Believe it or not, there was a time where people kept their private lives private. This was known as pre-the Real World, the MTV drama that started the reality T.V. craze. It seems like video games have caught on to this craze, with a slew of games both online and off that encourage us to feed pets, grow strawberries and build houses.
Where the Trend Begins
If you look at the progression of video games, especially those found online, you will find that the introduction of social media sites such as Facebook sparked a trend at new types of video games. These games were geared towards adult users of the internet, who wanted to be on it, but didn’t really have much to do.
As an alternative to playing endless games of solitaire, game designers came up with a line of games that mirrored real life but in a fun and exaggerated way. Using characters of the gamers choice, real life activities could be performed. You were able to build the farm of your dreams, design a home and even an entire city.
The genius behind these types of games is that they are continual. In Facebook’s Farmville, one of the most popular online games to date, a player has to log in or else they will lose the crops that they had planted. It appealed to intellectuals in that you actually had to plan your game around what your real world plans were.
When Does the Theme Go Too Far?
Today if you look at reality TV shows, you can see where it has become a genre run amok. Every possible aspect of life is being explored, whether entertaining or not. The same thing can happen to these real-life based games. For now, the most you can do with your avatar is maybe use an electric toothbrush and water flosser to clean his teeth in the morning. But who knows how realistic the game designers plan on getting – let’s just hope they don’t ever give you the opportunity to sit and read reviews of these products!
For now most of the games are tame, and still provide entertainment for hundreds of thousands of players. Those who don’t appreciate the challenge generally steer clear because over time, the game itself can become as burdensome as life if you are not careful.
Video games in general that don’t have a concrete end to them can become dangerous very fast. This type of design, while brilliant, is what is creating generations of young people who are glued to electronic devices. Kids and young adults are spending hours video fighting with other players all around the world.
There was a time, right around the same time that the Real World hit MTV, where Mario saved the princess, the legend of Zelda was solved, and Pacman finally got bit by a ghost. These games, with their finality allowed the player to actually get out and enjoy a real life too. Something that we need to think about as the business of making reality based games continues to grow.