If you’ve read a little about me, you would know that I have been playing video games practically my entire life. In fact, it’s my favorite past-time. The hours that I’ve spent in front of a mouse and keyboard must have easily eclipsed five figures by now.
But why? Why do video games appeal to so many people, especially men and boys? I’ve thought about this question a lot over the years and for me the answer is, “it allows me to be someone cool and do some really awesome things.”
Video games are the ultimate role playing exercise. Why? Because it is interactive. When you watch TV or read a book, you are investing your emotional self into the story that someone has already written. You are just slowly unraveling it, waiting to see how it turn out.
With video games, you are in control of what happens in whatever universe you are placed in. Rescue the princess from the castle? It’s up to you. Your party failed the dungeon because you don’t know how to tank properly? That’s on you. Need better armor? Go get it.
If given a choice, most kids today wouldn’t run around the house in their Star Wars Underoos having light saber battles with their sibling. They would rather live out those adventures on their gaming console of choice. Why? Because the graphics, sounds, and gameplay make for a more immersive experience.
What is immersion? It is simply a measure of how quickly real time passes as you are engaged in an activity that you enjoy doing. Some psychologists call this “flow.” I’m sure that you have heard the old adage, “Time flies when you’re having fun?” That in a nutshell is immersion. You are so immersed or involved in something you lose track of other things such as time, people, or other responsibilities.
TOR is sure to rank highly as one of the most immersive video games ever created. Both KOTOR games were highly immersive with their detailed story-lines and side quests. Now that you add elements of an MMO to it, the immersion factor is sure to be quite large.
Quite a few gamers will be burning the midnight oil playing TOR, especially those of us with jobs and families. While you are immersed in the TOR universe, don’t neglect your other duties or people in your life. A sith warrior has no furry like a wife scorned.