Hello… umm… anyone there?
A recent article on Kotaku (http://kotaku.com/why-do-we-play-games-458801312) has reminded me of something I’ve been wanting to write about for a while.
While the question “why do you play games?” (video games in particular, ofc) seems like rhetorical nonsense to some, a lot of people who haven’t discovered the joys of gaming ask this.
Mind you, I do not look to explain myself but rather to try to express an opinion and maybe convert some fellow humans to my credo.
The common argument is: “it’s such a waste of time!”. I could be doing more awesome stuff like… reading or watching ‘amazing’ TV !
Or: “I have a LIFE. I go out and PARTY, you nerd…”. Yes, yes, all that is great but…
Here are a few reasons why games are good:
- Like movies and books, they allow you to live another life. Be someone else for a day! While this used to be pure fantasy in the Middle Ages we have made that fantasy reality using magic… err, technology. Sure, they had books in the 1900s but books are passive experiences, less manifest.
- Unlike life, games have clear goals and rewards. Don’t get me wrong, life is the ultimate game but the reward system is way too fucked or simply random. I won’t rant, you know what I mean.
- According to some psychologist dudes we have constant need for accomplishment which life cannot provide, at least not for us regular individuals. I am sure (insert here random douche who made a fortune somehow) wakes up everyday happy but not me… Do you?
- There are several other reasons: the innate need for competition. Some pour that into bar fights and general douchebaggery while us, the nerdy ones pour it in a game of Starcraft. Which is better?
In my mind, no. 1 is the best one. My high school literature teacher told me this (while referring to books, mind you) but it holds true for any reality dislocated endeavor (does that even mean what I wanted to say?).
It’s the future and esports players(yes, deal with it football fans) are treated in many countries like regular sports players. China, South Koreea but also North America and Europe has such heroes.
A naive person (gaming wise) would say: pfff, they play a game. Yes, but what they do is HARD. Harder maybe than playing a physical sport because it requires greater knowledge, decision making, fast reaction times and coordination.
Esports have come a long way but it seems that ESPN will not be featuring them on their broadcasts just yet. But we don’t need to, either because it all happens on the Internet ;).
I am digressing. Judge for yourself.
I leave you with a youtube video of Dreamhack Bucharest.
There are also lots of game that enter the realm of art. Braid, Limbo and Journey just to name a few. Interactive art? Now, that’s a fantasy!