the artistry and psychology of gaming

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How Gaming Has Changed My Life

How Gaming Has Changed My Life

There is no doubt that we as gamers are affected and changed by video games. This issue most of the times blows down to the discussion that whether video games will turn gamers to racist pedophiliac rapist mass murderers or not, and it’s usually between people who know nothing about video games and those who do. I have nothing to add to this discussion, so this is not what I’m talking about. However, there are some changes in my life that I attribute to video games, and here I want to list them, maybe it will be a pleasant read.

I began gaming in the year 2001. I was 12 years old back then. So I took up video games in my formative years, and I’m sure they have affected me significantly in character. I don’t remember much from that time, and I’m sure every change like this is very slow, so I can’t really compare my current self with my former one to make sure how I’ve changed. But there are some characteristics that I’m pretty sure would not exist if I were not a gamer.

The first one and the most obvious one is the fact that the generation gap between me and my students was much less wide than the other generations. I remember being at school. My teachers shared nothing with me, and we were complete strangers. To them, video games were an alien entity which caused no good and its only effect was to distract the students from their studies. We had no common language with our teachers, and no shared interests. They remained abstract authority figures whom we respected (or not), loved or sometimes hated, but never really communicated with. I never forget my disappointment when my favorite teacher acted shocked when he heard that I play video games and regarded me “too mature” for such an activity. He’s not necessarily close-minded. He’s just… old.

But that was not the case with me and my students. I could communicate with them. I played the same games and that was a huge part of it. I was not dismissive, (obviously), and I could talk to them about what they loved. They appreciated that even more because their teachers in the school are the same old lot- and a teacher like me comes off as fresh air.

The same is true about parenting. My parents had absolutely no idea what I was playing and what things I was exposing myself to. I could be playing rape hentai one year after my puberty at an age when most boys get off the picture of women in bikini in the news, and guess what, I was. Meanwhile, my parents were just getting ready to “give me the talk”. Now, don’t think that my parents are neglective. They’re overly-protective if anything. But they have no idea how to turn on a computer, or how to venture on from the desktop to the deeper dungeons of a PC. They could not control what they had no knowledge of.

Now if I have any children, we won’t have that problem. I may not censor anything from them because I don’t believe in raising children in vacuum, but I can explain and clarify things to them. I will play with my children and that will enrich our relationship. I will be able to communicate with them as well.

But on a more personal level, I believe that the main effect is that everything in my life has turned into a sort of game. I organize my life like a game mission. Everything has objectives and when I meet those objectives, I can move to the next task. This is very similar to the structure of missions in a game. You have a main objective which is divided to smaller objectives, and the game lists them in a small menu and ticks off the ones you have done. They appear in many games, and I believe it is gameplay in its most basic structure. Task => smaller tasks => complete objectives => reward => mission accomplished. I have adapted the same system in my personal life and I believe I wouldn’t have if I were not a gamer. Video games have made my life organized.

This is my notebook. Tell me it doesn’t look like one in a game.

So these were the things I could think of for this short article. How things have changed for you as a gamer? How games have affected your life?

2 Comments

  1. Games have affected my life in a great many ways. For one, it was my desire to have a better guide on the Internet for Legend of Dragoon that got me writing for GameFAQs, and eventually, this site. It has greatly developed my skills as a writer. Gaming has also developed my sense of aesthetics; I could never have imagined such beautiful colors without it, not even watching Yellow Submarine. Gaming has supplied over 50% of my music library. Finally, gaming has provided me with reading I can enjoy, whether it be in-game text or things written about gaming. I’m not diametrically opposed to reading, but my mind tends to wander as I do so. In a game, the interactivity makes me able to focuse on the story because I am a part of it.

  2. I agree with you and can understand these effects. For although I have played video games only sporadically and probably much less than you, I can remember how playing strategic games organized my thoughts, improved my reasoning, gave me more insight into many things. You learn many things while playing. You learn details about handling issues and problems in life. For example you will learn how you need to be patient. You learn about consistency and how it pays. You learn about complacency and how it hurts. You learn about considering and having in view all options before making decisions. You get clear ideas about a very very wide range of mechanisms of society and the world. I think playing games gives you a lot of valuable experience that most probably we don’t have the means to gain in real life. It strengthens the mind with experience and knowledge.

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