What Makes A Gamer: Are You What You Game?
In the previous feature, we discussed what gamers eat and how that may define them as a gamer. Now we face a more ‘integral’ question. One which I think resonates with each gamer out there. The question simply put is: are you what you game? I pose this question because the reality for many gamers and I draw from my own experiences as well is that we spend a lot of time living, breathing and playing videogames. We endear ourselves towards a certain series of games with a love and passion we would normally share with a loved one. Well, that’s only some of us and typically more so in the fanboy legions, like Bioware fanboys.
There are those moments in videogames where you resonate with the hero, main character and perhaps a supporting character of a videogame. It can be those defining moments of a game like in Half-Life when Gordon Freeman meets G-Man for the first time, the death of Aerith in Final Fantasy VII and Master Chief saving Cortana from the Flood Hive Mind in Halo 3. The sum of these impressions leave a sort of everlasting impact on you as a person. A bet that in some way a game has changed some aspect of your life and took what is considered by many to be a childish hobby from that, to a love affair with the medium. It’s what drives many of us to continue playing videogames for those ‘moments’ of utter bewilderment, and when a game doesn’t deliver on its promises (*cough* like Fable III) we feel like we have been betrayed. For many gamers, videogames become integral to their daily existence (*insert* Forever Alone face). We look up news about upcoming titles and await the release of our favourite installment in a long standing series.
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This site was built on a passion for videogames and all the different games we’ve played here at eGamer have shaped each and everyone of us in some way or another. Relatively speaking I do believe some people do take it too far and the level of fanboyism across all fanbases may be a bit irksome at times. But I think for all the negative criticism that videogames receive in the press; there are also far more postive effects. In many studies, games have improved concentration skills and reflexes of participants, and in some cases improve the grades of participants.
I myself participated in a study at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban where memory retention of shapes and how they fit together was tested. Tetris was used as the medium of experimentation and participants were given different versions of Tetris tailored to different levels of difficulty. The effects of playing Tetris throughout the experiment meant that I now played Tetris on a daily basis on my Android phone. The game had become a part of my daily routine.
Therefore I think that what we play affects us in a variety of ways. Think about it when you’ve dedicated yourself to a game for so long like Skyrim. You know all the intricacies of the world, all its nooks and crannies. You know the characters as if they were your own friends. In Portal, the way the in which the game works itself into the recesses of your mind and ends with that song moves beyond pure digital interface. It becomes like a nursery rhyme which when heard makes you recall a fond childhood memory. Videogames are like fond childhood memories and just like the simple nursery rhyme take shape within us, and become a part of us. To the point that we are what we game. A sum of experiences. In our experience they are videogames.
What are your thoughts dear readers?