I get asked this an awful lot and I guess the short answer is pretty simple, I like games that aren’t set in ‘the real world’.
See, I live and work in the real world and I really don’t need reminding of it. I don’t like Call of Duty or Battlefield 3 because the closest I will ever get to liking a ‘realistic shooter’ is one where all the guns have chainsaws attached to them; Yes, I am quite the Gears of War fan girl.
I was always the kind of kid that had the over-active imagination, I loved to day dream and I still do. For me a game that I really fall in love with is one that continues to leave my imagination whirling at 100mph, even after I’ve turned it off; A game where I fall hopelessly and deeply into the story and the universe it has created. I love games like Portal and Left 4 Dead but they will never be my favourite games because they don’t do enough for me, once the console gets turned off all thoughts of it are discontinued in my head.
I used to play games when I was about the age of 4 or 5 but none of them really stuck until I played Legend of Zelda Ocarina of time and Final Fantasy VIII. That was it, I was hopelessly and passionately in love; I devoured fanfiction, could spend hours looking at fanart and eventually it lead to cosplay. I would go to bed nearly every night dreaming of those worlds and if I’m being honest, I still do.
Now that I’m older its nice to think not a lot has really changed, I guess my love has shifted from the Japanese style of games (I inevitably became a huge JRPG nut growing up) to a more western style. Bioware’s Mass Effect and more importantly Dragon Age are perfect examples; A deep and rich universe filled with amazing characters and a passionate story that feeds my imagination. yes, I can happily overlook poorer elements of gameplay/level design if I’m falling hopelessly in love with the world; Dragon Age Origins and Dragon Age 2 are probably the most widely acknowledge incidences of this; it just has to have that right spark.
To me videogames should be the ultimate escape and the ultimate food for my (rather over-active) imagination; reality is far to boring, I’m happy to be taken far, far away from it.