Some things are just better when they’re virtual. Whether it’s for moral reasons, or imaginative expansion, there are some experiences that video games simply elevate. Read on for our top picks.
Horizon Zero Dawn taught gamers more than any life experience could about hunting. Techniques, sure, but mostly respect. You really felt the connection between Aloy and the semi-mechanical creatures around her. And hunting them was difficult. You could no longer “clear” the area for peace to explore because it would take forever. But you would have to stalk, and sneak and pay attention to what you were doing.
Rarely does a game treat its creatures with such respect. The more common narrative is kill or be killed. Although there are some games like Monster Hunter: World which offer a hunting experience to be earned, after going through the process of locating, stalking, and finally making that satisfying kill – all in a virtual world with no real blood spilt.
In the real world, hunting is a moral dilemma of whether the benefits outweigh the cost. There’s no need to worry about that in a virtual world, where you can fix a T-Rex tooth to your necklace.
Gambling is often implemented into video games, sometimes to give your character a more authentic experience, or as a way of allowing them to make money if they are too morally sound to steal, and sometimes just as a mini game for when fighting monsters gets overwhelming.
Gambling in the real world is full of thrills but you can’t flip over the table and pull your pistol out when you’ve been caught cheating, no matter how much you may want to. Enter John Marston.
Fallout: New Vegas, Red Dead Redemption, and, most famously, the Grand Theft Auto franchise are just some of the games that allow you to spend your hard earned bottle caps or GTA$ in the casino. In fact, GTA has even gone so far as to open a virtual casino within the world of Los Santos. The Diamond Casino and Resort offers roulette, blackjack, three card poker and slot machines themed around the GTA world.
Sure, you could open the Unibet online slots app or similar in the genre and experience the thrill of betting real money, but they don’t offer you a penthouse suite with a helicopter pad for you to bungee jump off.
Farming is very much a noble cause that our country needs far more of. It can be rewarding and is a vital part of our ecosystem, economy, and environment.
But for those who can’t stand the smell, look to the wildly successful Stardew Valley, where you tend to your grandfather’s old farm plot in the peace and quiet of the virtual country. It is a slow and calm game of gradual development that is just perfect for a hard day of, say, herding real sheep.
Another game along the same lines is the hugely popular Animal Crossing. Although farming isn’t the point, there are opportunities to tend to your own crops, and of course, for the authentic experience, there are the many games of the Farming Simulator franchise.