• Janelis Medina

Books vs. Video Games - Are they the same?

If you would have asked me this question five years ago, I would have said video games are not the same as books, not even remotely. The only video games I was familiar with were Call of Duty, Halo, and basically a bunch of shooting games. I assumed that all video games were like this and I just didn’t, and still don’t, think games like that could really be turned into books. Not in a way that would be captivating. Then I met my handsome, smart husband - who loves, and I mean LOVES, his video games.

At first, I used to look up from reading and see him play video games like PUBG, Fortnite, Dying Light, and the most annoying of all - Rocket League. My opinion was unwavering anytime he told me that playing video games was the same as reading a book. If anything, I believed video games were these strange weird mindless activities that people played just to clear their mind. Then he introduced me to RPGs - role playing games. The first game he showed me was Resident Evil 5. I had been obsessed with the movie series for years (they are so badly good!!), and had no idea that the movie was even based on a game. I was addicted to the game, killing the zombies, defeating that annoying Wesker, and learning more about the origins of the T-virus. The story of it was so engaging and the visuals were a blast to see whenever a human had a strange mutation from the T-virus and turned into these gruesome huge monsters! It was like a movie, only better because I got to be the main character. By the time I got to the end, I felt like I had been through quite the adventure and looked to see my husband’s smug smiling face. I had to admit, playing Resident Evil 5 gave me the same thrilling feeling that I get when reading a book.

This was only the beginning of different games that felt like books. From the Last of Us to God of War, the different stories and worlds continued to interest me. Video games had character development, captivating plots, and tricky situations and decisions the main character had to make. There were even games where you had to switch out between characters… which reminded me of books where the narrative changes in every chapter. You get invested in the story and the characters and when you experience a death of one of your character’s close allies, it hits you deep, just like when a character in a book dies. I had to admit, there were so many similarities between video games and books. So for now, my final answer is yes, playing RPGs really do seem like they are the same as books. At least for people who truly are not interested in reading books… like my husband.

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