Too often life tries to extinguish my sense of wonder. By wonder, I mean a desire — which never ceases — to know more about a puzzling topic, a desire that sometimes isn’t sated with mere information. Life throws dishes, pots, and dirty laundry at me in an attempt to keep me off this path of wonder. I suppose one can cultivate a sense of wonder while cleaning pots and pans, but this rarely happens to me. Many of my interests, pursuits and activities, though, do allow me to keep my sense of wonder burning brightly even on the darkest of nights.
I love to read, write, talk and reflect about topics such as life and death, beautiful things in nature, history, people, ideas, music, culture, food, entertainment and others. I have so many questions about these topics and will never stop asking because there’s so much I don’t know. Sometimes I just stop and stare, slack-jawed and all, at a beautiful vista in a foreign country. I wonder how that vista was created, how something so beautiful could exist and why it exists. I also wonder about how to live my life, how to treat and help others, and things that are greater than myself. There remains one topic, though, that I didn’t mention — video games.
I wonder, when I play video games, how such a beautiful, imaginary world could exist and why I bother to explore it. I stare in awe at the beautiful digital mountains and valleys, puddles and oceans, seemingly borderless terrain and the limitless skies of fictional planets. Why do we spend time creating digital worlds that mirror our own instead of going out and seeing them first hand? What’s the point of it all — I mean a life spent playing video games?
Who or what put this digital world together and what inspired it? I mean, maybe I could know a bit about the developers of the game by learning about their personalities and experiences, and how that shaped their product. But would I truly get to know the developers and their thoughts about their games, or why their game has heavy trolls who can crush anything but also hurtle thousands of feet in the air after a tiny stick taps their shoulder? Maybe I’m asking too much.
I wonder if these developers took the time to craft a good story. I wonder if the story and characters can tell me something about my life and how I should live it? Or is this a game without a story? Does this game have goals, and what is a goal?
Why do I play video games anyway: is it because I chose to do so or because some external force has pushed me toward them? Why should I continue playing games when I have a kitchen sink full of dirty dishes? I wonder. I don’t have all the answers, but I do know that video games keep me wondering.