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?