On Resetting

Admit it.  Every time something went wrong in a video game, you reset it, didn’t you?  Every time you were close to losing a life or did something wrong , you pressed the power button, didn’t you?    You didn’t have to suffer for your mistakes.  All it took was a simple button, and all your problems would just become a black screen.

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Credits to Ryan Bailey on Flickr.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to rant about people who reset their games; I’m actually one of them, so it would be hypocritical of me to shame people for resetting.

I think one of the things that most appeal to people in video games is that nothing you do is real.  For the most part, I’m all for it.  Games let you be someone totally different and do the impossible.  For example, I loved Zoo Tycoon, a computer game that, as its name implies, lets you run a zoo.  You could arrange concession stands and animal exhibits however you wanted to and occasionally (or more than occasionally, really) you could let animals roam free in the zoo and freak out your tourists.  In real life, no one in their right mind would let a 7 year-old kid run a zoo, but the virtual world knows no limits.  In games you don’t have to be a 7 year-old kid; you can be a dragon tamer/town mayor/business mogul.  With little physical exertion, you could be the savior of your village/town/city, destined for victory in nearly every battle.  As for the battles you don’t win, well, you don’t really lose anything.  If you did screw up. . . well, there was always the power button.

While it’s perfectly normal to reset in the virtual world, things aren’t so easy in reality.  Maybe that’s why people who play games continue playing games: it’s uncomfortable to think that everything you do has a consequence that you can’t negate.  Rather than accept the jarring truth, gamers retreat into fantasy realms and roam there in fear of indelible change.  Perhaps the worst nightmare is not any creature that dwells online or in gaming consoles.  Such monsters were designed to be defeated at sometime or another; if only we could find a way to beat reality.

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On Resetting

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