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Why I Play Videogames

Usually when I write one of these things I have an outline in my head of where its going to go.  Upfront, this is going to be thinking while typing, a true blog entry if you will.  Sure ME3 plays into this but I’ll steer clear of spoilers.  I’m more interested in motivation and the mind at the moment.  The endings of ME3 was really just the motivator.

See I’m a fan of Darren Aronofsky.  Requiem for a Dream isn’t a movie I would probably watch again.  The Fountain is a movie I have repeatedly watched but was more attracted to when I was single.  I think when I was single I must have thought that a tragic romance where someone died in the end would be the best.  Now that I’m not single the idea and fabric there of is abhorrent.  This has caused me to think of anyone not “in love” probably craves that deep emotional movie romance.

Feeling really is the definition of art.  And we as people want to feel.  Maybe when we’re miserable or going through hardship we need that outlet.  People who are more angry about society and where its at tend to listen to things like metal and gangster rap.  I truly don’t know.  Does a sad ending make something bad?  Not at all.  Do I want to play a game with a sad ending if I can help it?  I do not.

Its a bit of a crazy thing.  I can think of my top 10 movies of the moment and it would go something like Casshern (live action), Donnie Darko, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Fountain, you know, depressing stuff.  But there’s something about the fantasy of playing a game.

Sure there’s the work argument.  People don’t like RPG’s or more specifically JRPG’s because they’re more “work”.  The thing is one person’s work is another person’s play ground.  I love math.  I love formulas.  And I love figuring out the mathematical puzzle of a character sheet to do some awesome stuff.  But its something I do after work for fun and enjoyment.  I’m not looking to be depressed for 40 hours after work.  I’ve worked a long time on my mind to be as happy as I am.  Happiness is a choice and anger is a tool if not abused.  Being happy does not make you a slave.  A situation is what it is and you can choose what to make out of it.  If the time and effort is worth it to you to change that situation then go for it.

Are games fantasies?  This should be a simple question.  The answer should be yes.  But my fantasies don’t end in tragedy.  My daydreams do a lot of the time.  Fantasies?  Not so much.  Mass Effect for me was the fantasy of choice.  Choose Your Own Adventure books are brought up frequently when this series is brought up but guys, I had like 50 of those books and most of them only have 1 path.  But in Mass Effect your choices mattered.  How many of your choices in your life affect the world outside your home?  Probably not too many unless you’re some type of manager or government official.  For most of us, our decisions for the outside world involve voting.  And with the electoral college in place and not all States making it illegal for the electoral college to not vote for who the majority of their district voted for, choice that severely affects a videogame world is very meaningful.

Are games a fantasy about empowerment?  I don’t know.  Mass Effect definitely made me feel empowered but other games certainly do not.  Demon’s Souls for instance is the antithesis of empowerment the majority of time although beating a difficult boss or area does get you high.

Anyway, I’ll stop typing your eyes off.


About MusiM

Musician, writer, Gundam model hobbyist, video game lover, host of The Carousel Podcast, and all with a day job.

2 responses to “Why I Play Videogames

  1. David Peters ⋅

    I believe Art, like a lot of live beauty, is subjective. Take for instance most of the paintings and sculptures in museums right now look like some for of crap or another. this is just my opinion. I am not a painting person really, but I can here a small melody, or watch a part of a game that just speaks to me! Music is hard for me, because I am tone deaf, I see this not as a handicap, but more of an obstacle. I can slightly play guitar, and am now learning the Violin (which I am kicking ass on), but my passion, my Art is gaming. Tone deaf or no when I pick up my controller I can make almost any game SING! That fact, and the fact that I hold you as one of my true friends, is why I enjoy reading and commenting on your blog.

  2. David Peters ⋅

    It was supposed to say Life’s Beauty, sorry I get excited sometimes. Like when Marve gets confused.

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