If you follow any of the Xbox social channels, or have friends who talk gaming on theirs, you may have noticed video game fans of all stripes using the #WhyIGame hashtag on Twitter, as well as their Facebook and Tumblr posts. We wanted to share all the many reasons why we game, but also get fans sharing not just what they like about games, but why they pursue this hobby with such passion. We were incredibly impressed at the range of posts and responses we saw tagged with #WhyIGame; we were especially fascinated by the many reasons people have for their love of games, and we wanted to share some with you.
Some folks are into video games because they’re fun, and that’s great! But many users of the #WhyIGame hashtag expressed their love of gaming as a medium of discovery or wonder. For example, Emi R. Tweeted: “I game to discover new worlds and new creative experiences.” Haley P. offered a similar sentiment, but a bit more personal: “I game because it’s a great way to experience several different lifestyles in one.” Gaming is a new literary and artistic form that allows people to be enveloped in the world and characters like no other, and it’s clear that – as with the literary forms of the past – fans of this medium relish the ability to enter into another reality while they’re at the controls.
Others used the #WhyIGame tag to express gaming’s importance as a stress reducer or relaxation space. Mike S. Tweeted that gaming: “[…]relieves stress from everyday life!” while Thomas Y. called it “a great way to wind down and relax.” #WhyIGame saw people discussing video games as a way to take breaks and refresh their minds at work, or an important refuge from the stresses that plague all of us in our daily lives. It’s clear that gaming is more than just a hobby to some; it’s a place we can go to put aside some of our lives’ difficulties, at least for a little while, and recharge our batteries.
One of the most common sentiments we got on the #WhyIGame tag was fans praising the social nature of their pastime. Gaming with friends, or making new friends while gaming, is a big deal to our community, and folks expressed that clearly. After seeing one PAX Prime attendee’s video attached to #WhyIGame, we concluded that “There’s a Player 2 out there for everyone! Probably.” Meanwhile Akaash G. offered simply: “I game for social networking. It’s time with my friends.” It’s worth remembering that, in our fast-paced, digital-delivery world, video games are places where anyone can go, from anywhere in the world, to make new friends. Video games can bring childhood friends who are living thousands of miles apart together for a night of fun, and they can add new friends to the mix, too.
So, why do you game? We want you to share your reasons for being in this wacky, wonderful, virtual world with us. Share your reasons out on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram using the #WhyIGame hashtag. We’re looking forward to hearing your unique perspective!