I’m a gamer. A pretty good one, too. Good enough to review them for Plugged In, anyway. I just wanted to let you know that I love video games, before I say this:
It’s an established fact that not all video games are created equal. Right? Right?! I mean, just look at all the different stuff you can do in these games.
Maybe you’ve got to unload numerous rounds of ammo into a bad guy (or possibly a zombie). Or you’re racing around downtown city streets in a hopped-up whip for cash. Some games put you on a big fancy quest to save the damsel in distress (and conquer that fire-breathing dragon while you’re at it. You call the right play and score a touchdown. You deliver a knockout punch. Follow the dance moves in the correct order and be a better living room dancer.
But to what end? Why, the next level, of course, earning loads of experience points so you can make your pixel-generated avatar more buff or unlock better weapons or cooler songs.
And most of them have another goal, too—and that is to keep your backside glued to your couch and your hands clamped down tight on a controller. Sure, some games may have you jumping around in front of a motion-capture camera or waving a magic wand of sorts (be careful not to knock over the lamp), but the hands-clamped-down-on-the-controller idea still applies.
So maybe these things aren’t so different after all.
The video game world offers scads of various themes and scenarios for players to discover. But the why of it all is ultra-simple: Allowing the player to achieve, accomplish and defeat. And that makes you feel better about yourself—even if only for a moment. (Just don’t do it for too long at a stretch!)
So I guess you could say that games are different and the same all at once. How about you? Why do you play, if you play?