Video games have been with us for decades now, and they continue to evolve and become more complex with each passing generation. Video games are a living, breathing franchise for people all over the globe that are searching for entertainment. However, with video games becoming more complex and realistic with each passing year, it’s no surprise that they have become such an important part of people’s lives. With that being said, it’s no surprise that some people seem to take video games… a bit too seriously, to say the least. We’re not even talking about the stereotypical 20-something year-old gamer who lives in his mother’s basement and lets out a head-aching screech every time he gets no-scoped in Call of Duty – we’re talking about any average gaming addict just like myself and probably you! Admit it – we are all victim to taking video games way too seriously. Personally, I nearly get twitchy when my favorite video game franchise is criticized and nit-picked at for any flaw it has, and any dedicated gamer would probably get the same way! As a community of gamers, we all need to take a step back and think about what gaming really is all about and why we all take it way too seriously.
In November of 1972, Atari Inc. released something so extraordinary that it would revolutionize entertainment for ages to come: the (believed to be) first video game ever – Pong. It was a simple game that consisted of a ball that bounced between two paddles; and THAT’S IT. There was no compelling storyline, no action-packed gameplay, no levels, no saving, and definitely no revolutionary graphics. So… why did people like it? People enjoyed early video games because they were fun. The whole reason video games were created in the first place was so that people could have fun, and later it became so that people could have fun with each other when multiplayer was introduced.
Even some claimed modern hipsters argue that the original Super Mario Bros and the original Legend of Zelda are the best games to have ever been created, even in comparison to today’s modern games with ultra-realistic graphics and action-packed gameplay. Why, you ask? The reason is simply because these games were created in a time where people didn’t criticize the graphics, the storyline, or the amount of action the game consisted of – they cared solely about whether or not it was fun, and these games were genuinely fun.
Now, let’s fast-forward to modern video games. Look at us! We should be in our prime with gaming. We’re even on the verge of achieving virtual reality, which most people didn’t even dream was a possibility back in the early days of gaming. Now that we have the internet and nationwide events like E3, people are criticizing video games for things like their graphics when they haven’t even played the game yet to see if it’s fun!
A whole other level of taking video games way too seriously are things like Game Theory on youtube. Don’t get me wrong – I love Game Theory with a passion. I love speculating on whether or not Link is dead in Majora’s Mask and thinking about how the Mario Timeline actually works. However, when you make such videos, you open up a world of argument. A couple of months ago, you could have looked up an old Five Nights at Freddy’s fan theory video on the timeline placement of each game and looked at all the arguments that happen just in the comments section.
People need to take a step back and look at what video games are underneath all of the romanticism – they are entertainment. Video games were made to be fun, not to be speculated on and definitely not to be argued over. It’s why we have messes of things like the official Zelda timeline – people couldn’t leave well enough alone that the games were made simply to be fun, and in response to popular demand the producers released a mess of an “official timeline,” and from that we got a bunch of theory videos on why the official timeline doesn’t make sense. It’s just an example of how the fan base for a franchise can mess everything up. Don’t get me wrong, it’s okay to get mad when you die in Call of Duty, and it’s okay to expect decent graphics for games; but every now and then just think about what video games really are and what their true purpose is. As gamers, we need to enjoy the games rather than argue over them.
Now that all of that is out of the way, go get some friends and go play some Mario Kart 64 and have fun. Many think that the producers and gaming companies are the future of gaming, but they are not – we are, and gaming companies expect us to be just as supportive of games as the companies themselves are. Gaming has a bright future ahead of it, but it will only be as bright as we allow it to be. We – the fans – are the concrete base of video games, and it is our duty to take things like theories and criticisms with a grain of salt, and just simply have fun and enjoy the games.