People like to talk about how games create virtual realities in which we can experience things that would be inconceivable in real life, sights and sounds that overpower our senses and open our minds to ideas bigger than those the mundanity of everyday existence could ever provide.

The people who make these suggestions have it all more or less completely backwards, because there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in their philosophy.

Case in point: Here’s a screenshot from “The Last Guy“, a quirky game for the PS3 from last year, in which you lead masses of people around a city map:

[The Last Guy]

Screenshot of dozens of little people-sprites running around a virtual city. (Click for a bigger image.)

And here’s a satellite photo of the Washington Mall during President Obama’s inauguration:

[Obama inauguration]

Satellite photo of approximately eleventy gazillion people converging on history. (Click for a bigger image.)

This is the thing about video games: Compared to the complete blowing of our minds that the world provides on a regular basis, they just can’t hope to keep up.