With the multitudes of posts I have made about E3 this past week, I felt the need to explain why I enjoy writing about this very niche, yet, widely expanding medium. Back in 2013, I played a game called The Last of Us. It was a game that had zombie-like creatures and a post-apocalyptic setting in the United States. But more importantly, it featured two protagonists: a middle-aged man known as Joel, and a 14-year-old girl called Ellie. These two survived hell and back to get from Boston all the way to Salt Lake City to bring Ellie to a group known as the Fireflies. The story of the game had me captivated, so much so that I have played, and beaten, that same game 6 times over the past five years. I love this game, and I know the sequel coming next year is something that I will love as well. But what made me change my career path, as I was originally going to become an engineer at the University of Pittsburgh, was the story of Joel and Ellie. The characters’ evolution was something paramount to keeping the intrigue of those who played it. Joel went from being a hardened, ruthless killer to loving surrogate father to the girl born into an apocalypse. Ellie, on the other hand, changed from a fun-loving teenager to a veteran survivor of the world around her. These two characters showed me how well this medium can produce stories better than some Hollywood films or even than anything on TV. I was hooked.
It drove me to change the way I look at a game. More than just the end screen that results from beating the game, but how I felt about the results that stem from it. Video games are no longer just a past time or a way to see who does better than someone else on a leaderboard. It is so much more now. It is an art form. A release from reality. A way to cope with life. And so many other things that I could write for another four hours about how Skyrim still has a way to pull me back even after nearly a decade, or how Journey‘s soundtrack was so good it earned a nomination for a Grammy, or even how a god of war can change his ways for the sake of his son in a story based on Norse mythology. I crave to find the next story, the next innovation, the passionate developer who brought their own vision to life and shared it with the rest of the world to see the inside of someone’s mind. Everything I listed in this post was something that drove me to want to be video game journalist, and it pleases me to no end that I am still as motivated as I was at 16 to better myself and discover more in this medium as I am now at 21 years of age.
So what about you? What drives you motivates you? I would love to hear all about it.