IGN has a pretty decent article about why people play games. I mean this from the company that plasters the game it’s reviewing’s ads all over the place. Journalistic integrity is far from it’s humble beginnings.
This jist of the article is that people escape into video games to avoid the stresses of everyday life. This is not new. People do this with TV (always a happy ending), films (hero saves the day), comics (look at those bodies). It’s the basis of art. Games use lies to tell the truth.
In my personal case, I’ve been down the rabbit hole a few times. I am quite cognizant that games are my personal refuge. I feel comfortable in them. I feel powerful. I have a great understanding in them. I know that the game is playing fair and if I find one that isn’t (World of Tanks for example), then I simply leave it aside.
If I try really hard at something in a game and I fail, I’ve lost time but gained experience. If I try really hard at something in the real world, I certainly lose time but I also lose money, respect, confidence and a whole whack of other things. Sometimes I can leverage the game experience into the real world. Leading a raid is a great example of this. You have to heard 24 other cats to the same pen. Healers and Tanks are somewhat similar in that they need to prioritize and take leadership. DPS, like it or not, are the grunts. Heck, I’ve known doctors who played DPS just to let their brains relax.
It’s interesting to see the correlation between what we game, why we game and who we are in the real world. This blog certainly gives some insight into my mindset. I just hope that people who do game, understand why they do and get the right kind of pleasure out of it.