Reflection: What are the reasons we play a game?

Why are we playing a game? For the experience that this brings us? Is it because the latter is interesting? Whatever the reason, yours, that of a friend, there is an unimaginable number of answers to this question because each person is different. But what are the reasons we can have to don’t play a game? Is it because the game is unfinished, or because it lacks content? Here again there are many possibilities of answers. This is what I want to be interested in and for my part, the reason I had to stop a game seems very rare and I think it’s a unique experience, but is this experience is to live?

I hope you won’t live this experience, because even if it’s very interesting and will make you reflect about it, that may make you stop playing to a game and if you like to play to the latter it can be complicated or frustrating for you. Nevertheless, what I experienced changed the vision of the game and the theme that is discussed, the latter is quite important because it’s one of the reasons that participated in this judgment.

Since the theme comes with the game, let’s talk about it, it’s about “Company Of Heroes 2” and the game is about World War II. Company Of Heroes 2, or CoH2 of its acronym is a real-time strategy game (RTS), it has all that is classic in this style of play: basic construction, management units “infantry”, Vehicle unit management, population limit, etc in short it’s a classic RTS.

I am a fan of this style of games, I have many known titles such as Command And Conquer, Age Of Empire, Warhammer, etc. You’ll understand, this is one of my favorite style of games, so I played a lot of games, but also Company Of Heroes 2. Today I have almost 600 hours of game on Company Of Heroes 2 as well as much more about his predecessor, except that now I am unable to replay it, but why?

I am also passionate about History, the one with a big H, the one who shaped our world and continues to do so day after day. I am an historian in my spare time, however I don’t think it’s my passion for history that made me buy the game a few years ago, I had already played the first Company Of Heroes game in CD a very long time ago and as I liked it, I naturally got the following opus.

As a history “fan” I regularly watch documentaries and it turns out that my favorite historical period is the one that is dealt with by the game, the Second World War. There are documentaries of all kinds, there are also a lot of films and books on this black chapter of the history of the world, it is undoubtedly the most treated subject of History. And it’s by dint of watching many documentaries that those latter have altered my vision of the game Company Of Heroes 2. This alteration has changed my vision to the point of making me stop playing. How can a simple documentary stop someone from playing a game?

As I said, there are several kinds of documentaries, some can be very sober in the image, others will leave the truth of the images and that is the kind of images who made interest to me because they don’t hide anything and I personally find that it’s more interesting for my history passion. And these are the images that prevent me today from playing, because they showed me the reality of things that I had forgotten.

I wouldn’t describe the images I saw, they are very violent and I don’t want to share this violence, especially if the people who look at these images aren’t a little bit prevented from it. As an historian I am used to seeing such images, it doesn’t prevent these images to had an impact on me, they made me think and yet this isn’t the first time that I had done this reflection on the game. How can I play games that speak of deportation, of war, of millions of deaths? What pleasure could I have playing a game that speaks of these morose themes?

I am no longer able to play because I feel that I don’t respect the millions of deaths that occurred during the Second World War. I had already thought about this last year, but a friend told me that it was only virtual, that it was just a game, that I didn’t really kill people and that I didn’t really make war. He wasn’t wrong, all this wasn’t real and I managed to keep playing for some time before getting tired. After multiple installations and un-installations, I tried again to play the game with a skirmish game, but once in game I felt very bad and I had no pleasure playing.

These are simple images that made me stop playing, but also my passion for history, the respect I feel for all those who have been engaged in this destructive world conflict and who don’t have survived. I’m no longer able to play Company Of Heroes 2 because its subject is important and I think I’m not the only one who thinks like that. The subject of the game is historic, but if it had been fictional, I think I could have continued to play because even if a fictional game like Warhammer is inspired by a real story, a book or other. The facts in the game, the factions and the rest of the content are fictitious, it binds us less morally and psychologically because in the end it is perhaps these two points that made today that I can no longer play Company Of Heroes 2 and maybe even any historical war game.

I hope you have understood what I experienced, I tried to transcribe it with difficulty in writing. I would like to say that this experience is personal and that the feeling I wrote is also personal. Another person who would have lived the same might not have had the same personal questions. This is my experience, thank you for respecting it.


(Original link of the Article in French on Game Side Story Website : )

Elise Nodel

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