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A few days ago, my boyfriend was relaxing on the couch, playing Defiance, and he said to me, “Do you ever wonder why we love video games so much?” Yes, I do wonder that. It’s something I think about a lot, actually. Let’s break it down and examine just why we love video games as much as we do, and why they’re more than just “silly games” to us.
A big reason why we love video games so much, I feel, is because they are an escape from our sometimes boring and monotonous lives. Sometimes it’s nice to put on the shoes of a made-up character and forget about all our troubles. I know that after I’ve had a hard day, I come home and put on a headset and play a good game; Action-adventure games are my favorites because I get sucked into the game’s world and forget about everything around me.
Another reason I believe we love video games is because they give us a sense of accomplishment. The feeling you get when you complete a good game is a feeling that’s hard to compete with. It makes you feel important; like you have done something right. That’s why we continue to play games that make us scream and rage quit. I know that when I beat a challenging game, especially being a female, I feel like I have done something that a lot of people thought I would never be able to do. Unfortunately, people still think girls can’t play video games, but that’s a topic for a different blog post.
Violent games, as much as they get criticized by parents, the media and the government, are great for getting anger out. In the words of Bob Dylan, “don’t criticize what you can’t understand.” We love violent games because they help us get out our frustrations in a healthy way. The people who bottle up their anger and don’t get it out are the ones who end up with problems. Yes, there is always the rare case that someone says that “Call of Duty made them want to kill people,” but this is extremely rare. Obviously, these people have deep psychological issues that need to be addressed. People are always eager to blame something or someone besides themselves for their wrongdoings. The average person who plays violent games is not violent. Take me, for example. I have never been in a physical fight in my life, and I love playing fighting games and shooters.
Video games are a unique form of art (yes, video games are art) that deserve more respect from non-gamers. I think that, over time, people will become more accepting of video games. The problem is that they are, comparatively, a new art form, and people are always skeptical of new things. A lot of people think that video games today still look like Pong. They can’t understand why we love games so much.
Video games have made me feel ways that I can’t even explain. When someone starts talking about Red Dead Redemption, Heavy Rain, or any other game that I had a deep emotional connection with, I start to tear up. Gamers understand, but all others look at me like I’m crazy. They can’t understand how a game can make me so emotional.
If you are ever criticized for loving video games, don’t sweat it; people love to criticize things that they know nothing about. If you love games, you should feel lucky because you are experiencing one of the most unique and beautiful art forms in the world.