Some of the more astute among you may have noticed that video games are awesome. Not just cool, fun or darn tootin'; but full-on awesome. As a believer in the utter madness that comes when a Game hits the nail on the head, I feel the need to share with any noble reader why I think Videos Games are 'totally not a swear word here' cool.
And no it's not gonna be a long-winded dissection of the medium only to tell y'all it's about Escapism. Just a few reasons why Video Games are my time waster supreme.
Beating People Up
Sure it might feel good to put the overzealous hippie holding a petition through a City Stop window, but unless raised by Spartans; most of your life you would have been told that beating people up is wrong. Violence is bad and hurts others and you will be punished for it.
So when my 90's childhood was introduced to Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat, the two coolest games at the time; I found one of my video game callings. Alex the Kidd was sweet and all, but once you had tasted the sweet sweet candy of jump kicking some dude in the face... there was no turning back.
No longer constrained by society's rules meant finally having not only the ability but the encouragement to put a fist to the face and bring the ruckus was liberating. In VG-land you reigned supreme. Letting loose the buildup from all the moments where you've had to swallow your anger and unleashing it on some sprites. It wasn't just fighting games either.
All the gaming life I reveled in the chance to beat the bejesus outta some chump guard or demon who dared lay down a challenge in slot depo pulsa. Whether it is unleashing final heaven on Sephiroth, cracking skulls with your batfists in Arkham, clearing house as Dante, or pimp slapping Natalya for being a dope. It doesn't matter who you choose to pummel as long as you're pummeling someone.
They Make Rainy Days Fun
Best Christmas Ever
The sun rules. When that ball of gas burning millions of miles away layers the rays down upon Aotearoa, things are sweet. You can perv at the beach, get drunk with your shirt off, throw water bombs at people or pretend you're in an L&P commercial. So when the great barbecue ruining clouds drop their load it kinda sucks. The fun zone that is outside is suddenly cut off and you're stuck with all the excitement of your lounge.
But for game junkies, the rain is no longer a hindrance in life's ultimate goal of fun. A non-grown-up rainy day meant a trip to the video store, which meant you suddenly had access to a whole range of worlds to explore while the reality was being a d*CK. Now when trapped inside by oppressive droplets, confinement was no longer the norm.
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Want some sun? Then go jump on some walking mushrooms with blue skies ahoy. Want to be a super cool BMXer/skateboarder/frisbee thrower/hacker extraordinaire? California here we come. Hell, even staying inside in a video game means you're probably stuck in a house full of zombies ready to have their heads blown off. Our glorious pastime grants us the power to get a kick from being inside.
Hiding in a Cardboard Box to Avoid Detection
For the past 13 years or so, the most awesome game I ever played has been Metal Gear Solid. At first, it confused me... Using O as the select button and X as cancel was total WTF. But once I had figured that bit out and got into the riveting, deep, and totally spastic story; I was hooked for life.
The game was every kind of sweetness and part of that was the fact that you could use a cardboard box to sneak past guards. Add to that all the other nice little flourishes like having your footprints recognized in the snow or using ketchup to trick the dude guarding you into thinking you're bleeding out. This game opened my eyes to the vastness of possibility in the medium.
I'm not just talking about hiding in a cardboard box here either. I'm talking about all the little things that happen in video games that just make you smile. The nice little touches and "holy crap!" moments where you are happy you got to experience them.
Watching that trippy anti-drug cartoon in Red Dead Redemption, getting mauled by chickens in Ocarina of Time, feeding your goldfish in Mass Effect, frying a mime in inFamous 2, and the massive stuff like having a building fall down around you in Uncharted 2. It's these memorable events that make video games so interesting to play. Always wondering what developers are going to throw into the mix next. Good plot, good characters, tight controls, immersion, and innovation are great and all but I will always be a fan of the little moments. The singular events demonstrate the beauty of this medium.
Oh hey, bro...
So yeah Nah there you have it. A few simple reasons why video games are awesome to me. As long as there are peons to beat up, rainy days, and virtual toilets I will be jamming the game world. I'm done for now but have a think about all the other things that make video games great.