As stated in my previous post I’m continuing to elaborate on findings from question four of our survey.There is one response I would like to elaborate on here.
There are a lot of difficulties with cultural norms, though. For example, certain behaviors in one culture may be considered normal, while in another culture they are frowned on or even offensive. It’s interesting to discover these things, and I think it encourages people to reflect on their own behavior in ways that they may not have if they were only exposed to their local culture. It also helps to unite the world. Cultures used to be isolated, and communication only happened through politics or business. As the internet becomes cheaper and more pervasive, it shortens the distance between one culture and another. It quite literally brings them closer together so that they can see that the people of another culture are really not very different from the people of their own. It no longer becomes possible to hold biases about those people once you’ve made friends with them.
This respondent raises the interesting issues of cultural norms and how there can be so many different interpretations of actions, words and inflections. This ties into the communication issue mentioned last time. While a translator system works for certain phrases, it doesn’t capture the proper inflections needed for certain phrases. These cultural norms are a large reason that many different games have developed in game communities for different cultures. However, games are discouraging this behavior and this is allowing for people to learn about these cultures, and learn how to act in these cultures. Like the poster says, games are facilitating ways for those who are not able to travel to these other countries to learn about cultures. It is unifying the world on the basis of the human race, unlike most people’s general separation and national loyalty. So while behavior can be a barrier, if the game encourages interaction enough, and there are understanding and accepting people willing to learn, behavior can turn into a learning tool, the entire game becomes a learning experience, much like specific educational games, except way more fun.