Most of all, the 'purpose' of a video games is entertainment, and it is the idea of 'entertainment value' that ultimately shifts units.
Still, once in a while, a creator wants to go deeper, well beyond regular gameplay to add a special layer to their narrative or game overall. A layer that may be invisible for the casual gamer, but will appeal to a chosen few who share a similar level of academic insight. These people will then gladly go on the internet, write about such things and make the rest of us think, "Ohhhh, so that's what they were aiming at... why didn't I get that?"
Because we were too concerned with the gameplay, of course.
These elements, whether they be references, nods or pure quotations, make the whole experience of playing just that little bit better. You're now a member of an exclusive club of people who know "what's really going on."
It can make you feel appreciated, alongside hopefully making your favourite games that little bit more special. All that time spent on collecting knowledge has finally paid off, and that's nice, right? And gaming is nice.
Hopefully, you'll find something nice, new and informative on this list as well.
8. Watch Dogs 2 - Neoliberalism
This one has been covered in detail recently, so it's only fitting to start with Ubisoft's latest release about a group of hipster-hackers - reminiscent of Anonymous and WikiLeaks - aiming to abolish the tools of governmental control.
The hackers oppose what may be generally characterized as neoliberalism and some of its key components, such as: social insignificance - the data produced by individuals is more important than the individuals themselves; consumerism - the aforementioned data is used to more successfully market products to citizens, whose consumption makes the functioning of the system possible; diversity - Horatio is one of only three African-Americans working at Nudle and other workers want him to feel accepted, so they give him backhanded complements, like saying he is so "well-spoken".
But the game itself falls victim to the neoliberal agenda because of its reliance on apps and social media. Apps are used to present the player with his potential-self, something he can become, which is always so promising to neoliberals. The constant quest for an expanding number of followers is also based on promise, but a promise of fulfilling others' expectations.
Lastly, by reading negative comments and using them as an impulse to act, graphics artist Sitara exhibits overt-concern with keeping her "brand" - DedSec - compatible with other hacker groups.