The introduction of video games had redefined entertainment. Prior to Atari’s 1970s video console, the popular pasttimes were magazines and television; nowadays it’s video games. Millions of people got hooked to the earliest games introduced, like Super Mario, Final Fantasy, and Tetris. To non-gamers, the countless hours spent to reach Level 80 in World of Warcraft, or skipping meals to continue with the momentum on DOTA seem foolish, irresponsible even. But to gamers, these are their investment that will help them reach their goal sooner.
Video games have captivated young and old alike. These have become so popular that this phenomenon called gaming has been the topic of many academic studies. Why are these kinds of games very popular? Read on to find out.
• Video games encourage mental exercise. Gaming can help someone enhance his/her mental ability through various opportunities to analyze situations and win the game or move on to the next level.
• Video games are interactive entertainment. Unlike comic books or television where the action is just seen, simulated action in video games has an almost tangible feel, and allows the player to exist in particular conditions and to react based on the rules of the game. Interactive forms of suspense entertainment are more interesting, pleasing and gratifying than passive ones, and that is why a lot of people are drawn to these.
• Video games satisfy the need to control. Everyone needs a sense of control in life – more intense in some than in others, but still part of our general makeup as humans. Games provide opportunities for gamers to have some control over their respective characters, and over scenarios that pose threats against their “existence” in the game. Tools and techniques help players plan and execute an attack and do calculated stunts they are unable to do in real life. There is also sheer exhilaration in games – action and adventure keep the adrenaline level high.
• Video games are an escape from reality. Play is an opportunity for many to clear their heads and forget their problems for a while. It is also a chance for gamers to live out their fantasies when they take on different roles. In the realm of the game’s battlefield, for example, they are heroes crushing the enemies, but in real life, they’re young students who may not even be able to frighten away a bully in school. Playing games also allow gamers to forget their problems and clear their heads for a while.
• Video games allow players to connect with family and friends when distance is an issue. As substitute to the traditional outdoor and indoor games that foster closeness, modern gaming via Internet connection gives gamers a way to way to bond and have fun with loved ones who are far away.
• Video games are goal-oriented and foster the importance of team spirit. Gamers may work together to beat powerful monster or defend their base from other players. They experience a sense of camaraderie usually found in intramural sport or night out over some drinks.