Our choir of gaming Christmas carollers is back once again for the tenth day of Blogmas, where creative conductor Athena from AmbiGaming is leading us all in a rendition of The Twelve Days of Christmas – but with a video game twist. Be sure to check out her blog today to see what she’s written for her tenth answer in this collaboration, and keep your eyes peeled for all of the other bloggers out there taking part.
Yesterday we looked at four memorable or dramatic moments from video games. With the choir clearing their throats and warming up in the background, let’s see what the subject of today’s verse is:
On the tenth day of Blogmas, the gamers said to me:
What are your 12 favourite gaming memories?
Tell us 11 games you love!
What are ten reasons you’d play a game?
Give us nine games on your to-play list!
Who are eight characters you love?
Share seven of your favorite posts!
What are your six gaming or blogging resolutions?
What are five games you’ve played more than once?
Share four dramatic or memorable game moments!
What are three things you want gamers to know about games for the new year?
Kim (@kissingthepixel) October 23, 2017
1. You can find yourself within a video game
We’re all aware of how video games are negatively perceived: as a bunch of meaningless pixels which do nothing but encourage violence and addiction. But for every politician, media outlet and parent declaring them the root of all evil, there are just as many academic studies indicating that gaming has many psychological, social and even physical benefits. It’s a subject we talk about frequently here in the WordPress community – just take a look at this post on how games can be used for coping with difficult situations by Athena from AmbiGaming.
Earlier this year, a death in the family and a stressful situation at work caused me to retreat into myself. It was The Elder Scrolls Online that provided me with a sense of calm in going through the motions of completing a quest and time to think things over subconsciously. Having a virtual space to work through emotions can give a sense of purpose and a feeling of release which strengthens you enough to keep going. You can lose yourself within in a video game, but you can also find yourself.
2. Your backlog isn’t something to feel guilty about
As gamers, we have this horrible habit of feeling guilty about either our backlogs or lack of completion. We all have our own ‘pile of shame’ that sits there patiently in the corner, eyeing us up critically as we reach for our wallets to purchase yet another release we won’t play. But we rarely stop to consider that it’s something we shouldn’t feel bad about: why should we spend our free time on titles we’re not enjoying when it’s so limited and therefore precious?
The result may be that we never complete some titles and our backlogs never reduce as much as we’d like them to, but surely it’s better to actually take pleasure in the games we do finish. We’re meant to look forward to our hobbies (it’s what makes them ‘hobbies’ rather than ‘work’) so that guilt we all feel seems a bit self-defeating. As long as we’re open to new experiences and give them a decent chance when they come along, there shouldn’t be any remorse felt at putting them down in favour or something else more fulfilling.
3. Gaming can mean much more than just fun
At EGX five years ago, I came across the stand for SpecialEffect: a UK-based charity that uses technology such as modified controllers and eye-control software to help people with physical disabilities play video games. This may sound like a small thing at first but it isn’t just for fun. Levelling the playing field and enabling gamers to join family and friends in a hobby they enjoy has a truly profound effect on confidence, independence, therapy and rehabilitation.
I’ve been volunteering for the organisation ever since and seeing their work (which is done all free of charge) first-hand has been inspiring. It’s not just me who feels this way; on the weekend of 22-24 February 2019, gamers all over the country will be taking part in GameBlast19 and streaming their marathon gaming sessions to raise funds and awareness for SpecialEffect. To find out more about how Later Levels is getting involved and help us decide on the titles to play during our stream, take a look at this post.
It’s time for the choir to take a short break so we’ll be back for the eleventh day of Blogmas tomorrow, with two titles we’d like to improve. In the meantime, why not tell us what you’d like gamers to know about video games in the comments below?
Video game lover, Later Levels blogger and SpecialEffect volunteer. Big fan of wannabe pirates and fine leather jackets.