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Video Game Tourism

by Jori Hamilton on 03/27/20 04:08:00 pm

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

Playstation video game controllerImage Source: pixabay.com

Disclaimer: Part of attentive travel is respecting laws and regulations. Until the coronavirus pandemic has passed, please regard all travel restrictions and do not plan vacations until they have been lifted.

For many people who are not regular video game players, the idea of video game tourism can seem odd, even a little counterintuitive. After all, when you are staying inside and interacting through a console, how much is there to really see? Why pay the money to travel somewhere in that instance?

Though it may seem somewhat strange, the video game tourism industry is one that is really starting to take off. Video game tourism doesn’t necessarily mean traveling somewhere else to play video games (though that is certainly an important aspect of the travel). Rather, it can mean going to see some of the founding locations and experiences that led to the impressive culture that surrounds many video games today. This can be a particularly valuable means of ‘traveling’ and not going crazy during CoronaVirus related self-isolating.  

It can also mean unusual travel through the various worlds of the video game itself. Either way, video game tourism is growing in popularity and if you are planning on taking a video-game-related trip in the near future, it pays to be prepared! 

Video Game Meccas

For many serious gamers, a great destination is likely to one of the homes of video game culture. These destinations are those where video game technology, design, and characters got their start and became famous in the first place. For instance, if you are celebrating all things Nintendo, chances are you’re going to visit Japan sooner or later. 

These video game culture capitals are typically also areas that have cheap internet connections and overall great connectivity. Likewise, they are the types of places that are frequent destinations of major gaming conventions and promotions related to certain types of games. Overall, they draw pro players from all over the world. Many gamers would love to travel to watch an expert play their favorite game — who knows, they may pick up a trick or two! 

Depending upon the nature of your video game-oriented trip, you may even be able to capitalize on cheap tickets to typically expensive places. For instance, some of the cheapest times to travel to Japan — a home of video game culture — are outside of major tourist draws such as the cherry blossom. If you are there to game, you can avoid high travel times and save a lot of money. Of course, your trip may be postponed until the coronavirus pandemic is under control — many countries are currently implementing travel restrictions to help limit the virus’s spread. 

For the Love of the Game

Video games and tourism surrounding them can be about so much more than just checking out a certain area with a history of gaming. For example, it can also be about exploring the art and design associated with video games. Sure, some people would never consider video games art, but the profound detail that goes into the design of games couldn’t be anything else. 

Going on a video game-related trip can also mean taking the time to prepare appropriately. For example, where are all of the important sites related to the game you are going to celebrate? Are there gaming conventions scheduled at the same time as your trip? Where is a good place to stay — one where you can play games easily during the hours when you’re not exploring game culture?

Likewise, as with any other trip, a video game trip is the ideal time to make sure you have all of the equipment you might need to really enjoy yourself. A prime example of this in action is the purchase of blue light reflecting glasses. Blue light blocking lenses are a great way to increase your ability to look at a screen without your eyes getting as tired as quickly. After all, blue light can be quite detrimental to your eyes if you are dealing with it in prolonged intervals. 

Exploring within a Gaming World

Another type of video game tourism may not even involve leaving the comfort of your own gaming station. Rather, this type of gaming tourism may be part of a larger gaming trip associated with checking out the different worlds or dimensions within the game. It might be more of a trip through the incredible detail and design instead of a quest to beat certain levels and complete the gaming experience. Login and connect with your closest friends online and you can even make this a group trip! 

This type of gaming travel experience could actually be really beneficial for your mental health too. A number of games are known for their ability to help users calm down and enjoy the scenery, they help players practice mindfulness. Ultimately the goal here isn’t to finish first or even to finish at all, but rather to relax and enjoy the experience slowly and really appreciate all of the work and detail that goes into the design of any game. 

The practice of mindfulness is one of a handful of ways that have been identified to help reduce symptoms of anxiety, stress, and depression. Focusing on the moment, amid multiple distractions, can make a profound difference in managing emotions in daily life. It can help you to find calm in the chaos and appreciate the good things in life in any situation. 

***

Video game tourism may sound like a counterintuitive concept, but it is really taking off. Whether you plan to travel to visit some of the major video game cultural locations or will take an adventure through the levels of your favorite game, there is a type of video game tourism out there for you. It may be the trip of a lifetime, and it may just help you to find yourself!


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