Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Why I Don’t Play Video Games

I am always amazed when someone is willing to sit in front of a television set for hours at a time just so they can get to the next level of a video game. I myself have never been interested in this type of activity, because you don’t really win anything when the game is over. Sure, you get a cool cyber car to drive in, and you may live in a very expensive cyber home, with beautiful cyber kids and all the cyber money you could want. But so what?

Once you leave the television set, you also leave all those exciting acquisitions behind. It’s like the old adage, “you can’t take it with you.” Only in this case, you can’t take it anywhere, because none of it really exists to begin with.

Now if video games were constructed differently, and you really won something at the end of every game, I might never stop playing them. After all, I love to win stuff. I just like the stuff I win to be made out of physical materials, not colorful animated pixels.

It doesn’t mean I look down on anyone who spends their time this way, though. I just don’t have the energy myself to fight an army of cyber villains when there are so many other things to occupy my manpower. Like fighting an army of mounting bills, or slashing through an overgrown lawn. These are the true villains I fight on a daily basis. And the cool thing is, when I defeat them, I really do get satisfaction at the end. Because that’s one less bill to pay and a few more weeks respite from lawn mowing.

But I know I’m in the minority here. I have plenty of friends addicted to Playstation or Xbox who constantly tell me about their latest challenge or recent victory. Which is fine, except when they start talking about these cyber victories as if they were actual accomplishments, like going to Harvard or finding a cure for Cancer. One of my friends even went so far as to plan an engagement party for his upcoming nuptials to Princess Zelda of the Hyrule Royal Family. And he was serious about it too. (He has since been diagnosed with a complex psychological disorder, though he assures me he’ll be fully recovered before the wedding takes place.)

I do like the graphics in video games, though. As a graphic artist, I know what kind of work is involved in creating those incredible images. It ain’t easy. And the detail and imagination that goes into some of these games is incredible. But I’d much rather sit and watch the graphics go by, like watching a cartoon, than have to pick up a gamepad and participate.

But that’s just me. What about you? What do you like best about video games?

6 comments:

- Mitch - said...

I guess computer games are different from video games, but I still feel the same way with them. Some see it as stress relief, escape, or just ways to procrastinate further. Other people enjoy a story that you can pretend to be a part of. Or some people just plain like the graphics.

I enjoy everything thing about games, and I'll probably be caught playing some simple stupid mundane game for hours once I pick it up. That's just me though.

As for winning something at the end of the game? Some people win big time when they cash in their game items after spending months trying to get it. Example? I recently linked an old bbc news article in my blog about a guy who sold his game account for $10k. He 'won' in my opinion hehe.

Henson Ray said...

Good point. I had no idea you could do such a thing.

Beta said...

Honestly? You want my honest opinion? I think your a predictive stuck up simpleton for assuming the kind of enjoyment people get out of video-games before even playing one. Go pick up a copy of Uncharted 2, MGS4, The Legend Of Zelda Ocarina Of Time, EVEN GEARS OF WAR. All of which have amazing stories and play out almost like a book (Ok, not as much, books are much more "immersive") with fun enough gameplay aspects to keep you coming back for more when you unlock something 'meaningless' at the end of the game.

On the other hand, your friends are addicted and do not represent any sane gamer that can manage their Real Life and their Virtual experiences.

Also the video-games your talking about are "RPG"s. Which is much different than a "FPS" where you just go in, shoot a few baddies and then turn off the console. As opposed to making a life for yourself, managing supplies and relationships and basically something that just takes place of your real life since some of the things in it you can't actually do in real life. Now although those games are fun, I hardly play them, and if I did I'd make sure It doesn't take over my life.

Beta said...

Honestly? You want my honest opinion? I think your a predictive stuck up simpleton for assuming the kind of enjoyment people get out of video-games before even playing one. Go pick up a copy of Uncharted 2, MGS4, The Legend Of Zelda Ocarina Of Time, EVEN GEARS OF WAR. All of which have amazing stories and play out almost like a book (Ok, not as much, books are much more "immersive") with fun enough gameplay aspects to keep you coming back for more when you unlock something 'meaningless' at the end of the game.

On the other hand, your friends are addicted and do not represent any sane gamer that can manage their Real Life and their Virtual experiences.

Also the video-games your talking about are "RPG"s. Which is much different than a "FPS" where you just go in, shoot a few baddies and then turn off the console. As opposed to making a life for yourself, managing supplies and relationships and basically something that just takes place of your real life since some of the things in it you can't actually do in real life. Now although those games are fun, I hardly play them, and if I did I'd make sure It doesn't take over my life.

Beta said...

Honestly? You want my honest opinion? I think your a predictive stuck up simpleton for assuming the kind of enjoyment people get out of video-games before even playing one. Go pick up a copy of Uncharted 2, MGS4, The Legend Of Zelda Ocarina Of Time, EVEN GEARS OF WAR. All of which have amazing stories and play out almost like a book (Ok, not as much, books are much more "immersive") with fun enough gameplay aspects to keep you coming back for more when you unlock something 'meaningless' at the end of the game.

On the other hand, your friends are addicted and do not represent any sane gamer that can manage their Real Life and their Virtual experiences.

Also the video-games your talking about are "RPG"s. Which is much different than a "FPS" where you just go in, shoot a few baddies and then turn off the console. As opposed to making a life for yourself, managing supplies and relationships and basically something that just takes place of your real life since some of the things in it you can't actually do in real life. Now although those games are fun, I hardly play them, and if I did I'd make sure It doesn't take over my life.

Beta said...

Wow... triple post. This comment system sucks.