I study videogames. But why?
Sometimes I like to say I do it so I can get paid to play videogames. An old childhood dream come to life. Sometimes I say it's because it's a young field with wide open opportunities. Sometimes I say it's a new field that's much misunderstood.
Most of the time, I think back to my AA degree at Northwest College. As an English major, I had plenty of exposure to great literature and burgeoning exposure to broader narrative media forms, especially film, television, etc. I loved when we'd evaluate a movie like one would evaluate a book. And why not, really? They both told stories, equally complex stories. They just told them differently. So as time went on, I thought...
So why aren't we doing this with videogames?
Of course, it's not as thought no one was, however it had not yet made it to the English classroom. Thus, my mission began and over a decade later, I'm still plugging away at the notion that someday I'll teach game studies to a room full of English majors, primed and ready to learn about the storytelling potential of games.
So that's why I study videogames. That, and it's just damn cool.