So, I want to talk a bit about video games.
We are soon in mid march, and spring is still nowhere to be seen. Nevertheless, we are moving on from digital art to video games. Now, as I have mentioned before in an earlier blog post, I do not consider myself to be a gamer. However, in this weeks lecture we were presented with four terms or categories of what a gamer is, or can be, and to my surprise I found that I actually fit into a couple of these categories.
A short description of the categories of gamers mentioned in class; Casual Gamer: Is a person who plays games to relax and unwind more than for the challenge of it. For the casual gamer, gaming is more of a light hobby. Social Gamer: For a social gamer, connecting with people is important. Games with a strong online community is favoured. Specialist Gamer: Is very focused on getting the most out of the games they play, and they know what type of games they like and stick to those. Expert Gamer: This person is not necessarily a very skilled gamer, but is someone who is into everything game related.
I found that I had elements from quite a few of these although neither one fit perfectly. I love to play a few games, but I am not doing it for the challenge but rather for the experience of the world and the story of the game. I am quite relaxed about gaming and it varies how often I play games. I choose the games I play based on the atmosphere the game has. The visual aspect and the music is quite important to me when I am looking for new games to play. I know what I am looking for, and what kind of games I like to play. I also have to say that I am in no way a very skilled gamer, but I have been called a completionist and yes, I guess I am exactly that.
I think one of the reasons I never considered myself to be a gamer is that I have only just recently started playing video games. I used to play more when I was younger, a lot younger. My favourite games at that point were Super Mario bros, Little Samson and Sonic the hedgehog. Another reason I did not consider myself to be a gamer is the meaning I put into the word “gamer”, to me a gamer was someone who sort of embodied all of the categories mentioned above. I have now discovered that the meaning behind the word and what a gamer actually is, is a lot more complex and that I actually can call myself a gamer.
I do not think that I am alone in having this stereotypic view on what a gamer is, and I think that is a bit sad. Many gamers might be excluding themselves from this quite wonderful community because they do not realize that they are actually a part of it. Much in the same way that I did.
I also quite enjoy searching for new games to play, and I really enjoy watching “let’s plays” of games I already enjoy or of games I might like to play. I am also a bit picky so at the moment I have only found three games that I love. Unfortunately one of them is way to hard for my poor skillset and underdeveloped patience, but it is so beautiful. Having to try to get past a challenge ten times or more is just not going to happen, I get way too infuriated when I can not get past the challenge fast enough. I hope that one day I will be able to play Ori and the Blind Forest, without possibly throwing the Xbox out the window.
I have mentioned one of the games I enjoy playing in an earlier blog post, and that is the game Child of Light by Ubisoft. Child of Light is a platform RPG game, and what I enjoy about this game is the atmosphere created by the subtle watercoloured artwork, the music and the storyline. I also like games where you explore a world and discover hidden treasures and other useful things that will help you further along in the game.
The next game that I want to mention is Seasons After Fall by Swing Swing Submarine. This is another game that I love to play, much for the same reasons as Child of Light. Again, the atmosphere of the game is a very important aspect. Seasons after Fall is a platform game where the challenges mostly consist of solving puzzles.
The third game I really like is Ori and the Blind Forest by Moon Studios GmbH, this is a platform-adventure game. This game is challenging, and I do not have the patience or the skillset to even get remotely close to the end of the game. However this is one of the most beautiful games I have ever seen. It draws you in, and it is beautiful and calming as well as very challenging and nerve wracking at the same time. I will play this game, I just need to develop my hand- eye coordination a bit more, as well as my patience.
I think I have made it quite clear that the sensation of the game is rather important to me as a gamer. To me games are as much an art expression as anything else, and I find that the visual and atmospheric aspect is what creates the illusion of being a part of another world, and what draws you into this great reality escape. Now, I love books, movies, cartoons, tv-series and art in various forms, but there is something different about games. They feel alive in a very different way, and this might be the due to the fact that they are much more interactive than most other media. Because of this, the immersion of a video game is typically stronger than that of other media. Most likely there are several factors that create the uniqueness of video games, however, I will not go further into those now.
For now I am quite excited for this new theme, and for exploring video games aesthetics, and writing more about this topic for next weeks blog post.
Also, go and check out my contribution to the “make” #SelfieUnselfie