February 25, 2010

Why We Play Games, "to Scratch a Particular Itch"

Scanning my Kotaku Google Reader subscription, I found that Leigh Alexander has written a great psychoanalytic-type of article entitled "Why We Play Games, and Why We Grumble About Them."  Not necessarily based on in depth scientific research, the categories of players she presents are pretty dead on; at least they make sense to me.  Most gamers can fall under four reasons why they partake in pixelated playing:

To feel powerful
To have control
To break rules
To explore a story

Of course, there are mixtures.  I, for one, see myself within the breaking rules and story sorts.  But I also love fine tuning and leveling up in Final Fantasy or even Call of Duty, and feeling powerful as Master Chief is just plain fun.

I'm sure the cat prefers storytelling.

Read the article to see where you fall, and even learn why certain annoyances in your favorite games hack you off just a tad.  Tell me in which one(s) you find yourself!


  1. Oh, I'm with the cat...I'm definitely in it for the stories. They're so exciting and innovative. I feel like I grow as a person when I play video games!

  2. You should! We should sit down and play BioShock together and you'll definitely grow as a person! :)

    Actually ... I'm kind of serious ...

    *applause* My wife, ladies and gentlemen!