the process of releasing, and thereby providing relief from, strong or repressed emotions.
So today I fancied talking a little about something that has a major influence on me, my life, and a lot of those who are close to me. It's also something that the past couple of days has been pretty well mentioned in my social media feeds.
Oh yes! The big V-Word!
The thing that only a couple of years ago apparently nearly brought about the deaths of so many people, and as we speak is currently being blamed for so many actual deaths.
But what are videogames to me? I do not mean this in the literal term, we all know of them as interactive media etc etc etc.
No I mean what do they mean to me.
If you hadn't guessed from the post title and earlier definition...
To me they are catharsis.
While others go out drinking, or play football, I play videogames.
It all started with the Commodore, moved onto a long list of Sega Consoles, before finally reaching the PC, and there it remained largely exclusively.
Now most of you will know that I enjoy both playing and designing tabletop games, and as great as they are, tabletop games are unable to provide me with the same catharsis as videogames. Quite the opposite in fact. Where videogames strip out my stress, I find tabletop games (despite being a great fun time) add to my stress.
A big part of this for me is escapism. Last year I was Mad Max, roaring my Black on Black across the Great White, before donning cyber interfaced guns and taking on international terror threats, followed by exploring a deep underwater research site in a post-apocalyptic world, before then developing the time travelling powers of a teenage girl and trying to save my best friend.
This year alone I have re-connected the fire of embers, followed the soul of that bastard Simon across English countryside, slain countless Uruks, shouted obscenities at Tracer while resurrecting comrades in a German accent, ran across the rooftops of the City of Glass, taken a double barrelled shotgun to the meaty faces of countless demons, and before the year is out, I'll be augmenting my body with Sarif-tech, running away from crazy demon-worshippers with nothing but a cam-corder for light, and maybe even venturing into the Unknown and Unexpected.
In my previous post, I made a mention of burn out. And I honestly believe that videogames are one of the things that save me from this. I do not mean from tabletop games, but from life itself.
I honestly believe that if it was not for those hours I spent as a teenager deliberately torturing space colonists as The Alien, or slicing up Dark Jedi as Kyle Katarn, then I wouldn't be the sane man I am today.
Not only are videogames an escapism for me, but they are also my form of relaxing, and my number 1 form of removing stress.
No matter how shitty life gets, I always know that booting up Quake4, Aliens:CM, or Bulketstorm, grabbing my rifle, shoving it down the throat of a Strogg, Alien, or Mutant, will always leave me feeling a shit-tonne better!
For those moments I can be the cold hearted killer that lives within us all; The Beast. I can pull out a sword, gouge it into the belly of my enemies and dance in the spray of blood that splashes across my face. I can take to wheel of a dune-buggy on an alien world and mow down untold numbers of giant rat-like creatures, I can sprint across the rooftops of Harran being chased by zombies and feel free from the trappings of normal life.
What's more, I can bring others there with me!
How many times have I remembered fondly the swarm of zombies that my wife and I faced off in the recent Resident Evil games, or escaping the collapsing towers of Dying Light, or delving into the dark filled dungeons of World of Warcraft?
...What can I say? I love videogames!
- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley