Immaterial Things

Immaterial Things

The time and effort we put into videogames don't last the way tangible objects do, but that's ok - they still count for something.


Wow... that's a little depressing. Not so much from the point of view of World of Warcraft, where most of your characters end up in the same crappy gear (though I've been trying to break that trend with my guy even if I don't ever get invited to a super heroic raid party) but more from the LittleBigPlanet perspective. It's not just a game where everyone can play, but where your own personal creativity plays an enormous role, and while I could care less if I had 10 statues of Sonic with all the chaos emeralds, or a handpainted image of mario juggling whistles balanced on a stack of dead turtles, if I create with my own hands I damn well want to be able to look at it and say: This was mine. This came out of my head, not someone else's who is guiding me to this point only to give me the same reward as millions of others. Things that are unique and personal should have some way to be preserved for at least yourself because those are what truly mean something. To me anyway.

If I made a suitably awesome LBW world I would want to also be able to say to some aspiring company, hey, can you make me a print of this? (Get some ideas out there entrepreneurs!) In any case, keep on playing, and maybe some day I'll be convinced to trade in my old games as well.

The time and effort put into videogames allow me to relax and unwind after a hard day beating my skull into a desk.

I'm not a creative person normally. The most creative I've ever been was in school, painting Warhammer figurines. I grabbed Banjo-Kazooie last week, on recommendation, thinking I'd play it for a few days, then keep it on hand whenever cousins aged in the single digits come around. This week, I'm frustrated by the game's 200 item limit for building vehicles. Hell, upon hearing about the Rare competition, I uploaded photos of my greatest creation, despite the likelihood of hundreds, possibly thousands of similar vehicles being entered into it, simply because I'd spent a few hours perfecting it and wanted to immortalise it somehow.

Every so often, me and a few mates gather at one of our houses and play videogames. We're all in our late 20s, all have full-time jobs and active social lives. Yet some of the most fun we've had comes from a weekend of drunken Rock Band or Gears of War. We don't spend this time, then forget it. We reminisce at all points of the future. Laughing about the weird glitch with the bouncing head, crying about being unexpectedly bushwhacked by that Tank just moments away from the health spawn and remembering with fondness the time we somehow gold starred a track on Expert. A track that wasn't Creep or Charlene. I can't even remember the track now, just the fact that none of us particularly liked the song, yet we utterly nailed it.

Then again, videogames have always been like this. They're a challenge. Maybe not as much of a challenge as climbing a mountain or painting a self-portrait, but they're a challenge that requires mental discipline and hand-eye co-ordination. We get the same rewarding feeling from our brain when we defeat one or achieve something tremendous in game. So biologically, there's no real difference between videogames and any other hobby. In the end, they're just another means of convincing our brains to release some more of those sweet, sweet dopamines.

Good article.

I totally agree with this article and see a lot of similarities between myself and the writer. It is kind of a bummer how we have no way to physically represent our awesome experiences.

This made me think a lot of all the accomplishments I have in gaming, created content and what not... I've spent a lot of time in those little worlds of 1's and 0's.

I like this article for the fact that it helped me realized that there is no sense worrying over the lost time because it really isn't lost! We spend it doing something that makes us feel good and gives us a chance to do something that feels good to us. When I was a child building sand castles was great, you worked for an hour to build the perfect castle then BOOM! It was gone with one hit from a careless friend or adult but for that time it was magic, games give us this chance to once more touch that magic. I intend to continue down that road as that magic brief in my life as it is a day allows me to recharge for the next round of head banging desk-a-thons that are the daily cubicle life.

This was a great read for me, because I normally have no care for things that remind me of the past. I'm not a picture taker. I don't get petty souvenirs on trips.

But I do save a lot of the games I've played over the years, for exactly the reasons listed. The shadows of memories surface when I glance at my copy of Shadow of the Colossus. I think about the summer I spent in a Co-op at college, when I look at Guild Wars, due to the fire down the street tossing ashes into my room during its volcanic endgame.

I still can't see myself framing my games, though. Except maybe Primal Rage...

That article is an excellent point. The truth is, video games are a form of escapism for the vast majority of gamers excluding the professional gamers who play in tournaments. To them, it's a living. The achievements, unlockables, etc. seem to have been put in there to give you something to do when you've beaten the main game. Online gaming is more of social interaction.


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