-by Dylan DiBona
It took a lot longer than we expected, but Athena from ambigamingcorner and I finally finished our project on the connection between video games and people who are going through hard times or have extra challenges in life. We compiled a list of the the stories which you can read here; Athena is going to be focusing on the more scientific and factual side of things which I like to think as the brain of our project. For my half I wanted to do what I believe I do best, write from the heart. So, why do we connect to video games?
I noticed a trend in all of the responses; people either experiences loss, familial problems or mental health issues. Maybe this is a rude blanket statement, but people who don’t experience these things are “whole” on the inside. I think that people like myself who went through or still go through tough times find that parts of them are missing, and not only is enjoyable, but it’s satisfying to fill those missing parts with video games.
Most games today take bits and pieces from all mediums; cinematics from movies, reading from books, music from- well music, and animations like in cartoons. But there’s one key element of video games that make them unique, it’s like the Chemical X for the Powerpuff Girls:
If you have a video game on your shelf, it needs you to be beaten and have those credits roll. I wrote in my own story about coping with video games that I like the sensation of being needed. Anybody can pop a DVD in their player and click play, but it takes a certain somebody to have the skill and wit to beat a video game (without a walkthrough). Sure you can watch a let’s play on YouTube, but that isn’t gaming. As an avid reader I do not want to buy a kindle because I’d miss the sounds of picking up and turning a page, the weight of the book in my hands or finally sticking a bookmark in and seeing that I’m more than halfway through.
What’s beautiful about video games is how the memories and emotions we have with them can literally be replayed at any moment. When I go back to Kingdom Hearts 2, I’m instantly transported back to my childhood home where things were peaceful on the surface but familial tensions were at an all time high. And unlike other mediums, when replaying a game you can always have a new experience. Replay a song and the same notes will always be heard, but replay a game and maybe you’ll do certain things completely differently or maybe you’ll find something new and exciting.
It’s not even solely the gameplay that keeps us hooked; many people in their stories shared their connections to the stories and characters within our games. For people like us, gaming is the very best entertainment possible. It’s a pleasure, a passion and in our darkest of times it’s a coping mechanism. Maybe I’m biased, but to me video games are the most living forms of entertainment. It’s kind of like Toy Story where the toys are actually alive and full of emotion. These virtual worlds can be preferable to the real one sometimes.
Video games are beautiful. Never forget that
Okay guys I hope you enjoyed my homage to not only gaming, but to all of you for proving once again that video games are an amazing passion to have. Thank you to Athena; I know our project had a few speedbumps, but we got to our destination! As always, thanks for reading.