What is about videogames that draw so many to them? Is it all about competition and violence? Is it a mind draining activity that has drawn many souls into its cultist like clutches? Unlikely.
There is so much more to videogames than trying to explain media effects and violence. There is a richer side, a social side and with this essay I wish to clear up a few things bout them that not many consider. A quick review of their history and many attributes will help us get started. The great variety of their aesthetic representations and game play mechanics that make of video games one of the fastest growing mediums for storytelling as well as an emerging field of competition that has been on the makings since their conception, to the point that the term eSports had to be coined to define them, creating not only an industry but a true phenomena. Video games carry with hem a sum of prowess in art and technology that create a medium that is as innovative and varied in their presentation as it is thought provoking and social conscious when the creators put the effort into it.
In this essay I will be presenting a dive into not only the product but into the fanbases surrounding them, trying to meditate and explore the formation of groups interested not only in partaking on the experience but also sharing their opinions, creating related contend and displaying their enthusiasm. This is a very important part of the essay, as it represents the dynamics that form around the games and how they create a community. Like minded individuals with different backgrounds and talents, united by a common thread. Whether it is a game that is a narrative inspiration, a piece of art in motion with an abstract narrative or a fast-paced competitive shooter, each game can draw in individuals that see in them some thing of value for their lives.
And with these groups there are power dynamics, dynamics represented by community leaders and content creators whose opinions are elevated or status is upheld by their skills. Add to that individuals that are considered celebrities, wither because of their skills or relationship to the developing team and we have a case that goes much deeper and that require a lot more thought than previously considered.
This essay will be part of a larger project, and introduction to my dissertation that while not yet cemented on its theme, will definitely revolve around the communities that form around videogames and how that creates identity for groups of people, a point of departure of a dissertation into exploring the theme of society and interests that emerge from common bonds. I believe it will be a meaningful work, that will set the tone for my future work and will also create in other scholars interest to delve in into these themes that seem so ignored because of their relationship with a phenomena that is usually mis interpreted and mis represented along with the people that participate in them.