The interactivity of video games places them in a unique position amongst media. By their very nature, they are not a passive experience. You can put on a movie or TV show in the background and go about other activities, absorbing bits and pieces of the story or missing bits because of distraction. But gaming is an active and involved experience. With the exception of certain games that have accessibility features that allow the player to skip portions or make the game play itself, the game is simply not going to progress without the input of the player. Experiences that require direct input and, often, skill are inherently going to be less accessible than passive media. Not everyone is going to have the desire or ability to play every type of title. But games come in such a near endless variety of genres, types, experiences, and themes that I would hesitate to say that there’s a single person on the planet who couldn’t find some amount of enjoyment in a game out there somewhere.
This interactivity also means that Video games are expensive and complicated to make. And that they usually require a large investment of time and attention to play. And like with anything fun or tasty in life, they can be addictive and destructive if misused or over-prioritized. But they are absolutely worth it. That interactivity has the potential to engage and immerse you in a way that no other form of media can. Despite a lot of the world being full of cynical people who view the hobby as childish, wasteful, or socially destructive, I would not trade my gaming experiences for anything. The value of gaming is different for everyone, but for me, it’s priceless.
All of this is basically to say: Thank You.
Thank you, developers for making experiences worth playing and getting lost in.
Thank you, friends and family who have spent riotous nights on the couch with me struggling to get three stars on a particularly devious level of Overcooked.
Thank you, Destiny raid fireteam who I stayed up past midnight with, wipe after wipe, until we finally beat Aksis, Archon Prime.
Thank you, vibrant worlds that have helped me find solace and relief from difficult periods in my life.
And thank you, reader, for reading and for having an appreciation for this weird, fantastic world that is video games. Have some fun today.