Monday Musings: You Should Play Video Games!

You should play video games, especially if you’re in a creative profession or indulge in creative past times!

Why would I say that?  Aren’t games just, well, games?

Not so much anymore.  You could argue that video games haven’t been just games for sometime, especially since the first true RPGs were created.  It comes down to the simple fact that video games have moved forward from simple games to deep interactive entertainment.

Let me elaborate.  Yes, many games are still, at their heart, games.  Diversions for pure entertainment, but even that makes them far closer to something like popcorn genre books and can aspire to be just as good.  More and more video games in the modern era go deeper than that, as they reach towards something more: true interactive storytelling.

It’s hard to discount the joy of interactive storytelling.  If you’ve ever say around a campfire making up stories with friends or sat at a pen-and-paper roleplaying table with a gaming group, you already know this.  The best video games add on to this with immersive graphics and sound design, creating a truly wonderful interactive entertainment experience.

Will video games replace books and film?  No, never.  However, they will rapidly become just as important as those other forms of media.  Video games can tell stories in completely different ways than a book or a film.  Each form of media have their strengths and weaknesses and each form has its place in our media consumption.

So what this means is that, if you don’t currently do so, you should pay attention to video games and try to play some of the best!

Until next time, good reading, good writing, and good luck!

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4 comments

  1. I may even go as far as to say video games have already caught the film industry, with titles such as Grand Theft Auto V having a budget and profit equal to Hollywood blockbusters. The book industry is so very different to these other mediums I find it hard to compare. But of course I fully endorse any call to play more games!

  2. Those who discount games as an infantile pursuit would do well to consider just how young the medium is, and what progress has been made in spite of that. I’m old and creaky enough to have been around when a game was a beeping collection of dots, and playing The Witcher 3 leaves me amazed with how far they’ve come.

    Writing wise, games often dissapoint me. Even those that hire professional authors often end up falling short, something I don’t really blame the author for as it’s a bit like suddenly going from writing books to writing films, for example. Witcher 3 is strong in this respect, though. Which is great for a popular, mainstream game.

    Probably the most interesting games from a writing perspective right now are mobile phone ones. Purely because they find some creative ways to tell a narrative. A popular one right now revolves around advising a stranded astronaut as he tries to survive. It uses the phone to communicate with you as the game unfolds over a real 48 hour period, like you’re receiving text messages.

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