I’m not shy to admit that video games absolutely are my life. They rule my life in just about every way. Video games are what I live for, but that does not mean that there isn’t room down in my heart to share my love for video games with other types of games. I’m talking the tabletop variety of TCGs (trading card games), RPGs (role playing games), and I’ll even go as far to mention LARPing (live action role playing). I haven’t been into the non-video game games for long now. I’ve only ever looked/dreamed of RPGs and LARPing, and just sort of fell into TCGs. But so far I’ve realized that these types of games can offer the majority of perks that keep the love for video games strong.
The reasons that I game would be for the escapism, competition, and the opportunity to collect.
There is no doubt that video games offer escapism, and that has to be one of my favorite aspects of life: escaping to another life. That’s the reason why I enjoy fantasy novels and the Sci-Fi channel. However, gaming of other types, mainly tabletop RPGs, can mirror The escapism that video games present. A classic example would be D&D (Dungeons and Dragons). Depending on the type of tabletop RPG you play, you can escape to any number of worlds and universes, and become any kind of hero, warrior, survivor, and even beast that you want. RPGs also allow you to do this in a way video games don’t: socially.
Video games, of course, can be a social media with things like multi player, co-op, and social interaction is greatly evident in MMORPGs (multi million online role playing game), but few video games offer the experience of doing something with a group of close friends face to face.
Competition, it’s the foundation of any sport as well as game. The pure satisfaction that comes from knowing that you truly are better then someone else, or the slight disgrace and rage that comes with loss. Halo is competitive, Killzone 2 is competitive, street fighter is competitive, and people are driven to keep playing for that competition. I have recently started playing a different type of game that is competitive and that would be the TCG of Magic: the Gathering. This game pits two players against each other in a strategic race to drain the other person’s life points before they can drain yours. This same basic concept is evident in many TCGs and is the root of the success of TCGs. One person will always want to be better then another, and in this form of play, as well as in video games, a victor is always named.
TCGs also hold another aspect of video games that I greatly adore: They feed my need to collect. Achievement and trophy whoring are extremely common trends among gamers. I greatly enjoy having a huge library of a collection of bronze and silver and platinum trophies to show off with pride to all those on my friends list. Well, this same joy is echoed when I flash to my friends the less common of the cards I have in my collection. Of course, with a card, the ‘achievement’ that comes with a achievement isn’t present due to a lack of actual effort, but that’s the greatest part. With an achievement technically nothing is done for it, while with TCGs almost less then nothing is done in order to collect. All that is required on the part of the collector is to buy the cards and get lucky to have gotten something rare. The lazy part of me that just loves instant gratification is part of what pulls me towards video games, but that part of me can see that TCGs just appeal to that ‘want of something for nothing’ nature even more.
Video games are great, I would never say other, but the things that make video games great are obviously present in other forms of gaming mediums. So, are there any of you out there who are into the non-virtual games? Do any of you meet up with your friends in a dim room for some storming of dungeons, or do any of you wield a deck of cards as your choice of weapon?