Why Game?

8 04 2009

Question Mark

I recently had a question posed to me from a non gamer that on the surface appeared easy. But after some thought I found myself asking the same question. What was it might you ask, simple, Why do you play video games?

My first reaction was effortless, hey why don’t you play games? But decided against that and after some thought said that gaming was a hobby of mine that I enjoy. After the conversation ended I felt good about my answer but still continued to ask, but why? Of all the hobbies I could have chosen why video games? It’s obviously something I enjoy or it wouldn’t be a hobby, something inside must lean me towards video games. Granted I grew up playing video games but that can’t be the only reason and if it is what about that first experience led me to continue to play to this day?

So there I sat thinking, what has led me and millions of others to embrace this “hobby”? Is it the interaction with other players of like minds? Or maybe it’s the interaction with the character that eventually leads to an emotional investment? What if it’s because our lives are so complex that we enjoy something that is solvable or where our actions have no repercussions. I know I will never be able to play professional sports no matter how much I would like to, is that why I like playing Madden or NBA 2K9? Because in these games I get to experience something I otherwise wouldn’t have. The human race as a whole loves to be in control and while playing games we have the opportunity to control or role play others lives, is that why we enjoy games? Then I thought, wait, what if it’s not even that complex. What if people enjoy video games as just another form of entertainment?

Any or all of these could be a valid reason, but since I can’t speak for the masses I will simply state why I choose to game. I enjoy the entire experience of gaming but those experiences and what I choose to do to get to that experience may differ each gaming session. For instance one time I may just want pure entertainment while another session I may want to be challenged and use strategy to achieve a goal or role-play and interact with the character and my friends. What I am trying to say is there is no one reason why I enjoy gaming. It’s the combination of all of these and the choice to choose your experience which most gamers enjoy and ultimately why I believe they also choose to game.

So … I will ask you, why do you game? I would be interested to hear your response. Please let us know in the comments below.

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One response

3 05 2009
Month in Review: April « Beyond The D-Pad

[…] Why Game? […]

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