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How do we view things?

For example, how (and why) do we view video games as not art and movies as art? A specific example is the immoral characters of Grand Theft Auto being viewed as just immature and violent rather than a defiance of the artistic clich of a positive protagonist. While movies with Hannibal Lector and shows like Dexter show those artistic critiques. For the individual they have such a view based on many things. Our perception has so many lenses that influence it. We have a mass psychological influence on our perception. Our culture and society give us certain limits to our view most of the time. And there is the thought of rebellion, which is always specific, and usually towards ones own society. The rebellious viewpoint is in response to society, thus influenced by it. Everyone (most likely) has a socially influenced portion of their perception. Many people feel film to be artistic because it began in theater and in the light of art. It was already viewed as such. Video games began on computers and were designated primarily as entertainment since they offer interaction, which is engaging and pleasing to the player. Video games are used as recreation rather than as art, and thus not thought highly of. This is why the extremely violent and immoral games like GTA are shunned rather than embraced as art. Humans have a social viewpoint that they pick up, but many people can disagree with it and understand that video games are artistic, and that the social view isnt always correct or the most reasonable. (Ignoring the argument of why video games are or arent art of course.) There is also a moral view here, where even if one rejects societies view, there begs the question of whether such an interactive simulation of terrible deeds should be allowed. The same moral question could be asked of the movies and shows and books that demonstrate much worse than that of video games. (This is also ignoring the arguments of how video games affect children or people or violence and so on, as the results are often in favor of video games making the criticisms wrong.) What I am trying to show is how the human perception is so guided by things we sometimes dont realize. Our societys rules and morals can change how we view things, and those views may be irrational. However, I am not trying to write about how we need to retreat from society or rebel against it or recreate it. I am just showing the different lenses we look through when we view something. Another lens that we view from is our own experience, which is based on our senses. This is broken down into many other lenses that we view from. In the game and movie comparison, I have my particular view based on my own experience. I havent seen all of the Hannibal movies, and I havent played every GTA game (I have watched all of Dexter though). I also havent seen all the reviews and criticisms for them and I havent viewed them from their release (as in I didnt go to the theaters the day each movie came out). My view is partially affected by my experience: I played GTA when I was younger and I really enjoyed video games. I liked movies but only in the shallow, uneducated way a child would like a movie such as Silence of the Lambs. I was much more interested in GTA. Which brings up another lens; desire. It wasnt until later in life, around 16, that I became interested in viewing movies artistically and intellectually. I viewed video games like this at the age of 11. To me video games were amazing, pretty, fun, intense, beautiful, colorful, immersive, and movies were just a couple genres to me (action, comedy, romance). This is because of my experience of playing games a lot and watching movies only a little bit. My lenses of experience and bias (desires, values, personal life and etc. included) affect each other, and they influence my memory directly, which is another lens. (As one can see, there are many lenses that affect our view already).

My view on GTA being art and not morally wrong now is based on my memory of my experience and my bias and the memory of my views beforehand (humans usually try to stay consistent with their beliefs it seems). I remember playing GTA and enjoying it, I remember not thinking it was bad for me, I remember not being violent or bad because of it, I remember having the view of it not being bad made me think of about it more, I remember using what I thought about to defend video games on a whole and I remember how that is only one small part of why I feel video games are art. (However, that is not what I am doing here, this is not a defense for video games, just how my view came about- in fact I dont even like those games as much anymore, its just an example). All my memories of the Hannibal movies and show Dexter are much more recent (last couple years). This memory is much more accurate as it is more recent. This is another lens; time. My view of GTA is based on memories from a younger part of my life. Much of my understanding of the older games is based on the memories of my particular perception of it at that time. See how experience, memories, desires and time are all related at this one point? Most if not all of the lenses that change our perception are related and affect each other. My experience was based on my senses and stimuli (good stimuli in this case) of that specific time of playing the game, and that is through only my memory of it at this point in time. How I enjoyed the game at the time is based on my personality or psyche of that time. Especially since younger ages, my psyche/personality has changed a lot. Our particular self at any given time is another lens. I am different than I was then for many reasons. And my view of my memories right now is subject to my own personality at this time. Why is that the case? Well one reason is because my brain and body develop over time. My brain has more and more memories and experience to base things off of, and it has more and more ability to work properly (since I am only 19 it is still growing). My brain and body both make up my genetic information, which has dictations on what type of person I will be. This affects every situation I am in and is a lens that is over my whole life; natural body and brain. Our experience affects the outcome of these two things just as these two things affect our experience. Because I was a little overweight I became less sociable and just continued playing video games as they stimulated my mind (dopamine and all those tasty chemicals), making me like them even more as they were most of my time. I became fat partially because of my own slow metabolism but also because of my family life, my own choice of playing games and not exercising, and because of my natural tendency to like video games over friends. I have always been a more shy and nerdy person, and those introvert qualities are related to genetics, and excelled by my overweight body. A lens that is part of my body and brain are the lenses of my senses. How well I can hear, smell, taste, see, etc. limits my experience at any time. And humans in general are limited to the lenses of human senses. The relativism of our bodies limits has been addressed many times before, but I feel it is something that needs to be shown again and again. There are many, many more lenses, too many for me to go through, even with the primary example. Just think though of how many things influence how you think and how you view any particular thing. There is so much context and variation. You view what you do because of everything in your life and everything before your life that has affected it. Think about how different cultures think. They are very different. They have different lives and different languages and different values. You think

what you think because of how language and science are presented to you throughout your life. I imagine if I could write and speak amazingly well, so well that it would be easy to be a writer or a lecturer. My knowledge and skill with language makes this hard though. I am limited by my own abilities and by the language itself. All of our views are through the lenses of language and understanding. We have a certain way that we rationalize things, and a certain way that we use and understand language. All of our given views are from these things. And those are subject to our bodies, brains and experiences of the ancestor that created the language. Science is also a lens. It is a specific way that we view the world and understand it, which in turn usually affects how we view most things. There are so many lenses we look through; we never just see the world with naked eyes. The point of this is just to show how influenced any of our views are. I am not going to say that we should take all the lenses away and look at the world in the most pure form, and I am not going to say that any one lens is better than the other, that is for the individual to decide. I personally try to look at everything through the lens of rationality, open mindedness, science, and skepticism. There will always be the lens of my natural body and my experience and my own desires, but I can try my best to use the lenses I find to be the best. This is not a moral code. I am not saying this is what people should do; its just what I do. However, I do think it would be best if people cleaned their lenses more often and through away the broken ones and possibly adjust their lenses so they enhance their sight instead of distorting it. This is just my opinion though. Since we view things in a way that is not so given, which view is right for us? What makes a distorted view? What lenses should we use? Do other views matter? Can a view be wrong?