‘PBS Game/Show’ Explores Whether Video Games Rely on Power Fantasies Too Often

PBS Game/Show host Jamin Warren explores whether video games rely on power fantasies too often in a recent episode of the series. As Warren notes, this is often an illusion and rather than the player getting better, the game itself is simply getting easier.

Nearly every videogame has us doing the same general thing: gaining power and leveling up. Whether in The Witcher 3, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Halo, Minecraft, the power fantasy is omnipresent. It CAN be abstracted, but when it comes down to it, what’s up with games CONSTANTLY using the power fantasy as both a mechanical and narrative crutch? Have we, as players, driven designers to this, or is there something special about the nature of games and the nature of power fantasy. Is the power fantasy itself just a natural offshoot of overcoming challenges?