We all know that games are awesome. That’s why we play. Have you ever stopped and thought “Why are games so awesome?” Course you haven’t, you are too busy travelling across dimensions and universes shooting bad guys faces and saving princesses; you have no time for philosophical questions. Let us attempt to answer that question in a list form.
You can be a hero
In a crisis we’d all like to think that we’d be that brave person who keeps cool and takes control of the situation at hand, saving everyone we love and making off with the girl/boy of our dreams.
Let’s be honest though; in a crisis there are two responses – Fight or Flight, that means that we have a 50/50 chance of being a hero, we also have a 50/50 of being a yellow-bellied, lilly-livered chicken (No-one calls me chicken).
Video games are awesome because they see themselves around this biological conundrum by not actually putting us in any danger. They then give us a character with the very skills required to be a hero…never again will anyone steal your women/men and mock you with chicken noises.
Whats not awesome about arriving in a place that NEEDS us! Not places that want us, or worse, a place that doesn’t want us!
Literally the world we are saving revolves around us and that is AWESOME!
You can be the villian
The only thing cooler than being a hero? Being the villian. Most traditional games cast you as the hero and that fine, but there are a number of games that allow you to play how you want. I’ve lost a number of hours building a thriving city in SIMCity only to decimate it with disaster after disaster while laughing maniacally.
One of my best villain stories was in Ultima Online; I was playing on a fan server and had been out raiding for several hours. As I traveled home to Britannia with my wares I got ganked by a party of Player killers (PK’ers) and they killed my ass and stole all my good stuff. I wasn’t going to stand for this. I logged out. Then got my Mage/Warrior hybrid character and decided to get some revenge. I stocked up on regs, arrows and put on my good armour…vengence was going to be mine.
I bumped into the party of pk’ers and stopped them asking for directions, as they typed in their threats I summoned a blade spirit and proceeded to unleash all sorts of hell upon them. I killed them all. I had a blood-lust now. I joined forces with a friendly PK’er and we went on a rampage of murder and destruction – I was red for a very long time and I loved it. People feared me; more than that people respected me…that is a very nice feeling. Call me sir!
You can be what ever you wanted to be when you were a stupid kid
When I was a kid I wanted to be an astronaut, not exactly a realistic career aspiration, I agree…but games allow me to live this dream. I’ve lsot count of the amount of times i’ve traveled into space to battle monsters that want nothing more than to destroy mankind and our planet.
It’s not only my dreams that video games allow people to live their dreams no matter how stupid they were (even that kid in class who wanted to be a hedgehog can live his dream).
You can do dangerous stuff and not die
I’ve flown plenty of planes into the sides of buildings and not caused a World War.
I’ve crashed super cars into brick walls and not needed any medical attention.
I’ve had fist fights with bears, won and kept all my limbs.
Of course all these are in the video game universe and I am not condoning any of these in real life. In the quest for realism all these things are getting more realistic (in terms of graphics and physics) and we can do any crazy shit we have always wanted to do.
Wanna sky dive? #videogames
Wanna beat your dad up because he threw you off a mountain? #videogames
The stories are bat-shit crazy
Tekken had the mental Mishima family that threw each other off mountains, made deals with Satan and other mental stuff. Video game stories are often madness (for an example play MG:Revengence) and they are exhilarating. They are a far cry from the ‘Spot the Dog’ books and they are much more entertaining than reading descriptions of trees or grass blades in ‘Lord of the Rings’. Best of all they are interactive stories and we are actively partaking in the craziness. CRAZY!
They offer value for money
Games are not cheap; but they have gotten cheaper to buy as they have been getting more expensive to make (and people wonder why developers close down). When we compare the value they offer to; say, the cinema we get a hell of a lot more entertainment for our hard earned cash. £50 for a brand new title with 8 hours single player story = £6.26 per hour. A 2 hour movie in the cinema for one person (with sweets) = £10 per hour. I’ve ploughed over 100 hours in Pokemon Black 2 which works out at less than 30p per hour.
I recently bought a humble bundle containing 8 games for £6.19 – countless hours of fun for less than 2 pints…every little helps.
They show there is hope for us all
When Kojima pulled the double bluff with us on MGS 2 we hated Raiden, that blonde douche was an obstacle to us controlling Snake and we hated him for it. Fast forward 6 years and all of a sudden Raiden was a bad-ass. He even got his own game! In which he was an even bigger bad ass! HOLY CRAP! I’m not a bad ass now, but maybe in ten years i’ll be one…and all my haters will love me (like Gary Barlow). It’s more than a maybe because i’m definitely not hated as much as Raiden was.
What other reasons are there for video games being awesome?
Tell us in the comments