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Why do you play video games?

Mai72

Lifer
Sep 12, 2012
10,650
1,161
126
I have been told time and time again that video games are a waste of time, and that men shouldn't be playing them. I've tried to quit many times to only come back to what I really enjoy and that is gaming. I don't watch TV. In fact, I sold my TV years ago. I'll watch the occasional movie from time to time. But, that's about it.

I game because it's fun, period. More than just being fun I can escape and get away from the days stressors. It also rejuvenates me. I'm normally always happy when I'm gaming. It also relievs boredom and gives me goals that I can work towards. Also, I love technology. The one issue I have is my gaming sessions will creep into real life if I play for too long. I usually have a timer that I set and stick to it.

Why do you game?
 

DeathReborn

Platinum Member
Oct 11, 2005
2,329
232
106
Always found it pleasurable and for some games quite social. There is an element of escapism in it, which I also get from books but mostly it's entertainment or the challenge sometimes a game can provide. Sometimes you just need to kick back with the guys (or gals) and do something fun while the missus watches soaps/reality TV. I used to have mammoth sessions of gaming, back in the Championship Manager & Civilization 2 days but now it's no more than 2 hours.

I had surgery on my Ulnar Nerve a few months back so unfortunately my Guitar playing days are not back but I can still use a Keyboard & Mouse just as well as before.
 

Stuka87

Diamond Member
Dec 10, 2010
5,434
1,224
136
Far more interactive than TV is. I like single player games for the story and/or adventure of going through it. And I like some multiplayer games to itch my competitive streak. And yes, its nice to get away from life from time to time.
 
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May 11, 2008
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Well, sometimes you just need to relax and enjoy life. And it is up to you how you do it.
Of course, work, the chores and study have priority over gaming.
It is also the case that after doing work, study or chores, that doing a hobby or spending some time doing what you like, like gaming is so much more gratifying. Because you are not constantly reminding yourself you still have something todo.

I in the past also had to hear that gaming is a waste of time, yet those same people sit hours and hours watching soccer or racing or some other sports game on the television.
Usually it is a case who calls the kettle black. ;)

I personally , i just like to immerse myself into a fictional world in a game. I like horror and science fiction a lot especially with a slowly unraveling story and some survival elements and puzzles to solve. And sometimes be in awe of the graphics. I come from a time of atari 600XL ,MSX2 , Amiga 600, so i am really happy with the games of these days and how they look. :)
 

Achilles97

Senior member
May 10, 2000
386
8
81
I like to play games to give myself a way to absorb my mind into something outside of my real world, just for a bit of an escape. Sorta like reading a good novel.
 

Feneant2

Golden Member
May 26, 2004
1,418
30
91
Same as reading a book or watching Netflix (I don't watch live TV), it's a way to escape the real world and allows me to empty my mind; no thinking about work, finances, family issues, etc.

You should tell the people telling you it's a waste of time and grown men shouldn't play to f*ck off. And you know what, it's probably those same people glued to the idiot box every night watching the drivel like the Kardashians on TV.
 
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rivethead

Platinum Member
Jan 16, 2005
2,635
106
106
Same as reading a book or watching Netflix (I don't watch live TV), it's a way to escape the real world and allows me to empty my mind; no thinking about work, finances, family issues, etc.

You should tell the people telling you it's a waste of time and grown men shouldn't play to f*ck off. And you know what, it's probably those same people glued to the idiot box every night watching the drivel like the Kardashians on TV.
This is my answer as well!
 
Jan 10, 2018
86
2
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Games are better than TV with better stories and visual. Some games even teach you about history and culture, I remember how AOE helped me with history lessons back in school.
 

repoman0

Diamond Member
Jun 17, 2010
3,428
1,785
136
I play online games with friends who I'd otherwise not talk to very often, so socializing is part of it. It's pretty rare that I'll fire up Overwatch or whatever we're playing at the time and play solo. It feels kind of boring and like a bit of a waste if I'm not playing with friends.

As for single player games, I think there can be inherent value in becoming engrossed in a world, depending on its quality and how you use it. Some games do an incredible job of telling a compelling and worthwhile story, though many IMO are garbage at it. The Witcher series is an example of a game world done properly, one that is worth the time it takes to experience it. The first Amnesia game stands out to me as another example of a creative environment and cleverly told story. On the other hand, the two new Tomb Raider games felt hollow and empty to me, despite being well reviewed ... melodramatic voice acting, shallow stories, simple puzzles, dull music etc.

I have absolutely no guilt about hopping into video games during down time. Just need to maintain a productive and efficient professional life and ensure that other personal goals don't take a back burner and you should be able to play as many video games you want outside of that without someone telling you it's a waste of time. Nobody works or is "productive" all of their waking hours and if they're trying to be, they could be a lot more efficient with their time.
 

Nashemon

Senior member
Jun 14, 2012
889
86
91
Long post. Sorry. I got typing and didn't stop. Sort of a tangent, but revealing to me, so thanks. lol

I love gaming. It's been a love since childhood. My friends are all into it and we have enjoyed many good times around it. One such session is actually how I met my wife.

However, I really need to wean myself off mobile gaming. I started playing them because I loved games. I could now play anywhere I wanted, but I've come to the conclusion that it has stunted my desire to sit down with an actual deep, involved game, or at least a game that requires any length of time to play. I get bored of games too quickly now. I can't play, even with others for more than an hour before saying enough is enough.

A few years ago, I could play a game with friends all night and never get bored. I'd think about it all day at work and couldn't wait to get home to play. But then I got into mobile gaming. Between the handful of mobile games I play, it's just a cycle of checking in on them throughout the day like a Tamagotchi. Just to tap a few things to keep each one of them happy, and make sure their not dead, figuratively speaking. I think this has burned out my desire to do much of anything in my life. I can't be away from my phones for any period of time. I say that like I'm addicted, but I'm not. I can be away, but there are in-game consequences for it.

For years, my wife (then girlfriend) ragged on me for never going anywhere without both of my phones (multiple accounts in some games). It was a hot debate on the honeymoon years later. I always just dismissed it, as I didn't really think it was taking up that much time. Recently, she started playing a game on her phone that a friend of hers introduced her to, called Balls. Just a break the blocks type game. I gave it a try, and deleted it, but her...every time I see her, when she would usually be reading a book, or being creative, she was just on her phone shooting balls at blocks. "Playing with your balls, again?" I'd ask her with a chuckle. That chuckle became worry after a few months of asking her that multiple times a day. But I've recently realized that's basically what I've been doing.

Depression has also set in on my life, and trying to find a reason for it led me back to video games. Since my wife moved in, there's little time for my old life. Sure one can say that's part of growing up. Nightly video game sessions with friends were replaced with her and I spending time together. Not that I don't enjoy that, too. She also likes games, but only I have a gaming computer, so she can't join in with us on those. As much as I try to find co-op games for consoles, they are few and far between. I feel bad if I go off to play a game without her even though she says its fine.

I'll stop there. Maybe not the answer you were looking for. I guess I play video games because I'm afraid of losing my sanity and my friends.
 
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snoopy7548

Diamond Member
Jan 1, 2005
6,588
3,471
136
It's fun and entertaining. As long as you're not neglecting other aspects of your life/responsibilities, there's absolutely zero reason to look down on gaming.
 

Midwayman

Diamond Member
Jan 28, 2000
5,723
325
126
Its always fun that the same people who tell you games are waste of time are usually addicted to reality TV. Talk about the worst insipid tv you can find.

As for games. I just enjoy puzzles and having to think in my entertainment. I get bored quickly if I'm just watching. Kinda like in sports I have no interest in watching sports, but have some sports that I enjoy playing.

Besides there are tons of studies on the positive effects of playing video games.

Though I do think you have to read between the lines when people are coming down on them. Is it your wife or girlfriend? It probably means "You spend more time with games than me." Parents are often a mix of "You're not doing something production and I see you shirking your responsibilities." and "I don't understand it so its a waste of time."

Either way you need to assess if you're taking care of business and if you are, who cares if you want to game or whatever your hobby happens to be.
 

Zenoth

Diamond Member
Jan 29, 2005
5,081
103
106
I suppose that it's mostly (but not exclusively) related to escapism. It was especially true back when I got my NES, when I was around 9 years-old or so (and all things considered especially in retrospect that's relatively 'late', since most long-time gamers I speak to usually say that they first got their first console or first played video games at around age 6 or 7... but that's another subject).

I could write nearly a novel on this subject, but the very long story shortened ends up being (mostly) about escapism (out of "reality" and boredom) into fantasy and fictitious worlds. It wasn't merely a "hobby" at the time, it was more about a young boy who had just discovered that "this stuff" even exist to start with, and that "this stuff" allows me to stop worrying about real life things, and become a hero in a world that prior to me finding about video gaming's existence I would only have been able to dream about. And the age context only reinforced my fascination and love for video games. At age 9 or 10 the brain is just in full mega growth mode, like a sponge, absorbing about every single atoms and bits of info and data from the surrounding world and people. It's usually from such early period of time during a person's youth that we 'discover' the things that fascinate us, then we pinpoint (or the brain does so) the stuff that "marks" us the most and we stick to it, or we get influenced by it heavily (at least for a period of time). I cannot possibly count the number of associations that my brain made with (mostly social) life and video games. It's definitely more than just a hobby, like... reading books from time to time, or drawing something every now and then, or going at the theaters once every few weeks or months. It was more about the brain saying "Look, I know the real world is there, but the real world does not offer this; so stop waiting and go play me some games k?".

I think that the escapism part, however, certainly decreased in significance over the years, but it's still there. At this point I've been playing video games (if I consider the ones I played at friends' places before I actually got my own NES) for approximately 27 years of my life. And I haven't skipped a single year without gaming. In fact, I think that the longest I've been without playing games might not have been more than maybe 2 weeks max (which would only happen during some summers back during early high school years). What I do clearly know and feel, still to this day, is that whenever I play a video game that I actually like (obviously) I just lose the perception of time. And that's usually to a point (sometimes, not always) that I not only forget what I otherwise "should" be doing (dishes, errands, calling someone, etc) but I also don't care anymore. I do still feel sometimes ' absorbed' ("escaped") into the game I'd be playing. Which brings me back to my number one, 'main' reason as to why I play video games. It's indeed because as soon as I like it enough, essentially, I stop caring about the world around me. It's a general manner of speech, it's not literally me not caring about real people, friends and family and not caring about having a social life. It's just about momentarily not having to worry, and not being 'obliged' to focus on anything else that would potentially be a source of stress. It's a "zone of comfort" (a "bubble") in which I can escape temporarily, while allowing myself a moment or two to simply not care about the rest, and just enjoy my time with worlds, characters and stories.

So yeah, mostly escapism.
 

[DHT]Osiris

Diamond Member
Dec 15, 2015
8,666
4,702
146
To interactively experience a story (Misc)
To have a shared experience with others (Everquest, WoW, misc single player games with transcendental experiences, such as FFVII or Dwarf Fortress)
To delve into the mind of the creator (Dare to Dream I-III, Max Payne, Silent Hill)
To *defeat* the creator/internal systems (EQ, Saveless RE1 run, Dwarf Fortress)
To experience achievement after achievement, self imposed or manufactured (100%'d GTA:SA, 100%'d FFVII, Dwarf Fortress survival until CPU entropy).
Basically, it's (imo) the best form of sustainable entertainment one can have alone, and one of the best one can have shared.
 

Mai72

Lifer
Sep 12, 2012
10,650
1,161
126
Same as reading a book or watching Netflix (I don't watch live TV), it's a way to escape the real world and allows me to empty my mind; no thinking about work, finances, family issues, etc.

You should tell the people telling you it's a waste of time and grown men shouldn't play to f*ck off. And you know what, it's probably those same people glued to the idiot box every night watching the drivel like the Kardashians on TV.
Yep.

I still think many older people still think video games are a waste of time, but thankfully that attitude is changing. When I do connect with other gamers it's awesome because there is so much that connects us. I see that this trend will continue as well. As gaming becomes more popular and mainstream more people will accept the fact that it's not going anywhere.
 

Red Storm

Lifer
Oct 2, 2005
14,207
216
106
It's a form of entertainment that is more fun than watching TV or a movie. I used to play for the rush of competitive multiplayer, but I lost interest in that as I left my teenage/early twenties years. Now I just like to sit back and enjoy a good game at my own pace.
 
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ibex333

Diamond Member
Mar 26, 2005
3,969
66
91
I play video games because they serve the same purpose drugs and alcohol do. (I don't do drugs)

Real life sucks. Its extremely hard to find a girlfriend/wife, get a good job, earn enough money, find good friends that wont betray you, etc, etc. There is just too much grief and hardship in real life. Games are a means of escape from all that.

When I am playing video games, everything else evaporates for those few precious hours. I live in this wonderful illusion where I don't have to worry about paying bills or the fact that I have no money. All that is irrelevant WHILE playing a video game. No women to worry about, no need to strive for success, no need to stave off competition... Just bliss. Everything else might as well be dead. It doesn't exist. And that feels good...

Sure, while playing video games, your real life goes to shit. During this same time, you could have been learning a new skill, investing, courting women, working out, fining new people and connections, but that can all be put on hold. Just keep putting it on hold, till you are old and it's too late. Play till you drop dead.
 

moonbogg

Lifer
Jan 8, 2011
10,116
1,905
126
I like gaming because its an exciting experience. Its not a fake experience. Its as real as any experience could be, but I do see its escapist value where it can be used to escape from life's stressful real world experiences.
I like how exciting games are fueled by exciting hardware. I feel like I become part of the video card. Its like I eat circuits and crap out frames of glory. This is what it feels like. The circuit glory flows through me and splashes out onto the monitor and feeds back into my eyes. That's, why, I, game.
 

shortylickens

No Lifer
Jul 15, 2003
78,925
11,850
126
Because nobody wants to fornicate me and I cant get a job. Also I dont smoke & drink.
 
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Sadaiyappan

Golden Member
Nov 29, 2007
1,120
4
81
I enjoy seeing latest graphics. I have a computer science degree and like to see how far video games have come. I also have more fun usually gaming then watching tv or movies. Reading is okay in comparison for me to video games.
 

KB

Diamond Member
Nov 8, 1999
5,171
226
106
I game for pleasure. A big part of that is I want to travel and explore more, and its faster and cheaper to load a game and visit Toussaint in Witcher 3 or Bright Falls in Alan Wake than it is to book a hotel, flight etc. in a real city.
 

Ancalagon44

Diamond Member
Feb 17, 2010
3,274
202
106
Interesting topic.

I'd say I play games for two reasons - #1 I'm addicted to them and #2 socially with friends (not online though).

I'll explain #2 first because it is simpler. Now and then, I have a few friends over and we sit on my couch playing Mortal Kombat or Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3 while eating takeaway pizza. It's great fun.

#1... I think I started playing video games because of the escapism. The worlds, the different things you could experience, etc etc. In some cases, I enjoy the story of a game, or the characters. Like the Half Life series is always great from a story point of view.

However, I'd be lying if I said that is WHY I play. I play because I'm addicted.

Gaming for me works in cycles. I'll go months without playing a game. I simply am not interested. Sure, I follow them. I follow the latest releases, I have games on my Steam wishlist, I check out what HumbleBundle has to offer. But for most of the year, I'm not actively playing.

Then something changes. A thought appears in my head. I try out a new game and find it is addictive. A recent example is XCOM. I had had XCOM: EU installed on my PC for some time. But I'd never tried it. I decided to try it one day, and I was instantly hooked. Didn't leave my apartment that weekend. Then later I got XCOM 2 in a humble monthly bundle. Same thing - instantly hooked and played it until I'd finished it.

Then I saw that they had released an expansion for XCOM 2 (War of the Chosen). I waited until it was on sale last December, then bought it and played it until I'd beaten it. Then went back to not playing anything.

That's how it is for me. It is impossible for me to play a game that I sort of enjoy but am not addicted to. If the game does not addict me, I lose interest within an hour or two. Even after becoming addicted, I normally lost interest within a few days. Happened with Grim Dawn.
 

hoorah

Senior member
Dec 8, 2005
755
18
81
I've been a gamer for 20 years or so and when I see people that sit for hours/days at a time playing a game I can't help but think "thats not healthy". Its the same difference between someone that enjoys a TV show vs someone that has a soap opera star's photo taped into picture frames and talks about how they're going to be married someday - one is healthy, the other is definitely not. Without being familiar with video games, people on the outside can't tell the difference between someone that plays games for a short time for fun vs someone that replaces their own reality with a virtual existence, and there is a lot of the latter going on.

I play games for the interactive storytelling. I want the experience to be like a book or a TV show and have an interesting world with a story to tell.
 

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