It’s been some kind of week. I won’t bore you with the details of my personal life, but things have been stressful in one of those “this doesn’t seem like it’s ever going to end” type of ways. And at the end of every day—and perhaps most notably at the end of this absolutely insane week—I always had video games to fall back on. So many video games. Single-player games. Online loot shooter games. Indie games. Massive AAA superhero releases.
There’s too much rhetoric about how bad games are. I mean, many games journalists are critics after all, and a critics job is to critique, to be critical. That’s inherently negative. We always find ways to see what a game does wrong, what a studio is doing wrong, or why this hobby and passion that we love so much is “bad.” And there’s nothing wrong with that. We ought to be critical because that’s a catalyst for improvement, to make things even better.
But let’s not forget that games are also oh so good. No matter the criticisms levied at games, they are fun. They are an escape. They are art. They are a way to connect with friends and family. They are vehicles for emotional immersion. I love loading up Destiny 2 for an hour or two (or five) at night. I’ve been having a blast with The Division 2, despite some of the criticisms being thrown at a story that some say feels like a gun nut’s fever dream. Sekiro is keeping me quite busy, no matter how many curse words I might throw at the enemies that roll me over time and again.
At the end of a stressful and busy week, I look at how much really wrong and negative and bad is out in the world and in our lives. Why do people actively seek to tear down something that we love? I’ve talked before about how we should be nice about criticism. There’s no need to burden critique with additional toxicity and hate. I work to remind myself every day that I do what I do because I love games. I’m passionate about games. And at the end of the day, criticisms aside, video games are good. Let’s not forget that.
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