Video Gaming Fun not by Playing Them


I like video games — a pretty normal thing to say — though not necessarily playing video games. I follow gaming news and watch videos of people playing video games, but with very little intention of actually playing those same games. I have never thought about why until the moment I write this article. Liking video games to me is as natural as watching movies. And with them, I am not always inclined to act on it any further, which is especially peculiar for gaming because skill wise, its entry level is low by design.

So there must be other reasons. Something else that to me, video game represents other than the intrinsic joy of playing it. To get to the bottom of this, I had to go all the way back to my first video game, the earliest one that I can remember. Actually, the game title escapes me. But that is not important. What the game was all about is also irrelevant. What is important is the fact that I did not actually play it (me still being a toddler probably had a lot to do with it). Instead, it was an older cousin on a personal computer at our grandparents’ house.

That must be it then. Not being on the control, both literally and figuratively, is not an issue because that was not the case with my earliest memory of video game joy. Doing something together with my cousin, something that bonds us together, was more valuable to me than controlling the actions displayed on the monitor screen. Of course, that as I got older, I started enjoying video games normally too, with a controller in hand. But the idea that gaming is a communal activity never went away.

This then raises another question. If I am not playing video games because I don’t need to be in control of the actions, then why don’t I play video games precisely because of the sense of togetherness I just presented? I guess the answer is because I don’t need to. Nowadays, you can get a sense of belonging and community via the internet, with streamers and content creators et al. Now, you can get very deep analysing the nature of such contemporary accord. But even if they are not the classical kind of community, they are truly and nonetheless social.

In the end, the best thing about video games is not the mind-blowing graphics, the ground-breaking mechanics, nor the pretty new features. They are not meaningless though. Not at all. In fact, they are aspects of what makes single player video gaming fun. Rather, they are separate to the shared experience you get from camaraderie. It is like back in the day. You can watch and enjoy your morning cartoons by yourself, but talking about them the next day with friends at school is a lot of fun too.




私はビデオゲームが好きです — これはごく普通のことですが、必ずしもビデオゲームをプレイするのが好きというわけではありません。