Watching game movies instead of gaming. The Coffee Break 16 Nov 2016.
Ever wonder why we prefer to watch game movies instead of playing the game itself? Sometimes I ask myself that question, and then I am reminded of how little time I actually have to complete said title so I end up watching the story in order to achieve two things: (1) see if the story is worth checking out, and (2) help me save money so that I can get the game later when the price goes down.
Some of you out there might be thinking: “gosh Writer, it’s only 80 dollars (80 for us in Canada – currency differences, remember?).” Yes well 80 dollars for some people is a days’ pay, and I tend to take that into consideration when evaluating whether or not a game is worth buying. Right now the finances on my end are not as flexible as some might want to think; the money cannot be spent on full-price releases or collectors editions and it certainly cannot be spent on games that turn out to be less-than what we expected. Games are not cheap, and even though we can mitigate this with sales and so on, in the end we must pick and choose titles that will give us the most bang for our buck – after all I know plenty of you work jobs you hate in order to pay the rent in that crappy apartment and thus you have little left over for personal luxuries.
This is where game movies come into effect; these Youtubers make their living off of game movies and providing commentary and feedback and thus help us make that critical decision of whether to buy the title or not. Developers often fear that if a story is spoiled then the game will not sell – they seem to lack faith in their product. Games such as Sleeping Dogs, and Deus Ex Human Revolution are examples of titles I bought later down the line DESPITE already knowing what happens at the end. Being able to know the outcome enables us to cater our experiences to what we want, and if you are about to say: “Writer, you took away the thrill of the choice!” my response to that is if I wanted something random, I go outside.
Gaming as I mentioned in previous articles is to experience freedom, but it is also meant to enable me to explore my fantasies, to tell a story the way I wanted it to go rather than follow a script – we get plenty of that in books and shows where the medium is not interactive. Why can’t I have Miranda from Mass Effect live in Mass Effect 3, and why can’t I have her live to be my one and only? Why do I have to screw up and have her die and then ruin the entire experience for myself? The story told is still the Mass Effect story, but after seeing ALL the outcomes via game movies I can cater the experience to my taste and thus save time in the process – if I get curious down the line I can re-play the game the way I want to and choose Ashley again (yes my first playthrough of Mass Effect 3 was with Ashley).
There is something special about experiencing the story the way I want to, and being able to save time in the process. Sure gaming is a pastime, but it becomes tedious when it turns into a time sink – where time falls away so fast that we feel like we are no longer in control. Out there in the real world we are seldom in control of things; politics shift, events unfold, work fires us or hires us at low wages, we cannot find our line of work, and so on – we are locked in a cycle that feeds itself and benefits none of us and in that cycle we must find ways to make life worth living. Being free to choose how to play a game can be described as one of those freedoms – exploring new worlds, being the hero for once rather than a nameless grunt because, let’s face it, we are nameless grunts.
Perhaps with this piece concluded you will fully understand why I support 100% game movies and their vital service to us the consumer base, perhaps you do not understand, and or perhaps you simply are entrenched in your ways – far be it from me to try and convince you how to spend your money. Ultimately if you wish to spend 180.00 on a collectors edition, or even more to get a statue and not feel cheated when the game turns out to be two hours for a campaign and the multiplayer was slapped together then that is fine – you have the freedom to choose, and I cannot infringe on that freedom. All I can do is put forth a point as to why game movies are a vital service to all of us consumers, and that job is now done. Feel free to check out my Patreon if you wish to support this blog; a dollar a month goes a long way. Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you next time.