Why Do You Play Video Games?
I took a trip to visit the Curse.com folks in Huntsville, Alabama this week and at the end of their work day and my visit, we all went to a local establishment called Pints and Pixels. It is a bar,restaurant, arcade. Walls lined with Pinball machines, classic arcade cabinets like Gauntlet, Missile Command and Joust (which I still suck at) The place was packed. Almost wall to wall people. The lure seemed strong to hang with friends and playing Street Fighter II. Many of the people there were not even alive when some of these games were released. So I was talking to one of the Curse guys about why people play games. He said he plays games to experience another reality. He never plays a game with an ending. Ever. I said so you have never played any of the Mass Effect games? Nope.
Wow, I thought how much he was missing out. Yet after I thought about it on the plane back today perhaps he isn't missing anything. I looked around the plane and see 4 or 5 people just in my eye view alone playing a game on their phone or tablet. Including me. (Baldur's Gate is awesome on Tablet)
So sure there are some amazing experiences I have had in gaming that he never played but to him he does not know what he is missing or perhaps he does and that is why he chooses to play games that just never stop. His reason to play a game is just different than mine. Now I do like MMOs for that reason that they just keep going on. Yet even this genre has turned it's back on the 'goes on forever' design. The first question too many people ask now about an MMO is "Well, how is the end game?" End game. There it is again. The end. Of what? Your journey? Where the game 'actually' begins? Poorly labeled I think.
I play video games as a form of travel. I like to be transported to another place,another time. I was playing Assassin's Creed Syndicate in the corporate apartment they let me stay in for a couple of days (they had a PS4 in the apartment) I really felt like I was transported back to1800's London. Meeting Alexander Graham Bell, Climbing up Big Ben. It was very intoxicating. I felt like I was on a vacation while on vacation. (That is almost Matrix like) The experience was great. It felt like being in London.
So with so many people seeming to be a gamer to some degree or another, why do you game? What is it about video games that draw you in and after all these years keep you interested? Do you find that your interest is as strong as ever? Has it waned? Why do you play video games?