Why Do We Play?
The simple (simplistic?) answer is “for fun”. But I think that there’s a lot more to play than that.
I, Kit, look back at the best games I’ve played, the high points in my experience of gaming, and I find that there’s something consistent. There’s emotional impact in the moment of play, there’s feeling something hard or harsh or harrowing, possibly coupled with release and relief afterwards, or not.
Then there’s the post-game dissection. Seeing why the character did what they did, and why we ourselves did what we did. Sometimes, it’s clear, and it just takes a look between the people involved to understand. Sometimes, it’s more complicated, and you need a post-game post-mortem to see what people were doing and why.
These are games about stories, sure, but they’re also games about acting. About putting on, OH NO I SAID IT, roles. I think you can see a lot about yourself through pretending to be someone else.
(Thanks to @strasa for his help in formulating these thoughts.)