Video games are so popular and are a source of entertainment for millions of people, but what makes them that way? Maybe it is the way it brings people together and creates a shared area of interest. Or perhaps it is due to their interactivity, artistic appeal, or aesthetics. Other than those reasons, what’s the point? Getting Mario to the right castle will not save a real princess. Saving the world on Gears of War does not prevent a real-life apocalypse. Defeating the Templars on Assassin’s Creed does not make anyone into a true assassin. So why do we spend so long playing video games if there are no unforeseeable goals that impact our reality and life? Good question.
(image from http://komplexify.com/)
I play video games because it makes it possible for me to go to places and do things that I never would be able to do in real life. I enjoy being a pirate and sailing the ocean in Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag more than watching TV or sports. The difficulties of reality make it nearly impossible for me to play sports, so video games is my next best option. With school and all taking up most of my time and effort, I have much less time to play nowadays. Perhaps I do not feel the same urge to play games now because I have something else to keep me busy and something I am able to physically do. Whenever I do get the chance to play again I cannot play more than two hours or so without again asking, “what’s the point?” There are so many things I can be preoccupied with instead of video games; so many things to do that can have a real impact on my life and society. Internships, running clubs, doing homework, going to classes, chatting with friends, any many other activities are waiting for me outside the digital void of video gaming. I still play them of course, but only when I need a break from it all.
(image from http://www.stealthybox.com/
So, I do see a reason to “gamify” as much as it makes sense to. Instead of video games just being a source of entertainment, they would have an impact on one’s life and businesses/organizations worldwide. Goals of the game would match the goals set by society and business owners alike. Video gaming would transform from cow-clicking, pointless actions into actions that have a point and an impact. No more asking, “What’s The Point?”