With the PS4 Release, Does Social Life Cease?
The much anticipated Sony Playstation 4 is to be released in the UAE on December 13th and is widely expected to smash all kinds of one-day sales records upon the initial launch. To celebrate the forthcoming release, a PS4 launch party was held over the weekend at The Sofitel on the Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, and we were lucky to be regarded worthy of invite.
With every invitation there comes a sense of responsibility, and while it may seem on the face of it that a VIP invite to a launch party for Sony’s latest ‘widow-maker’ machine is a time to really cut loose and enjoy, there is an unavoidable need to question the potential repercussions that may exist for future ‘gamer’ generations.
We all know that playing computer games is clearly a lot of fun, but it is also highly addictive and viewed in certain circles as counter-productive to social interaction. Does relentless button bashing and talking in binary code via bluetooth headset do anything at all to assist anybody with the pressures and responsibilities the non-virtual world demands?
When one emerges after a 5-day stint playing COD or GTA or whichever abbreviated title they may have become addicted to, does the brain have enough left in the locker for basic communications with another human being?
We don’t live in a virtual world, so are these virtual lives that our children are so captivated by really going to be of any benefit to them? Or will they become more of a hindrance to their forward progress?
Can our sons really hope to find partners when they develop a long term relationship with a controller? After all, while there is significant (sponsored) research that suggests gaming can and does assist with reflexes and problem solving, there’s not much of actually allowing a personality to develop.
So while many of the grown men present at the launch were engrossed in the demo of the new FIFA, I took the opportunity to ascertain from a few of their partners (Sophie, Anna and Pamela) exactly what this all means to them and to ask for some shared thoughts, and the outcomes were not too surprising.
DC: Hey Sophie, so what do you think of the impressive new Playstation 4? Will you be in the queue come the 13th?
SW: Well, it looks pretty sleek but I’m not really a game type of girl, I like social interaction better.
DC: Do you think gaming impacts on social ability?
SW: Well, I haven’t seen my boyfriend for most of the night so I’d say yes… I think it’s annoying when you only are able to grunt in response to a question.
DC: So Anna, would you allow your children to have a Playstation 4?
EH: If I had children, I think I would, but only allow them to play on it as a reward for doing something like homework, or whatever.
DC: So incentivised gaming. I like your style. Do you think the release of this new system in the UAE will have a positive, or a negative impact on the activity levels of our children?
EH: I think everything rests with the parents, everything in moderation, it’s actually the adult men that are the problem, they can very quickly find themselves becoming single.
PB: And not ready to mingle, I do think overuse of these systems turns the brain into mush, especially the part that makes you able to hold a conversation.
SW: And a lot of these games are really only targeted at boys, so where does that leave us?
DC: I don’t know, in the malls I guess? So if there were more games targeted at your demographic, do you think you would be more likely to join the gamer generation?
SW: Nope, I like socialising too much.
Whilst this is a very exciting time for many of us, we are mindful of those who may lose their partners to the PS4.
It seems that Sony have stolen the march on the Microsoft made Xbox 1 that is penciled-in for an April release here, and with the stylish look and the memorably chic launch party, it’s pretty safe to say many will be out in force on the 13th December to buy their system and a selection of the wide variety of games that are tied to the release date. And importantly, it’s cheaper than the PS3 when it was released.
See you for the midnight opening then? Sorry girls.