I’ve been called a radical lover of games from many people inside the gaming community and that’s proven by me playing a billion games and having the GamerScore so high it might be arrested for drug possession. And it’s absolutely and irrefutably true. I love games. I love everything about games to the point where it’s my identity. I have written countless articles telling people about the greatness of gaming. Everything from the deepness of narrative to the euphoric joys of playing something mindless. I feel like reiterating some of those statements because I can’t get enough of praising games. This time I would like to talk about that feeling you get when something amazing happens in a game that just leaves you awe-struck and speechless.
I’ve played some games recently that have really got to me. Those are Spec-Ops The Line, BioShock Infinite and The Walking Dead (the non-shit one). All of these games are very narrative and story driven, but the events in those games have really captured my imagination and invoked feelings that I really didn’t think I had. More importantly, those feelings came from a videogame. Something that society constantly dismisses. I’ve had another instance of ignorance at my university in the form of a lecturer saying that games “don’t really have a lot of words and speaking”. I swiftly went into defensive mode and corrected her stating that she has absolutely no idea how much “speaking” there actually is in games.
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I don’t know if these people really understand just how much emotion and moments of complete shock games are capable of. For example, the surprisingly amazing Spec-Ops The Line had me clenching my head with wide-eyed shock, uttering the words: “Oh God, what have I done.” A pretty powerful statement with a game filled with “mindless shooting” wouldn’t you think? To invoke such a strong response is no small feat. Books, movies and other forms of storytelling don’t posses the ability to make you feel bad for something you have done. They just can’t because it’s not an interactive experience. That’s why I’m so drawn to games because it involves me doing certain actions and not just being a spectator from the outside.
The Walking Dead did something incredible. It made me cry. I cried because of a game. If any jock alive would have witnessed this event I would be called gay so fast that it would make even the most prominent internet troll envious. How can I cry because of some random pixels and strings of code? It’s fantastic that a game can give you such strong feelings that you physically cry. An action that’s taken for granted because of over-emotional housewives and teenage girls. I’m a big guy with an almost cold outlook on everything and some dire cynicism and it made me cry like a little schoolgirl that lost her balloon.
BioShock Infinite made me feel many, many things. Tranquility, sadness, shock, amazement, tragedy, depression and even love. Just look at that list. Those are just from the top of my head. Those things would never be associated with videogames by the ignorant populace. They would rather throw you with books and movies because you “lack culture”, but little do they know, that we have experienced so much more than they will ever have. We were in control of an actual character and sometimes dictated what they would do. We were there inside the story, first-hand, executing actions and initiated events. We were not just some hovering entity that just simply looked at it.
I’m not saying books, movies and what have you don’t have emotional experiences because quite the opposite is true, but gamers experience it on a much more personal level. And that’s why I will always love it. Call me over-positive, call me obsessive, I won’t care because I know how I felt and you can never take that away from me.