Opinion: In 2021, gambling has become a way of thinking about life
If 2020 was the year we bonded through play – stuck at home, we have strengthened our friendships and relationships over the course of our Animal crossing where is he Among us fights – 2021 is the year that gaming began to become a way of life.
The games have given us the opportunity not only to communicate, but also to shape the way we approach our experiences. After two years of collective stress, loss and heartbreak, not to mention an ever-conflicting political climate, I’ve come to believe that gambling is crucial to just getting through the day.
Everywhere we look there are – or maybe – games.
What is a couch if not a ship to build a fort? And what is the metaverse if not the recognition that our lives are increasingly online and that entertainment is more participatory than ever?
If there is one defining means of our still uncertain pandemic era, it is the games. Not just because the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are still hard to find or that the tech universe has made the concept of a metaverse – a game-like escape into a digital reality – mainstream. A deeper understanding of the game can lead to new experiences, and there were great ones to be had in 2021 both on screen and beyond.
The music-centric game Artistic escape was the search for an identity. Unpacking asked us to look at the objects around us. Psychonauts 2 delivered complex mental health messages via weird animated canvases. And Genesis Black challenged us to think about what we want in a relationship.
In the so-called real world, Pikmin Bloom transformed the landscape outside our doors into a magical, flower-like wonderland, and Meow Wolf’s Omega Mart installation in Las Vegas turned the grocery store into an interstellar journey into other dimensions.
Even famous psychotherapist Esther Perel preached the power of gambling through a conversation-based card game. The game, more and more, is a way of looking at the world around us. Because to play is to ask oneself and if instead of how is it done.
“Your mind is unlimited,” Perel said in an interview earlier this year. “When we talk about play, we have to talk about performance. We also talk about imagination. We also talk about risk taking. We can talk about real things, outside the limits of the software. A whole world view can be described by understanding the meaning of the game. “
There is magic that happens when we interact with a work of art, and not just because we lean in and take an active part. As much as games are seen as an immersive type of art, allowing us to inhabit another role, I have long found this description simplistic and not quite fair to describe the power of the game. We are more like puppeteers, orchestrating characters or playing roles in different versions of ourselves.
Because we are never aware that we are playing. When we walk through Meow Wolf’s intergalactic facilities and discover weird tales of self-power in the midst of a demented capitalist world, we always know we are in Las Vegas. When we play a role Star Wars Disneyland’s Galaxy’s Edge characters, we always know we’re in a theme park.
But this space between us and the text creates a new malleable perspective. When we are not passive spectators, our own instincts and habits come under closer scrutiny. The focus is suddenly on how we generally act – our usual impulses need to be reviewed when we play. When we play with others it instantly creates comfort; Think of it as nonsense opening up a safe space for emotional intimacy.
And after 22 months of almost constant upheaval and more loneliness than most of us wanted, what better than experiences that foster conversations, either with ourselves or with those close to us?
This is what I was hungry for in the games I played.
I’ve found Artistic escape moving for her emotional challenges rather than her rhythmic challenges, which were mostly straightforward. The musical game is all about creating a new character, breaking out of our shells and learning not to let our desires be colored by the expectations of others. As we stroll on shiny white bridges between planets, meet talking cats and jump on neon-lit padded rocks, Artistic escape challenges us to “play as if your dreams are now memories”.
Only animation allows such colorful and metaphorical worlds, and Psychonauts 2 was the best animated film I have played this year. A head-trip, literally, into the minds of others, the game features larger-than-life twists and turns in real-world locations, where casinos, campgrounds, concerts and more become wild and multi-level levels. facets where the trees are skyscrapers and the betting games are upside down. upset universes. And yet, it’s a serious game about mental health, tackling topics like drug addiction, fears and insecurities related to depression with endless zest for life.
As we ricochet through minds, we disconnect bad habits to create new ways of solving problems. The game understands that change doesn’t happen by rewiring our brains, but simply by having alternative responses to our thoughts. We are not told that; that’s what we actually help people do in the game.
“I always felt that certain thought patterns were muscles,” says the founder and founder of Double Fine Presents. Psychonauts creator Tim Schafer. “They get stronger if you keep doing them. There are some habits you can practice. Not everybody. When some people suffer from depression, they are not in control of their happiness, but other people are able to define their own realities and take control of those things. This is a very big subject.
Psychonauts 2 and other games that I liked also tried to deepen life. There is the quest for a vocation in Sable, for example, and a searing poem about domestic violence in Last call. I even found Pikmin Bloom – a game considered too simple – to be a work that asked us to rethink our way of seeing the world around us, because every step we take can leave a digital flower in our wake.
The game is not about a challenge; play is simply a change in our daily experience.
It’s not a new concept, and games have been going digital for much longer. Our modern age, however, has simply presented games as something frivolous. This is partly the fault of the video game industry, which has too long focused on being young or filming things rather than serious subjects, but those times are over; Today we understand that gambling is a medium that has not only financial strength, but emotional weight.
“I’m really fascinated by the feeling that you’re not just one monolithic person,” Schafer said of his motivations. Psychonauts 2. “Sometimes it feels like another part of you is behind the wheel in another part of your life. We are a collection. Everyone is a collection of psyches and they work together to make that personality that we put forward. ”
Playing is a way to put these different psyches in the driver’s seat. It can happen in a digital sphere, or it can happen in our own homes. Try to see your furniture at, for example, a pet’s eye level. Maybe draw what they see. What mountainous and cavernous landscapes that live among ourselves do we take for granted?
In our stressful times, seeing the world in wonder is always easier said than done, but it helps to remember the places we can go when we are in a playful state. games like Psychonauts 2 and Artistic escape are fun, yes, but above all they are tools, provocations to look at ourselves and our universe differently. – Los Angeles Times / Tribune News Service