“Games, you see, are about having control.
Videogames, most often, present the player with a world with a single end goal of “winning”. They are a perfect contrast to the real world, in which one makes one’s own goals, where goals and desires are constantly shifting, and the only ending anyone ever sees involves the main character dying.
News flash: most people in the world are not astronaut supervisors or rock-star-slash-helicopter-pilots. Most people never get an opportunity and/or have the balls to be the guy who shows up to his job in a big stuffy corporate office on his first day in a leather jacket and sunglasses, tell the boss “You codgers need to change your game!”, and be the flip-flop-wearing CEO by Friday. Games like Dynasty Warriors give us a world with the invincibility code turned on: now we are the badass warrior capable of killing 300 guys before learning what a flesh wound is.
We do — and this is a trite a thing as one can say — play games, sometimes, to escape the real world. People talk about that all the time. What I am proposing is that we play games precisely to avoid the parts of the world that tell us what to do, and when to do them, dangling “a more comfortable life” in front of our eyes all the while.
Though that’s not all: games also present us with things we can finish. Things we can see through to an intended end. And we want to see the end. And the makers want us to see the end. Hence their trying to help us.”
From Tim Rogers excellent article. I read it last year, and recently had reason to read it again. It requires a time investment to read it all, but it’s one I feel will pay back on itself many times over.
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