Reality isn’t a necessarily amazing place. Sure you have those days when you make a memory that is so amazing in your mind, that it will last forever. But most of the time you go through a single routine every day. You should also know by now (by now meaning you should at least be old enough to know how to read) that life is not fair. Life does not go on a straight path. You have to accept that sometimes things don’t really need a reason to happen. Turn on the news, and you may see a story about a forest fire, or a robbery. We put on a pedestal those who happen to have tons of children and lack enough of a conscience to have no problem putting their children in the blinding spotlight for money and fame. You know what you don’t see on the news? A story about a man saving a cat from a tree. I’m sure there are cats in trees, and I’m sure many of you would save a cat from a tree simply because it feels like the right thing to do. Not like I would be the one to say what is human and what is not, but it seems the core human values are constantly lost to superficial likings. We are so obsessed with being better than others that we seem to forget what makes us, well us.
Of course there are exceptions. In the late 1930s to the early 1940s there was a war. It was spurred by unjust actions, and the world reacted. The world saw certain countries with unquenchable thirsts for power and acted. It is a war looked upon by many as proof of humanity’s sense for justice. It also happens to be a very frequently used palette for video games. Whether or not this is a coincidence, or not, or both remains to be seen. But as you may have noticed from the outcry from a certain Medal of Honor multiplayer faction, people seem to really enjoy fighting for something they see as justified. When you are on Earth, fighting off a relentless alien force from destroying humanity, you began to feel that fire in your heart, that determination. When you are a father, voluntarily caught in a deadly game of hide and seek with a serial killer who has your son, you begin to feel that pain, you get that ferocity, that relentless feeling that you will do anything to get him back. And he isn’t even your real son. He is an animated model, brought to life through codes, and voice acted by a person paid to portray him. But you feel it nonetheless.
Books and movies attempt to do a similar thing, but they fail in putting you in the shoes of a character. The piece that completes it, that brings the humanity of a simulation to life. Putting you in the position of the people who are in these positions, who feel these emotions, this turns an artificial entity shockingly real. Not to mention music, a medium that expresses emotion so very well on it’s own, combined with these pseudo-worlds can bring the emotion, the realism of these situations to a whole new tier. Of course I’m not saying video games are a better “real life” than life itself. But in some ways, video games deliver humanity better than many instances of actual humanity itself. It’s quite an achievement when a developer can make me more upset at the death of a fake person than many people outside of my family, and extended friends. And I could not be more excited as technology continues to develop. Over fifteen years ago we only knew the medium as flat world with little sprites representing people. And now certain games are portraying humanity almost as well as the most awe-inspiring parts of life. It is almost ironic that one of the reasons people escape from the real world is to get in tune with the core pieces of it. And it is awe inspiring that storytelling techniques have developed so much that something so artificial can feel so real.