This week we talked about how a person interacts with his/her characater, either bleeding in to affect the character, or bleeding out to allow the character affect him/her. Through the documentaries, I saw how bleeding out can affect a person, and I wonder just how deep these affects can be. One can easily think of the news of people playing video games and turned up wielding a knife and stabbing people in real life; and sometimes a video game can affect the mental state as well, as we see many gamers collaspe in front of their computers, and some even dying. Yet I think the effects of video games are very individualized. Each kind of game targets a certain kind of person, and it only allows the “bleed out” to occur because there is already this notion or this intention present in the person before playing the game. Thus, technically, it should not be called “bleed out”.
For example, I think that people who get aggressive by playing video games already have a suppressed mental state of wanting to be aggressive, and that is why they choose to play violent video games (not to say that all who play violent themed video games aer potenitally violent). Playing such games is their way of releasing this “negative energy” outward–kind of like “bleed in”. And when they discovers that the game itself cannot indulge their fantasies, they turn their actions towards the real world. I think the game’s function in this, is not that of a affection, but rather more like that of an activator (in that it activates aggressiveness within the person), and a catalyst (in that it propells the notion of violence to grow). In some sense, this is a notion of bleed in rather than bleed out.
However, I feel that in ARGs, where a puppet master is able to amass a huge number of players, there is the potential of dangerous bleed outs. Each person becomes a player in the ARG, and sometimes, the responsibility of the requirement of the player affects the person outside of the game. I remeber that there was an ARG-like game, where at one part, the puppet master asked the players to sit in a room, with their backs to the door, and turn the lights off, while playing creepy music, and thinking fearful thoughts to themselves. It turned out that this kind of behaviour can induce heightened states of fear, and sometimes, even affecting the players so much that they would think of (and potentially committing), suicide.
In this case, it is scientifically explained that the actions affect the person, and thus it should be defined a bleed out. And we see just how harmful this can be. Especially in an ARG, where there are potentially thousands and thousands of people playing, and when they know nothing about how an action might affect themselves. Of course, at the time, they would think the requests of the puppetmaster weird and fun, but if we look back at this, and think about the potential casualties of this “game”, it does not look fun at all.