The Nature of Video Games

In a game, you are in control of your character:

Artist Unknown. If anyone has any information about the artist/copyright holder of this image, please contact the author. <>

which direction they go,

who they talk to,

what actions you choose for them.

There is a sense of controlling your character or avatar as if they are a puppet on a string, and you their master.

But by controlling them, they in turn are embodying you as the player and immersing you in the game with them.


Are you truly in control?

Inside [video game] Playdead. June 29, 2016. Digital Imagery. Pinterest. Web. May 2017.
In the video game, Inside, not only are you as the player NOT in control of the character, though seemingly you are the one pressing buttons for the main character’s actions. You are playing a game, a game that is governed with input and output, a game that no matter what you do, will end and culminate inevitably in one way.

Kohler, Chris. “Inside‘s Tense Horror Is a Worthy Successor to Limbo.” Wired. Conde Nast, 28 June 2016. Web. May 2017. <>

Tamburro, Paul. “Inside’s Ending Explained: Our Theory On The Limbo Sequel’s Brain-Bending Conclusion”. CraveOnline. July 1, 2016. Web. May 2017. <>

Hoggins, Tom. “Playdead’s Inside is fiercely intelligent, exquisitely grotesque – and one of the best video games of the year .” The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group, 30 June 2016. Web. 10 May 2017.

More so, there is some discussion among fans that the boy himself (and so too along with the player) is also being controlled to the same level as the zombified humans surrounding him: that the gamer isn’t in control of him at all, but that the character’s fate, his inevitable destiny within the game, is in fact, inevitable. No matter what the gamer does with the character, no matter where the gamer takes the character, it is pre-destined that he will end up exactly where the game itself wants him.

to be continued.

One thought on “The Nature of Video Games”

  1. While it is true that you can control your character it is often that with many singleplayer games you have that character you are supposedly controlling going through a campaign or story that is set. In other words you aren’t really controlling them but rather just experiencing a rather interactive story.
    With all games there will be limitations to what you can do even if they do provide you with options. One famous example is in the Pokemon games where you can have bird Pokemon that can fly but you cannot use them to fly from city to city.
    There are some games that do allow for a large amount of options and thus give you lots of control, like Skyrim, but the trade off is often that the story is lacking and it can feel less immersive.
    I think in my opinion you have as much control in a singleplayer video game as you do when you turn the page of a book.

    With multiplayer games it is more of a competitive scene similar to sports so in that I would suppose that you have control as with all games/sports you are expected to follow a set of rules thus they don’t really take away the control.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *