This might be shocking, but when I was a kid, I was a big gamer. Because I didn’t have many friends…or any friends, traditional games like Hide-n-Seek, Monopoly, Sorry, Uno, etc. weren’t available for me to play without asking my brother, who, after a while, didn’t want to play those games with me at all anymore. Because of this, I had to play alone for a lot of my childhood. True, when I visit my grandparents, one of the first things we do is play traditional board and card games, but that was only for a short time every year.
This brought me to video games and my first game console, the Game Cube. I played mostly with NPCs for any multi-player games, and I remember playing a lot of Mario, Harry Potter, and Zelda. However, the story-based games got boring quickly after the game was complete since there wasn’t much replay value.
Once we got sufficient funds, we upgraded from a game Cube to an X-box 360. I continued to play Mario on the Game Cube, but I started playing all the Harry Potter games on the X-box, beating each one several times on the different difficulties. I also played Guitar Hero, however, I wasn’t ever able to get any higher than the medium difficulty, and I played DDR, however, that didn’t last very long because our dance pad was horrible.
Once I got into late middle school, I put down my controller to deal with reality and didn’t pick it back up until I’ve already graduated high school. After so long without video games that gave me some semblance of companionship in NPCs and excitement in the computer generated worlds, I’ve forgotten how to return to the worlds I was once so familiar with. Needless to say, I was a rusty gamer, heck, I still am.
Me being a former avid gamer got me very close to my best friends. They now train me so I can return to my former Gaming Glory. In the meantime, I watch others play games in my place and theorize about the gameplay and story, think of me now as someone similar to Matt Patt Game Theorist (but without the hyper voice and bad puns).
Video games were a great way to fill the void that was conjured from lack of friends and activity in my childhood, however, they didn’t shield me from the world. Like all escapes, video games were never my home, but someplace I could vacation to for a break before returning to the horrors of the real world.