Why I Play Video Games

Why Do You Play Video Games? That’s what Theology Gaming wishes to meditate upon this week. Do you know? Well, let’s at least talk about it.


Why do we play video games? Jedahdoma, over at Substance TV, answers this question with one word: fun. My answer’s a LITTLE different.

The year was 1985. I was at my Uncle Dick’s house and one of the cousins had brought over a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Family gathered around the television set in awe of Mario’s exploits. I remember pausing, watching for a moment, and then running back outside to the pool. The diving board was calling. I was four and had no clue that I had just witnessed the resurgence of video games into American homes.

Memories are fuzzy/hazy creatures coated in nostalgia. I can’t quite remember when my parents brought the family NES in our home, but I do remember playing with it. My sister and I would spend hours fighting of Super Mario Bros. and Duck Tales. We’d complain about whose turn it was, how long that person was playing, and so on. Eventually we’d get kicked off the TV and sent outside. We played for the competition; we played because it was fun.


Sega Do What Nintendon’t as they say!

Gaming soon moved forward into the 16-bit era. The SEGA Genesis ruled our house with Sonic as it’s king. “Blast Processing” ruled. Dexterity and muscle memory were now needed more than ever. My sister Kayla and I continued to play games together though not as much as with the NES. Kayla was a Sonic the Hedgehog fan and I was more in love with the worlds of Golden Axe and Vectorman. We continued to play because it was fun. The sense of accomplishment in being able to beat Vectorman, for me, is a highlight of my childhood. Especially due to the fact that I beat the game while high on Vicodin after having oral surgery.

Years have passed, proximity and distance have separated me from my sister. The last game we played together was Rayman Origins, when she came out to visit me in Texas. We sat there plowing through the levels, slapping each other (in-game of course), and laughing the night away. After she flew back home, I realized that I play video games for something else besides fun, I play for companionship (Editor’s Note: And I imagine this companionship is what God made us for, in any event!).

Why do you play?

About Bryan Hall

Transplanted from the land of sun and surf to a place filled with pine trees and sweet tea, Bryan Hall is a man who has experienced God's grace. Wanting to influence the digital landscape with the love of Christ, Bryan writes from the junction point of faith, life, and video games. You can read more of his writing at his blog, johnnybgamer.com.