Does playing an awesome videogame relate to reading a good book?

Discussion in 'Every Day Debating' started by Ainuudar, Dec 4, 2006.

?

Is reading a good book the same as playing a good rpg game?

  1. Yes

    17 vote(s)
    35.4%
  2. No

    31 vote(s)
    64.6%
  1. ~Elladan~

    ~Elladan~ A Elbereth Gilthoniel

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    4,907
    Likes Received:
    215
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    England
    Ratings:
    +225 / 0 / -0
    *Stumbles across thread by accident*

    [Rant]
    Personally I don't think the two are comparable

    ~ I enjoy some games for action, but mostly games requiring strategy & interaction. I would not play a game for it's storyline .... I can understand (although I've never played) the interest in online, multi-player games which pit you against or require cooperation with others as this will always be changing, as everyone's different. You can't replicate that in a book.

    ~ I enjoy books as they give free rein to my imagination ~ I visualise the characters & settings in my own way. Often this is 'spoilt' when made into a film. Books can be about learning or perhaps more importantly understanding a wider range of subjects than exposed to during eductaion, watching tv or, tongue in cheek, playing games.

    Of the two I'd rather sit and read for a few hours than play games. I watch Aeon playing the likes of FFXII and enjoy the amazing visuals but find the gameplay repetitive, boring and the level of strategy basic ~ fight baddies, rewarded, get better weapons, have more fights & loop repeats *yawns* At least with a proper strategy game (I'll use chess as a simple example as everyone knows what it is) you need to be thinking many moves ahead ~ stretching the brain :) It's a bit worrying when people say they don't read at all, just play games or watch TV ... that seems pretty mind-numbingly-boring ... but thats just my view :D
    [/Rant]
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2007
  2. Crusader

    Crusader Disturber of the Peace

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    Messages:
    12,265
    Likes Received:
    91
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Englands Green and Pleasant Lands
    Ratings:
    +91 / 0 / -0
    vareity is th ekey, reading books forever would be just as boring, one provides more imaginative stimulus, the other provides more active stimulus.
     
  3. Kain Aldar

    Kain Aldar ***** of Astalikan

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Messages:
    158
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    I live in the Towers of High Sorcery in Wayreth.
    Ratings:
    +3 / 0 / -0
    No, in no possible way could playing a video game be better than reading a book. In a book you get to visualize it the way you wanted instead of having to play off someone else's imagination, that is what is so fun about Rping.

    I used to love the book Eragon until the movie came out because it just changed my perspective on the book, I tried to read it again but I couldn't make it work. Images from the movie just kept popping into my head.

    I also believe that video games give away too much information, but in books there are so many mysteries in some, secrets in others. You really never see two books the same, but as with video games and video game sequels you see the SAME kind of gameplay, and the SAME kind of stories. And on top of that it is all put together FOR you.

    This is just my opinion after all, but reading a book is way better than playing a video game. Period.
     
  4. Crusader

    Crusader Disturber of the Peace

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    Messages:
    12,265
    Likes Received:
    91
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Englands Green and Pleasant Lands
    Ratings:
    +91 / 0 / -0
    Well I'd question the diversity of games you apply to that, youve average EA sequel or some such applies but Ive said it before, its dependent on the individual case, you can have great stories, great revelations and expositions in a game, Ive seen subtlties and great plots a plenty. The difference is in effort, a novel is usually a life's work, a game is only a few years, most of which is spent building it.

    And remember, books are there to stimulate the imagination, games are there to stimulate the rest, when you imagine the scenario your emotional repsonse to said scenario is based on your individual take. games and films provide the scene for you because it allows more control and they can stimulate the emotions they desire, fear, tension, panic, anger. Theyre not aiming for imagination, their aiming for experience. If yo get what I mean.
     
  5. Kain Aldar

    Kain Aldar ***** of Astalikan

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Messages:
    158
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    I live in the Towers of High Sorcery in Wayreth.
    Ratings:
    +3 / 0 / -0
    I do get what you mean my good friend Crusader, and by all means you have hit the target in the bullseye. But still in my opinion can a video game live up to the imaginative stimulus of a book. But video games are still awesome for the reasons you stated, and also movies too.
     
  6. Crusader

    Crusader Disturber of the Peace

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    Messages:
    12,265
    Likes Received:
    91
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Englands Green and Pleasant Lands
    Ratings:
    +91 / 0 / -0
    Of course youre right there, they cant stimulate your imagination as books can, simply because thats the point of books, but that has no bearing on how valid they are as a medium. Remember that way back in the old days novels werent considered a respectable thing for anyone to read and now theyre fine. Videogames are currently going through their adaptation of maturity, more and more people are playing them now and at least in america and a few other places theyre not a political hot potato like rock and roll and violent films before them, ad because of that more mature and artistic games are developing.

    Remember the point is not to stimulate the imagination but to provide experience and empathy, to live through the eyes of the protagonist rather than following them.
     
  7. Kain Aldar

    Kain Aldar ***** of Astalikan

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Messages:
    158
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    I live in the Towers of High Sorcery in Wayreth.
    Ratings:
    +3 / 0 / -0
    Yes, yes. Well, I guess you and I basically kicked the hell out of this question! LOL! I think you stated some very good points Crusader.
     
  8. chimera_789

    chimera_789 Queen of Air and Darkness

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Messages:
    385
    Likes Received:
    43
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    New Orleans, LA
    Ratings:
    +43 / 0 / -0
    While I have always been and will always be a devoted fan of my little man in a green elf suit and goofy looking hat, protector of the perpetually imperiled Princess Zelda, the games can get a tad repetitive at times, they are too few and far between, and simply do not have the proper pacing or emotional depth necessary to compete with a really good book.

    Though the best of the games have higher replay value, as even with my very favorite books I like to wait a long time to reread to come at it fresh again, whereas with LoZ for example, by the time I get around to beating the game (I'm a sucker for sidequests and completion) I have generally forgotton everything I did to get there.
     
  9. Kain Aldar

    Kain Aldar ***** of Astalikan

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Messages:
    158
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    I live in the Towers of High Sorcery in Wayreth.
    Ratings:
    +3 / 0 / -0
    Yeah...but there are some games wehre the replaying just doesn't get old...take oblivion for example!
     
  10. Cascador

    Cascador Who's Anakin?

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Messages:
    30,512
    Likes Received:
    361
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Belgium
    Ratings:
    +383 / 0 / -0
    That is also an option that a book can give. You can read a book and imagine, visualize it in your own way. Next time you read it you can read it with the same visuals except more detailed cause you know the book better, and the more you read it, the interesting it could become. You can even visualize it differently in your head, it all depends on your imagination.
     
  11. Alchemist

    Alchemist The Fighters Guide House Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Messages:
    8,797
    Likes Received:
    191
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    A Pirate city in international waters
    Ratings:
    +192 / 0 / -0
    Not sure if I ever offered my opinion on this.

    I for one do not think an awesome game equals a good book. I cannot think of one game that I can replay as much as I have read some good books.
     
  12. Crusader

    Crusader Disturber of the Peace

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    Messages:
    12,265
    Likes Received:
    91
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Englands Green and Pleasant Lands
    Ratings:
    +91 / 0 / -0
    Bioshock!

    A recent games from 2K/rockstar thats recieved much critical praise for almost every aspect from gameplay to story.

    Its somewhat a commentary/critique of ayn rands objectivism and the book atlas shrugged. It deals with the city of rapture, built by the industrialist Andrew ryan when he sought to flee the world of parasites that exploited and contrained the great. So he built rapture beneath the centre of the atlantic ocean.

    Now I wont spoil anything but eventually rapture becomes damaged and civil conflict almost destroys it, the game takes place when the player's plane crashed in the atlantic and finds safety on the only surface structure which leads him down the city below.

    The game says a lot of great things in its narrative, and is almost a counterpoint to atlas shrugged, I can hardily see a book voicing the same critique in such a vivid manner.

    It deals with the flaws of objectivism, that inspires selfishness and even though in a somewhat utopian setting, eventually human nature overruns insight, utopia becomes dystopia. this is painted in the setting, the beautiful art deco city, in stark contrast to its rusting decreptic and leaking state. You uncover audio diaries of the people in the city telling each ones tales, everythin about the game is something to be drawn to.


    One of the games focuses is on genetic modification/stem cell research, the breakthrough that caused the downfall of rapture. A substance known as 'Adam' harvested from a newly found seacreature is almost pure stem cell tissue, allowing it to be used to radically alter the body of anyone, even their genetic code.

    When you venture into rapture, these gene modifications can mean the difference between life and death as you are assaulted on every turn, you need adam to survive, the problem is wher you get it.....

    This is where games take the upper hand on novels, the fact that you take the actions, you do it. No longer can you sit back and let the protagonist make the hard choices, now you have to make them, and you have to take the responsibility for your actions.

    The game gives you a moral choice.

    The only place you can find adam is in the 'little sisters' little girls who have had the seaslugs implanted into them to produce adam. These girls have grey skin and glowing eyes, and they harvest cells from dead bodies and recycle them into adam by drinking the tissue. Once you fight their guardians (the big daddies) the little sister is entirely at your mercy.

    you are given a choice, you can harvest the seaslug from the girl, getting the maximum possible adam to help you survive rapture, but the girl will die in the process. Or you can attempt to kill the seaslug, saving them, but you will only recieve half the adam this way.

    you are given the choice, your own survival is on the line, and you have to make the moral choice of whether or not you should kill these girls. This is something books can never do, they can raise questions, attempt insight from one or several points of view, but they can never make you actually have to decide these things for youself.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Braveluck

    Braveluck New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2006
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Battle Creek, Michigan
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0
    A good story with an interesting setting and amazing characters is the root from which all media can grow. A good story makes a good book and sometimes makes a good video game or movie.

    The experience of reading a book and playing a game are not entirely comparable. When you read -- along with visualizing it -- you are caring about what will happen and to whom. When you play a game, you are participating. It is a much more interactive medium and therefore entertains in some different ways than a book.

    On the poll I voted that a book was better than a video game. A video game can be a highly creative and stimulating experience. However, I think books allow for much more nuanced dialogue and development of relationships between characters, which are great strengths of books.
     
  14. Crusader

    Crusader Disturber of the Peace

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    Messages:
    12,265
    Likes Received:
    91
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Englands Green and Pleasant Lands
    Ratings:
    +91 / 0 / -0
    Indulge me then, as to how a book can create characters a game cant? how dialogue can be more nuanced because it is in text and not speech? How can characters be any less developed because you can see them?

    I feel the differentiation you are making is based on conventions and not the limitations themselves, I dont see how a game cannot do any of those things, but I feel you are making that judgement because games tend not to by convention because of writing limits. This is like judging all books by trashy slasher novels, it is unjust for the entire medium.
     
  15. Cascador

    Cascador Who's Anakin?

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Messages:
    30,512
    Likes Received:
    361
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Belgium
    Ratings:
    +383 / 0 / -0
    seen something about this recently...depending on the game of course, a game demands a lot more brain activity than a book...while a book requires the capability to read and a good imagination, a game demands much more (again dependant on the game) but a good game, will require skill, problem solving, concentration, reading and much more so if you ask what does a person get smarter from than I would say that the best games which involve a good plot, good gameplay such as a good rpg game (not just a shoot 'm up game) could make you smarter than any book.
     
  16. Crusader

    Crusader Disturber of the Peace

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    Messages:
    12,265
    Likes Received:
    91
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Englands Green and Pleasant Lands
    Ratings:
    +91 / 0 / -0
    Excellent point anakin
     
  17. wanderingmagus

    wanderingmagus Constantly Around :D

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2009
    Messages:
    7,561
    Likes Received:
    117
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Middle Earth
    Ratings:
    +248 / 1 / -0
    i love rpgs and books!!
     
  18. anonymous

    anonymous the king

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    Messages:
    4,606
    Likes Received:
    87
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Riga, latvia
    Ratings:
    +115 / 2 / -3


    WRONG. 100% totally wrong.

    Its possible that game may require more "activity". But to get smarter it depends on which parts of your brain you use in process.. while doing math you use almost all you your brains, while reading you use 3 centres ( imagination, remembering, and (dont know that centre name in english, but in latvian - uztvere) - while palying a game you normally use 1 or maxium 2 centres, where one depends on how exciting you an get. IT impossible to get smarter while playing RPG, ok you cant get smarter if you play chess, or bridge (any logical game) which dosent relays on exciting centre of brain. Because IT IS proven that if this excitemen centre is active during any other process of thinking - it will slow down other, to get maxium energy to it self. Its liek thiking of sex ( mainly for male) you really cant do math while thinking of it cant you? (or at least it will be much harder than if you dont)
     
  19. Cascador

    Cascador Who's Anakin?

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Messages:
    30,512
    Likes Received:
    361
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Belgium
    Ratings:
    +383 / 0 / -0
    I think you're generalizing. I set only certain games require more brain activity. It often requires a very good memory. Memorize locations themselves or NPCS you have to locate again at certain locations. It requires problem solving, while you have to listen carefully how to, and just how to figure out how you solve these problems, which often are in one way only, or in several ways. Again it depends on the game where you will actually find one that makes you smarter than a book. Over all books do make you smarter, but there are games that can beat a book considering the brain activity it requires.
     
  20. anonymous

    anonymous the king

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    Messages:
    4,606
    Likes Received:
    87
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Riga, latvia
    Ratings:
    +115 / 2 / -3


    brain activity, probably - it wont make you brain work faster. As I said, generally games cant make you smarter because of this excitement. I agree there are some games (not action/rpg) which can make you smarter. Solving problems, give me one real brain challange you have had in game.