What Video Games Did/Does for Me

When I think of my childhood, and teenage years, a couple things come to mind: family, baseball, hiking, combing my hair, and video games were the staples of my past. While I don’t do, or see any of those things as much nowadays, I wanted to explain why video games were and are so important to me.

Video games have a fairly bad rep.

My parents weren’t huge fans of them, and I understand the reasons why. Kids just sit there and stare at screens, don’t do anything else for hours, and can potentially lead to a stagnant lifestyle. Just like watching television or reading an engaging book, I’ve lost myself in video games more times than I can count.

We didn’t have anything more than a computer and Gameboys for the longest time in my childhood house.

But I spent many afternoons at my friend’s house on his PlayStation and (much better) computer playing all the latest games. Weirdly enough, video games have always helped me connect better with my friends than any television show, movie, or book.

Maybe it’s just a generational thing.

I don’t game much these days, but once or twice a week I’ll play an old favorite, Star Wars Battlefront II, with two of my closest friends. I really cherish those moments, even as Joe fills my head with shotgun lead and Daniel ambushes me more times than I can count.

To this day, video games help me connect with my friends.

Without Battlefront, I wouldn’t keep up nearly as well with my two friends. And maybe that’s a criticism of me, and how I connect with people, but playing video games together with Joe and Dan help us do something together, even when we’re over 800 miles away. I can keep up with my brother about the newest vaults to raid in Borderlands, or agree with my dude Dee about why Crobat is the coolest Pokemon.  I love that!

I don’t believe video games deserve the reputation they have.

I’m sure television, books, and countless other forms of entertainment have suffered from this unnecessary negativity, and other indulgence of anything generally isn’t great. However, getting lost in a story shouldn’t be shunned – it’s the easiest way for people to create new ones. And that’s a good thing.

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