I loved playing video games when I was a child. The first thing I was doing after coming back from school was turning my PC on and play games. I was building empires from scratch. I was solving crimes. I was flying jets and racing with supercars.
In my mid-teens, for various reasons, I stopped playing games. Years have passed and new responsibilities came in - studying, work.
I have been out of the world of gaming for 12 years.
A couple of years ago, when this let’s play explosion happened on YouTube, I started to get back into that those virtual worlds. I started to catch up with what I have missed.
I missed so many good stories.
Sure, movies and books also tell stories. The difference is that in movies and books (and any other traditional media), the story is told to us. We are passive observers of the unfolding story.
Video games are different because we are active in the story. We are doing those actions. We have chosen to do them and we have to deal with the consequences of them. This gives a deeper connection with the story. We don’t just watch how the hero does the heroic deeds - we are the hero who does them.
We all make choices. But in the end our choices makes us ~ Andrew Ryan (BioShock)
Since we are the one who makes choices in video games, it means we are projecting some aspects of ourselves into that choice. For example, playing Civilisation 6 showed me how much risk-averse I was and that I did not explore enough. Such a simple thing as not sending scouts in a virtual world showed me that. It was eye-opening.
That’s not the only thing I owe to video games. I do not exaggerate the I say I wouldn’t be here without them. Deus Ex: Human Revolution brought me into the world of transhumanism and the ideas of upgrading ourselves with technology. Without that, H+ Weekly would not exist. Moira and Mercy from Overwatch were among many little pushes towards me going into bioengineering.
I found some of the best stories I ever experienced in video games. Stories that moved me and inspired me to be a better person.
I love video games.