-by Dylan DiBona
Back in the earliest days of interactive entertainment, video games existed for one reason; challenge. Whether it be by sparking competition with your best friends for the high-score, or trying to “beat” the game by completing all it had to offer, gaming was always about was some sort of contest. Quickly, once gaming became a thing you could do at home, the idea of points and high-scores started to take background. Now it was always about beating the game and seeing those credits. Then with the birth of genres like JRPGs and Visual Novels, stories were a main focus of playing (especially for the latter). Now we have games like Stardew Valley and Minecraft, where you can’t even beat them, you simply play to keep playing. You can pull aside ten people and ask them a certain question and I’m positive you’ll get a wide arrange of answers. The question?
Why Do You Play Video Games?
As a child, a game had to have a compelling enough storyline for me to see it through. it didn’t have to be complex or deep. Take Pokémon for example; being a kid who is of age to get Pokémon and explore the world to be the very best, that was enough for me. Games like Mario at the time, were not. I loved games like Kingdom Hearts for giving me epic tales. The cutscenes were my favorite part of those games while growing up. For my earliest of years, story was my reason for playing video games.
It was really around the time I got into Nintendo that I realized that video games, at their core were about the interactivity between game and player. If I wanted to pop a disc into my PS2 and do nothing while getting to the end, it might as well be a DVD. A game couldn’t be a game without interaction aka gameplay. I started seeking out all types of gameplay. Platformers like Mario and Super Meat Boy are some of my all time favorites, RPGs like Fallout 3 and Oblivion gave me hours of joy. I’ve gotten into stuff like Fire Emblem, a chess-like RPG that younger me would’ve yawned at.
I like to play games in “marathons” now. I binged almost every Zelda once I got a Wii U and 3DS combo. I played most Mario’s in a row, and even the 2D Metroids. I’m now on a JRPG fix and want to binge play Dragon Quest games before DQXI hits the U.S (if it even does). I realize that objectively, gameplay is the most important factor in a video game. Bayonetta 1 has an over the top and borderline incomprehensible story line; did that stop anybody from rating the game 8/10 or 9/10? No, because the action-packed gameplay was near perfection at the time. Did The Last of Us get all those 10/10’s because of its story alone? No, sure the emotional tale of Joel and Ellie helped give the game an extra point or two, but it was the mix of strategy, action and suspense that gave Naughty Dog all that love.
I’m getting off track, but even though good gameplay is more necessary then a good story in order for a product to be successful, I can safely say that it’s absolutely reasonably to play games just for the stories.
The reasons for playing video games can be endless. Maybe you want to be number one ranked in the world for Overwatch, or perhaps you only play games with amazing soundtracks. I think we can all agree that gaming with no motivation is absolutely no fun. I’m currently in this little dump of emotion where I’m not super motivated to play or beat games. Maybe it’s “gaming burnout”, a topic I should cover soon, or maybe it’s something else.
I play video games to experience gameplay translated through unique worlds and characters. What do I mean? For example, I’ve already beaten Dragon Quest, what’s the point of playing Undertale when it’s another solo-party turn-based RPG? Through their different worlds, stories and a few gameplay differences, the two titles are actually very different. I like to see how every developer interprets a gameplay style. I won’t lie, sometimes I need a game with a great story to help motivate me, but that’s great in itself too.
Whatever your reason is for playing video games, keep it up.
So guys, what is your reason for playing video games? Let me know down below and I’ll try my best to reply! As always, thanks for reading.