dance 3, Call of Duty: Modern Welfare and Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. I myself have been playing Just Dance 3. I think it’s funny and exciting, it’s highly entertaining and I really like that game when the players caught up in each dance and the music like they are in the real stage even though it was just a product of technology. There is a fact I found that each 3 house I entered two of them have a massive collection of video games (mostly are popular games) and other equipment for playing them. Since then, I think video game has become an essential and usual means of entertainment for Americans. Therefore, graphics techniques with high resolution are increasingly upgraded in response to the favorite trend of the players: as real as possible. But looking at this list, the games seem to be selling’s contents are mainly about war and fighting, which I think will have bad influence on our culture even though they are only entertaining. This make me feel difficult to understand, why we condemn the violence but using violent video games as favorite pastime?

  19. Anonymous says:

    Actually, video games were appeared from long time ago, and many people have enjoyed it. However, there are some brutal games like war, battle and zombi. But, we cannot feel what is wrong with the games because the games have been belonged to our life and culture. Why are we just accepting the games? I think game has power to attract people easily. Because of that, some people are playing too much and falling in danger. It is easy to be attracted by the violent and brutal games, so, they could become a part of American culture and the whole world and we accept them unconcernedly.

    James Jee (1st)

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  21. William says:

    And very quickly guys seemed who started to appear wherever they could
    play this modern game.

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