January 16, 2007

Some thoughts on video games

From Top Tech News:

In general, game developers and console makers also have benefited from an audience that is increasingly more receptive to digital content, and crave interactive entertainment, Gartenberg noted.

"Games are just another medium for telling stories," he said. "People love stories, and to be involved in them, and the game companies have done a great job in generating interest in the stories they've created."

I wish more people would realize that. Video games are just interactive stories and/or virtual puzzles. It's just another way to stimulate your brain and to share the human experience. Even a single-player RPG or FPS, where a player can spend dozens of hours alone in front of a non-networked machine is a human-story sharing experience. Even if the player never talks about that game to anyone else, or if no one else ever talks to that player about that game (both of which are highly unlikely, since the gaming community often discusses their games of choice - at length - and rarely does one purchase, rent, or steal a game without reading or hearing someone's opinion of it), the player is being told a story from the developers of the game. There is a transfer of information, emotion, experience, taking place from the game makers - aka the story tellers - and the player - aka the hearer. But due to the nature of video games - even though the developers may never hear from the player - it's not a completely one-sided conversation. The player is actively involved in telling the story to himself. Add to that the entire scope of the gaming community - game reviewers, frag parties, lan cafes, online gaming, gaming blogs, gaming websites, online communities, MMORPGs, and - if you can find one - arcades... The video game world is a world of stories, of sharing, of community. It's not about cutting yourself off from the rest of the world - it's just about exploring the video game part of it.

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