What if you never play your favorite game? (The Point)
So, there you have it folks.
The metal gear story has finally come full circle.
Hideocogima kicked out of a company, Konami as they slowly backed their **** out of the video games industry.
And for the game itself, decades old storyline is finally getting wrapped up.
Incredible fictional drama mirroring that of it's real life creators.
For millions around the globe, this is the ultimate end of an era.
The full stop on a story that began in their childhood.
And a curtain call for one of the most beloved series in the history of gaming.
But for others, they couldn't care less.
The world of video games is vast, so while there are millions of us waiting to play this dramatic conclusion to one of our favorite series, there are millions more that, for whatever reason, just don't really care.
Maybe they never owned a PlayStation.
Maybe they don't like stub games.
Maybe it was just too much of a convoluted story, or perhaps they were just too young when those early games came out.
We choose our games like we choose our meals.
Preferences in taste we learn at a young age and we trust unconditionally.
And for whatever reason, we just tend to absolutely trust and live by these early preferences.
Even years later.
Why do I still not play Final Fantasy games?
Why do I keep buying FIFA every year?
And is it wrong that my taste in games hasn't really changed dramatically in the past decade?
Today on the point, why do we keep playing the same games we love?
Are our brains threatening us into not playing games we might like?
And what if we never play our favorite game?
Go back in your gaming history and remember the first games you played.
Maybe it was a 2D fighting game on an old 16 bit system.
or a first person shooter on your mate's PC, perhaps it was Halo on your siblings console when they came home from college, or just plain ol Mario with your mom.
Childhood is an era of curiosity, an universe full of mystery and all the time to explore it.
For kids, preference happens when you're picking your cereal, but fun can come in so many different shapes and sizes, and games when your young Well, they're all new.
They each have an experience worth playing, at least for a short time.
For most of us growing up, curiosity was rampant, with no shortage of games we wanted to play, games we'd chat about with our friends in the schoolyard, and trailers we'd watch over and over.
But we couldn't play them all.
Back then, our main value to playing all the games we wanted Was simply cash.
You had to choose your computer or console wisely.
These decisions were made based on console exclusive games, the quality of back catalog, and the dollar price on the machine.
But the social element factored in, too.
What machine did your friends own?
would they swap games with you.
The console your neighbor owns suddenly unlocked dozens of new games to play for free.
From a young age we were taught something about society that would stay with us forever.
Everyone's in a team and sooner or later, you're going to pick which one you're in.
Social Psychologist Henri Tajfel came up with the reasoning for this known as Social Identity Theory.
This theory was that we all as individuals
Strive for a positive self concept and how we do this by associating ourselves with a particular group we favor.
And as important as being in that group is it's equally as important to identify as having an opposing group to look down upon.
The folks who aren't part of your group who by definition must disagree with your choices.
This is what we often refer to in gaming circles as fanboyism.
It's like Goths don't just identify by loving metal music and black clothes.
In fact their disdain of main stream music and clothes is equally as important.
This is why the PC master race exist and why so many of us look down upon casual gamers.
It's why people who don't like sports are often bemused by those who are and vice versa.
And even if we don't consider ourselves fanboys, it's clear that we view the world of gaming in this manner.
I can't tell you the amount of times I've met somebody for the first time, asked them what types of games they played, and heard, well, I used to be a console gamer.
But now I play PC games.
Or the other way around.
We so often associate ourselves with our groups, that it's the main way of identifying our identities.
And the fact that changing your group is such a major deal shows how important social identity is.
To watch as individuals, but not only are you likely to look down on those who didn't make the same preference as you, once you've made your decision, you're gonna be even more convinced that it was the right one.
Choice supportive bias is a cognitive bias in which most of us retroactively ascribe positive attributes to the choices we're making.
Be that making binary choices, such as picking a turkey sandwich over beef, or buying a PlayStation 4 over an Xbox One, or more more sustained choices, such as Dumping a lot of time or money into a particular game or service.
When considering objectively the pros and cons of your decision, your brain is more likely to assign positive attributes.
This is because, in a nutshell, buyers remorse creates anxiety, so we avoid it as much as.
Is possible, justifying every purchasing decision we make.
Convincing yourself that you've made the right choice in the past is almost easier than choosing something new, like going to the same bad hairdresser for months on end.
Our brains rather enjoy the comfort of not worrying about a decision and questioning something that feels fine.
So, this is all to say that we're totally not in control of what we like.
Zombies, robots, the lot of us.
No, obviously there are many reasons we like what we like.
In fact, I still believe the main reason that you might have a preference for specific games, has more to do with the type of person you are.
There are types of games that we find more enjoyable, more comfortable.
Like me, with say, open world games.
I get that I'm a loner who likes to explore.
That's actually one of my favorite real life past times, cycling around my area on my own and exploring new places.
What I'm getting at is that on any given day, you're already going to buy a game that you have a preference for.
Like, when was the last time you listened to a new song from a new band that you've never heard before?
There's a really good chance that your favorite song is still out there and you've never even heard it.
But to do this you have to break out of your comfort zone and listen to a bunch of stuff you've never heard.
And we forget that the same is also true of video games.
It's just that the investment, whether it be time or cash, weighs more heavily.
Games cost more.
They take more time.
So over the course of our lives, we've just been trained not to do it.
Humans are comfort seeking creatures.
We want to be comfortable with our choices, who we are and what we've done.
So we pursue the fastest route to happiness, and entertainment's something we do to soothe ourselves.
It's the last place we look when being experimentitive.
Look, you don't need me to tell you that publishers prey on this.
That annualized franchises don't let you break break the chain, that free to play is a card on a stick to get you hooked in.
The big E sport events, gaming community, blogs and content, and pipelines for existing games, either free to play or otherwise, are the pinnacle of social identity theory.
I know this is entertainment and we love what we love, but there's still a really good chance that for most of us, we still haven't played our favorite game.
Maybe it's in a genre you've avoided or a series you've never tried.
Or maybe it came out six years ago.
And even if it's not your very favorite game, it may be one you love for years to come.
So then, homework this week, go and find it.
Turn off this video, go to Wikipedia, open Steam, whatever.
Go and find the game that you would otherwise completely ignore, and let us know how you got on.
Stick it in the comments below, hit me up on twitter, or send us your video impressions on the YouTube.
I'm gonna do the exact same, this weekend at PAX Prime.
See you in two weeks.
Go play it!
If it's not SWAT 4, then just go play SWAT 4