Gaming – A Love Story

Why do I love Gaming?

What is it that still excites me about gaming? I’m 37 years old and still just as enthusiastic about gaming as when I was a teenager. It’s not something those around me understand and nearly feels like a hobby I have to defend just for liking it. So let me try and explain why, to me….not only is gaming the most important medium but also why it’s superior to movies, tv & books. Stick with me now!

One of the main attractions to most forms of entertainment is escapism. We all enjoy watching our favorite shows or movies as we all like to be entertained but also, we like to escape the day to day for a few hours and relax. When it comes to entertainment, there are millions of movies and tv series to cater to everyone’s needs. But what most people agree on, is that books are superior to their film outings for two main reasons.

Books superior to film

Firstly, when you read a book you get to invoke your own imagination. Secondly, depending on how quick or slow you read, you are invested in the story until the end. Reading for me takes time and lots of sittings. Reading a chapter or two every other night means finishing a tale may take a couple of weeks. During that time, the plot and characters are in my mind throughout my day to day (if it’s a particularly good book). This means I’m thinking about it more and wondering how it will develop up until the point I finish it. With movies & tv the story is shown to me in linear sessions and solely are the vision of the director. These require little interaction or investment from the viewer and your role is completely passive.

And now to gaming (sorry it took so long)

Gaming should be viewed by newcomers in the same way tv & movies are. There are all types of games covering all genres across the board. There are plenty of simple ‘brain chewing gum’ games but there are also plenty of story driven narrative games out there. Some of these games can take anywhere from 8 to 100 hours to complete. During that time, yes you will get through a plot that the director wants you to experience but you will do so at your own pace and more importantly, the story will be interactive throughout. You create your own experiences within the game’s mechanics and you feel your own accomplishment through story progression. Put simply, it’s your skill as a gamer that took you to the satisfying conclusion. You feel intricately involved at every step and truly there is no other entertainment medium that makes you feel that way.

So why do I love gaming? Well what’s not to love! I’ll leave you with a famous playstation advertising campaign by James Sinclair:

For years I’ve lived a double life.
In the day I do my job,
I ride the bus,
Roll up my sleeves with the hoi polloi.
But at night I live a life of exhilaration,
Of missed heartbeats and adrenaline,
And, if the truth be known,
A life of dubious virtue.

I won’t deny I’ve been engaged in violence,
Even indulged in it.
I have maimed and killed adversaries,
And not merely in self defence.
I have exhibited disregard for life,
Limb,
And property,
And savoured every moment.

You may not think it to look at me,
But I have commanded armies,
And conquered worlds.
And though in achieving these things
I have set morality aside,
I have no regrets.
For though I’ve led a double life
At least I can say,
I have lived.

 

Hope you’ve enjoyed my ramblings. Comment below….do you agree or disagree with any of my points.

 

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