Hello ladies and gentlemen!
With Ready Player One (2018) directed by Steven Spielberg just around the corner, I thought it would be a nice idea to share something I am pretty passionate about, yet rarely openly ramble about: video games.
Lately, the subject has been a nice source of controversy that was openly discussed by some presidents out there who sought to connect some invisible dots between playing video games and committing mass shootings. As much as I’d like to give the benefit of the doubt to everyone who wants to claim something as ruthlessly ignorant as that, this is one subject that doesn’t merit negative press like that. 🤨
Sure, there are video games out there that offer mindless fun and has absolutely no particular benefit to those playing, except maybe its ability to make time fly by real quick. Running around to shoot things? Yeh. It sure does make it easy for some people to say that shooting things in game will lead to shooting things outside of games. To assume causality between the two and put the entire blame on it? Damn. That’s deep. I know I ain’t no killer; don’t push my buttons though. 🤣
I’m just a gamer. 😉
I have been one since the day I’ve seen what an Atari 2600 could do. I still remember the first day I got my very first Game Boy Colour and developed my undying love for Pokémon, as well as gaming. It’s also probably how I ended up getting glasses. Any regrets? Hell nah. I’ve followed the flow of video game evolution since the day I could add one and one. Reminiscing about it now, I’m sort of in awe at how far we’ve come. Honestly, I think the 80s and 90s kids are the luckiest ones in terms of being alive to enjoy the video game industry. Technology has evolved in ways that still blows my mind today and man does the future look bright for it too.
With every year, new processors are developed. With every new processor, a new console (handheld or home video) is developed. With every new console, new games are developed. And for every game, there’s an awesome group of people who use their unique brain power to make games that are as expansive and boundless as possible. The passion they put into their creation is remarkable and sometimes, just taking a moment to reflect on how the final product even came to be can be quite baffling.
Games used to be just be a pixelated character going up, right, left and down, trying to complete his quest. Simple and addictive, but now? Goddamn. We’re already at the point of developing some pretty decent virtual reality video games. While I still think there’s a lot to be done in that domain before I actually get myself into the whole virtual reality business, it’s still incredible what we’ve achieved to this day. But even without the virtual reality. Video games have reached crazy levels of detail and originality today. Some games are so immersive and brilliantly conceived that they almost seem like movies where you’re the hero.
In all honesty, there’s a game for everyone. Maybe it does require you to explore a little bit to find out where to start, but gaming is far from being a world that seeks to put barriers around it and forbid eyes from looking into it. It doesn’t matter if you suck at it or if gaming is second nature to you. With time you’ll get the experience to figure out the learning curve, and along the way, you’ll also deepen your love for it.
Video games have offered me a way to challenge my mind and hand-eye coordination like no board game ever could. Except chess. I love me some chess. And UNO. No, but honestly, I revel in challenges, and video games gave me exactly what I needed.
Something that would challenge me.
I’d continuously fail missions, come across a dead-end and even find myself completely oblivious to what my next move should be if I wanted to progress, but I never gave up. I’d put so much time into beating games that it built in me that extra layer of competitiveness in life that drives me in everything I do. And boy, let me tell you. When I start something, I always finish it.
And then there’s the stories. The whole point of this post. Video games aren’t just some dumb past times that only twelve year old boys can enjoy while their parents are busy dealing with responsibilities. Hell nah. Video games, just like books, can deliver some of the most amazing stories ever. While also developing a whole bunch of other skills in you (improving decision-making skills, or even simply stimulating your own creativity), some creators really put a lot of thought into the story they tell. From characters who come to life thanks to some of the best voice actors in the business as well as formidable writers who know how to tell a story to the complex world-building that enhances the immersion and portrays the insane ideas that our brain conjures, video games are another form of story-telling that I just can’t ignore. Some of the best stories I have ever known are in video games and I’ll always cherish them.
And if there’s one thing that will always catch my attention in life, it’s a good story.
Before I put an end to all this rambling, I do want to share with you some of the video games that I deeply love and that I believe deserves a lot of recognition and praise. I’ve added a video to each of them that lets you experience the game without actually playing them (they essentially put together all the cinematics to create a movie of the game). Maybe some day they’ll adapt these games into TV series or movies, but we all know how video game adaptations are a bit tricky.
The Uncharted series is my favourite video game series of all time. They revolutionized video games and gave us the most cinematic experience imaginable. This series follows Nathan Drake, a treasure hunter as he hunts down historical mysteries all around the world. If you thought Lara Croft and Indiana Jones were awesome, you simply don’t know Nathan Drake and his friends.
Let me just straight up tell you that I have a lot of respect for Ubisoft Montreal. Nothing like having an industry straight out of your hometown. They’re known for a bunch of games, including the whole Assassin’s Creed franchise, but Far Cry 3 is the best thing they’ve ever created in my books. Jason Brody and his friends are stranded on a island filled with unhinged pirates. He needs to finds his friends and escape the place, but things are far from easy, as this will be a trip through insanity. The story even has a touch of Alice in Wonderland in it too!
P.S. Recognize the dude on the picture? That’s Michael Mando. Far Cry 3 made that voice actor so popular that right after the game’s release, he started to become much more presenting in the acting world. Anyone who watches Better Call Saul know this guy as Nacho. He even appears in Spider-Man: Homecoming!!!! Did I mention he’s born in Quebec? #REPRESENT !!!!!!
This game was particular. Its cutscenes were literally movie scenes. It was just that long! You sometimes even felt like you barely played the game but was actually watching a movie unfold (slight exaggeration). The story follows an aged Solid Snake as he hunts down in archnemesis Liquid Snake. There’s a whole artificial intelligence plot that plays out too. Hideo Kojima is just an insanely amazing game creator. Just look up his next project, Death Stranding, featuring some famous actors like Mads Mikkelsen. Dude has a helluva mind.
Come on, guys. Did you really think I wasn’t going to mention Batman? The whole Arkham series is the best superhero video games series that has ever been released. And man, everyone has missed out on some of the best action scenes and dialogues of all time with this. Especially for Joker. Holy sh*t. I highly recommend looking up all of the Joker cutscenes from the Arkham games. Voice acted by Mark Hamill himself (and Troy Baker in Batman Origins), you’ll get chills every single goddamn time!
The Last of Us was an emotional and amazing ride. It’s a survival horror game that follows Joel, a smuggler tasked with the job of escorting Ellie to a certain spot. Along the way, not only is there a whole special relationship that gets built up, but a lot of lies and truth are uncovered that simply complicate every action they take.
Of course, nowadays, we’re all busy, including myself. I don’t have as much time as I used to in high school to play regularly, but when I do, I make it count. Gaming is one of my personal hobbies, alongside playing basket-ball, hitting the gym, watching TV shows/movies and reading. It’s a release that I will probably never stop enjoying and will continue to stay up to date with the latest news and development in the industry.
I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if in the next 50 years (maybe 2045?), someone creates an insanely complex virtual reality game that would transpose all the dynamics of modern society into a structured and controlled virtual world that would become everyone’s “real world”.
Maybe they can even call it the OASIS or something. 😉
If you read through all that, I have to thank you. Your time is precious to me and I’m glad you stuck around!
I honestly don’t expect everyone who reads this to be a gamer, but I would love to hear what you think about video games.
Pro- or anti-, your opinion matters. ❤
Till next time,