Dude, Video Games

With the recent Supreme Court Ruling, and the fourth of July upon us, I thought now might be a good time for us gamers to come together and share just why it is we love video games. I’ll go first.

First and foremost, games are maybe the best entertainment medium out there. It’s been said a million times over by people smarter than I, but games offer a level of immersion that other media can’t offer. You’re dropped into the middle a war, you’re leading a group of adventurers, you’re a superhero. Other forms of media are passive experiences. Games are active- you and your actions propel the story forward. Don’t get me wrong- I love books, comics, movies, etc. Hell, I make my living making comics. That said, games still hold a special place in my heart.

Something I heard Will Wright say a while back has been stuck in my head. One of the unique things about games is they do something that no other medium does- they give you a sense of accomplishment. When you pull off something that seems near-impossible, there’s always that moment of “I can’t believe I just did that!” You didn’t read about a character in a book or watch a character on screen doing it- you did it. It’s a singular experience to games.

The best thing about video games though, is that they are a culture with it’s own language. Games rewire your brain, and teach you problem-solving skills that people who don’t play games don’t possess. From one game to the next, you develop a shorthand understanding of level design, and you know almost instinctively where to go, what to do, and what will and won’t work- because all games hold certain truths that become identifiable. If that’s not a form of language, visual though it may be, I don’t know what is.

So get to it, Nation- why do you love games?

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  • Anonymous

    Movies can also be interactive. Memento is a great example, as you watch the movie you are confused and trying to figure out the mystery, just as Leonard the main character is. As you watch the movie communicates the story to you. Scene to scene it gives you little hints, bringing you down a path to understanding. So as the movie goes you are slowly catching on, filling in more and more of the puzzle until you have the very last piece moments before the final scene.

    That being said games are very unique in how you interact with them. I would really like to have seen a bit more of your thoughts on that.