Do We Play Games to Escape From Life?
Posted November 27, 2010 by (83)
This is my first article for this site, and I am still getting accustomed to the system around here, so please do bear with me here.
Video Games aren’t our world. They are the future, the past and the present, but a parallel, one that’s never truly existed in our world. Which brings up the question raised by parents, congressmen, and even prominent figures in our industry; do we play games to escape from life? The mainstream perception of gamers is of people who have bad hygiene, people without social skills, people who have lost touch with our world to interact with others. And is it an entirely false perception? In a way, er do leave our world in order to find others. We play characters who never existed, we visit lands that will never come to be, and we feel emotions for things that aren’t real. But do we play games to escape from life? Is that what makes a gamer what they are?
We would have no games were it not for life. From books to movies to music these mediums are entirely dependent on what does exist. On what is real. The Covenant in the Halo series don’t exist (to our knowledge) but they follow a religious fanaticism humanity is all too familiar with. Hyrule is a fantasy land spawned from a Japanese artist-turned game designer and yet it invokes the liberating feelings of exploration many recall from childhood. Deus Ex is set in a future that had not yet come to pass and yet the moral decisions you make throughout it’s conspiratorial journey are gut wrenching and force you to reflect constantly on just how many shades of gray there are not only in the game, but in our world.
Each game is a lens, a distinct view of what we see everyday. They may change the image to a near unrecognizable state, but it doesn’t change the fact that you are looking through a mirror. Staring back at our world, our life with a lens that makes it all the more interesting in some facet or range. The real world is always going to be better than the innumerable virtual ones, but life should be shown in the way we want to see it. So there is no reason not to play games, to find a part of life we would never see, never feel if not through the lens of interactive entertainment. We learn to appreciate the original image by seeing it through the infinite lenses, and we should never stop looking through new ones. So truly gaming is not about running from our world, it isn’t about trying to disregard this universe, it isn’t about eluding reality. Gaming isn’t about escaping from life, it’s about finding it.
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