Older friends of mine often make comments like “Videos games are a waste of time.” or “l don’t see the point.” That’s because they have some other form of stress relief be it drinking smoking or chasing women. Let’s be real everyone has a way to escape reality. From a gamer perspective playing games, all be it expensive at times, is a good way to: Save money, take your mind off of the everyday world stresses in your life and also make friends. I can see how some people think that sitting in front of a console and watching images all day might seem like it’s a waste of time but it there is more to the science than what most people think
Immerse yourself in a book
I love to read books and have read since I was young. I basically ate up anything that caught my interest.Lately I can’t bring myself to read just because of technological stubbornness. I love tablets but I cannot bring myself to read a kindle on them. I miss the actual feel and interactions a book has. Even the smell lets you know that you are reading a book. I can’t get that from a tablet and at times I feel like I’m just poking at a computer screen pointlessly. I bring all of this up because when I play a game I fully immerse myself in the environment. Even more so when a game involves character customization.
Take Need for Speed:Most Wanted for example. The game starts like any other racing game:beat these guys, gather the money move on…But a twist happens. You get cheated out of a race and then your pink slip is claimed by Razor Callahan, here’s where they put a face with the antagonist, who then uses your own car to become the number one leader of the black list. You want to talk about a salty story, there you go. The beauty of it all is that it’s such a simplistic game that caters to one’s ego to the point that you care about winning. I myself have beaten this have several times on Xbox(Original) and came close to beating it on the 360…Another story for another time (future issue entitled: When Save Games Go Wrong).
Ready Made Imagery
Sometimes you’ve had such a long day that you don’t really want to think when you get home. Despite being tired your mind is going hundreds of miles to the point where you can’t sleep. Gaming provides pre-made backdrops to help with that. Most people tend to be more visual hands on while others tend to need to find a way to fit into a story. A game such as Mass Effect caters to people of that mind-set. Ever since I began playing ME I could never see myself playing the default character and that’s thanks to the fact that this game has an in-depth customization option as far as creating a character. Even the story tailors the choices of the player into an epic 3 games worth of content that is different for each person. Customization makes the game and experience. Books or TV shows cannot capture that at points and by no means am I saying that games are perfect. They just tend to usually have more in-depth story features (Save for some games releases this year) that make it easy to mesh into a story and just go with it.
Well crafted supporting cast helps with this as well. Cortana from the Halo series is a good example of this.
Both Master Chief and her are an excellent team and tend to draw you into the story with the struggles that they endure together. Cortana, being the more emotional of the two, is pretty much the witty, smack talking side of the duo. While Chief is the stoic, talk when necessary, duty and honor type of character. They lasted together through multiple games. Even being split apart at the end of Halo 2 only to be brought back together in Halo 3 and forced to be split apart again in Halo 4. I can’t tell you what Halo 5 holds but I hope she will make a return, She is as much of a main player as Chief to the point that not having her in the game could be detrimental to the overall story. They are such complements to each other that it makes you care about continuing the relationship that they have. She has supported Chief emotionally as well as Physically by basically being the communications unit/hacker. She even played a major role in Halo 4 by helping to defeat the Didact. They made her relevant to the story which makes her relevent to the entire game itself. That’s how you make great games! Make your players care about who they are playing with.
When you are given a good game to play you tend to forget about the stress that affects you in your real life and tune into this outlet that is giving you a new challenge. Dealing with your problems is a necessary thing but when you can stop to take a break for a moment and distract yourself with a new level or an introduction to a new character then it has an impact on your overall mood. Thinking about something else has a major impact on over all mood and can help pull problems away. After de-stressing it will help fetter minds and allow things in life to become uncluttered so they can be put where they need to be.
Last but not least, the social aspect of gaming. I feel that lately, since everything is online, the social aspect has declined. We’ve gone from meeting up in arcades or game stores to having to find friends online. One of the common questions asked among the gaming community after meeting someone who games as well is “What’s your gamer tag?” I miss the days of just going to an arcade and watching two people beat up on each other or struggle through a 4 person co-op game just to get to the very end. Even tournaments were a great way for the gaming community to come together. Evo is still one of the best ones in my opinion. Don’t believe me, watch for yourself.
The crowd reaction and live presence is what makes this whole experience worth it. That is what we need to get back to. But I could harp on that for days and might have to make a post about it.
Now, we have the option of playing a game and finding others to play it with. Depending on how well the game went can determine if you want to play with those people again. Personally, I have met people and made friends over a span of console and pc games. Sharing similar interest is something that people can be brought together under. When you meet and talk the banner of friendship is an easy thing to come by. Even if it is just for a few hours or minutes making friends in that time is what counts. There have been cases where parts in a game where too hard to solo and weren’t done easily in a one player game. When you have a friend come online all of that changes. I especially enjoy playing multiplayer games with a group of friends because it’s like taking the aspect of supporting cast members and cranking it up by ten.
There was a time when a group of friends and I were playing Gears of War 3. We were trying to beat horde mode before Battlefield 3 came out. We made it to wave 20 and the map would always spawn some nasty end wave boss that would come out and wReK (wreck) us. One night, three other friends and I were almost there! We played on a board that was centered around a hotel, which we took shelter in and decided to bunker down until we had a clear chance to fight the boss. Finally the boss comes and it’s a friggen Brumac! (See picture below).
Need less to say the thing would have owned us if we would have went outside the building so we were safe…Or so we thought. Some how the Brumac decides that he’s going to glitch his 100 ft @$$ into the building. When he did that the reactions were priceless. “HE’S IN THE BUILDING!!” “WHAT?!?” “HE’S INSIDE THE BUILDING!!! OMG HE JUST KILLED ME! HE SQUASHED ME!” The giant thing proceeded to lay down a path or hate and destruction so bad that all we could do is laugh at it. That was our last attempt of that night. It wasn’t until the day before BF3 that our determination grew stronger and we took it to the game like we haven’t ever before. There were clutch saves and one man come backs like I had never seen before. Then we got to meet our old buddy the Brumac. We proceeded to take him down with a righteous fury that I don’t think I’ve ever seen let loose on any boss in any game that I’ve played before. The memories are priceless and are still with me even now.
So in closing, This is why we game. We don’t do it to waste time. We don’t do it because we have nothing else better to do. We game for the simple fact that we enjoy it and we enjoy pleasures through the experiences that only we gamers could understand. Judge all you would like but we don’t judge you for how you spend your time. Understand that how you choose to spend your time and money to be happy is the exact same reason why we spend our time and money on games. Because we live a life full of a wide variety or things that cause us to be stressed and could potentially cause us to be unhappy. But through gaming we immerse ourselves in a world we can become lost in. We immerse ourselves in a stress free environment where we can forget our problems. Through that process we have the ability to find other people that we can converse with and play the same games with to forget about our problems even more and we have a damn good time doing it.
But these are my reasons for gaming. Tell me some of yours I would like to hear feedback. Drop me comments, criticisms, and questions @warchildgames or for a more direct approach firstname.lastname@example.org . Also if you enjoyed my post leave a like and some comments below. Thank you for reading my fellow Players. I really do appreciate the support you have shown me even though I may have been behind on a few post due to life. But I really do appreciate you still reading. Aside from the want to stay active here and the need to keep pushing. Knowing that people are actually reading is really inspiring and makes me want to post more. I know it might sound cliché, but honestly, thank you…and remember:
The rush is loud, so ride the lightning!
-War Child signing off