How Video Games Satisfy Basic Human Needs▲
October 09, 2017
I liked this article by Simon Parkin.
Except, of course, aside from its pre-set storyline, Grand Theft Auto doesn’t prescribe any of these things. It merely offers us a playpen, one that, like our own cities, is filled with opportunities, and arbitrated by rules and consequences. And unless you’re deliberately playing against type, or are simply clumsy, you can’t help but bring yourself into interactive fiction. In Grand Theft Auto, your interests and predilections will eventually be reflected in your activity, be it hunting wild animals, racing jet-skis, hiring prostitutes, buying property, planning heists, or taking a bracing hike first thing in the morning. If you are feeling hateful in the real world, the game provides a space in which to act hatefully. As the philosophers say: wherever you go, there you will be.
I would have picked a different opening example than GTA though. Saying GTA has meaningful choices is a bit too cliche for me at this point. Ever try to follow the law in a GTA game? Yeah, let me know how that works.