Why Do People Like Computer Games?
A game is generally a structured form of simulated play, normally undertaken as fun or entertainment, and occasionally used as a learning tool. Games are quite different from work, which typically is carried out for monetary reward, and from literature, that is more often a reflection of aesthetic or moral values. In most cases the purpose of a game is to pass the time.
Many video games incorporate some sort of virtual currency or other type of in-game money. This virtual currency allows players to buy and sell items, fight other players, access special items, or access abilities and powers possessed by characters within a game. Most video games use some kind of inventory system in which the player cannot readily replace some of his or her possessions, unless he or she already has that item. The player may, however, discard objects he or she does not need. Many games also allow a character to carry with him from one level to another.
Microtransactions are types of in-game purchases that, because of their nature, tend to add to the difficulty of the overall game experience. For example, real-time auctions that require real money to purchase items often require the player to wait a long time while bidding on certain items, making the process artificially lengthy and tedious. Other types of microtransactions commonly found in games are “winsales”, which are rewarded when a player purchases something from a vendor, and “repayments” that are paid by way of a check or virtual currency obtained through certain in-game purchases. Many observers have commented that, because of the typical time-consuming processes associated with microtransactions, these games seem designed to encourage users to spend a lot of time waiting to earn virtual currency, rather than actually playing the games they choose. Because some games permit microtransactions to be managed by players themselves, others require that these activities be performed by means of in-game purchases or other means.
Many observers also question the nature of the ‘game’ itself, or the ability of the player to become fluent in some kind of code that enables the display of the ‘game’ itself on the personal computer. Critics argue that since most PC games offer ‘free play’ or’moderation,’ it is not technically ‘interactivity’ per se, but merely the implementation of rules and game play. However, some PC gamers find this line of thinking to be equally as valid. For example, when a player completes a mission, that player earns a level advancement, which enables him or her to select a specific ‘level of play’ to continue playing. If that player chooses not to continue progressing, then the PC game has effectively ended.
Critics of games also point out that, because of the potential for user abuse, it is difficult for developers to create systems that truly deter abuse. After all, many people who choose to play online games are doing so because they enjoy the challenge of trying to determine the outcomes of their interactions with the characters within the game environment, rather than engaging in a ‘blood sport’ with another human being. Critics of games have asserted that, because virtual reality presents such a clear picture of what can occur in real life, even a person who considers himself to be a non-fanatic, can see how his actions affect the game world. Such fanatics argue that, because virtual reality is so clearly based on real life experiences, anyone who plays games can potentially come to understand how his or her actions impact not only the characters that he or she is playing with, but the entire game world.
Critics of computer games and video games often point to research that suggests that video games can teach aggressive behaviors to individuals. In fact, some experts claim that games can actually increase aggressive thoughts and actions, as well as the willingness to commit violence in real life. Additionally, computer games can allow users to feel like they belong in an interactive virtual world where they feel they have some sort of control. The illusion created by video games can be used to trick people into believing that they are in a fantasy world. While there are certainly legitimate criticisms of video games, many ardent fans argue that computer games provide an escape from the harsh realities of life.