(continued from Tears in Rain, Part 1)

I’ve been a near-perpetual student since my childhood; as I write this, I am pursuing a second master’s degree.  I’ll probably be a student for the rest of my life, and I strongly advocate continuous education.  However, a part of me worries that this education is a long term waste, as it will die with me.

I think that is the crux of it: my love of storytelling stems from my fear of loss.  When we die, every piece of knowledge that we did not write down, tell to others, or isolate in some digital form dies with us.  I dislike the idea of my ideas constituting a needle in a haystack – or worse, a piece of hay in a haystack – but I loath the thought that my needle could be permanently destroyed.

I mourn the countless generations of stories and knowledge lost because of our early ancestors’ inability to write.  I mourn the loss of those stories I never heard because the last person who knew them passed on into oblivion.  Worse, I mourn the loss of experiences that can’t be verbalized, but that must be seen to be realized.  Before I am gone, I want people to share my experiences, see the contexts, and – even if they disagree – understand why I made the decisions that I made.

That is why games are so important.  They give the players the opportunity to embrace and relive the stories of the past.  Other media allows people to receive the story through reading and viewing, but only games and simulations enable players to experience the story through interaction.  Books, theater, radio, and television allowed past generations to immortalize the details of events, but games allow us immortalize the experiences of those events.

And THAT is why games matter!