Why do youngsters get so much gratification from virtual games? Why do so many of us consider the world of these games to be just as big, if not bigger, than our real lives?
Why did I feel so much more of a rush playing an online game when I was younger, as compared to now?
Case in point – 15 yr old me obsessing over Tribal Wars vs. 22 yr old me picking up the game after a 6 year hiatus.
The younger me was literally obsessed with playing this online game at every chance I got. I’d get up early in the mooning, rush home after school, and even stay up till late in the night to play this strategy – based game. The me now got reminded of it by a classmate from school, and decided to give it a shot. Somehow, the excitement levels just aren’t the same. There is nostalgia, but not that passion which was bordering on addiction.
I’d like to think it’s because now I know/realise there are bigger sources of accolades, more meaningful sources of that rush than such games and the achievements that come along with them.
I guess as we grow older and wiser, our view of the world expands. We understand more things, realise more truths, accept more facts than before.
While the gratification that a game offers is constant (level up a character, successful attacks, more resources, etc.. ), to the 13 year old who’s engrossed in the world of his/her favourite computer game, these sources of gratification means so much more than to someone who has more avenues of his/her real life that can provide a similar sense of good-feels.