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Why We Game: A Celebration of Our Favorite Hobby

Keep it positive, San Diego.

As much as I’d like to buck that stereotype of the reclusive gamer that plays video games to escape reality, I may as well take the bullet on that one for the PixlBit team. When I was a kid I was completely fascinated with video games. They seemed magical to me, and in many ways that has not changed even as I’ve become savvier as to their creation and tricks. But a sense of wonderment doesn’t explain why gaming has not lost its hold on me in 25 years. As someone who has never liked (nor gotten along with) the “man in the mirror” I confess to having a lot of emotional investment in the ability to fill someone else’s shoes.

I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve saved the world. Heck, I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve saved the universe and other realities. Planet earth is so tiny in video game terms, after all. I’ve been a displaced plumber doomed to save a princess until the end of days. I’ve brought together a ragtag group of heroes to stop the insane machinations of a murderous clown. I’ve stepped into the shoes of a young black man on the streets of an alternate reality South Central Los Angeles. I’ve had conversations with a space Republican about how I still believe in God. I’ve shown mercy to enemies that deserved it. I’ve negotiated through potentially violent situations without firing a shot. I’ve laughed. I’ve screamed out in horror when undead dogs make unexpected appearances. I’ve cried at the death of friends and companions that I will never meet.

My multiple personalities are not a replacement for the quite ordinary and usually dour person that is writing this, but they have certainly given me a ton of great memories, and I continue to be proud to be a gamer and a writer.

-Julian Titus

How can we not be a little bit romantic about video games?

As a kid I learned that The Legend of Zelda was based on Miyamoto's childhood, exploring the forests around his home in Japan. Using code he was able to build an experience that captured the adventurous spirit and imagination of a child. Through this new medium he could impart on us a piece of himself.

In a time before video games, Miyamoto could have expressed these feelings and memories perhaps through painting, song, or even a children's book. But when he decided to express his creativity through a video game he built a universe made up entirely of ones and zeros, but whose sums and pairings delivered us a vibrant world full of music, color, challenge, and reward. He created a world that anybody with hands and thumbs could interact with, interpret for themselves, and create their own memories within.

Video games allow us to make our dreams, passions, hopes, fears, and flaws into tangible places, sounds, characters, and journeys. And in a world where input devices and technology have brought us controller-less games and even virtual reality, and in a world where games can be developed with color-blindness or deafness in mind, the bars to entry have all but disappeared; diversity and inclusiveness reign supreme in all facets: creators, content, and the people who play.

The doors are wide open, everybody is invited, and the skies are truly limitless for us.

How can we not be a little bit romantic about video games?

-Michael117

 

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Comments

Super Step Contributing Writer

02/15/2015 at 01:35 AM

Sense of adventure seems to be the common theme here and I would have to say that's a big part of the reason I game as well. That plus Casey's point about actually having hard work and determination pay off (having spent a year in the "real" world after college before coming back, I know exactly where he's coming from) is what I mean when I say games make me feel like I'm "doing something."

Now if only I'd put it as eloquently as other people. lol Great article!

Matt Snee Staff Writer

02/15/2015 at 05:23 AM

great job guys!

Michael117

02/15/2015 at 05:14 PM

Page 4 is the sexiest page. I'm on it with Julian and we totally own it.

I'm glad this feature finally came out, it turned out really great. There were more contributers than I thought, and a lot of interesting perspectives.

Julian Titus Senior Editor

02/16/2015 at 01:02 AM

I put you on the same page with me on purpose. It just felt right, since we go so far back with our blogging. Cool

The Last Ninja

02/15/2015 at 11:41 PM

Everybody makes very valid points. Awesome article! It's great to be able to include everyone. Pixlbit should do stuff like this more often.

Julian Titus Senior Editor

02/16/2015 at 01:02 AM

I would love for us to do more of this. Sorry it took so long to get it published!

Ranger1

02/16/2015 at 02:43 PM

Great job putting this together, Julian. I shared on FB, hoping some of my non-gaming older friends might read it and give them a better understanding of those of us who do game. No response from any of them, though.

Coolsetzer

02/17/2015 at 12:34 AM

Well this is certainly a pleasant surprise. I had forgotten about this. It's great to see my submission on here. Not to mention all the other great replies. Smile

SanAndreas

02/17/2015 at 08:51 PM

I forgot I contributed something to this.

mothman

02/18/2015 at 08:49 AM

Excellent Julian, Excellent.

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