Video games as an interactive form of media can be the source of a select few experiences that are impossible in others. They allow audiences to affect the story to an extent, offer a more up-close view of the events, and generally keep them occupied for much longer than movies or TV shows.
Another feature specific to video games is the ability for players to reside in fictional worlds and carve out fantastical lives of their own. Certain titles offer the freedom to continue existing in the game world even after the main story has been completed, with the option to continue users' lives in it.
In specific video games, they can sometimes even have the opportunity to settle down, buy property, and create a completely virtual life for themselves.
Note: This article reflects the writer's opinions.
Five video games that offer players a virtual life
1) GTA Online
After the success of GTA 5, developer Rockstar Games did something new and innovative by launching GTA Online. It is a multiplayer video game set in the same virtual world seen in GTA 5, where gamers can create their own avatars and interact with other players online.
One of the best aspects of GTA Online is that any mission and objective-based content requiring a team is entirely optional. Users can make money by doing solo activities and earn enough to buy fancy houses, purchase more than a handful of vehicles, and even start a small, mostly-legitimate business.
Once these are set up, gamers can settle into comfortable lives in GTA Online. They may spend the day doing leisure activities like golfing, bowling, or just virtually hanging out with a friend online.
However, making sure that passive mode is on will probably be a good call.
2) The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim
While Skyrim is a very quest-oriented video game, many of its end-game content added options for players to settle down and retire from their adventuring life. They have the choice to marry one of a select few NPCs from the base game itself, although the option to adopt children was later added in the Heartfire DLC.
The ability to build a house is also included in Heartfire, with users being able to choose from one of three locations where they wish to build their homes. Their child and spouse can be relocated to their new accommodations, or it may serve as an isolated location where gamers like to spend their alone time.
After a few updates to the video game, they can take up farming or fishing as a hobby with which they can make a living and will no longer need to go on quests to get paid.
In this way, the legendary Dragonborn can leave the life of adventure behind them, and most importantly, they can do so without taking an arrow to the knee.
3) Sims 4
The sheer creative freedom seen in Sims 4 makes it a perfect setting to create a new life for players, with an avatar representing themselves. The game from developer Maxis was released in 2014 and has remained one of the most popular video games.
It allows users to create their dream homes and live out their lives in privilege, never having to worry about cash due to the presence of the 'motherlode' cheat. They may even join a profession as a side activity, own a pet, or get married and start a family if these are things gamers want to do in life.
Sims 4 has had several updates since its release that have added many new game features. While these are largely new cosmetic items, some are significant changes, such as adding aliens, vampires, mermaids, spellcasters, androids, and most recently, werewolves.
Readers can choose to create a new sim in any of the above races or choose to interact with sims from these races that exist in the game as non-player households. The title contains various locales where they can choose to build a home or visit, many of which have been added via updates and are appropriately themed.
4) Red Dead Redemption 2
Rockstar Games released Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018 and introduced players to a fictional world that felt and functioned like reality. Playing as Arthur Morgan in the fictional Wild West of the United States was a surreal experience that felt quite tangible and real at the unlikeliest times.
Those who have already finished the video game can start it up again and put the story on hold during Chapters 1 or 2. This is when things are pretty cozy and the perfect place to continue living in this fictional world as Arthur Morgan.
Even after the end of the title, users can continue their lives as cowboys where the entire map is open to them. The new areas keep them occupied with some post-story content with new bandit camps and bounties.
However, gamers can still visit previous locations, ride around the world, go fishing, and participate in other activities to keep themselves occupied when the real world gets too tough to deal with.
5) The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Blood and Wine
While The Witcher 3's main story ends with finality, the added DLCs serve as something of a lengthy prologue and a better conclusion to Geralt's journey. The Heart of Stone expansion adds a new story and characters that tell a standalone tale, but it is the Blood and Wine DLC that is meant to be the final ending to the video game.
The expansion takes Geralt away to the kingdom of Toussaint, where a new threat requires the help of a monster hunter. While the story is fantastic and brilliant, one added side objective during the DLC is the attaining and maintenance of a villa and vineyard that Geralt is gifted.
Once the main DLC story is finished and the villa is fully refurbished, players have the option to move into the house by decorating it with their items and belongings. If they play their cards correctly, users may even have the option to settle down with the love interest they choose in the base game.
Note: This article is subjective and reflects the author's opinion.
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