Why do you play video games?

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#1 Posted by TheRedFox (20 posts) -

Hello, fellow gamers.

Firstly, I hope you didn't read the question in the voice of an angry parent or that of an accusing TV host. If you already did, I am sorry. It wasn't intended. Instead, the question that I've been recently thinking about is the following: what is it that we seek in games?

When I was a little kid, I was told that video games were simply a way to kill time, like playing checkers with your grandma or with friends, or playing football with your friends (or with grandma). However, later I found out that some games were different. They gave an opportunity to escape the "real world" and immerse oneself in a world of fascinating adventures. For the little me, this was amazing! (and for the teenage me, this was a lifesaver).

Now, having discovered that there is more than one purpose to gaming, I am curious about whether anyone else here has thought about and found new answers to why video games are so appealing. What do you think it is that we seek in games? What basic human needs do we want to satisfy? Do we seek a way to kill time, a challanging experience, a tool for escaping reality or, perhaps, a way to connenct with others (in the case of online games) while we can't or do not want to do so in reality? Let's discuss.

Looking forward to your answers.

Avatar image for davillain-
#3 Posted by DaVillain- (36901 posts) -

I play games to escape reality and it's part of my every daily hobby playing games :)

(I know this thread is a hidden stealth advertising, but the question still remains interesting for discussion)

Avatar image for theredfox
#4 Edited by TheRedFox (20 posts) -

@racersteve: Done, sir!

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#5 Edited by RSM-HQ (8410 posts) -

@theredfox:

Why do you play video games?

Because I like having fun.

Everyone enjoys a hobby, and likely for different reasons.

For me in gaming, is exploring the game mechanics and level design depth/ how much precision is needed and options available, stuff like that excites me. Also a fan of visually being stunned by the art crafted before me in a well-realised world.

*I've commonly read here story in games is what many want to do when it's more an escape from reality but I'm not one of these Gamers. Can appreciate a good plot, no questions; to make the events more practical. However I don't think gaming as a medium really needs it. And many cases a 'good story' in a game is used to ignore its short comings as an actual game.

I am curious about whether anyone else here has thought about and found new answers to why video games are so appealing

No new answers, I know what I like, and highlighted something else that seems common. I like games for the fundamental depth first and foremost. However I'm a straight forward creature that doesn't need a story or interesting characters to motivate my attention-span. That's only a bonus when a game adds that ontop an already excellent game.

Like Chrono Trigger for example_

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#6 Edited by narlymech (1677 posts) -

For the excitement. It gets pretty dull around here.

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#7 Posted by Bush_Dog (294 posts) -

@theredfox said:

simply a way to kill time

Also to win in competitive games like MOBA (I just like that feeling of getting better at something). Gaming also helps me to reduce my stress.

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#8 Posted by DarkTower (198 posts) -

Depends on the game

Stealth games I get a real thrill out of, same with horror

Most other games I play to battle boredom, depression but I actually think gaming is a good hobby

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#9 Posted by henrythefifth (2502 posts) -

I fell in love with video games the first time I saw my friend play on Commodore 64.

I still love games, both old and new.

So, to answer your question, I play games out of love.

Oh, dont worry. There are lot of other things too I love. Women, good food, travelling, books and so on.

Love makes the world go round.

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#10 Posted by sukraj (27859 posts) -

I play for fun and its a hobby and it helps me to pass the time.

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#11 Posted by Shantmaster_K (1469 posts) -

Play with friends, the enjoyment it provides, and takes you away from reality which is especially nice for work.

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#12 Posted by TheRedFox (20 posts) -

@davillain-: Oh no! I just filled in the survey to help them out. I didn't want it to appear as if I was advertising something :(

Avatar image for theredfox
#13 Posted by TheRedFox (20 posts) -

@RSM-HQ: It's interesting, because, when I think about it, I've personally liked different games for different reasons at different times. When I was a kid, I prefered games with good stories. I mean, it wasn't just the story. I also loved the atmosphere, the scenery, etc, but storylines and interesting characters were the dealbreakers for me. And I can relate to @davillain- and I can definitely relate to @henrythefifth in that I used to LOVE games. They were my way of completely escaping reality and immersing myself in a new world.

However, recently I've become rather disinterested in most of the storylines that gaming offers. I mean, I'd rather read a book. Nowadays, I play games just to pass time, like @sukraj said. And very recently, I've started playing for some challange. I've been playing a MOBA (and little else) in the previous year and like @bush_dog said, I've just been looking for some fun. I was also looking for something that I can do while communicating with others, because singleplayer had become lonely and wasn't as immersive anymore, but I had no one I wanted to communicate with IRL.

I've been playing for a while now, and I have tried different genres, studios, playforms. But the reason I've played these games has constantly been changing. This is part of the reason I'm curious about what others think on the topic. I mean, I can only guess about what my future motivations to play, or whether I will play at all (and it would be quite said if I didn't).

Avatar image for theredfox
#14 Posted by TheRedFox (20 posts) -

@bush_dog:Really?! I've started playing a MOBA recently. It's DOTA 2, to be more precise. What do you play?

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#15 Posted by TheRedFox (20 posts) -

@darktower: You know, I picked up Dead Space when I was a kid, and I have to say: it was an exciting but terrible experience at the same time. It was really fun and had a decent story. The thing is, I was playing at my friend's place, at night. And then I get to get back home. Alone. AT NIGHT. And it was terrifying. Since then I've been avoiding horror games at all costs. In fact, I don't think I've tried to deliberately feel thrilled ever again. It is exciting to watch youtubers do it though (if it's not at night). The thing is that some horror games actually have pretty good storylines and I want to play these. But I just can't make myself get over the horror elements :(

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#16 Edited by RSM-HQ (8410 posts) -

@theredfox: As a child I went to the arcade for games and would play dancing games and casually play Fighting games, and other genres. For me it was a social obligation and didn't think much past it.

Wasn't till I started playing Tekken 5 that I would state gaming mechanics hit me as my real interest in the hobby.

As for story, was never my go-to but after finishing Makai Senki Disgaea at a young age, mostly playing it for 'again' mechanical depth, got attached towards some of the cast. And suppose this is a spoiler, but Flon dies, this bubbly kind Angel girl, and that's when it hit me that I can enjoy character development as well. Yet, it's still rare for me to care about such things.

Even then I have a 33 X 23 inch poster of Flon, love that character in every way.

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#17 Posted by Jackamomo (2156 posts) -

The answer is dependant on many factors.

Different games fulfil different needs.

I used to play Ultima 4 (SMS) for literally weeks because I could immerse myself in that world. However I still enjoy action games for the thrill of improving my skill level in the game and hence advancing further through the levels to see them and enhance my skill level even more until the skill level is high and game play is rewarding.

I'm playing Icewind Dale but I'm also playing Virtua Racing on Mega Drive which I am currently preferring to MSI on the Dreamcast.

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#18 Posted by James_w30 (7 posts) -

I have a problem that they are getting so real, is it OK for kids to be playing?

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#19 Edited by scottnewton (15 posts) -

It's changed over time I think... so I'm interested to see what role it plays in the future. When I was a kid, N64 games were a way of coming together. My sides would hurt playing Mario Kart, Goldeneye or Mario Party. As I grew up, it became more about the escapism - the role playing element. I'm not interested in the games with customisable characters - I want to be given a fully fleshed out person, in a situation I will likely never be in, and be asked to act as they would. While it's not my favourite game, GTAV was great for this, because I could flick between three characters and three play styles. These days, games are a brief break for me - a reward at the end of the day. I'm pretty time poor so it's usually just a few round on the remastered COD4 or something like that.

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#20 Posted by Bush_Dog (294 posts) -

@theredfox: Mainly, I play League of Legends but I also play DOTA 2 when my Friends ask me to party with them. Playing at SEA server.

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#21 Posted by BabyPulpFiction (246 posts) -

i enjoyed the art, dialogue and fantastical element of games. i think part of us all like to get lost in them and their world

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#22 Posted by PimpHand_Gamer (2856 posts) -

Immersion or as a time killing hobby. I like being involved or immersed in something. Some games offer that reward, the satisfaction of accomplishing something without actually doing anything.

Avatar image for warmblur
#23 Edited by warmblur (2512 posts) -

Immersion and escapism I can't wait to see what VR will be like in 10 or 20 years I hope it feels as real as dreams do. Just imagine playing GTAV like that where it's almost impossible to tell the difference between VR and real life it will be the best entertainment ever.

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#24 Posted by TheRedFox (20 posts) -

@james_w30: I don't even know, sir. I mean, the liberal me says "just let them do what they like", but then the conservative me says "we need to be caucious". I've written a couple of essays in college regarding this topic (rather, a similar topic, about violence and its influence on kids), and there are good arguments on both sides. So, one needs to thoroughly analyze all (or most) of these arguments and try to identify which side is stronger.

Avatar image for theredfox
#25 Posted by TheRedFox (20 posts) -

@bush_dog: I've played league a couple of times. I was confused and, I guess, too lazy to get too deep into the mechanics :P. So I went back to Dotes.

Avatar image for R4gn4r0k
#26 Posted by R4gn4r0k (31188 posts) -

I play because they are fun, it's my favourite hobby.

I'm also a huge history nerd, and I love games like Assassin's Creed, Red Orchestra, Battlefield, Age of Empires or Company of Heroes putting me in different times.

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#27 Posted by CTR360 (8705 posts) -

@sukraj said:

I play for fun and its a hobby and it helps me to pass the time.

Same here

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#28 Posted by Hyperanium (16 posts) -

Because video games are my way of having fun, socialize and temporarily escape from reality.

It helped me in many ways over the courses of my life. Whether it was because I had no one to talk to, left feeling disappointed, sad because of past events, or just plain bored, video games were there when I needed something to soothe my mind.

I've grown attached to many video games and the communities it made over the years, but as I grew older, the enjoyment isn't as great anymore. I've taken interest in different hobbies as of lately, one of them is writing. I still enjoy video games, that's why I made a blog about video games, it's like hitting two birds with one stone.

But good things come to an end at some point, and video games will probably become numb to me after a few years. But for now, I'll try to enjoy video games at every chance I get to play it.

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#29 Posted by kaealy (2178 posts) -

It's a cheap hobby that doesn't take much time to enjoy.

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#30 Posted by mb88bck (3 posts) -

game

Avatar image for jenydaman
#32 Edited by jenydaman (8 posts) -

I love to play Doggy Bubble Shooter , is a free game with bubble ball , i love it

Avatar image for tfl4me
#33 Posted by Tfl4me (8 posts) -

I play mainly to hang out with friends, I used to really love narratives and exploring new worlds etc, but now I don't have the time - and really only want to play with other people.

Avatar image for jackamomo
#34 Posted by Jackamomo (2156 posts) -

@pimphand_gamer: Immersion or as a time killing hobby. I like being involved or immersed in something. Some games offer that reward, the satisfaction of accomplishing something without actually doing anything.

I think immersion is key to enjoying games and the ability to focus on the image and world like a meditation to transport yourself into that world is how to enjoy video games, as taking an active part in the narrative even if it's Snow Bros.

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#35 Posted by RockField (473 posts) -

That is because that's what I love to do if I have nothing to do and/or if I want to relax to relieve tiredness/stress from school despite staying up late during the weekdays til 11 or 12 am. It also helped me escape reality and forget my problems temporarily. And also, this is what I am almost passionate about.

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#36 Posted by RockField (473 posts) -

@rockfield said:

That is because that's what I love to do if I have nothing to do and/or if I want to relax to relieve tiredness/stress from school despite staying up late during the weekdays til 11 or 12 am. It also helped me escape reality and forget my problems temporarily. And also, this is what I am almost passionate about.

and also, gaming is the only one that makes me happy the most.

Avatar image for the1truepatriot
#37 Posted by the1truePATRIOT (37 posts) -

@theredfox said:

Hello, fellow gamers.

Firstly, I hope you didn't read the question in the voice of an angry parent or that of an accusing TV host. If you already did, I am sorry. It wasn't intended. Instead, the question that I've been recently thinking about is the following: what is it that we seek in games?

When I was a little kid, I was told that video games were simply a way to kill time, like playing checkers with your grandma or with friends, or playing football with your friends (or with grandma). However, later I found out that some games were different. They gave an opportunity to escape the "real world" and immerse oneself in a world of fascinating adventures. For the little me, this was amazing! (and for the teenage me, this was a lifesaver).

Now, having discovered that there is more than one purpose to gaming, I am curious about whether anyone else here has thought about and found new answers to why video games are so appealing. What do you think it is that we seek in games? What basic human needs do we want to satisfy? Do we seek a way to kill time, a challanging experience, a tool for escaping reality or, perhaps, a way to connenct with others (in the case of online games) while we can't or do not want to do so in reality? Let's discuss.

Looking forward to your answers.

I play games to fix my crippling depression.

Avatar image for kotariggs
#38 Posted by KotaRiggs (10 posts) -

Cause I have no life.

Avatar image for mcdoogle
#39 Edited by McDoogle (7 posts) -

To have fun.

Avatar image for alexkirwin94
#40 Edited by AlexKirwin94 (4 posts) -

Any one willing to help with a dissertation module ??

Avatar image for Jshoelace
#43 Edited by Jshoelace (846 posts) -

I like to take ecstasy mash and play a game as it makes me feel like I'm in the game and I'm the main character, but usually when i sober up I'm just staring at a blank wall with a banana in my hand.

Avatar image for theredfox
#44 Posted by TheRedFox (20 posts) -

@hyperanium: It's sad, but I have to admit that I feel the same. It was rather terrifying when I first felt like I wasn't having "fun" anymore, like something had changed. I was shocked, because games had been my whole life, my whole experience for the previous 10 or more years. And now here I am, in the "grown-up" world, wishing that I wasn't here at all...

Oh man, you made me shed a tear there :'). But enough with my rant, glad that you were able to find another interesting hobby, my friend!

Avatar image for theredfox
#45 Posted by TheRedFox (20 posts) -

@jenydaman: Looks interesting, I'll give it a try!

Avatar image for theredfox
#46 Posted by TheRedFox (20 posts) -

@the1truepatriot: I'm sorry to hear that. But at least you've found something that helps. And, having been (and currently being) there, I can tell you that it's great to have something to forget about depression.

Avatar image for jayrealmedianow
#47 Edited by jayrealmedianow (9 posts) -

I play games for various reasons whether its to kill time, to learn or to socialise. Whatever the reason is the game itself must be entertaining, socialising is becoming very important in the gaming industry. Game developers need to take social play very serious as this is a growing trend.

Jay

Real Media Now Ltd

Avatar image for frozenforest
#49 Posted by frozenforest (18 posts) -

Love it. Can't help but love it. Not that I am a toxic gamer but everytime i ply games(not every game though), i really feel the joy in my heart. Besides I found that some games really have good stories, which is sometimes i will tell people that playing games is just another way to... shit, i can't find a word to describe. English is my second language. anyways, just like reading comic, manga, novel, watching movie, listening tales from others. It is simply another ways to 'rgesvkhjb(that word)' a story that created by others.

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#50 Edited by johnd13 (9747 posts) -

Mostly for the immersion and atmosphere. I love losing myself in a game's rich world and escaping reality. This is why most of my favorite video games are RPGs, immersive sims or story and atmosphere rich first person action games.