Video games

Gaming as a motivation

Video games are the best muse I could ever ask for. When I’m unwell I turn to a certain to a certain calibre of game to keep my most pained moments as comfortable and enriching as I can.

I now use gaming not just to relax but to claw back some productivity from my body, to feel like the hours of downtime are time well spent. To ease my mind away from what I can’t do, and feel nourished by what I can.

A humbling experience

When I am unwell I am unable to do anything other sit or lie down and keep still. It’s a murderous lack of activity for an active mind. In truth gaming has become the most effortless activity I can manage when I am in pain. A small part of me is grateful for the moments of relief that indulging in gaming gives me.

On a wider note for all though, gaming indulgence isn’t a bad thing. Ruminating on what to play during a particularly difficult week of pain, the desire to play Shadow of the Colossus hit me.

There’s something about the grandeur of Shadow of the Colossus that makes you feel unworthy of its message. There’s a level of intimidating beauty on display here that makes it effortless to forget the pain surging through my body. The delicate animations of Agro, the blending of colour and light as Wanda rides over the landscape. The accumulation of sand and dust fizzing around you, with a haunting soundtrack which lingers on the brain weeks after you finished the game.

Games like Shadow of the Colossus are the reason I fell in love with gaming all those years ago. It has a central metaphor to the narrative that takes intelligence to unravel, a quiet but intensely clever puzzle element, a gentle landscape that lulls me away from all my troubles. The potent design of Shadow of the Colossus reminds me that it is perfect rationality for our hobby. The combination of some of game developments finest minds collaborating to make something truly humbling.

In Shadow’s vast and beautiful window on a masterfully created environment, I am reminded of what is genuinely special about our medium, how games can motivate and inspire this community more than any song, any artist, any film or play. Precisely because of how unique the experience of playing a game can be.

Wanda and Agro stand attentively by a bridge.A beautiful view by a tree

An extraordinary muse

Games are the gentle rhythm powering me through each day, by making the downtime and the pain delicately manageable. It has become my muse, my fine and unwavering inspiration to create, the motivation to finish a complicated project, to start work on improving something that has failed me for weeks. Ultimately video games are the positive experiences keeping my mind engaged and body free from pain.

It’s become more to me than a mere entertainment form, gaming is now the fuel for my mind, in both creative and rational spheres. I like to think I have an enriched mind as a result rather than the flat and absorbed brain that many equate to the sensation of an addiction.

No, gaming has culminated in hundreds of awe-inspiring experiences like Shadow of the Colossus to fuse itself indelibly to my personality and way of thinking. It has done so by comprising an appealing intellectual lubricant to my daily humdrum. I realised the extraordinary properties of video games all those years ago as a toddler, free from the bias that comes with adulthood. I’ve never forgotten how inspiring games can be, it just takes a truly remarkable game like this one to remind me of how I easily I fell in love all those years ago.

4 replies on “Gaming as a motivation”

I don’t really have much to add here. Just wanted to say I really enjoyed this post. It’s one of the things I enjoy about Pioneer Project, your willingness to share more personal thoughts of gaming like this.

Probably not the best time to admit that I left Colossus sealed for an age because I never had time to start it and then accidentally threw it out whilst sorting out my PS2 collection? Oops.

God damn video games are cool, so many people can get so many difference experiences and pleasure from the very same game, just as they can with books and film of course. But with games you have that constant, direct, feedback loop between you and the thing you are interacting with; which makes them really engaging (the good ones, anyway) and the ideas that they contain really burrow deep into your mind.

All the awesome ideas and art and music and visuals that games pump into our brains, it’s just a real damn shame that you have to make use of them as a painkiller, on top of them being a brilliant muse for you.

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