Something to think about

What Would The World Be Like If Video Games Didn’t Exist? Boring!

Have you ever wondered what would the world be like if video games didn’t exist? For some, a scary thought, for others a matter of indifference. I know it’s a bit silly to wonder about it when video games do exist and we should not dwell on what ifs but I thought that it’d be fun to look into it in one of my posts.

In short, there’s no way of knowing. But if video games didn’t exist, there would be other media to consume. However, the world would lose a great art form and many long-lasting friendships would not exist. Let’s look into how video games have changed the world and what it would be like without them.

Whether you are a fan of video games or not, you have to admit that video games created a whole new culture on top of already established entertainment such as TV, movies and theatre. That brings me straight to point one.

Entertainment substitutes

If video games didn’t exist, people would still stick with what they know: TV, board games, movies, theatre, music, fashion and with the vastness of the internet, social media and entertainment portals like Youtube.

Some people would pick out a new hobby (sports, musical instruments, crafts, writing, drawing), some would pick up more books as a result. Some people believe that children would be playing outside a lot more but I think that’s debatable. With social media and TV, they could still sit for hours on end, substituting video games for TV shows and youtube videos.

Video games as an art

Those who say that video games aren’t a form of art may have never touched a video game. Like books, movies, comics or TV, video games tell an engaging story with beautiful visuals. Not only that but they make the player a part of the story, allowing them to make decisions that can change the course of the game. Video games can provoke joy, sadness, grief, anger and everything in between, much like other media do. They make you think of your actions and their consequences, make you ask questions and maybe even see the world in a new light.

Not only that, but video games have inspired many artists to draw or write about their favorite characters, creating derivative works and expanding on the franchise. Just look at the stunning illustration of Ellie from The Last of Us!

Technology advancement

A lot of hardware manufacturers would not be spending billions of dollars on making their products better and better. Graphic cards, while for everyone, are specifically marketed to gamers for great performance and best graphics. This is not limited only to graphic cards but also processors, headphones, gaming keyboards and mice. Technology advancement in this field develops very quickly.

Friendships

Playing video games no longer carry (or should not carry!) the stigma of making people asocial. Nowadays video games can be an activity for the whole family or a group of friends. Not only that, thanks to online multiplayer games, we meet new people, socialize and bond over common interests, creating new friendships.

Many of these friendships are formed over long distances and in a world where video games wouldn’t exist, we most likely would never meet the same people. The fact that these friendships have been forged online makes them no less valuable or less “real”. I’m very thankful for video games; because of them I’ve met some of my closest friends and also my best friend. In fact, my friend wanted to make a post about his experience meeting friends online, which you can find here.

Of course there are people who prefer their own company to other people on most days and that’s okay. Being introverted isn’t necessarily a bad thing. And chances are if you’re introverted and love to play video games, you’d be introverted even if they didn’t exist.

Helping people

Some people may find the thought that video games can help people ridiculous. There are many ways in which they can:

  • Career choices – some people may find inspiration for their career paths in their favorite fictional characters or even become a video game developer or writer. Sure, such characters also exist in movies, TV and books.
  • Questionable choices –  Video games can often help people from making poor life choices (turning to alcohol, drugs to escape)
  • Ambition – Video games provide a lot of rewards and achievements, which can motivate people in their careers to strive higher.
  • Interest in various subjects – many video games have dealt with history and mythology and as such they made more people interested in these topics better than a school would.
  • Battling mental illness – Agoraphobia and anxiety disorder can be very limiting to a person to the point of isolation. With the mobile game Pokémon: GO, people with these disorders report that for the first time in a long time, they look forward to going out among others. Such idea before this may have seemed unfathomable.
  • Escape from real life – If a person is going through a tough time, battling depression or even abuse, playing video games can provide an escape, forgetting their problems for a while. I’ve read this touching (and horrifying) story of Scott, whose life was saved by video games by escaping abuse.
  • Move more/work out – When you picture a gamer, you just imagine a person sitting down for hours on end. While that may be true for some people, there are also games that promote working out, using motion controllers or Kinect sensors to interact. Such games can be dancing games (Zumba, Dance Dance Revolution) to fitness games on Nintendo Wii.
  • Charity – A number of gamers who support various charities are on the rise. Large influencers use their reach to raise money for charity. Youtubers like Markiplier, Pewdiepie, Jacksepticeye, and others have raised millions of dollars for various charities and continue to do so to this day just by live streaming themselves playing a video game. There are charities helping people play video games or making custom controllers for people with limited mobility (for example AbleGamers, Child’s Play). My friend Ian has done 5 or six 24-hour charity live streams, raising a lot of money in the process.

Video games made into broader entertainment

As I mentioned above, video games are an art form of their own. Video games have been taken and adapted for big screens, into novels and comics.

Notable examples of movies based on video games:

  • Resident Evil
  • Mortal Kombat
  • Tomb Raider
  • Silent Hill
  • Prince of Persia
  • Warcraft
  • Assassin’s Creed

Some may argue that these movies were really bad. While that may be true, at least there was a lesson learned from them.

Video games are important

Whatever your stance on video games or gamers in general, the truth is that video games have become a large and integral part of our modern culture. So what would the world be like if video games didn’t exist?

I dare to say it’d be very different. Characters and stories that we love and play time and time again would not exist and some people would have never met in real life and become friends or even significant others.

What do you think would happen if video games didn’t exist? I’d love to hear your opinion, so make sure to comment down below!

Controller photo © by Mack Male @ Flickr


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4 comments

  1. Geeky Gamer Avatar
    shannon fowler
    February 9, 2017 at 7:36 am

    I know my fiancé uses them to destress. He is a plaintive care doctor, and his work is emotionally demanding. Without them he doesn’t bounce back after a really hard day as easy

    Reply
    • Dana
      Author
      February 10, 2017 at 4:46 pm

      Yes, that is very true, they’re very good at destressing. Until you can’t move past a certain point in a game and you get stressed even more. 😀 But even then I wouldn’t change it for the world. Thank you for your comment, Shannon! 🙂

      Reply
  2. Geeky Gamer Avatar
    Heather way
    February 12, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    Before video games, I was obsessed with Monopoly board game and wanted to be the world champ

    Reply
  3. Geeky Gamer Avatar
    Emily Conway
    February 13, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    I have such fun and fond memories with my brother playing video games (particularly Rock Band and the Elder Scrolls: Oblivion) in Elder Scrolls, we would be cracking up as we chased a deer in the woods and punched it to death. If that didn’t exist, I am not sure we would have too much common ground. TV is fine, but it is not interactive and you aren’t working together. There is an element missing from it.

    Reply

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