Games hard to really understand purely in terms of media that has come before. Games aren’t like a TV show or a movie except that you push a few buttons (at least the good ones aren’t). The role of the player is important to the process of enjoying a game since interactivity allows them some control. The exact role the player takes in creating the story is one that creates endless debate, but I think all sides agree that interactivity is a key element to games.
One of the most interesting things about this, however, is that it means players do tend to invest something of themselves into a game. In MMOs, this means that many people get heavily and personally invested into a game. What is really interesting is that this tends to hold a mirror up to the person looking at the game, whether they realize it or not. One’s actions and perceptions in the game tend to reflect as much if not more about the person as they do about the game or even the game’s creators.
Let’s take a closer look at this, shall we?