This post is not in any way or shape an academic one; I only mean to collect my thoughts about and personal experiences with video games. This is a spoiler free writing, and I plan to release a spoiler heavy version too, where I go into details about the mentioned games.
I started gaming in the early 2000s with mostly games from the ‘90s. Since then I have played many wonderful games from both earlier and modern eras. So I consider myself a fairly old-school gamer, who had experience with the first Diablo game, or the original Eye of the Beholder, Heroes and even played the old Indiana Jones games among many others. Each one was special at the time and as I grew as a person, I started seeing them in a different light. Each story felt differently regarding when I played them for the first time and when I replayed them years later. However, it was an important personal journey for me.
For example, when I first played Assassin’s Creed my only experience was the coolness of it and of course, I grasped the overall plot, at the time it was just not too impactful for me. However, replaying it after more than ten years left me with a different experience and I could grasp the depths of the story. I already felt the magic and the romantic ideals of Assassin’s Creed II and Brotherhood when they were released, but after replaying the Ezio Trilogy a year ago I could experience and interpret the story in a different light. For example, to finally be able understand the personal motivations of the old Ezio, who only seemed to me as an eternal warrior when I was younger. Moreover, I did not consider Revelations a good game at the time; but as I grew, I started to see it as masterpiece that was a fitting closure for Ezio’s epic saga. This was a sign of growing as a person as well. Our past experiences in life always have an impact on the way we interpret everything.
To mention some recent releases, Cyberpunk 2077 and Stray were the two most recent games that had very deep and impactful stories. Both left me thinking for days and everything felt empty. Even the side content was breath-taking and left me with a lot of interesting concepts and ideas to consider.
Nevertheless, there are of course other (older) games that had the same impact, such as The Witcher saga, The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, Bloodborne and Dark Souls or even the Amnesia games. For example, I am planning to write a literary analysis for Bloodborne and Amnesia: The Dark Descent, both of which I aim to produce for academia.
My most favourite games of all times are valuable for me for two reasons. The most important aspect that I consider in the case of any video game is the story. Yes, I am the person who played Call of Duty and even Need for Speed for their stories… The second aspect is the gameplay experience. I would like to share a list of video games that I love with you, but please be aware that this list is just my own personal opinion. Of course, there are other games out there that could very well fit into this list as well. However, I could not play with every game that ever came out and so this is how I would rank my personal video game library. Also, I am the person who plays at least a thousand hours with games like Skyrim or World of Warcraft.
My all-time favourites are The Witcher (I-II-III & DLCs), Dark Souls (I-II-III & DLCs), Bloodborne & Old Hunters, Warcraft (starting with the real time strategies up to World of Warcraft), Amnesia: The Dark Descent & Rebirth and the Elder Scrolls franchise. Honourable mentions, which had awesome stories in my book, are the Syberia games, the God of War franchise, the Assassin’s Creed games and the Fallout franchise. I wanted to include Elden Ring, Cyberpunk 2077 and Stray on this list too, but they are too recent and I think I will have to replay them in a couple of years to honestly make them part of the all-time favourite list. However! at the time of the writing of this article, they seem VERY likely to be part of this list very soon.
As you – my dear reader – can see, I am more of a fantasy person. I like a lot of things in life and I could never deny that video games gave me a lot of valuable lessons and that they are part of my personality. It can also be said that the games I mentioned gave me personal stories too. Because games like World of Warcraft, Morrowind, Cyberpunk 2077 or Elden Ring – just to mention a few – have stories that can only be told through (and heavily relies on) the player experience, and each one are very personal and unique. Of course, every interpretation is personal and unique (and this can be said about every Literary Work of Art), but the way each player navigates through the open world and non-linear nature of the above mentioned games make it even more personal; not to mention the human relationships that can form through the multiplayer aspects of some of them.
In my opinion, video games can be considered Literary Works of Art and in my professional life, I always regard them in such light. As I mentioned, they gave a lot of valuable experiences and lessons for me and I am sure that the case is similar for a lot of people, who had the opportunity of playing with these gems. In the future, you may see similar writings released by me, regarding this subject. Both in academic and casual blogpost forms.