Video Games: A Psychosocial Adventure

A scene from the movie

A scene from the movie “Pixels” (2015) in which the main character is inside of the original Donkey Kong game.

Video games have existed for the past five decades. Over that time they have advanced from mere lines on a screen to hyper-realistic cutscenes that can make you feel like you’re watching a movie. The first video game ever invented was “Bertie the Brain” back in 1950 by Josef Kates. In this game you play tic-tac-toe against an A.I. (artificial intelligence.)

Twenty-two years later, a more famous arcade game known as “Pong” was released. Pong is a tennis simulation in which you move a bar across the screen to deflect the ball. Jump forward another 24 years and you’ll reach the release of Quake, the first game to have 3d graphics.

But even comparing Quake, which is a relevantly new game (1996), to a game like Red Dead Redemption 2 (2018) you’ll see a significant change in the graphics. From 1950-2019 video games have changed substantially, better graphics, longer gameplay, larger maps, compelling storylines and so much more.

However every video game is different, and everyone always has a favorite. Some people prefer first-person shooters, whereas others would rather sit down and play an RPG (role-playing game). So to change it up a bit, instead of asking Harvest Middle School students what their favorite video game is, I decided to ask them what video game they’d like to live in and why.

The majority of the students that I interviewed said that they’d like to live in Minecraft. “If I could live in any video game it would be Minecraft because you can build a world of your own and you can fly,” said 7th-grade student Stefania Llamas. Minecraft is an open world game in which players, depending on which mode they’re in, either collect resources to try and build a house and survive the night or build freely with unlimited materials and are able to fly.

Another game that students said they’d want to live in is Grand Theft Auto 5. In this game, you play as different characters and try to complete missions. However, you could also ignore the tasks and explore your surroundings. Ricardo Gallegos, a 7th-grade student said, “I’d live in GTA 5 because I can do anything I want.” Another reason students want to live in this world is that they can drive cars.

Some students also wanted to live in sports games such as MLB The Show, NBA 2k19 and Rocket League. They are, respectively, baseball, basketball and soccer games. 7th-grade student Finnegan McGrath said, “I’d like to live in NBA 2k19 because you can play basketball.” A similar quote from 8th-grade student Alec DeHaro states, “If I could live in a video game it would be MLB The Show because I love baseball.”

I believe that most students wanted to live in these games because it’s free rein. If they lived in those worlds they could have full control over everything around them, they could do the things they love and go anywhere they wanted.