I sometimes forget how much time, effort and heart people will dedicate to a single game. Where I'll skim the ocean of my Steam library—fully aware that I'll one day drown—others live happily on the island of their chosen hobby. That dedication and belonging spills out of these games, too. There's fan art, fan videos, and yes, likely some questionable fan-fic. There's something joyous about that, especially when—as is the case of this amazing Guild Wars 2 fan-made video—it's backed by a catchy pop song.
The video warns of Living World – Season 1 spoilers. Of course, given that there is no possible way to go back and play that season, it probably doesn't matter.
Over at Kotaku , where I first saw this, the video's creator, Gen Kim, appeared in the comments to explain the unusual choice of musical backing.
"My aim was to bring out the mass, pop-based appeal hidden in GW2," Kim writes. "I wasn't interested in setting stereotypical "epic fantasy" orchestral music. I went for a theme that contrasted visually rather than compared. I would say right off the bat that the song evokes lightheartedness and enjoyment of life, which fits with much of Guild Wars 2's gameplay and general atmosphere."
I actually agree. Guild Wars 2 is, at its heart, a game about cooperation and working together. There's an optimism to its story and setting—of triumph through pulling together. There is a pop vibe to proceedings—one that can sometimes tip into the unbearably saccharine. Of course, it probably just helps that I like the song.
The video is cut from various trailers, cutscenes and in-game videos. It's quite the impressive feat of editing. More importantly, it's just... nice. The whole thing makes me feel warm and happy. Gaming, both as a hobby and an industry, can sometimes feel bogged down in cynicism and empty hype. We could all use a little more sincere celebration.
Gen Kim's other GW2 video is more heavily focused on the game's first season of updates. As such, it gives off a slightly slower, darker vibe, if you prefer that sort of thing.