By Inna Raymundo – SA21 U
Here is where the event took place!
I went to my cousin’s house in Loyola Grand Villas last Saturday, February 23. I observed my cousins while they played video games, specifically 2K13. When I entered the room, it was cold and dark; the only light I saw was the TV. There were four people (all boys) in the room, including the key informant. They were setting up the PlayStation 3 and placing the disc of 2K13 inside the player. After that, they all sat on the bed, two of them watched as the two others play. First they chose their players and teams, then they started to play the game. What I observed from the reaction of the boys is that every time a player shoots, they would all shout like it is the real thing, like they were actually playing in the real NBA. It took them around 40 minutes to finish each game, given that there are 10 minutes per quarter. After the 40 minutes, the other two boys chose their team and players and then started to play the game. They concentrated and when someone would pass in front of the TV, they would get mad. They won’t talk unless they made a shot. When they make a shot, they would jump on the bed and shout. One of them even said “What? What? Champiooooon!!” They really felt happy while they were playing, even the littlest shots they would get excited. They were holding controllers with several buttons, and they would press the buttons at random times; each button had a corresponding movement. I observed the group for about an hour and a half and observed the same things.
For a girl, it was not really my type of thing. Of course, it’s video games and I find it useless at times. During the session, I felt bored and sleepy, because I could not get anything from it. It was a bunch of boys playing video games, shouting and trash talking. I don’t know with others, but I found their reactions more interesting than what they were doing. I found it funny, because they looked like kids while they played. As mentioned earlier, they would get mad when people pass in front of the TV, and I tried to do that, and they told me “umalis ka diyan!” It goes to show that they really want to concentrate on the game and they don’t want to be disturbed. They really did not mind me sitting on the side, but when I went in the way, they reacted.
I talked to the key informant and asked why boys act that way when they are playing video games. And he said that it was the first interest of boys, and most of their energy is focused on that when they were still young. Boys are competitive. When they grow older, they are still attached to it, because that is where they live their dreams. They feel that it is a competition, same as the real NBA. It is also another place to feed their ego, because they feel that they are good at it and can beat other people. Another thing that the key informant told me is that boys tent to impress their opponent or the people watching them. During the session, I did not really feel that my presence has made a big influence to the scene, because the boys did not want me disturbing them.
Before I observed and talked to the key informant, I thought that playing video games was a waste of time, because I felt that boys could waste their time on other things, like playing sports. Instead, they lock themselves up in a dark room with the TV and play station and play video games.
1. What insights were gained from participation compared to just observing?
I did not really participate; the only “participation” I performed is passing in front of the TV. When I passed in front of the TV, as mentioned, they reacted loudly and violently. Like I said they told me to get out of the way, well not exactly violently, but they got annoyed that their game was disturbed. When I was observing on the other hand, they did not mind me. They just kept on playing their game while I observed them. From there, I realized that boys would not mind other people or girls watching them, sometimes they would even impress the people around them.
2. What did having a key informant add to your understanding?
After the key informant told me the reason behind boys playing video games, I realized that their reasons were reasonable. They have been playing games since they were kids and it really makes them feel good about themselves. Although I found it useless before, I know now that it is their outlet for a lot of things.
3. What was learned from participant observation at this event that a questionnaire or interview about it might miss?
With participant observation, you could really see what was happening at the event. You get to observe the littlest details. When you have a questionnaire or set an interview, you just ask questions but you do not really see what happens during that certain event and you kind of question if the interviewee’s answers are really true.
4. For what purposes might a questionnaire or interview be better than participant observation?
Although, having a questionnaire or an interview can give you insights and answers from the person who participates in the event. For example, if I interview one of the players, I get their insights and find out what they really feel while they play video games, or why they always play. For participant observation, you only get to see what they are doing, but do not really know what they are feeling or saying in their minds. Both have its advantages and disadvantages, but before using one of them, you have to know what you are looking for.
Mr. Skilty Labastilla
SA 21 – Section U