Tex

Why do you play video games?

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Howdy, everybody!

For a class I'm taking this semester, I'm writing a paper on the relationship between interactive theatre and video games through the use of immersion. I thought I'd turn to the gaming community I know best to help find answers to questions I might have about the topic, which my professor calls "cutting edge," it's actually quite interesting to hear that. 

So why do you play video games?

What sets them apart from other forms of media, such as movies or theater performances?

 

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Posted (edited)

I don't play games like I used to but they used to be an escape for me more than anything. Sometimes they still are. 

Movies and theatre are preplanned and I have no say in what happens, so that's why I go with video games. I love the control I have when gaming. Maybe this is because I feel like I lack control in my own life. I'm 28 with a wife and kid and sometimes I wonder if I'm doing everything right or could I have done things better. When I'm gaming it doesn't matter. If I'm doing something wrong, I can start over, or pick a different path. I don't have that freedom in life, and maybe I subconsciously long for it. I don't regret anything I have done in real life but I do catch myself wondering "what if" quite often.

Perhaps I just have control issues. 

But that's why I play games in a nutshell

Edited by Galileo

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I play video games simply because what I can't do in real life I can on the computer.

Escapism, at it's finest.

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No reasons to go outside other than airsoft, school, and saying hanging out with friends and they're fun.

may or may not mean i have no social life to speak of

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1 hour ago, Tex said:

I'm writing a paper on the relationship between interactive theatre and video games through the use of immersion.

Based on the above. I am assuming here that you are not asking why I play games in general. You are in fact asking about my views on immersion in the games that I play? 

If that is correct. I hope so. Lets use KSP game design choices that we are all familiar with.

I think the best KSP related answer has to touch on the programming choices for the in game gyros. I want KSP to realistic. However I don't want it to be a pain in backside either. As such the gyro's work as they are expected to. There are just as technically accurate as they need to be to put little green men into space. There is of course mods to adjust things. The point I am making is a game developer has to pick a design choice. The best choice is normally the one that feels right to most players. Even it it is not completely realistic in the real world. It is just a fun simulation after all.    

Immersion in computer games and interactive theater is related in that most payers do have suspension of disbelief. They will accept that some things should not be realistic for the purposes of game play. However if that suspension of disbelieve violates the theme of the game. Immersion is broken. 

For example nobody complains that the grass does not grow around the KSC. This is not a farming simulator and nobody cares. On the other hand in early versions quite a few people mentioned that a lack aerodynamics was bad. They where expecting aircraft and rockets to fly a certain way because that was central to the games theme.

I hope that made sense. I am writing this very late at night. I really hope it helps a bit with your paper.

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I like books and movies. The kind of games I play, anyway, are ways for me to create my own stories, like movies and books, except that I don't have to do all the work of creating the situation myself, which would be too taxing for a pastime. 

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What sets games apart from other media?

Well, the way I see it is that traditional media (books, theater, film) have one fundamental aim in mind: telling a story. There are a number of ways they approach this, and a myriad of kinds of stories, but fundamentally, they are media for conveying stories. Games, on the other hand, are a horse of another color. Games seek to convey an experience of some kind. That experience could be a story, it could be cathartic amusement, it could be intellectual challenge, or it could be something else entirely, but fundamentally it's an experience.

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Posted (edited)

Because the primary instinct of a (more or less) sapient being is to transform the reality making events happen in the desired way. Monotonicity kills, degrades you. Activity keeps your brain alive, keeps you toned.
Of course this kind of reality is virtual, but happily our insectivorous brain is enough stupid to see no difference and stay happy.

P.S.
Also have you another way to burst the rockets for free?

Spoiler

Our pre-alpha version

5f5ec86451ed2ac0d8e121c0c90e9afd.png

 

Edited by kerbiloid

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Because I do. :D 

Mostly because there isn't anything to do. And I like building huge things. Like huge rockets and huge redstone contraption and huge lag. :) 

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Immersion! Being in control of the main character ( actions give a much deeper immersion to whatever world you are in. Once I started playing terror/horror games, movies stopped scarying me, it's been a while that I'm searching for a movie to give me the sensation tha some games gave me.

Freedom, I can do stuff that a can't do IRL, be launching a rocket or GTA stuff.

Experiencing other worlds/realities/universes/times. I can be flying an X-Wing or in a medieval castle, be a wizard. So in a way it expands on and upon your imagination, giving it a more 'real' feeling than just being a thought on your mind to something that your eyes can see and you can interact with.

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Posted (edited)

Escapism, naturally. Replace this world/sensorium with another of my choosing, to gain sensory satisfaction and some relief from the horrors of normal life.

But now it is so ingrained in my character that its as ubiquitous as sitting down with a cup of tea.

Doing anything else in the waking space between one work day and another makes no sense. Just like it makes no sense to de-ice your car windscreen at 4am in the summer.

"What do you do at night?" Sleep, obviously.

"What do you do before that?" Game, obviously.

Both are the same sort of question for me apparently.

Its probably not a healthy state of mind.

Edited by p1t1o

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Sometimes it to get away but other times it's my way of learning something on the job and learning more about something. In movies, you can never see an end but games make you able to tinker around and derp around with mechanics while trying to find a way to get out of a problem.

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Oh, in addition to my earlier comments, each time you read the same favorite book or movie, it turns out the same way. Games are like books or movies that are different each time you re-visit them. 

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20 minutes ago, Vanamonde said:

Oh, in addition to my earlier comments, each time you read the same favorite book or movie, it turns out the same way. Games are like books or movies that are different each time you re-visit them. 

 

Ditto.

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Quite true, for all the comments involved. Replayability and immersion within a story do seem to be the main attractions, yes? What about the art of video game graphics/universes/worlds, do the depicted time periods or locations have any draw?

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With different games come different critics. Luckily I'm not one of those types. I just play.

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Oh, oh, and also to do something very different from my normal experience. I tend to be a goody-two-shoes in real life, so in games with an ethical system, I almost always play as evil. :)

And I hate confrontations and arguments and generally just give the other person what he/she wants to avoid a fight. And then I go play Mount & Blade Warband and shoot enemies in the face with my crossbow to watch them fall over dead in one hit. So satisfying. 

But then again, I can't play excessively violent games. They upset me. 

So, yeah. 

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Combination of wish fulfillment ("Whee!  I'm flying ROCKET SHIPS!") with control.  Real life is unpredictable and dangerous and full of what can only be described as, well, people, who are also unpredictable.  Being in a snug, secure artificial universe that I'm in complete control over, where things are completely deterministic and operate according to a well-defined set of rules, is just awfully soothing.  :)

(Which is why I generally don't play multiplayer games.)

(And probably also why I'm a software engineer.)

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It allows me to do/experience things I can't in my real life.  It also lets me create my own stories.  Movies, theater, literature, and TV are telling me someone else's story.  Both in the sense that the story is told by someone else, and about someone else.  Being the main character of a game evokes a different response, since the events are happening to/because of me and my actions.  Even if the movies/books/etc evoke an emotional response, it's not going to be the same, since I have no part in causing it, and no real stake in what happens.

I also tend to play a lot more simulators than I do other types of games.  I don't find much of a draw to storyline based games, as it's again locking me into someone else's story when I would prefer to make my own in the world they provide.  The same story repeated makes for a lack of replayability for me. 

 

6 hours ago, Tex said:

What about the art of video game graphics/universes/worlds, do the depicted time periods or locations have any draw?

I'd say the time period and location have to have some sort of a draw, otherwise I wouldn't be interested in the game.  Most of all, however, they need to make some kind of sense.  Driving a tank makes sense in a modern game, but driving an M-1 down Senlac into Duke William's Norman cavalry doesn't, no matter how much I might find the Anglo-Saxon period fascinating.

The art also needs to make sense.  In something like a game about quirky little beings building rockets, artwork leaning to the cartoonish fits, but it would be out of place in a simulator striving for a high degree of realism.

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6 minutes ago, razark said:

It allows me to do/experience things I can't in my real life.  It also lets me create my own stories.  Movies, theater, literature, and TV are telling me someone else's story.  Both in the sense that the story is told by someone else, and about someone else.  Being the main character of a game evokes a different response, since the events are happening to/because of me and my actions.  Even if the movies/books/etc evoke an emotional response, it's not going to be the same, since I have no part in causing it, and no real stake in what happens.

I also tend to play a lot more simulators than I do other types of games.  I don't find much of a draw to storyline based games, as it's again locking me into someone else's story when I would prefer to make my own in the world they provide.  The same story repeated makes for a lack of replayability for me. 

 

I'd say the time period and location have to have some sort of a draw, otherwise I wouldn't be interested in the game.  Most of all, however, they need to make some kind of sense.  Driving a tank makes sense in a modern game, but driving an M-1 down Senlac into Duke William's Norman cavalry doesn't, no matter how much I might find the Anglo-Saxon period fascinating.

The art also needs to make sense.  In something like a game about quirky little beings building rockets, artwork leaning to the cartoonish fits, but it would be out of place in a simulator striving for a high degree of realism.

 

Ditto

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I play video games for a number of reasons. Sometimes I play because I want to make a story. It's the same reason I write and draw. Sometimes I want to solve a problem. Both of these impulses lead me towards sandboxes like KSP and Space Engineers. Sometimes I want to experience someone else's story. To satisfy this, I play narrative-driven games. But books are more mobile and cheaper, so I don't get many games of this description.

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, Tex said:

Quite true, for all the comments involved. Replayability and immersion within a story do seem to be the main attractions, yes? What about the art of video game graphics/universes/worlds, do the depicted time periods or locations have any draw?

Of course! Sometimes the art style of a game can be enough of a draw just on its own, and a game that on paper sounds really good can be awfully let down by poor choices in the art department. Conversely though, there are some games that do such a good job of utilising your imagination, that artistic beauty is not even relevant, obvious example would be text-based games, but I was thinking more in terms of hardcore strategy.

It all adds to the same gestalt though, to be immersed, you have to want to be immersed, this might mean it needs to be beautiful, or it may not, but the skill of the developers is involved either way.

If a game is gritty and ugly, like a post-apocalyptic world, does this make the game poor in art? No. Do I want to live in squalour and fight for survival? No. But I do want to immerse myself in a well-described and detailed environment.

In games, as I suspect is the same in a lot of forms of art, ugly can be beautiful. And beautiful can be ugly (ie: we've all played games which are all graphics but are just crappy games)

Edited by p1t1o

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On 6 March, 2017 at 8:17 PM, Tex said:

 So why do you play video games?

Because I am not addicted to drugs, and I need my fix, man.

 

On 6 March, 2017 at 8:17 PM, Tex said:

...What sets them apart from other forms of media, such as movies or theater performances?

As has been mentioned by others, games gives you control over a situation (or at least leads you to believe you do).  Some games let you be creative, some games give you degrees of control of the storyline, some games let you develop characters.

 

I would put theatre performances outside of books and movies, as there is or could be some limited interaction between audience and story.

 

 

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Just now, justidutch said:

I would put theatre performances outside of books and movies, as there is or could be some limited interaction between audience and story.

Yup, and that is the crux of my paper. Interactive theatre has exploded in popularity in the past decade, and I am researching to establish a connection in that with the rising level of sophistication and player involvement in video games and other forms of entertainment that are meant to immerse the audience member/player within the story. In short, the concept of "immersion" is the newest and biggest development in entertainment in the modern age.

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