Why do you game?

This is a question that up until very recently I never really though about much. I was listening to a podcast where everyone was discussing what game actually pushed them into the world of gaming and the question kinda formed from there.

Why do I continue to play games over this 20 year period I’ve lived? Was there every a period where I didn’t game, or will there ever be?

For me gaming is something I can trace back to the earliest stages of my youth. I was given a NES system at the age of 2 because my parents wanted me to have something to stimulate my mind that they could trust wasn’t the images of TV. I think to them games were a medium they felt they could trust they each had experience with Galaga and Asteroids my mom had experience with Ms Pac-man. I guess to them they saw it as a way to expand my mind at an early age.

Little did they know that this one action would shape the course of my life pretty greatly. As I grew older games are something that continued to stick with me when everyone at school seemed to grow out of games I was always flipping through a Nintendo Power or EGM salivating about the next upcoming release.

I’ve always said I look to games for the same reason that others look to books. Games to be are an excellent chance to escape into a world. It gives you a chance to be a world saving hero or a more recently an evil dictator bent on enslaving all that he sees. I think for me the appeal and why I game is to become something greater than I could ever accomplish in the real world. I can play out the macho role of saving a princess in distress with nothing more than a sword in my hand and a shield on my wrist.

Even when things in my life are at their worst, when everything seems to be going wrong, all I need to do is fire up a game and escape into a world were I can save the day not just for me but others. To a point I think everyone needs a similar boost from time to time where they feel like their actions are taken seriously and that they matter. Others might seek it out by other methods by looking into getting into politics, or volunteering locally.  It’s empowering to feel like even your simplest action has large weight behind it. It’s the reason that most of do they things we do.

Gaming for me is as much apart of who I am as the Black skin that lays over my body. It will always be apart of who I am and what I’m about. So when someone asks me “why do I game?” I answer “Because its who I am”


  1. I started gaming at probably age 6 or 7 I think? I remember my cousin showing me FF9 on his PS1 and thinking it was the coolest thing ever. My parents didn’t want em having a home system so I setteled for the various Game Boy iterations until about 2005 when I got a gamecube.

    I feel very similair to you. I like to game for the engrossing worlds. I mostly play RPG’s or games with good stories. I like it alot better then reading books or watching movies just for the reasons you said, you feel like your making a difference, not watching so guy do it in a TV show.

    I don’t think I will and I never have to stop gaming. It’s also been a really big help living in a country where you don’t speak the language and can’t really talk to anyone. Games are me…

  2. Gaming for me is, as you said aswell, a way to escape from reality and to become someone else or to do stuff that i cant do irl. A big part is also the feeling of doing something grand, like winning a racecup, or conquering an end boss, and the subsequent feel of accomplishment.

    Multiplayer games for me are more about a feeling of unity and belonging, being part of a community. Going into a game with friends and having fun, and like minded people in the gaming community are what keeps drawing me back into certain multiplayer games.

  3. Fun and accomplishment mostly.

    I’ve gamed since I was 3 with a Commodore 64, and I’ve been hooked on games ever since. They give us a chance to be someone we’re not, to jump into their world where the rules aren’t the same there as they are here. I game to do things I physically can’t, like take down giant dragons with swords, and do stuff that’d result in breaking the law if I done it in real life. It’s thrill and excitement, but there’s a sense of accomplishment at the end when you’ve done something particularly challenging that it’s taken you ages to do. I value the day I got Gold on the Nurburgring Special Licence test in Gran Turismo 4 than the day I got accepted into college, because the amount of time and effort I spent getting everything just right was a challenge unto itself that my 6 chosen Leaving Certificatel equivalent subjects didn’t. I chose my subjects. but I had to do 6, that’s mandatory like work to do. But when I accomplish a task that I elect to take on my own free will, like learning a new tune on guitar, that means a lot more to me, and it’s that sense of personal improvement that I live for.

  4. I’m impressed with some of the more obscure systems in the rack (the Commodore CD32 most especially, and is that an NEC PC-FX I see?).

    I’ve been gaming since my Mum and Dad bought the household an Intellivision in the early 1980s. From there I migrated to a Commodore 64, then a Commodore Amiga (and a CDTV), then the CD32, then the Atari Jaguar, then a Dreamcast, an Xbox, and now an Xbox 360. I’ve gone through periods where I didn’t game much, and this is one of them. I’ve got Batman: Arkham Asylum, Halo 3: ODST, Rock Band, and budget copies of Endwar and Frontlines: Fuel of War demanding my attention. But they sit collecting dust largely, because there are other demands on my time (chiefly my day job in a bicycle shop, and being active in my community through my http://www.insidelangford.ca/ citizen journalism blog).

    So I hope some day to be able to game more regularly again, but paying the bills and my democratic responsibility to my community definitely trump games for now.

Comments are closed.