Games are freedom.

  • Bad day at work? It’s usually great to fade away into an FPS / action game. Quick fix of escape.
  • Month long ire of life? Usually a sandbox or RPG will do the trick with a couple of weeks adventuring in a fictional world.
  • Couple months of garbage to slog through? Perhaps an MMO will have what you need in spades. Large worlds, scope of play, and others willing to get lost all the same.

You can be privy to some beautiful worlds within games. Sometimes it gets completely overlooked with how detailed or imaginative the world of a game could be. A release might get pegged as just being a quick cash-in or an advanced technical demo by reviewers. Infamous Second Son for example. It caught a some flack for having less content than it’s predecessors, stating it was a creation solely to show off the power of the PS4 on technical level. Ya know what? Sometimes that might be enough.

Infamous Second Son View

Infamous: Second Son can be a thing worth admiring

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In the above clipped of Spaced, Simon Pegg’s character explains to a flatmate why his character is drowning (Lara Croft from Tomb Raider 3). When I first watched Spaced years ago I took this at surface value of a funny little bit about him being sour. Looking back though, there’s more truth to it than I realized at the time. Age has a funny way of creating perspective for you. The time and experiences between now and then alter your perceptions of the world around you. That’s where change comes from. Neither here nor there though. The reason why I see more in this now than I used to is highlighting the fact that there is no right way to play a game… As the headline suggests.

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A couple of weeks ago I thought it’d be fun to try and bring a family member into gaming. Right now her post-work activities are mostly TV or hanging out at the bar. It’d be a change of pace for her and put her into a hobby of sorts that I’ve had a good time with. Games can captivate, entertain, educate, empower, and can be great for unwinding from a stressful day. Historically she isn’t the most competitive individual and generally shies away from any activities that are learned experiences; stuff that needs practice to get better at. Even getting her to play Cards Against Humanity took a bit of convincing the first time. Maybe removing the social anxiety of appearing wrong in front of others would open her up to trying a challenge or two? Learning to fail and growing from that in the safety of a video game’s world. I’m not talking about Super Meat Boy levels of hostility in failure, but general gaming. Losing sometimes just means going back a few minutes in time and trying again. No harm, no foul sort of deal. Maybe this could even be a gateway into building some confidence to fail in front of people, not feel embarrassed about trying and coming up short..? It’s been mentioned elsewhere that the possibility of playing in video games allow a comfort of play, particularly mentioning Minecraft. I built my confidence up through playing EverQuest and the social experiences/camaraderie required by the game. That’s a best case scenario though. Worst case I figured it’d give her something to do cheaper than a night out at the bar or something more involved than watching television. Perhaps even branch out into social gaming of some sort to find a community of cool people to interact with.

So many options, where to start?

So many options, where to start?

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