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Why People Invest Hundreds of Hours Playing Games

Few gamers will hesitate to admit it, but will nonetheless find this relevant and poignant.

Let’s face it, everyday life is filled with things that bring us down – interpersonal conflicts, us rarely getting things that we want, and frustrations over the slowness of life’s pace (for most of us, anyway).

Games are meant to be an escape, no one will dispute this. It’s a great notion of immersing ourselves into a world where we can be away from our problems.

Here’s the thing though: games are A LOT OF WORK. Like, a lot.
Especially if you want to be good at it.

Gone are the days of games like Snake where we can just mindlessly press up or down.
Even ‘simple’ games nowadays require some form of strategising.
If you think Candy Crush is simple, try reaching a higher level and see if you can get past it right after waking up in the morning
To be a good player, some brainpower is needed. Some strategy. And clearly, a lot of effort to improve.

This is especially the premise of top selling games like League of Legends, Valorant, PUBG, Genshin Impact, even Animal Crossing.

Sure, you can enjoy a game while being a noob forever.
But no gamer who likes a game will ever want to stay at the same level forever.
We want to improve, we truly want to.

But why are we spending so much time on games?
Why are we happily racking our brain on a game when the intention is TO ESCAPE from doing almost the same thing in real life?
Is it not true that we play games as a form of escapism?

Perhaps I can offer a view on this:

For casual players, games are a bridge for reality vs ideal life that we want.

Real life is messy.
The efforts we put in is not linear to the results we get.
Outcomes or big changes occur in a matter of months – or years.
Setbacks and tragedies are unavoidable, there’s no restart button.
Everyone says we shouldn’t hesitate to try and fail, and yet failures are met with big risks and downfall

When we play games, we face none of the above.
We are in control, our failures affect no one else but us, and results are visible within minutes or even hours of playing the game.
We get better within minutes or hours, and the only way is up.
We have faith that our frustrations will be met with great results if we can resolve a roadblock.

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