Despite what non-gamers may say about video games one of the things I most appreciate about it is the community, despite the press we’re a really friendly, imaginative bunch. I particularly enjoy the conversations I can have with someone that shares my love of games. This is often quite rare as gamers are often forced to keep largely quiet about what they’ve been playing so nothing pleases me more than to sit and actually listen to someone’s experiences.
Video games have allowed me to meet loads of fabulous gamers from all over the world, and although online services such as Xbox Live allow users to play multiplayer games, being able to play games with people in the same room as me is one of my favourite things to do.
I like being part of something that still young and while excellent, still has room for innovation and change. One of the nice things about being part of something that’s growing exponentially is that it still has a long way to go before becoming properly mainstream, so many pleasant experiences feel very personal and unique to the player.
There are usually a limitless number of ways a game can be experienced, imaginative gamers invent new ways to play their favourite games, and progression in PC games (and increasingly) console games show that games can be modified by the player to tailor the end experience more often.
Sovereign, Mass Effect
I think games are an incredibly powerful form of entertainment as they have the ability to provoke a spectrum of emotions from people. This is because it’s much easier to to feel immersed in a situation if you are actually playing it.
This is because of the amount of work involved to polish the game experience as much as possible. Artists, designers, programmers, writers, user experience developers. The creative energy involved matches other mediums. Video games can be beautifully crafted or thrown together, but their individual creativeness is certain to entertain someone, even briefly.
Godo, Final Fantasy VII
Most of the music I listen to is from video game soundtracks, mainly because they are beautiful or catchy outside of their original context. Game music is diverse, extraordinary and usually quite beautiful, often composers have to work that much harder to work with the restraints of the system the game needs to work on, and the result is an extremely polished set of original songs.
Fan remixes and tributes are ever popular, and they occur because game music is examined in great detail through repeated playthroughs. Music becomes the background to the mood of the game, an important mood-setting device that helps the user settle into the experience.
For every moment in my life there has a great game. I remember my earliest memories, and my happiest and saddest times as they are bookmarked by what I was currently playing, in the same way that a piece of a music can return you back to another time.
I also spend a lot of time trying to capture the magic of playing a game back when I was child, I replay games I’ve completed before, or try new games from the same era. Favourite games are remembered and discussed forever.
Half Life 2
The setting of a game is as defining as its central characters. A good game isn’t just the backdrop for the narrative, but the tie between the player and the game experience. This is because every great game location sticks in the mind for a particular reason. Even the most linear of environments has detail, colours, objects and events which help to cement a clear picture.
It’s the location that usually dictates the artistic direction for the game, the sights and sounds in HD or 2D. The most successful game locations stick in the mind as clearly as real towns or cities.