This post isn’t going to convince everyone, but hey you gotta try.
I’ve talked a lot about how I got into gaming but if you’ve stumbled across this blog post and never indulged in some well spent hours with a controller in hand, getting wrapped up in a story line and falling in love with characters, then I think it’s time you gave it a try. For those avid gamers like me, this is what I feel we get from it.
I’m still amazed when it comes to how people react to gaming, even today. Those who would happily spend hours glued to a show on television are the ones who absolutely lose their shit if you decide to play a game for a couple of hours – no matter what it is.
What is the difference? Whether you love sticking Britain’s Got Talent on the telly on a Sunday evening or killing some Darkspawn on your PS3, we all have our ways of unwinding.
But if, until now, you’ve been one of those who perhaps snubbed gaming or even felt a little intimidated by the thought then here are a few reasons why you really should give it a go:
It’s like immersive cinema
Okay, this point entirely depends on the game you’re playing but a good game to me is one that has you hooked on the story, involved with the characters and leaves you reeling when there is a plot twist.
My most recent example of this sort of game is The Last of Us. For a long time, I was replaying the same tired old stories until I thought I’d give it a try. A couple of hours in and I’m desperate to finish the level I’m on to see how Joel and Ellie interact next, where they are going and who they’re going to meet.
There are games that don’t meet this criteria, and these are perhaps best played online or with friends, but this leads on to my next point…
Gaming is social
Nope, gamers don’t lock themselves in their room for weeks on end, smelling of stale sweat and eating nothing but pot noodles. And yes, we’ve all heard that horror story about the lady in Japan who forgot about her newborn baby while playing WOW. But gaming can actually be very social, whether you play online in a group, simply head to the online game mode and play with strangers or live stream via Twitch and chat with people watching you. It doesn’t need to be a single player event, you can meet friends for life via gaming.
Love for a game also gives you some level ground with a new friend, if you play the same thing. There’s nothing better than discovering you have something in common and using that to ignite a friendship. Non-gaming related, but it’s something I loved about Comic Con, the sense of union with those who were part of the same fandom as you.
It should be challenging
Gaming allows you to improve your reflexes and your problem solving skills. You should feel challenged while playing a game and it should be fun because of this. I have to admit, when it comes to story based games I’m all about setting it up on easy to enjoy myself but when you’ve played a game through once crank up that level and try to complete it on a harder one, the sense of achievement gaming evokes is second to none.
Once you’ve killed that big boss you’ve been trying to destroy for a couple of days the feeling afterwards might as well be the same as the one you felt when you passed your exams at school or received praise at work.
You don’t need to be a certain age, gender or race
Everyone can game. And I mean everyone. It doesn’t matter what background you come from, once you’re playing you’re in a completely different world anyway…
…And it opens up new ones
Gaming allows you to be someone else for a little while, whether it’s forgetting about that horrendous work assignment and becoming a Grey Warden for the evening or ignoring the fact you need to ring the car garage and overcoming your fears as Lara Croft.
It also allows you to play as characters you love and even offer a whole new perspective on a fandom, the Batman Arkham series is a good example of this as it creates a dark, intricate Gotham for you to explore. The worlds gaming opens up and the characters you get to become are some of the most exciting aspects of gaming. If you’re the creative type, they can also provide some much needed inspiration.
It can take up as much time as you decide
If you want to play for half hour a day or five just at the weekend, gaming is completely what you make of it. You don’t need to be glued to the screen for hours on end to be considered a gamer, spending time simply playing something you enjoy earns you that title.
So, this is why I think you should give gaming a go. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t very good at it, if you don’t dedicate whole evenings to the cause or if you only play one particular type of game, it’s all about discovering what you enjoy and taking some time for yourself to play.