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Old 09-01-2008, 05:34 AM   #1
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Default What role does gaming play in your life?

This is a bit of a twist from the usual why do you like gaming threads.
As I read through the forums, I'm struck by the seriousness and devotion displayed in the comments. Of course, some of the conviction comes from arguing a point, but I'm sure that many of you here (and at other forums) take gaming quite seriously. I used to, and then recently have fallen back to a more casual relationship with my games.
Playing adventure games is a hobby for me. It joins reading fanasy, dancing, and gardening as the major ways I spend my spare time and relax. I like to have fun with my games, and expect them to help keep my aging neurons functioning. Games are similar to my books, in that they also provide a getaway from reality. Because of that, I think I prefer a fantasy game environment as opposed to gritty reality based games. I have a great imagination, and as such, can fill in the blanks (so to speak )with games that have poor graphics, poor voice acting, etc. The latest game I played (The Dig) was a grainy and pixellated as it gets, yet I still maintained a sense of wonder exploring the world.
I suppose that this topic could distill down into what do you expect games to do for you. My needs are fairly simple. Give me something to occupy my mind and force me to think, take me someplace different, and help me forget the stressors of reality (certainly not add to them). I don't need to have an epiphany everytime I play. I don't need to have ultra realistic environments and characters, though it's easier on the eyes. I just want to enjoy myself and have a little getaway from the real world.

An offshoot of any hobby, is participating in specific forums such as this one. I enjoy having a place to go and read about games/books, and as such am slightly more social online than I am in my real life. Writing and composing sentences and paragraphs to get ideas across was a failing art for me, and over the years at the forums, I've gradually regained some skills that I used to have. I's easy to get rusty when you only talk on the phone and write in medical records .
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Old 09-01-2008, 05:57 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by colpet
My needs are fairly simple. Give me something to occupy my mind and force me to think, take me someplace different, and help me forget the stressors of reality (certainly not add to them). I don't need to have an epiphany everytime I play. I don't need to have ultra realistic environments and characters, though it's easier on the eyes. I just want to enjoy myself and have a little getaway from the real world.
I agree with everything you said but this part struck me especially. It's all about fun and escapism for me. My previous incarnation as a grad student (and now my new job) really didn't leave a lot of mental energy for indepth analyses of games, just enough to play them.
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Old 09-01-2008, 06:20 AM   #3
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My experience is slightly different, 'cause - in a branch of my studies - I'm dedicating myself to interactive forms of storytelling. So, I tend to analyze the games I play, particularly in terms of player's response to authorial intention. I studied this field in literature (reader response criticism, for example) and now my specialization focuses around interaction between "receptor" (general for viewer/reader/player), object (book, film, game) and author (writer, director, designer)

Apart from this, when I play adventure game, what I primary search is a good story, and characters I can relate to.
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Old 09-01-2008, 06:58 AM   #4
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I guess I'm like you in that games are one source of entertainment among many. I spend no more time gaming, overall, than I do with TV shows or comics or music. But then, when I want to watch a TV show I start from the beginning and watch the entire thing through. And when I read comics I organize and re-edit them into my big Marvel Universe collection so that I'll have dozens of series linked together to form a bigger picture. And when I play music, I compose it first. So I'm serious about my entertainment. If games are on that list (and they are), I'm obviously totally obsessed with them.

What I expect from games is variety of content. It's rare for me to only be playing one game at a time- right now I'm in the middle of an adventure, a metalude, an action RPG, a puzzle game, a movement game, a tactical RPG, an exploration game, and a pet simulation. From each of these I get some kind of satisfaction I don't get from anywhere else. Put it all together, and my life is tremendously fulfilling- so much so that doing anything in the real world feels like a waste of time, and I need to outright force myself to do any of it.
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Old 09-01-2008, 07:57 AM   #5
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I play pretty much every type of game all day, every day because it's fun and I have nothing better to do. Not having a job, a girlfriend, or going to school helps naturally.
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Old 09-01-2008, 08:41 AM   #6
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I make a living developing games, which makes them very important to me by default. Yet, when it comes to playing games, my tastes are far more selective than the usual hardcore gamer. I'll usually play older games or indie games, and don't buy all the latest consoles. (I have a Wii and a DS only because they offer me experiences I can't have playing games on a PC.) Part of this is because I like to be frugal, but I also think it's more because I'm just not interested in the majority of games that come out nowadays... or in the majority of games period. It can be said that I love games for their potential, rather than what they currently are. Hence, all the in-depth analysis and pontification.

Oh, and ultra-realistic graphics are boring. Good art direction, however, is a must.
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Old 09-01-2008, 08:53 AM   #7
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Yes, I play games for the same reason I love to read books: escapism. I also love communities like this because where else am I going to talk about or read up on my favorite adventure games? Offline it seems like a lot of people don't even know what adventure games are.
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Old 09-01-2008, 09:24 AM   #8
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Gaming, in general, plays a big part in my life. Hell, video games are my life. My video gaming all started with the Sega Megadrive when i was around 5. To this day, my mum thinks that's where everything went wrong as soon as consoles/video games were brought into the house.

I play 'em cause i enjoy 'em, i'm addicted to playin' 'em and yeah, they are a great form of escapism from this shitty world. Some games, like Broken Sword (i know, i know, i'm always going on about Broken Sword lol), have actually changed my life in certain ways. But video games are definitely at the top of my favourite forms of entertainment. Right next to movies, music and books.

I don't really have anything better to do with my time either. I know there are loads of people around me (and i've met them) that don't get video games and think i waste my time/life. Which, to a degree is true, but... meh.

Right. Time to go back on my 360.
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Old 09-01-2008, 09:38 AM   #9
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Games, seriousness and devotion? Hmm...

I used to play a lot of games, and even methodically search for all the games ever created that suit my tastes. Now I play much less, but also write about them and interview game designers, which is a very interesting experience. Somehow I have also become mostly interested in game design theory than actually playing. I guess this is partially connected with the fact that I'm making my own adventure game and I really want to achieve some specific effects with the puzzles and not just make them variations of the most traditional concepts. In a few months I'll be finishing my philosophy studies and I'd like to get hooked in the gaming industry seriously.

Originally Posted by Squinky View Post
Oh, and ultra-realistic graphics are boring. Good art direction, however, is a must.
Agreed. I could even say that the technical limitations of yore often gave the games very cool, distinct styles. In current crop of mainstream games, we usually see only flashy SFX, which are supposed to make the impression of ultra-realism, but not neccessarly do.

Last edited by Ascovel; 09-01-2008 at 10:34 AM.
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Old 09-01-2008, 10:19 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Melanie68 View Post
It's all about fun and escapism for me.
And the same for me too.
I used to play a lot, but that was when I was on sick leave recovering from a nasty burnout. When reality was too difficult I turned to adventure games for something to ease my mind. It worked! Today I work full time again and have started exercising on a regular basis which leaves little time for gaming.

I don't think I'll completely stop playing adventure games though. When winter comes and it gets dark I'll either read a good book or play a game. Good or old, third or first person perspective. It really doesn't matter as long as it's a good story that absorbs me and puzzles that triggers my braincells.
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Old 09-02-2008, 08:56 AM   #11
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I'm afraid, that should a new great game come out every day, I would go buy it and play it.
Luckily for me that doesn't happen or I'd be broke and out of friends and family very soon.

Lately I've been more into buying up old games from way back then but also most of those I have bought by download...
It's somehow more satisfying to have the CD/DVD than a file on the HD.

With a full time job it's not like I can play all day long, but if I have a new game, I do tend to play until it's finished - whether it's a work night or not, lol.
So in that sense you could say I'm obsessed.

When I play it's mostly to have fun and relax with the story.
There's nothing I love more to be able to sit back in my recliner (no, not with a laptop), coffee and cigs in front of my PC and sink into the gameworld.

I do prefer 3rd person view, although a few 1st person view are ok too.
The Sherlock Holmes Awakened and Nemesis made me seasick, so I can't wait to see, how the new improved games will be like...

I'm kind of alone with all this, since I don't have any siblings and my mother is afraid of this kind of gaming, lol.

Friends and people at work think I'm nuts...so I only have forum friends to share this with. Sad really...or?
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Old 09-02-2008, 12:09 PM   #12
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I've been playing adventure games for 24 years now. For me, playing them is also mostly about escaping the real world. Not that I dislike the real world, but it's nice to be somewhere else for a change. Furthermore, I don't like shooter games or other games that test reflexes etc. Adventure games are for me just about the only games that I find fun to play, because they challenge my mental capabilities and give me the chance to explore new and interesting environments, and in that way satisfy my curiosity. I always want to know what's behind closed doors and around unknown corners. I've worked in the building I work now for 12 years, and it bugs me that I still haven't seen all its rooms, and probably never will before it's demolished some time next year. What I look for in games is mostly, in random order, interesting environments, interesting characters that I can relate to, and challenging but logical puzzles that are integrated in the story. The story itself doesn't have to be very special for me, although that of course increases the enjoyment I get from a game.
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Old 09-03-2008, 02:27 PM   #13
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I didn't start getting I kind of lost my social life from like 11-15 yrs old, when I moved to a new town, and of course hair starts showing up where there was no hair During those 4 years I had a couple friends that were into gaming, and got me into gaming, and I started to develop my tastes. When 16 hit, all I wanted to do was get laid and hang out with as many people as I could... fast forward 6 years of alcohol and ass, and I have a really good job, in a new town, and don't have a huge social life anymore.

Games are really just another form of entertainment for me now, and I definently am a casual gamer (like 1-4 hours a week), but I do still enjoy them. I find that the more real life crazy experiences I have, and the more traveling I do, the less interested I am in being any degree of a die hard gamer. Games now tend to replace other habits and activites to wind down at night, or to kill most of a Sunday or something after all my other things are taken care of.
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