Why Do You Game?
Living the life of a gamer, there is no doubt that this question crossed your mind at least once in your lifetime. If it didn’t cross your mind, then it definitely crossed someone else’s and they asked you about it. Aside from the typical “it is fun,” “it is entertaining,” “it keeps me off drugs” or whatever reason that is widely told, there is a deeper reason for most gamers. There is an underlying reason why they continue to game and why they choose certain types of games to play. So I open this question up: why do you game?
I started playing video games at a relatively young age. It started with Pokémon in 1995 and it just took off from there. Being the child of parents who shoved the future of education down my throat, my gaming was very limited. That quite possibly gave me my love for extensive, drawn out, story driven games that kept a player engaged, even after the main quest line was completed. Side quests I adored, collecting everything was a must, and an overall completion of the game was something I always strived for. So as a child, I gamed for the reason of getting a completion of 100% before moving onto another game.
Fast forward to high school, where gaming took on many other forms. I got involved in the children’s card game scene (oh, excuse me, Yuugioh) and played that for a while. I still had the love for console gaming, as my group of friends and I shared a common game pool. But I could not help but love the arcade the most. While it is a dying business now, at the time it was flourishing. Every Friday was DDR day. The boyfriend at the time and I would bus it down to Nickel Nickel (the games were a nickel!!! Well…sorta) and spend our time dancing the night away. Sometimes it was just us; sometimes we brought a posse along. So as a growing teenager, I gamed for the reason of socializing.
Now cut to post-college. During the college years, the focus of my life shifted. I was no longer the happy-go-lucky teenager where I could spend those sleepless nights being a boss or finishing up those last few quests before going on my own quest called “high school”. Now, I was learning to become an adult and finding my footing in life. Needless to say, gaming took a backseat priority during those years. Well…to be honest, it was more of a dragging on the asphalt by a piece of string from behind my car priority. I had almost lost my love for all games when I got involved too heavily into Magic: The Gathering and it nearly destroyed many things I had built up over the years. Even though I look back and see it as an experience, I cannot help but have a slight dislike for the game. And since I devoted much of my life to that card game, my love for console and arcade gaming slowly dwindled to almost nothing…
Graduation. I had finished my last paper, my last final, and my last project of my undergraduate career. With that bachelor’s degree in my hand, the world was open. But what was I going to do? I had already decided to go back for a master’s degree, but there was something else missing inside of me. There was something that was tugging on my heartstrings, yearning and wanting me again. The moment I realized that I wanted to get back my gaming spirit came when an opportunity rose for me to go to E3. Granted I was only able to get into the Sony conference for free through the website I write for, but when I set foot inside that outside party with free food and drinks, I was quite enticed. When it was time to enter the conference, I had no idea what to expect. I walked in and I saw so many people with their laptops out and recording the conference. There were people on stage playing PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale at the time. So we found a random seat and waited for the conference to begin.
And oh did it start out with a bang. As a first timer going, I did not know what to expect. So all of the presentations wowed me and kept me interested to see what Sony had in store for its customers. It was at that moment…watching all of the presentations of the new games and ideas from Sony that got me wanting to play again. All of the new and exciting games…it got my mouth salivating with joy. Not only that, but I saw all of the laptops and wondered “why are they there?” and “can anyone be there?” I find out later that they were journalists and all they did was report on video games. My love for writing took a similar toll as gaming in my life and this conference gave me the push to continue forward with starting this new drive. When I came back into the world, I gamed for the purpose playing a variety of games to write about. I wanted to write about the stories in the games, its connection to the player, and the overall function of the video game industry. I wanted to get my name out there and the only way to do that was to…well…play games.
So that leads me to my question again: why do you game? Do you game for the purpose of combining two passions like me? Or is it for a deeper reason? Post your comments below in the comments section and stay tuned for more on Velocity Gamer!