During the Great Depression people wanted an escape. They wanted to lose themselves in another world for a few hours so that they didn’t have to think about their own. The struggling people wanted the most bang for their buck; for those people the movies provided that escape. Today we are in a recession, and while it’s not as bad as the Great Depression, many families are being affected. There is no doubt that movies still provide many people entertainment, but there is also another place to find new and wonderful worlds: video games. Video games are giving today’s struggling people entertainment in a time when they need it. People can’t face their problems 24/7, or they will become overwhelming. Movies and video games give people a fantasy where they can leave real world problems behind. There is one reason why video games are a better escape than movies for people who are down on their luck: gamers are in control.
While playing, gamers are in charge of an entire universe. Everything in the game happens because of the player. They have the power to move forward, back, (or down-forward-punch for a sweet fireball) or turn the game off altogether. Gamers have a world that they can enjoy at their leisure. When people have gone through a situation where they have no control, like being laid off, being in charge can be a powerful feeling. In the movies, people can get lost in another person’s story. In a video game, players can get lost in their own story. They can be the greatest warrior in the universe, a gangster who always gets what he wants, or maybe just the apprentice of a cooking mama.
Video games, however, are not cheap. Gamers are showing that they want more content for their money by buying games with online multiplayer and longer single player hours. Gamestop’s used game market is booming because many people want the video game experience, but don’t want to spend sixty dollars a game to get it. MMO’s are extremely popular for this reason. Thousands of MMO fans only play their one MMO game and nothing else. Not only are they fun to play but as long as the fifteen dollars gets paid every month there can be years and years of playtime in their fantasy world.