The lights are on
Power Member - Level 10
You know, it's kind of funny how things come up or end
up aligning in life. It's that chain of events, that, you don't know how or
what or even why, but it just happens, and before you know it you've already
been benefited from it. It can be so cryptic, you still wonder why the hell it even happened in the
first place, but it did, and yet you feel grateful for said unknown chain of
But that's life. That's how it rolls, and we might as
well just keep up with what happens around us before we even understand it.
Now, everyone on this site likes games, we all play
games, we all have our favorite series, our favorite titles, our favorite
characters, our favorite universes, etc. It is all part of our taste, when
someone likes a certain series and the other one does not, but yet you know
that series is truly something you love, then you may have found your perfect
saga. Something so unique in that series that you find brilliant or amazing,
but the others around you does not. It's kind of a special relationship, when
you, let's say, have found your true love, course this is a game and it does
not speak, but you have found something in her/him or, in this case, this game
or this series that feels like if it was something inherent in you. When you
find something on someone else that was missing in you, in your personality, that he or
she compliments perfectly; you know you have found your perfect, long desired
and well established relationship. It's kind of like that with the game, only
this time the people behind it are the ones responsible for that, you know you
would share a thing or two with the crowd behind the title.
What I'm trying to say is that we all have our
favorite series, title or characters that others at first glance might not like
or enjoy. The unique relation I was talking to you about, though not everyone has
experienced this case; or even found the perfect game studio that,
because of the games that they're responsible and all of the love and
admiration you have for them, you know that would be the dreamt place for you
to be on. Working on games, and with the people you admired as a gamer.
Win-Win, it could not get better than that. Quite possibly the borderline
One of the things I most enjoy doing on the internet
is, strangely, reading some people's comments from YouTube. But I'm not talking
about the silly ones, certain times when I open a video of a game may it be a
moment of the story or one of its soundtracks I find some very special comments
from people that truly appreciate the game. And it can be really heart-warming
to see this, there's something really warming in seeing people taking a game's
universe far beyond the virtual world from where it started from.
There was one that I believe it was the very reason I
wanted to start this blog, and other reasons too, but this guy had just
finished one of the most personal and emotionally-stressing games and, it just
recently came out, too. I think you already know what game I'm talking about.
But I'll touch that topic later on.
Have you ever felt or missed a game once you have
finished its world? You know, like you got so involved with it that you just
miss the people and characters that you met in it. Or perhaps you just keep
thinking about it long after the credits of the game have passed, or maybe even a
moral or ethical reflection once the game's story has finished. All of this is
a very, very special effect games can have on you. Hell, I think the gaming
medium is the only one that can cause this in such a big, long-lasting way in
comparison to movie or book series.
It's a very
special and personal feeling. Actually, it fascinates me how a part of the game
can carry on to real life, through us that is. Playing only certain kinds of
games can cause or trigger this effect, I'm 100% sure not every game out there
can initiate this.
Only the very special
ones have this, it all would fare on how much work was behind the game, how
much imagination went over the cycle, and how much love was poured over this
Over this, very, very special game.
see, I can't stress enough how unique and special this pieces are. It's these titles
that come every blue moon. One so rare that you could consider it a jewel of
what is what makes these games so special?
ones that touch something that as we grow we begin to lose, or at least, it
begins to weaken. The very wonder of our childhood.
I often see gaming as one's second infancy. In the way
that when we were small we all had our favorite cultural icons in cartoons. I
have to say when I watched them I really didn't focus on the progressive
storyline, or how fleshed out the characters would be, I just watched them
y'know. I enjoyed the character's problems, the characters themselves are
probably what I most liked from cartoons and of course the usual shenanigans in
an episodes' chronology.
Well, that time is, wow, so far away now that I can't
picture myself sitting down watching cartoons all day again. Now I do something
similar but way different: I play. Now I'm not going to go in-depth on my
personal gaming history, (actually that was in my bio months ago but I erased
it, but whatever) I'm here to talk about how these gripping game worlds and
universes can be so special that one begins to talk about it or apply it in
How we carry the world of a game into ours. I find it
especially humorous when one of my friends or classmates references a character
or recreates an event that happened in a game. Or even drawing something from a
game is a thing that I find intriguing. At plain sight you might say, "Well
Anti, it's just a drawing. There couldn't possibly be more to it. The guy just likes
the game. That's it." Well I see it to be something more deep. Focusing your
mind on recreating something physically non-existant goes beyond being a simple drawing, and shouldn't be judged with a mere simplistic reflection. We get so involved in these games and we admire them in such a way
that it sticks to us. And what I was trying to say before, the experience we get
from this very specific media is something that's more impacting and memorable
than any other combined.
I love gaming, I really do. But every so often hearing
people still not giving the media the appropriate respect it deserves is troubling and frustrates me, at times.
Gaming has evolved so much to the point that it's not
just saving the pink pretty princess from the countless castles the game
presents you. Gaming has become so diverse and has grown so much that picking
one representative game for the media is seriously one tough challenge. You
have from Quantic Dreams' Heavy Rain to Bioware's Mass Effect to Irrational's
Bioshock. All of these franchises have something in common. It's not only the
terrific storyline, but the stellar and memorable experience that they
provide. When you watch a movie, do you ever get the desire of wanting to
return home and replaying the game it is closest to? You're watching and getting so much into Star Wars
or Indiana Jones that you just want to drop the movie and actually go and
experience that same universe by yourself. Wanting to replay Mass Effect and
Uncharted, respectively, after seeing what would be their spiritual fathers of
audiovisual media is something that happens to me often and to other people
Thinking about it gaming is still a hobby, a passtime
of sorts. I can understand that point of view from someone else. But when you
take into account all the extensive history of the media these past years
and how the big the future is shaping up to be for it, it's hard not to make it
up to be something more than just a diversion for someone. Gaming has become a
lifestyle, but it is a far road until it gets the appreciation it truly
deserves. We're getting there, but the media has just started to begin realizing
what it's really capable of. Of course, improved technology in the future is
merely the half of what will make games better later on, the other big half
falls down on the people behind it and the undeniable talent they possess for
sculpting these everlasting universes.
Have you ever felt sad or missed a game once you have
finished it? That the experience was so special and so unique that once the story
side of it concludes you're left wishing for more from the world and the
characters? That has certainly happened to me numerous times.
You see, the mix of the atmosphere, involving
characters, the carefully told plot and even more aspects all give us what would be the
resulting active narrative/experience that can make games more memorable
than literary works or even the finest movies in the cinema industry.
Personally, the type of games that do this
exceptionally and have a major advantage over the other genres are the ones
found in a third person perspective. Even better if they're open world. This set
up makes it easier for a developer to expand however they want and in the
process shape the universe the way they have envisioned for it.
The obligatory example in my case and my preferred one
would be the, I'm sorry for this, Grand Theft Auto series. Yes.
I know it might be getting a little tiring seeing me
mention Rockstar or GTA in almost every time I have the opportunity to write a
blog, but it shows how much admiration and passion I have towards the series.
Rockstar has been, literally, creating their own world. What I'll explain in
the next paragraph could potentially and should take me more than a blog to
describe in its entirety, but I'll keep it simple and short for ya.
When it comes to living, breathing game worlds my
favorite is the GTA universe. But, why? Maybe it doesn't have the most unique
context in the industry since they're merely parodied American cities, but it's
the content, the massive expansive content found in it that just makes it
absolutely special and believable. Like I said, it would probably take volumes
for me to describe all of the content found in every GTA and even more
impossible all of the content found in GTA IV and its respective episodes. Just
thinking about it, gets me lazy.
May it be characters; staff or DJ's found in their
respective radio stations and all with their very own background with little
details that just lights them up in realism just like Rockstar knows how to.
GTA's very own chain of TV channels, newspapers, internet, the pedestrians
walking around you, all of this detail became more vivid in the last entry. But
look, I don't want to extend this unnecessarily. I want to summarize this by
saying that each of the GTA cities are all interconnected in a very rich and
subtle way, from Liberty City to San Fierro to Vice City, they all have these
little details and background that makes the overall feeling of a living, in
this case, country come to life. And all of these characters that you meet throughout the games, the main protagonists and the supporting characters switching from city to city and appearing in multiple games just so they later meet paths with your characters, all of this creates a believable atmosphere in the GTA universe. Suddenly when you find past characters from a game meet up with you you start wondering, what happened to the previous social circles they were in from previous iterations? why did he/she come here? Why did he moved from this place to this place? and more importantly, how these old characters will change your journey through the game's story just as they did with the past protagonist from the past game in this amazing chronology of events. And all of this with this detail that I just love from my favorite European game makers. And last but not least, how you're getting to see the cities through the
ages, from the 60's to the 2000's, revisiting them, just makes that relation with the city more
special and more believable.
But I think I'm done with GTA until the next blog.
Games awaken this, if I may say, dying or weakened
part of our mind in their own special way. Books and movies do this too, but
not in the same way gaming does, through that active experience, worlds start
becoming more easy and stimulating to imagine.
They leave a mark in you and you leave a mark in them.
That's just how close and direct this object-human thing goes, and shows how
the 21st century phenomenon caused from relating to objects affect
Returning to the infancy topic, I see gaming as our 2nd
infancy. Remembering all these iconic characters in the distant 40 years is
surely something bound to be very poignant. From Portal's unforgettable
characters, to those found in Zelda's world to your personal Mass Effect squad
and in my case, the dozens of people found in the GTA world. It will surely be
a pleasure remembering all of them in the future. Of course, this is implying
we may have abandoned gaming by that time, but that idea gets harder and harder
to picture every year, or who knows, what if the next big media causes us to
leave gaming behind? The future is always very curious. But whatever the case, I
will personally drive myself into remembering all these fun, interesting and
special characters that I've shared my story with them in the past years. I
mean, who could possibly forget GLaDOS in the next 20 years? Seriously, who?!
The machine's a legend.
And now tying loose ends. Remember that YouTube
comment I told you about in the beginning of the blog? Well it was a comment
from a user sadly remembering on his recently finished Mass Effect 3
His simple comment went like this:
"I miss my squad... :("
The video was one of the soundtracks for ME3, the "And
end once and for all" one. This plays at the very, very end of the game. It
forms part of the game's strongest moment.
But this comment was so simple and innocent yet so
captivating, interesting and intriguing to the point I wanted to create a blog
where I'd talk about the different memories, feelings and thoughts a game can
evoke on us. It all goes and happens on our mind and it's very philosophical,
but I couldn't quite find a way to express it. The human mind is with good
reason a philosophical paradigm as outer universe is to cosmogony or God to
theology. The human mind is all too... special.
And here I am, writing about how our minds are
affected by videogames. Makes me look molecular.
Returning to the comment, the guy/girl behind it will
never know that he passed down in history in my life for being the first time I
encountered inspiration from someone's laments over a game. It took 4 words and
an emoticon from him to create a 2600+ words write-up about something he will
never, ever know. All because of this individual with an internet connection. Ain't life strangely funny sometimes?
When I delve into my thoughts sometimes I start
imagining the universe of a game, maybe I'm thinking about Niko Bellic's life
post-endgame from GTA IV.
Maybe I'm imagining myself deep in the waters trying
to makes sense of the gloomy surroundings before me from Bioshock's Rapture.
Maybe I take a look at the sky and see beyond the clouds
and atmosphere of this world to reach for the space and picture the Citadel
somewhere in narrow space, imagining Shepard's trails throughout the universe.
maybe I decide to go underground, with my ever dreamt encounter with GLaDOS.
hey, that's just my imagination.
then again, wasn't all of this?