Video games are an influential piece of our social culture, thriving for over 60 years after the first game was invented in 1958. William Higinbotham, the physicist that created this simple tennis game, would be mind blown to see the scope of innovative, interesting, and iconic games available today.
Whether you have a career in gaming, share a few rounds with friends on the weekend, or go on a solo mission every once in a while; here are some reasons we love the art of gaming.
A relaxing experience
Gaming gives us the opportunity to take a break from reality and step into some weird and wonderful worlds. This escapism can be a healthy break from the stresses of everyday life which, when left unchecked, can compound into some serious health issues.
By enjoying a little downtown behind the screen, we have the freedom to fulfill our psychological need for autonomy. Whether we want to explore a new land collecting rare items, build a village of our own from scratch, or live a simulated life where we can be anything we want – gaming allows us to do it.
Comradery and community
It’s not only the type of games that are diverse, but video games give players a range of different ways to experience comradery within their community. Nintendo Wii or Switch allows us to play various games with our friends in a more interactive way, competing with or encouraging each other at parties or casual get-togethers.
Multiplayer online games (such as ‘Overwatch’, ‘League of Legends’, and ‘Counterstrike GO’ to name a few) allow us to meet and collaborate with strangers from around the world to achieve a common goal. Groups of friends can also opt to host a ‘Lan’ party, where they meet up in real life and then play these online multiplayer games together as a team. If ‘Lanning’ isn’t possible, friends can talk to one another via apps like Discord or Teamspeak and play in the same teams from the comfort of their homes. Whether we win or lose, being able to relate to one another gives us a feeling of comradery we can’t always get in the real world.
A welcomed challenge
There are many aspects of gaming that can be a challenge, like collaborating with players who don’t understand the concept of teamwork, are overly competitive, or perhaps are not as competent as we are in a particular game. Overcoming those obstacles requires valuable people skills and important personal skills, which can be tough to develop. So when we learn to apply them to these types of challenging situations, we may make a positive difference and be able to come out victorious.
Other challenges that contribute to our love of the game are mastering its mechanics. From combining quick reaction times to memorizing combinations, making quick decisions to practicing prioritization and leadership, all of these factor into the ultimate success or failure of some games. The more we practice and improve, the easier we will be able to activate those ultimate abilities or finally finish a tough level. This gives us a sense of achievement and emotional satisfaction in our personal competence.
To those who may not understand the love of gaming, we hope this helps to clarify why and how gaming became such a social staple. And to those that do understand, GLHF!