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Why We Game: A Celebration of Our Favorite Hobby

Keep it positive, San Diego.

To paraphrase George RR Martin; “A gamer lives a thousand lives before they die, the person who never games lives only one.” I believe the reason people game is something deeper than simple Operant Conditioning psychology, a view which sells the magic of gaming, the art form, and the gamer themselves, short. The reason why games are so celebrated can be summed up perfectly by the fact the The Legend of Zelda was born of Shigeru Miyamoto's nostalgia for adventuring through the wood behind his childhood home. Gaming calls to our sense of adventure; it eschews the mundanity of daily modern life for tales and characters (both heroic and villainous) that stir our spirit and inspire our imagination. Games are interactive fairy tales, and while I'm running around the Mushroom Kingdom with my old friends Mario and Yoshi or writing my own legend as I explore the wilderness of Skyrim, my inner child is absolutely beaming.

It's no secret that the mainstream media often pegs gamers as having Peter Pan syndrome, but rather than react defensively, stop and ask yourself “is that truly a bad thing?” While so much of the established world has traded in their longing for adventure for sedated desperation, and have drowned out the voice of their inner child with talk radio and political jargon, gamers still hold onto the wonder and majesty that the imagination is capable of. We haven't lost what many others have, and we should celebrate that. To paraphrase Martin one last time, “They can keep their heaven. When I die, I'd sooner go to Sovngarde.”

-Justin Matkowski

It’s a somber thought to express but if I’m being fully honest with myself, the primary reason I enjoy gaming is escapism. While I wouldn’t go as far as saying I’m unhappy with my “real” life, I certainly don’t consider myself to be reveling in a rather exciting or exhilarating existence. Gaming is a release; a release from boredom, a release from stress, and to an extent, a release from life’s problems; if only for a while. A good game rewards the player with enjoyment; a great game is able to captivate, thrill & even alter the player much like a great novel or movie might. It’s these great games that truly allow me to escape.

Each game has different merits and a particular audience will depend on whether a game is viewed as being good or bad. For me, nothing in gaming captures the imagination more than good storytelling. A captivating story can cover up a lot of gameplay issues while raising a good game to a great one. Sure it’s fun to sit back and relax with a mindless romp but for me, the real memorable moments revolve around the story and the characters created. Thinking back on a lot of older games I remember enjoying, I’d be hard pressed to fully describe how the gameplay felt or, in some cases, how it even played. In these cases however, it’s likely that I could tell you why I enjoyed the story or which characters had an impact on me. While it is certainly possible for a good game to pay less attention to the story and focus almost completely on the actual gameplay (see Diablo III), for me the more memorable & captivating experiences will always revolve around the story.








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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!


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!


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.


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


02/17/2015 at 08:51 PM

I forgot I contributed something to this.


02/18/2015 at 08:49 AM

Excellent Julian, Excellent.

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