Having been born in 2001, I grew up in a golden age of video game consoles. The early 2000s introduced me to gaming through the Playstation 2 and 3, Xbox and Xbox 360, Gamecube, and Wii. My earliest memory of playing video games is playing as James Bond in “007: Agent Under Fire.” Playing this game made me feel like I could be James Bond, a suave badass. Another notable memory probably includes playing “Nazi Zombies” on “Call of Duty: World at War” for the first time with my cousin, behind my mom’s back of course. Just watching the intro cut scene of zombies running towards the player as the screen turned black with the words “Nazi Zombies” in blood-red ran shivers down my seven-year-old spine. While I am not the biggest gamer in the world, I have played enough video games, both old and new, to recognize how important video games truly are. To state the obvious, video games are one of the only mediums that give the user complete control of what the character does. This form of media makes a great platform for storytelling as the user can control some or all aspects of how the story progresses. Great examples of video games with great storytelling include “The Last of Us,” “Uncharted,” “The Legend of Zelda” series, and “Bioshock.” Thus, why are video games not taken as seriously as other mediums like movies?
People who play video games have been asking themselves this question for as long as they have been playing video games. Video games have, for the most part of their history, been regulated to the background of media. They never get massive attention for when thought-provoking storylines come up, but always seem to be the scapegoat of why there is violence amongst the youth. I remember how my mom scolded me when she saw me playing “Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare” with my cousin. Yet, she would gladly let me watch movies like “The Terminator” and “Saving Private Ryan.” I believe the issue lies within the previous generation’s understanding of what video games were. Video games to the previous generation were nothing more than simple and for children, such as “Super Mario Bros.” and “Pac-Man.” This understanding of what video games were then never grew as the technology to develop them improved. However, video games now are obviously far from simple and far from works for children.
Video games now, with all the technology used to develop them, and the overall creative genius from rising developers, have become works of art. Works of art with amazing music, visuals, dialogue, and characters. Video games are for everybody because people can be anybody. That is the one upper hand that video games will always have. Movies allow people to relate to the main character, but video games allow people to be that character. Because of this, I believe that video games will lead the way as a storytelling medium for a long time.
Speaking of video games — the UCSD Guardian arts and entertainment section is collaborating with the “Sonic the Hedgehog” movie. Five winners will get free passes for the film’s early showing on Feb. 8, 10:00 a.m. at AMC Mission Valley, as well as a limited edition Sonic beanie, and 10 winners will get a package of Sonic swag. In order to enter the raffle, like us on Facebook, use the link in our Facebook bio to sign up for our newsletter, and leave us a comment letting us know!