Finding value in video games

Have you ever found something so interesting that you decide to hold on to it for a very long time? This could be a sport that you love, a show that you frequently rewatch, or maybe even a toy you’ve had since you were a baby. These sentimental things can hold many different forms, but one form that stands out is video games.

Video games have been around since 1958, which was the year when Pong was released. It was a simple two-player game inspired by sports like tennis and ping pong. This simple game inspired people around the world to create similar games and show the world that technology could not only be used for work, but also for entertainment.

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Nowadays, video games have drastically improved since the late 50s. There are realistic graphics, virtual reality games, three-dimensional games, and so much more. Millions of people around the world get excited for new games to release. For instance, this year, Elden Ring was released, and it has already sold over 12 million copies since its release in February 2022.

Most games that are several decades old have died off and have incredibly small player bases; however, there are some games that seem to just never die. Games like Tetris, Minecraft, Super Smash Brothers Melee, and many more have withstood the test of time. These games still have massive fanbases despite being over a decade old. How did these games manage to stay relevant for so long?

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One reason is that these games have a lot of replayability. For an example of this point, I will use Minecraft. Minecraft has been around for a decade, and has managed to stay relevant for a long time. This is primarily thanks to the abundant amount of things you can do in the game. You can play survival mode with your friends, create enormous Redstone machines, build magnificent structures and houses, and so much more.

The insane amount of things you can do in Minecraft gives it a lot of replay value. People have made careers off of this game, and millions still play it and find new things to do. A game’s replay value is probably the most important part of a game’s survivability over a long time.

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Another reason is because of the competitiveness of some games. Super Smash Bros. Melee (or Melee for short) and have been around for over two decades because of the insane amount of competition it has. Thousands of people enter Melee tournaments to see if they have the skill to win it all.

Even though there have been newer installments in the Super Smash Bros. franchise, the Melee community is still one of the largest fighting game communities in the world. The competitiveness of video games plays a significant role in their popularity and motivates people to improve and keep playing.

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Tetris is a game that has been around for almost 40 years, and that reason is because of its replayability and competitiveness. All games must have a decent amount of replayability to stay relevant for multiple years, but Tetris is on a different level. The design of Tetris was basically made to be played anywhere at any time, and its gameplay is extremely addicting.

There are also many Tetris tournaments; there are online ones with people playing on more modern versions of the game, and there are tournaments that are played in person with the classic NES version. These tournaments gather hundreds to thousands of viewers, and many people enter them too.

The finals of the Classic Tetris World Championship, a tournament that uses the 1989 NES version of Tetris and has been running for 12 years.

There are many video games that have stuck with me for multiple years. Games like Tetris, Super Smash Bros, and Minecraft have played a large part in my life, and have brought thousands of hours of entertainment to me. These games have been around for so long because of the replay value and competitiveness, and both of those factors have kept millions of people engaged in decades-old games.

Logan Gorospe is a freshman member of The Quill.