Why become a video game character?

This is a question I’m sure some people ask themselves when hearing about this blog.  I’m sure there’s a bit of eye rolling, and more often than not, some demeaning thoughts as well.  What is the point in emulating a video game character?  Isn’t that something some nerdy, socially awkward kid would do in their spare time?  Cosplaying, roleplaying, LARPing, or something along those lines?  Sure it’s a fun hobby, but how does it work as a lifestyle?

First off, let me tell you, straight-up.  If you aren’t a gamer, you probably won’t understand.  At least not completely.  I know that sounds cliche and biased, and it might be a bit.  I’m sure there’s exceptions to the rule.  But from the outside looking in, it’s difficult to understand the connection that some players feel when playing a video game.  There are plenty of people worth emulating in life.  The fictional characters in movies, and books, or real-life characters from history(Theodore Roosevelt is one of my personal favorites).  But they all lack something that sets video game characters apart.

When I read a book, I escape to that world.  I exist in it, and I see the characters around me.  I root for the hero(or sometimes the villain), enjoying their victories, despairing their defeats.  I even write stories occasionally, where I get to create these characters and worlds.  But when I play a video game, I am not rooting for that main character.  I AM that main character.  I am the badass space marine standing against an entire army.  I am that plucky kid who doesn’t know when to give up, and finds something inside himself he never dreamed of.  I am that shadowy assassin, that impregnable superhero, that undefeated badass that can flip off the world and take whatever it throws back.

When I watch baseball, I don’t think I’m the pitcher, or the guy at bat.  When I read a history book, I don’t become Teddy Roosevelt, or control the armies of Napoleon.  But when I play a game, I am that main character.  I can change the world around me in that game; save or destroy the human race many times over.  To emulate a person is one thing, but to have a chance to literally step into their shoes is a psychologically-altering event.

The way I see it, gamers, we people united under a single interest, are capable of changing the world.  If we were to believe in ourselves the way we believe in these characters, I honestly think we can do anything.  I’ve said before in this blog, I don’t care if you emulate a hero or a villain or an anti-hero or a sidekick or anything in between those.  I am not one to judge your motivations or ethics on your life situation or life goals.  What I am hoping we can do here, together, as a group, is overcome our complacency in life.  Get rid of the apathy and melancholy and just plain ordinary circumstances that confine our everyday life, and give ourselves the tools to become the champions that we play as in these games; to give ourselves the ability to become who we truly are.

Do I think we can get to the point where we’re hurling fireballs around with our bare hands and flying without any assistance?  Maybe not right now, at least not without some technological assistance.  But I do know that you, the person reading this blog right now, CAN change the world.  I know that you CAN seize your own destiny.  Think about your favorite video game character, be it from an RPG, FPS, MMO, Action/Adventure game, WHATEVER.  I want you to think of that character right now, that character who is special to you, who you wish you could be more like.  You can.  I promise you, that if we all work together, we can rise from the ashes of mediocrity together.

But I can’t do is just sitting here, talking.  I promise you, this blog is not for profit, and it is not for just my own personal gain.  Someday, in some way, maybe I’ll make money off it, but this is not my goal, and this is not why I started this blog.  I need help, from you, the reader.  I want to make this a community.  I want to start a global, online discussion about how to transcend our ordinary stations in life and become extraordinary individuals.  Feel free to reach out at any time.  Leave a comment below, go become a fan of the facebook page and post on the wall, or even hit me up on twitter.  And please, spread the word.  Tell your friends about the cool new community you found.  Tell them that they, too, can be great, that we can all be great together.

Become the person you want to be.  Excel and be extraordinary every chance you get.  And never, ever give up on yourself.

That’s enough pomp and circumstance from me for one day, but I hope you kept an open mind through all that, and you let it bounce around inside your head a while.  I think it’s true, I think we have a greater potential than we know, and I think if you let it mull around long enough in there, you’ll feel the same.

I’ll see you all on Monday, when we take a look at Chun Li, because hey, we’re an equal opportunity blog around here(hell, I just spent four months profiling a barrrel-throwing ape).

Dan “DaRatmastah” Wallace

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