I'm no psychologist, but I think I've finally recognized something worth the time to write about. So now it's your turn to brutally critique me.
What is the draw to games? Why not a book or simple conversation? why the need for friction or a mountain to climb?
I think we have basic needs, appreciation is one of them. And I think as a child with that need I found comfort with other innocent and like-minded children attempting to fulfill that same desire.
I remember a childhood where I found great enjoyment breaking branches into guns, or using them as swords. I wanted to be the hero ~ the good guy ~ the appreciated. As technology changed I tried to get that same love/admiration from video games. I found it many times, but I found it thorough healthy personal interaction not in the subject of the game I played.
I played hard and tried to win because I wanted to keep recieving the appreciation for being good at something.
I think video games today, now, 30+ years later don't offer that in the same personal way ~ not to adults anyways. they don't offer the sincere consideration for hard work in your fun. They aren't 1 on 1 experiences and when they are it's "a job well done" but not really admiration. It's a shadowy reward for something I've never quite lost the desire to have.
What attracts me to continue play then? Am I trying to avoid an unforgivably evil world?
I think in part it's a connection to those things I enjoyed aside from the admiration like, creativity, purogative, childhood memories I connected to meaning and the riddle of God.
I think games are as good as any ~ and safer in a lot of respects to failed relationships and an often ugly reality.
But well polished games, commercially bent don't offer that, really at all. And so I am left with sticks as guns (shooters), creativity without personal connection, choice in 3 thinly veiled simple-minded and honestly unimportant avenues, and "achievements" instead of real people with admiration. And lets not forget God which is without question misrepresented badly, at best a characture.
I have been playing fantasy games and immersed long enough to know the difference between a good representation of an idea and a poor one. I am one of the few it seems that can tell this recent depiction of "The Hobbit" on screen, is a terrible commercial sin against the original work of art by JRR Tolkien.
So what good are video games that don't reward the player in a meaningful way?