Once upon a time, Ms. Player got addicted...and survived to tell the tale

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This is an experimental research paper relaying women's stories, gathered with Sense-Making Methodology interviews, of times they felt they were addicted to video games. My analysis, and thus the …

This is an experimental research paper relaying women's stories, gathered with Sense-Making Methodology interviews, of times they felt they were addicted to video games. My analysis, and thus the framing for this paper's "narrative", focuses on the dynamics of power in and around the women's lives during this period of addiction.

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  • 1. How Ms. Player BecameAddicted to Video Games: And survived to tell her tale!
  • 2. What you will see here, dear readers, is a story of Ms. Player, who is admittedly not a real person – but then, who is? Ms. Player represents the stories of fourteen women – their struggles in a time when they were addicted to video games. As much as possible, without distortion, I have taken their words and put them into the mouth of Ms. Player – she is their voice, their representation in our story.When you hear me, in the commanding role of Narrator, these aremy observations on what these fourteen women were saying. Andso you see me now, ready to tell you, dear readers, about theseaddicting adventures of Ms. Player. 1
  • 3. Once upon a time, Ms. Player found a video game. I felt very bored and was looking for anything to pass the time.
  • 4. When DaMan showed up, she decided to start playing it. As the situation got worse, the less power I had to change it and make it better. I felt like I had no control over what was happening in my life.2
  • 5. When DaMan started making too manydemands, Ms. Player escaped into the game. I questioned how I had gotten myself into this mess. The games were an escape. I could understand why gamers are so into this. 3
  • 6. In this game, Ms. Player found she could be anyone she wanted. I didn’t know who I really was, so I could be anyone. I felt that I really needed to start being the person who would have different options.4
  • 7. And she could go anywhere she wanted. It’s like I am in another world, and I like it. I had not a care in the world when I played this game. This is what life is about.
  • 8. Like, wow, this is going to be fun. I am going to meet different people and see more places. 5
  • 9. Ms. Player met very interesting characters. I enjoyed playing the game because I was interacting with characters I love. I cared for the characters I was playing with, so I wanted to do well with them.
  • 10. Characters who kept her going. Being so fond of the characters I was playing and interacting with kept me going, because I wanted to defeat the bad guys for them and with them.6
  • 11. I thought this was the most entertaining game I had everplayed. I constantly won, and I liked the feeling of winning, ofbeing the best. It made me feel good and made me happy. Ms. Player was having so much fun. 7
  • 12. Because of the escape the game provided from DaMan. It gave me a chance to escape my everydaytroubles. It isolated me away from myproblems and made me forget what bothered me.
  • 13. Because of how powerful she felt. I felt like I had a lot of power over the game as I moved from level to level. The game made me feel in control of something, which is what I needed to feel, like I had some sort of control over something in life at that stage.8
  • 14. So she went deeper, and deeper, into this game… I was spending a lot of time playing the game instead of doing more “productive” things.
  • 15. And further and further away from DaMan and his demands. 9
  • 16. But on her wanderings, Ms. Player began to have wonderings… How can a game make me feel so confident and powerful when I feel so weak in reality?10
  • 17. Because as deep as she went, Ms. Playerknew she could never truly escape DaMan. I don’t think that’s the case always. You have to remember I’m not like everyone else. So you can’t put their words in my mouth. But, I’m not even saying this now, am I? Did anyone say this, or do you just need me to be saying this now to keep the story going? Is it even my story anymore? Am I me, or just someone you created?
  • 18. Sorry, but you did start wondering about how addictive this was becoming, didn’t you? I felt as though I was consumed through the game and nothing else seemed to matter at the time.Is that not the definition of addiction? I don’t know about the definition, but I guess it can be a definition.Okay, then a definition of addiction. I did feel like I was becoming addicted. I had never been addicted to a game that badly in the past. 11
  • 19. Because the game started to take control, right?When did I allow this to get this out of control? The gamehad power over me the whole time Ithought I had power over it.
  • 20. For no matter where she went…12
  • 21. …or who she talked to…
  • 22. …or even who she went as… Narrator’s Note: Lara Croft is the epitome of male desire and female empowerment. 13
  • 23. ...the game became overwhelming!I felt like a slave to the game.
  • 24. You have to run! You have to get out of there before it’s too late! I know that! I’m the one who told you that!14
  • 25. How long have Ibeen like this? Howcan I stop being like this? I need to regain my power.
  • 26. I concluded that it was a good thing then. This video game helped me to adapt to hard times and situations. I also had the power to stop playing my game.15
  • 27. Ms. Player returned, better for her journey, to face down DaMan. The game helped me to cope with what was going on. My game was a huge factor in the happiness I achieved that year. 16
  • 28. And so happily ever after came for Ms. Player… UNTIL…17
  • 29. Once upon another time, Ms. Player found a video game.
  • 30. When DaMan showed up,she decided to start playing it. 18
  • 31. When DaMan started making too manydemands, Ms. Player escaped into the game.
  • 32. The EndThe Beginning 19
  • 33. Don’t I get a realhappily ever after? Do you want your story to be over?Well, not when you put it like that. 20
  • 34. Now, dear readers, what did we learn today about playing video games? [INSERT YOUR ANSWER HERE]21
  • 35. Very interesting, but my interpretation of Ms. Player’s adventures is that we all face times of lacking the ability to control our fate. Playing games substitutes for feeling in control. The problem is if we keep playing to get this feeling, we believe only the game can provide it. In time, the game controls us instead of us controlling the game.You see, it’s all aboutpower relations. We seeit swirling around us, thiswhirlwind of power we cannever completely grasp,yet we desire nonetheless.Do you understand what Imean, dear readers?
  • 36. Of course, that’s just her interpretation. Of course, am I not entitled to have an opinion? As much as anyone is, maybe more so because you did the work. That’s very kind of you to say. Did I say that? Here we go again…22
  • 37. This has been a Constructive DeconstructionAll images were “retrieved” from the vast resources of the internet, save for the representations of “Ms. Player” and “DaMan”. © 2007