The greatest of minds did not follow a social code. The greatest of artists did not replicate the norm. The beauty of video games is the fluctuations of the pendulum of success.
When anyone thinks of video games, what mostly crosses their minds is simply a device attached to a screen with the means of interactive entertainment for hours. In its simplest contexts, it seems like a mindless time spender that produces no practical positive outcome besides a positive reinforcement to an unnecessary obstacle or challenge. But, we are coming to see many organizations, companies, and individuals take the aesthetics of gaming and apply it into business, marketing, education, health, and even media. Though they are not called ‘video games’ anymore, they still function as such.
To write off games is a major disadvantage to become prepared for the future. The power that games hold goes beyond entertainment, business, and marketing. Video games are an evolving medium that far surpasses its current potential and is even more powerful the music, television, news, and film industry combined. There is no other medium that can create the experiences, immersion, art, and story as video games can simultaneously. What’s almost magical and exciting about video games is to know we have just skimmed the surface of the potential that it holds.
For far too long, video games have been looked at as an escape from reality, a consummation of time, and a derailment of responsibilities. What if I were to tell you video games are actually a means of freedom? Not the freedom of the present, obstacles, or troubles of your life but the freedom of the social modeling process that demands one to be a commodity and inherent the mechanisms and laws that has prohibited you from blossoming to what you are meant to be. I have come to understand, that now more than ever, video games have the potential to transform gamers from consumers to visionaries.
There is an underlining psychological problem with our society: we are meant to believe we are to serve ourselves at a buffet for the world’s picking. We must have a certain look, IQ, attitude, amount of knowledge, social status, and so on to be popular, wealthy, good-looking, stylish, or even to get a job. What I am about to tell you will shock you. All of that is bullshit. The greatest of minds did not follow a social code. The greatest of artists did not replicate the norm. The beauty of video games is the fluctuations of the pendulum of success. Success doesn’t follow the most famous, popular, or even the wealthiest of designers. It follows the most innovative. The most innovative creates innovation. It frees the mind to more possibilities that opens more opportunities. I have no doubt in my mind that there will be a video game that will unlock human potential. Why? Because video games maximize our potential. We become more motivated, more accomplished, more fulfilled, more able to retain knowledge, more capable of foresight, more goal oriented, more engaging, and more free to be us.
Let’s propose we make a game where the game designer hopes to create an ability in its gamers to be able to better analyze the gaming culture as a holistic entity. Let’s say a designer creates a setting in a game where a player plays a hero that must save the day by unity the 7 Kingdoms of some world through political negotiations and peace talks. Those in-game mechanism in saving the virtual world alternatively create an ability in gamers to better analyze ways to create a cooperative culture, community, or government outside the game. Proven evidence of this can be found in FBI Psychologist Jamie Madigan’s articles: “Priming, Consistency, Cheating, and Being a Jerk“, “Situational Judgement Tests as RPGs“, and “Competition, Cooperation, and Play“. The drive within a game to save the world, creates a valuable mindset that becomes a human basis outside the game.
The power that video games hold is not only critical but needed. In a world where education, wealth, jobs, and even healthcare are scrutinized for the 1%, it might be well for the rest of us to improve ourselves with some optimum video games.
Narz is CEO/ Founder at Girl Gamer Vogue and Video Game Columnist at KnickerBocker Ledger.