What is it that we feel? Are we wasting our time? While I was growing up my parents always felt that I was wasting my time playing video games. They could never understand how I could spend hours sitting in front of a TV playing Nintendo. It was never a means of escape for me nor was it a way to avoid interaction with other kids, it was just fun in its purest form. Generally kids play with toys and they get lost in their imaginations, making up stories as they go. In my spouse's case the Ninja Turtles would go on dates with her Barbie’ dolls, I on the other hand would be battling bad guys through several made up scripts and if I didn't have a specific toy I would create it out of aluminum foil.
When I played games as a kid I would view them in the same way I viewed toys, and as toys where limited by imagination, games were limited by the worlds they threw you in, but you were able to do whatever you wanted within those worlds. So why did I play? What did I see in games as a child? The answer is simple; it was just a lot of fun. I never paid attention to the story; I simply enjoyed the game mechanics. So much so, I would skip over all stories if I could, and if a game didn't have the option to skip the story I wouldn't play it at all. Fighting games were my go to games as a kid. I really enjoyed having people come over so they could enjoy the same game I was playing, and it was something we would talk about at school. There was something about sharing the same experience with others. It felt good to remember such good times…, it still does.
Why do I play now? What is it I look for in games today? The way I play games has changed significantly over time. Don't get me wrong, game mechanics are still important, but I'm looking for something else in games. I play now to reach some level of satisfaction. In games I complete quests, search for treasure, rescue characters, and throughout this process I start feeling more accomplished, especially after finishing a game. There is something satisfying about completing a game that makes me feel better about myself. It's not like I have no other accomplishments in life, I got this same feeling when I graduated from high school, from college, when I finished my certifications, and when I got my first job. Games are just an easy way to give me access to thee feeling of accomplishment.
This is why I'm a gamer, I believe we may all game for different reasons; bragging rights, to hone our skills on a specific game mechanic, to escape, to relax, to share experiences with others, to meet new people, to pass time during your commute. There are many reasons out there, and they are all great reasons to be a gamer.