Why I Play Video Games

(This column is posted at www.StevenSavage.com and Steve’s Tumblr.  Find out more at my newsletter.)

My Friend Serdar and I were discussing video games and why people enjoyed them recently. It was interesting because I know plenty of gamers, and plenty of people not into them.

So what do they do for me? That was fun – and interesting – to analyze.

First, gaming is something that lets me express myself without some kind of commitment or burden. I’m an organizer, a manager, and a guy that likes to explore things. Gaming lets me do that, from figuring out platforms to managing spaceships. When I game I am me.

Recently, with the stressful Pandemic, I was feeling down, so started playing Slime Rancher, and after that Star Traders: Frontiers. Both were games with planning and management, and playing them helped me, be, well, me. It was refreshing – and it was fun.

Secondly, gaming is a unique art. In games, multiple things that were previously separate arts come together. Visuals, music, rules, more. A game is a way to experience deep experiences, often experiences that would have been separate or less impressive.

This unique art allows for deep experiences such as simulations, but also unique ones. I can walk across impossible landscapes made out of math. I can experience a musical soundtrack while being in a story I control. Gaming is a unique art – and a fusion of arts.

Third, gaming has a social aspect. I’m not just talking multiplayer games (rarely my fave) but the way you can connect over an art. There’s plenty of social tools and sites, I love Early Access games where I give feedback. There’s so many ways to connect, if you’re selective, you can find really fulfilling involvement on a level fine for you, deep to shallow.

I share experiences with video games and friends, I give feedback. I really connect and in some cases, you can give feedback that improves games.

So yeah, that’s why I game. it helps me be me. It’s a unique fusion art form. And I can connect with others when I want to.

What about you?

Steven Savage