- Video Games
- About Us
The Player Affinity Xbox team has decided to take a break from the norm of doing a weekly list and instead stating why we love video games and why we continue to write about them. This article isn’t about us though as much as it is about you, readers. We want to know, why do you play games? What keeps you playing year after year? Answer those questions below in the comments section. Enjoy the article.
The reason why I really love games is not a complicated one, it actually boils down to one word: “Fun.” The feeling of being able to separate myself from my mediocre outside life and be instantly immersed into games such as Limbo and Red Dead Redemption is an incredible feeling that no other media platform or anything in general can rival. I got into games when I was much younger, around five or six, and was instantly impressed. I was definitely not an instant critic but the magic of video games bug had bit me and boy did it bite hard.
I still remember running to the nearest rental store and always checking to see what game they had available. The first game I remember picking up and actually disliking was “Batman-Forever” on the Sega Genesis. I remember getting that thing, being on the ride home, just staring at the case, and once I finally popped it in… I got stuck within twenty minutes and had no idea what to do. I ran back and forth, hopping up and down, even restarted the game; nothing.
One game I very much remember loving and playing way too much was Super Metroid. On weekends, I would always run to my aunt’s house, go to the living room, and her and I would just hang out there as she talked to me while I played Mario or Metroid. It was an incredible and unique bonding experience that is unforgettable.
My evolution into wanting to become a writer was quite an odd one. It all started with WWF Smackdown! 2: Know Your Role. I still remember the exact move where I thought this, I was doing a dive off the turnbuckle with Jeff Hardy onto Shane McMahon and for some reason, and this evoked the thought in me of “I want to make this for a living.” For awhile, I didn’t build on that dream but one day I decided to look at some schools and found out there were a few game designing schools near me. While I was getting into all this designing, I got further and further into games. And once I finally struck that games journalism goldmine, I was rich with happiness.
I may have swayed a bit from the “why do I love games” topic slightly and fell into a nostalgic trip there and I apologize for that but the main thing I love about games is being able to plop my ass down after working on whatever I’ve been doing all day and just press some buttons and have on hell of a time. Video Gaming is a media that is underappreciated by all, but loved by very many.
Why do I play video games? Well that is a tough question, and the answer has honestly varied from when I got my Sega Genesis almost 18 years ago to as I write this. Though I’m sure we can all say that it’s been fun for all the years that we’ve been playing.
I’d say I started out playing because from the start of the 90’s all of us kids were asking for NES (and eventually the SNES). I was lucky enough to have had friends that all went with Nintendo at the time, but I was the different one. That and I discovered Sonic at some point (and it was love at first Robotnic boss battle). I’m not sure if I made the decision with this in mind, or the fact that I knew I could just go to my friends’ houses if I ever felt like playing Mario. Either way I wouldn’t put it past young me.
I eventually started to be more deep into games as the years went. In those years I discovered series like Final Fantasy and Metal Gear Solid. Two series that to this day I still love, and are easily my favorite series still today. However these opened my gateway into narrative games. To this point I never knew a story could be so deep, but it could and I loved them for it.
Today My tastes have evolved to the point where story is less important compared to the overall feel of the game. The style, gameplay, and graphics all contribute to my feelings toward a game I’m playing. I still love narrative games, but I have no problem putting it to the side for a game like Demon’s Souls. I feel more connected with the games then ever before, and it was actually this that brought me to gaming journalism. I wanted to share my thoughts, and talk about one of the things I love the most in this world. I can only hope that video games are around long enough for me to pass on my love for games.
Why do I love to play, or even write on video games?… that is a very good question to ask me as I honestly don’t know why I play video games. I play for fun, but some of the games out there give me varying artistic directions of which to take my other projects.. sketches, prose and poetry (don’t judge, I love to write and this is why I work on this site J). Now let’s look at some examples of games I enjoy. Mass Effect… inspiration for some of my prose workings and a lot of my poetry. I loved the game to death and did some extended readings on the universe itself, trying to get every nook and cranny of the world for artistically purposes and ideas for stories. STALKER (it’s a PC game I know, but bear with me), the fear it exposed to the player… the bleak ambiance and the music it lent itself to instil the fear of the world around was what made it a brilliant game to play in the long run—play it if you haven’t.
Some games provide an excellent universe that you just want to explore not only for fun, but to learn about. Mass Effect again is a very good example of such a case. Take the galaxy map you could search under, do you remember a game that gave you such deep descriptions of terrestrials and Jovial planets out in space? I thought so, that’s what makes this game such a keeper when it comes to learning. So I guess in a way… I use games for two purposes, artistic freedom and direction, ideas and as a learning nexus. If it weren’t for some games, I probably would’ve been stuck in math class learning something I wouldn’t passionate about… that and I probably wouldn’t have started studying subjects such as Art and Astronomy.
Games for me are a learning tool, and it’s something I take to heart very passionately.
Being asked why I love video games in an interesting question. I don’t know exactly why I am so passionate about them. It’s just something that has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Like most kids born in the mid 80’s my first system was the original NES and ever since then I have been completely hooked.
My earliest gamer memory is sitting in front of the TV in a farmhouse in Maine. I lived there with my mother and sister until I turned 4 and we moved out to the west coast. I remember being intrigued by Duck Hunt for some reason. Maybe it was my own innocence, like I couldn’t believe I was allowed to play such a vulgar game where I had to shoot animals. I was a Nintendo fan-boy for most of my life, even though I never realized it. With the latest generations of systems I have branched out which has ultimately led me to the 360.
In a nutshell, I play video games because they are fun. They capture my attention and imagination. It’s a great way to bring people together or just to unwind after a long day. The industry has grown so much in the last 20 years. Gaming has never been more mainstream than it is right now. Consoles are often staples in home entertainment centers. Casual gaming is through the roof due to advances in phone technologies and the success of social networking sites. Games have become an integral part of our every day life because they are fun. Not to mention with all the billions of dollars being poured into developing new games, I always have something to play.
As for why I decided to write about games, that’s a more complex story. Gaming has been my passion for my entire life, it’s really the only interest that hasn’t changed or faded. It only made sense to me to pursue some kind of career in the industry, the only problem was finding a position that fit. After graduation I was faced with the whole idea of finding a career. I feel like I hopped ship more than most. At one point I was focusing on programming, design, art and even the testing side of video games. However none of these niches seemed to work for me, they all seemed to focused where as I wanted something that focused more on the big picture.
When I stumbled upon the idea of video game journalism it seemed like a perfect fit. I always enjoyed writing and when combined with my favorite hobby it became something I could really see myself doing professionally. Writing news and reviews, sharing my opinions on industry gossip, traveling to trade shows and delivering hands on previews— It’s all very exciting to me. The best part about the games industry is that is it constantly evolving. Do you think Microsoft and Sony would have developed their motion sensing technologies if the Nintendo Wii hadn’t come out? Probably not. Kinect and Move were both created in direct response to the Wii’s success. With three big companies all trying to out do each other the industry never stagnates. It’s exciting to know that any day you could bring up your favorite gaming site and be treated to some cool news you weren’t expecting.
It took a while to come to terms with the fact that my greatest memories have been playing video games. Though when I did I realized I’d discovered my own fountain of youth. Like everyone else on this planet I’m on a quest to find my happiness, and my purpose in life. But as we all know sometimes that journey isn’t black and white, and you’re often dropped on your head when you think you’re on the right path. During these times I’ve always had gaming to fall back on. Gaming is my escapism, my ecstasy. It’s what makes me happy. I consider it a gift that I can fire up Mario Kart and be sent back to the endless summers that I spent with friends. To a time when we didn’t have to worry about broken hearts, shattered dreams, and bills to pay.
Not long after I graduated from high school my future was incredibly up in the air, and I can’t say it’s much different now, but at that time my father was scared for me. One of his quotes was, “When we brought that Nintendo into the house, I was scared to death this is what it would turn into. You’re grown up now and you’re still playing these games. I’m afraid it’s ruining your future.” Although it’s a rational fear, something he’ll never understand is that that Nintendo was the greatest gift he’s ever given me. He didn’t just give me a Nintendo, he gave me passion. He gave me something some people spend their whole lives striving to find, and sometimes leave this Earth without ever discovering it. I found it at six. No negative emotion, bill, or crappy job can withstand the power of “I get to play Halo tonight”. While most have to endure their lives with nothing but “I hope this changes”, I can love this life knowing no matter what happens to me, as long as I have an outlet, a TV, and a couple minutes of free time; I can plug into happiness.