Gaming is more than the simple mashing of buttons. It is an art form; the same as novels, movies, and other forms of media. It tells a story with the player right in the action. Other forms of media have the viewer as the audience. You do not have control of what happens in the story; you are simply watching it unfold. Gaming is one of the few ways to actually become part of that fantasy, to make it your own reality.

Yet still the uneducated will continue to think that we are wasting our time. The ignorant will believe that gaming is a sin, something that makes you less of a person. Sadly, these types of people will always exist. There’s not much you can do about them, except move on.

With today’s technology, players can connect with others throughout the world. It’s not your usual basement dwelling; gamers are actually more social than studies show. These online interactions have provoked changes in gamers. The art is more emotional than ever before, as other players are now involved in your experience.

Can you spot the references?

So what does this mean? Well, let me start with a single game style; the fighting genre. I’m sure not everyone has experience with this type, but I’ll try to summarize. With fighting games, you’re own your own. You’re locked up in a 2D or 3D plain, with an opponent in front of you. You then fight until one side’s health reaches zero or until another condition is met. That’s all there is to it, pretty simple right?

BlazBlue Chrono Phantasma

Well, it’s not really that effortless. There’s a lot of factors in a fighting game; what character to chose, the stage you’re playing on, the music, the combos you dish out on your opponent… the list could go on. All these have a certain effect on the player; they feel something when they play. Have you ever felt something like that?

There’s that nail-biting sensation that pops up when you’re on the verge of a lost. Your mind is clouded with numerous practiced strategies and combos you’ve rehearsed in training mode. You feel apprehensive as your opponent’s health falls. There’s one that everyone knows; the crushing emotion that hits you after you suffer a devastating loss, and the feeling of pride and confidence after securing the win. That’s right, emotion; we’re not just mashing buttons aimlessly.

It even get’s more technical than that, combos are just the building blocks. What good are building blocks if you can’t lay down the foundation? There are a few names we use to describe these actions and mannerisms one picks up as they play. Instead of creating a list I’ll just direct you here if you’re curious.

3D Fighter, Soul Calibur V

You’re probably thinking, “What about people who don’t play fighting games.” Don’t worry, you aren’t alone.  The concepts above can easily apply to any genre, as gamers feel emotion no matter what they’re playing. A FPS enthusiast could probably go on a monologue dealing with knifing and sniping techniques and how it depends on your mindset against your opponents.

It’s pretty clear that gaming is an emotional hobby, but why isn’t it being seen as so? Video games always take the heat when there is some form of murder or crime. However, there’s rarely any positive news on the subject. Why are games seen as negative, when they are technically more involving and emotional than other forms of art? Is the community to blame? What is the answer?

References

Grady, D. (2013, February 6). What the “zone” is -and how to stay in it!. Retrieved from http://formingfunc.com/blog/2013/2/6/what-the-zone-is-and-how-to-stay-in-it

James Madigan. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.psychologyofgames.com/

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