Her Gaming World

All things gaming.

'Why I love video games' by David C

Thursday, 18 January 2018

People who know me well know that I am a massive fan of video games. For me, there is no better feeling than switching on your console or PC after a hard day at work with the sound of the game flowing into your ears from your headphones and an impressive story unfolding before you. But David, I hear you ask in the comments, why do you love video games so much? Well, the glow of that little light on the surface of your gaming device, as attractive as a moth to a lamp, tells you that you are about to escape from the dreary and repetitive reality of modern life to an epic fantasy world full of different stories, interesting characters and beautiful landscapes. Within in a few minutes, you are transported from South England to North Tamriel. Instead of holding a coffee cup, you are wielding a longsword or hand grenade. Instead of boarding the morning train, you are boarding the Nexus space station in Mass Effect Andromeda (MEA). And instead of eating lunch in a canteen, you are eating sweet rolls and drinking mead at the wooden table of a mighty Jarl. Just as long as nobody stole your sweet roll of course! 

It is for the above reason that I enjoy video games the most. They are the ultimate portal to escapism. Take Skyrim for example. It's a very immersive game where you start as a prisoner in chains and then go on an adventure in a massive open world environment with giant mountains, mysterious ruins, and ice-covered seas. It should be highlighted here that you are the hero and in control. You can choose to do your duties as the Dragonborn or you can just wander the land doing side quests and helping the different factions that exist in Skyrim. It is a level of freedom and choice that rarely exists in the busy modern world. Another example is Stardew Valley. It's a farming game but with a difference. You can just grow crops and raise animals on a farm which you designed and constructed yourself or you can journey into your wider community, with its many different people, and even journey into the mines to dig for precious minerals to help increase your income. I'm sure that real farming is very different to the world you experience in this game. 

But one of the key ingredients to make you feel immersed and escape into a game is its art and beauty. But I must admit that I do judge a game by its weather physics. I get a bit disappointed when rainfall doesn't create puddles or lightning isn't followed by a boom of thunder that makes you jump in your seat. But some games really impress me with the attention to detail to its environment. Think of photo mode on Horizon Zero Dawn (HZD) when Aloy is jumping in the air with a lush valley in the background under a crimson sunset or standing on top of the Throat of the World in North Tamriel and looking out at the northern lights dancing across the night sky. These scenes were created from the minds of game designers which I believe makes them as much as an artist as the painters of the Renaissance or 18th Century England.


I should add here that a very skilled artist can produce awe-inspiring paintings of landscapes that show the beauty of nature like John Constable or William Turner. A film can have amazing action like a car chase in a Bond movie or a Roman soldier turned slave seeking revenge and justice in Gladiator. A book can tell stories full of adventure, loss, and friendship like the Lord of the Rings. A video game can be a combination of all three of these but in an interactive way. In some games like MEA or the Witcher 3, you have dialogue options and your choice of a sentence can take the game in a new direction. Think of that scene in The Empire Strikes Back when Darth Vader sees Luke in Cloud City and gives him the chance to join the dark side. Imagine if you have the option to make Luke reply: 'yeah okay'. In video games, you can do this.

Video games give you a sense of accomplishment and this is a big reason why I love video games. You should have seen my face when I defeated Sephiroth at the end of Final Fantasy VII after fighting him for many hours without the option of saving my game: bliss! Controlling Aloy as she takes down a Thunderjaw in HZD: lovely!The new concept of achieving trophies in games can demonstrate another accomplishment as some of them are really difficult to win and only the most skilled gamers will ever see them. I don't think I will ever see one for completing a game in hard mode without dying once but I would be really happy if I had the skill to do this. That is a very condensed explanation about why I like video games because of their ability to allow you to escape from reality for a short while and the sense of accomplishment you can gain from them.


The last reason why I like games can be found back in reality. I will probably write about this in more detail in the future, but I think that the gaming community is full of really fantastic people. There is no need to escape from some of the people I have got to know on social media through our shared interest in that little box that is connected to our TVs. I also think that gaming has helped strengthen the bonds I have with my friends who are also interested in gaming. Unfortunately, I have also have encountered a bit of sexism and discrimination on social media towards some gamers. I think that it is wrong to label members of this community as boy or girl gamers. We are all just awesome gamers.

- David C

5 comments:

  1. I like the idea of Luke joining the dark side and being all "yeah, okay" about it😂
    This was really cool to read and I agree massively with a lot of what you say, well done you!

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  2. Interesting read! I've never really stooped and thought about the sense of achievement you get from a game (despite there quite literally being things called achievements haha). It's so true though, it feels damn good to complete a mission or defeat a boss. I love the idea of Luke so easily joining the dark side, all cool about it ��

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