Over the past couple days, I've been feeling this weird sense of unease. It feels like I've been missing something that I am very accustomed to but I couldn't quite put my finger on it. This feeling felt like a sore spot that needed rubbing but I didn't really know which place needed to be rubbed. Almost unbeknown to me, I started to look through any new videos for the upcoming Dragon Age 2 and the Witcher 2 as a reaction to this strange feeling. It wasn't until a day ago that I realized that I hadn't played an RPG for about a month. It was then that I figured out what had been bothering me. I being bothered because I didn't feel important enough.
Before I continue, I would clarify that this feeling didn't apply to my IRL life. Rather, I missed being important in a video game setting, specifically, RPG's. I missed the feeling of knowing that the fate of the world rested on my choices. I missed the feeling of power and authority at being able to help people. I missed the feeling of being an integral part of many people's lives such as the Warden in Dragon Age. In that game, your choices can dramatically alter your party members' outlooks on life, from being whiny and joking to being responsible and dependable. To sum it up, I missed feeling like the most important person on earth.
When I came to this realization, I was kind of freaked out. It just seemed to self centered, border line narcissistic. I began chastising myself on allowing myself to develop such a pathetic need. I didn't like the thought that I had become accustomed to being able to change people's lives and change the course of history. This might be getting WAY too serious, but some of the most infamous people on earth also believed that changing people's lives and the course of the world was something that they not only needed to do but were entitled to do. Obviously, I don't believe myself to be capable of doing such extreme acts of cruelty that could be on par with histories worst people. I'm trying my best not to sound ridiculous here, I just want to get across that what I saw developing in me, I saw it as being bad. After some more thought, however, I began to put myself at ease.
In video games, the player is often given the role of someone who is absolutely pivotal to the game world and also has the power to change the course of people's lives. I think that deep down, many of us wish for such power. Why else do people work for money, do well in school, try to get ahead in life? This might be extremely cynical of me but I think, to some degree, it is to gain some more control over our own lives and the world around us. If gaining control over our own lives and the world around us is the goal, then what would be the next goal if we did gain absolute control over our lives? It seems like the answer to that would be control of other people's lives. This desire to control could either be put to good like improving someone's living conditions or it could be put towards completely selfish reasons like enslavement. I think that videogames allow us to experience the feeling of not only being able to control our lives but the lives of those around us and that this feeling is something that I grew to greatly enjoy.
Now that I've figured out what it was that's been bothering, I think that I'll be able to enjoy games with a new level of self consciousness.