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Why I Like Video Games

December 28, 2013

This has been a topic on my mind for quite some time now, and I recently developed a cogent theory behind my fascination with video games.

Video games represent collages of several different mediums that I thoroughly enjoy: visual art, music, and story telling. The way I figure it is video games represent a thematically uniform collection of media that I probably would have enjoyed separately.

I greatly enjoy music. Who doesn’t, really? More specifically I enjoy instrumental and electronic music. The fact of the matter is, many of the same musicians that create the sweeping scores for popular television shows are now doing the same for video games.

I enjoy art. In fact I spent two semesters studying art in college. I especially enjoy mixed media art, such as oil or acrylic on digital printouts of 3D art. So I am very fond of spatial and light effects applied 3D wireframes that have 2D texture and bump mapping. I’ve seen more than a few screenshots (and taken a few myself) that could confuse a layperson for being art. There are more than a few artistic moments in video games.

I enjoy epic story telling, such as Beowulf and Lord of the Rings. I particularly enjoy story telling in “fantasy” and sci-fi settings, where the foreign setting allows much more freedom in the exploration of stories. For instance I am a big ST:TNG fan because the setting allows for fairly grand story telling and exploration of human subjects that modern, “realistic” settings simply don’t allow.

Artists, musicians, and story tellers working their individual crafts toward a single vision is the recipe for a thoroughly enjoyable fantasy or science fiction film. The last component is participation by the viewer.

“Games”, that which involve participation instead of passivity, have certainly been around before recorded history. However they’ve never involved the collaborative efforts of artists, musicians, or story tellers in any significant way until very recently. With the advent of computers (and consoles, which are just task-specific computers) it’s been possible to allow someone to participate in the art, music, and narrative. Video games are a combination of many different things that I enjoy separately.

 
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