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”