I'm just going to come right out and say it: I love Star Wars.
While some may say a love of Star Wars can hinder your social skills, I say it's the one thing that has kept the kid in me alive. And I'm not even really referring to the movies. Nay, my friends, I speak of the movies, the games, the books, the comics, etc. Star Wars has a fictional history spanning thousands of years that is full of deep stories of politics, intrigue, and uncertainty. Hell, they even have a wiki devoted to canonical knowledge of the Star Wars universe: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page
So how does Star Wars relate to "other worlds than these" in videogames? Well, if you've been playing videogames for more than a month, you probably know that the Star Wars brand name is whored out into videogames all the time. This isn't always a bad thing. Many of the most memorable games I've played were based in the Star Wars universe, and their stories still hold up today.
However, talking about the entire Star Wars universe would take forever so I'm really just going to focus on one extension of the Star Wars universe. Enter Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Released in the summer of 2003, this beauty averaged a 9/10 for reviews and went on to win tons of Game of the Year Awards. Many of you have played it; for those who haven't, get off your asses. You'll thank me.
Even though KOTOR is one of the best executed games in my opinion, it's real value for me lies in its amazing story. Not just the story though, the world the story takes place in(which is the Star Wars universe, only thousands of years before the movies). KOTOR starts out in medias res(which is a latin term meaning in the middle of the story). You are a Republic soldier and eventually find out you have the spark to become a jedi. In the midst of all this, you have learned that years before a war started because of two rogue jedi (Revan and Malak). I'm not going to ruin it (oh, believe me I very much want to), but KOTOR has one of the best plot twists in entertainment history in my opinion.
The best part is all of this takes place within a believable fictional universe. The characters you meet all have different backstories, motives, and desires. Some will lie to you, and some will backstab you. It's most certainly separate from the movies, but it still feels distinctly Star Wars.
But it's not just the story world, it's also the physical world that the player is allowed free reign in. KOTOR is not a free-roaming game in the same way Grand Theft Auto is, but it allows you to travel from planet to planet at will. Much of the game's content is purely optional, and purely is present to more deeply involve you in the story and environment. Each planet you visit has its own history, peoples, and conflicts.
So I salute you KOTOR. You may be turning a whopping 6 years old this July, but the way in which you have immersed players for these 6 years is a testament to how much work was put into creating you. You've taken an already huge universe and added thousands of years of history and believability to it.
You win the game. read