Why I Like to Play Video Games

video-games-1136046_1920Hi! My name is Morgan and I like to play video games. Before you write me off as an adult, let me share with you my thoughts. Yesterday while I was chatting with my husband about stats, researching weapons and play styles, and debating with him the best spec for a character, I realized I love video games because it’s more than just pushing a button and causing an avatar to run across a screen. It’s logic, strategy, eye-candy, amazing stories, and community all rolled up into one: video games.

Video games have come a long way since Mario crossed the television screen and jumped on his first goomba. Now games can range anywhere from puzzles to shooters to strategy to vast worlds and epic stories. Video games are not just something you watch, you interact with them. In some ways, they are highly evolved versions of the old “choose your own adventure” books I loved as a kid, complete with mind boggling graphics and grand-sweeping stories.

I can live the life of a mage in the world of Skyrim. Or I can fight the Alliance as a dagger-wielding troll. I can remember what it was like to be a ten year old wishing I could go on adventure like Ash in Pokemon, or save Hyrule as Link (not Zelda, Zelda is the girl ;). As you can see, video games have a way of expanding our imaginations and reminding us of what we used to dream about when we were young.

I also love video games because there is so much strategy and planning that needs to go into them. Yesterday I was leveling my warrior with my husband and we were chatting about the benefits of different talent points and specs. Yeah, it’s an imaginary world, but that kind of thinking and problem-solving helps expand those areas of the brain. Not to mention the benefit of engaging in conversation with my husband.

Which brings up the last reason I love to play video games: the relationships and community! My first experience with gaming was watching my husband blow some steam after a long day at seminary by playing Age of Mythology. I was fascinated with the world building and strategy and finally asked him to teach me to play. Soon we were conquering the world together (I gathered resources and he took our armies out). Since then, we have always played together. Gaming allows us to do “shoulder to shoulder” stuff and talk while we play.

Gaming has also opened up opportunities for me to connect with other people. I have been with a great guild on World of Warcraft for six years and have made many friends. I also play games with my kids which has allowed me to spend time with them and talk with them (having a hard time talking to your son? Play a game with him. It’s amazing how he’ll open up while he’s digging for treasure in Terraria). And it has also allowed me to connect with teens at church. All I need to do is share the Pokemon I recently caught or how my rogue is doing in the battlegrounds and suddenly I’m not some big, scary adult! And those conversations usually led to other, more serious conversations. I understand their world because I am part of their world.

Gaming is not for everyone, but it has its place in this world. And it’s a world I will probably be a part of for a very long time.

How about you? Do you play video games? Which ones do you play? What do you enjoy about them?

 

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12 thoughts on “Why I Like to Play Video Games”

  1. I’ve tried, but man I’m bad at it! LOL! My loves WOW, but I’m so far behind him that it drives him a little crazy to have to explain everything to me. 🙂 I’m in Grad School at the moment, but your post got me thinking, and maybe I’ll make it a goal to figure WOW out on my own and surprise him, after school and homework end in May.

  2. I don’t play video games but enjoy watching some play them. I’ve learned over the years that the best way to connect with someone is through interests. Recently I watched a Minecraft youtuber with my grandkids. It was interesting! Now I will be able to relate to my high school students when they talk about Freddy!

  3. I’m a huge gamer. From the time of the Commodore 64 to my Xbox One, I have loved gaming for decades now. I used to play a ton of Guild Wars 2, but that grew old for me, and now I just play Half Life 2: Deathmatch on Steam every day at lunch and some Xbox One games at night. I find gaming to be relaxing, and I also find that it helps me problem-solve.

  4. I don’t play that much, but when I do, I really love open world games. Or ones I loved from my teen years (Kingdom Hearts and Sly Cooper and Jak and Daxter FTW!). Lately my sister and I are replaying Far Cry 3 for the third time. I just love exploring the game! I\ts amazing.

  5. I haven’t played a video game in years but I used to love getting on and playing with my older brother. I love how you describe your love for the games, it’s so much more than just an extracuricular activity. It’s practically binding you to an entirely new community that you can feel some freedom in. How fun and exciting!

  6. I have raided EQ and for the last 11 years WoW offers an incredible opportunity to connect with people all over the country.

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