Vicarious Video Games

I must admit that I do not play video games. When I was younger, I would go through periods where I would play the odd online game with friends or maybe a shoot-em-up, again with friends. But, I have never really enjoyed playing them myself, always liked movies, reading and writing much better – more fulfilling.

So, I don’t know what to make of the fact that I really like to watch other people play video games, usually ones I’ve never even tried myself. I think the medium makes it so that I can see what it would be like, i.e. how good I would be, if I played the game at its highest level.

Games mostly take a necessary amount of knowledge to truly appreciate, they are not merely pictures on a screen through which you may indulge your dreams. I know this only because I have many friends who play video games excessively. They are to video games what I am to writing and reading.

This idea is best seen in “game mechanics”, a set of governing rules – as I understand them anyway. A game that has good game mechanics is a good game, usually. It’s like there’s some form a true, perfect video game that all others emulate, imitate.

It makes you wonder what that means about the medium. I mean are all game’s good that are considered good to play, interesting, rewarding, etc. What does that mean about the ability of a creator in such a field of art where the user interaction is of the highest importance?

In writing, the reader is an impressive entity who is really just a projector in a way for the words of the author. All we do is, like in movies, transform the text inro something more real, at least inside our brain.

As I describe this it’s hard not to get bogged down in the abstractions of art. Not the style but the way we talk about art, the way we find links between the media.

This tends, in my opinion, to fill in the picture that may not be fully formed. It’s like we need a way to understand art as something we enable but not understand what that means.

We are to art what the Sun is to our skin. Its potency exists with or without us but we are believe we have the control.



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