ROUND one Do video games blur the line between reality and fantasy? Tom Similar to the logic behind the ‘violent video games inspire physical violence’ argument, this question also assumes video games normalise behaviours that are illegal or frowned upon in the real world. In my opinion, it’s the age-old chicken and egg scenario: does society shape culture or does culture shape society? An example of how the line between reality and fantasy is blurred by playing video games is how terms like ‘1 v 1 me bro’ and ‘I’ll 360 no scope you’ crept their way (albeit briefly) into the popular vernacular of the late 00s (or maybe that was just my schoolyard). Maybe this is more an argument directed at younger gamers, because influence and culture are so important at an early age while the pre-frontal cortex is growing, and achievements in a cyber world can mean missing essential developmental milestones in real life. The line between reality and fantasy is getting smaller every day. Virtual reality games are on the rise and will become even better in the future, even to the point where the line may become blurred or disappear completely. Will we reach a Matrix point in life when everything becomes part of a virtual world? Will we be able to learn by downloading information directly to our brains? Would that be a good or a bad thing? I believe it’s important to keep a firm grasp on reality, but video games create a nice, temporary escape on occasion. The people who grew up playing video games and who have big aspirations for their futures will be the ones to determine when and how virtual reality becomes more integrated with the reality we know now. They will be the ones making a reality from their fantasies. Nik WORDS: NIK MROZ & THOMAS SHERSON IMAGES: SHUTTERSTOCK The views put forward in this alumni submission are those of the contributors and are not an official statement of the University of Southern Queensland.