Video games have become the newest and greatest form of interactive entertainment. But why? What is it about these electronic game consoles that appeal to everyone so much? Video games are no longer just for children or adults with no jobs. They have become a legitimate artistic medium appreciated by people of all ages.
Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony (the companies behind modern video game consoles) have all created a modern industry more akin to films in the modern era. There are many genres of video games for many types of people. The same people who would go watch “It,” “Get Out“ or other horror films would probably prefer something like “Resident Evil” or “Outlast.” Others interested in a more family-friendly theme could go for the “Mario” games or “Minecraft.”
The industry has plenty for everyone, and a more active role offers more for those who may find movies too long.
Video games provide a higher level of interaction than other type of modern media, tapping into the player’s desire for an experience they would not be able to get any other way. These games are popular for the same reason we enjoy Halloween: Escapism.
The real world really sucks, and it sucks quite often. Video games allow us to go into another world, say Hyrule from “The Legend of Zelda,” and put our real life worries and thoughts on the back burner. We assume the duties of the character we are playing, in this scenario Link, and we take on a mythical world with significantly fewer consequences than ours. Some people may consider this mindset unhealthy, putting real world struggles aside for those of a fake one. That idea, however, is flawed.
Escapism is not only found in video games or Halloween; every form of entertainment thrives on that concept. Movies, television, sports, books, social media–All of it depends on the viewer wanting to get away from their own lives if only for a few minutes. At least video games allow some form of action on the gamer’s part besides idle eye movement.
Video games grant more than an escape, they allow the player to actually do something, typically something they cannot do in real life. It is therapeutic in a way that it is an escape into a world that still feels like something tangible, something with a level of gravity to it.
Video games are an art form all to themselves, and I would certainly rather play “Breath of the Wild” than stare at an Andy Warhol painting for four hours.