Welcome to my blog, this will be my first such attempt at this so please forgive me if at first it’s not the greatest writing but this is an outlet for me. My blog is going to mainly focus on video games, and though some may think it’s a silly topic, or; doesn’t deserve any serious writing or reflection, in my experience that’s just not correct. Video games are very important to me.
I’ve loved gaming ever since I can remember. Some of my fondest and earliest memories are of my family and me playing the NES. At that time it was all about Mario! I also have happy memories of playing Mike Tysons Punch Out with my uncle. I will mention that was a game that was released the same year and month I was born. I, of course; didn’t begin playing then. I mean, I was a baby.. give me a break! but it wasn’t long after. My parents tell me I began playing at the tender age of 2! And not only playing, but winning. Can you imagine that? I picked up that controller and haven’t looked back.
Growing up, gaming was always something my friends and I looked forward to after a long day of school. I remember living in Ontario as a kid and every Friday after school my mother would take my best friend, Justin and I to the local Blockbuster to rent a game for the weekend. Back then games were largely targeted towards children, with games like: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Earthworm Jim, Sonic The Hedgehog and many others.
As I got a little older, the home consoles became ever more powerful, and so came the rise of 3-dimensional space gaming. With that, the PlayStation was born and the mood began a subtle shift towards more mature games with adult themes. Games such as: Final Fantasy 7 and Metal Gear Solid and so, too, did I begin to grow out of the children’s games and began wanting more realistic games. To this day I still find time to beat Final Fantasy 7 at least once a year. I think most gamers have that one game, which gives them that large, wonderful shot of nostalgia. For me FF7 is it. The story is beautifully written, with close parallels our real life ongoing struggle with the destruction of our planet, for profit and oil.
Gaming stayed relevant to me in my teenage years, always owning the newest console and playing some great games along the way. I should say as I am being completely honest, gaming fell to the wayside, as did most of my favorite things during these dark years of my life. I began using drugs consistently in my teenage years, and cared more about partying than I really cared about anything else. I won’t go into great detail on this part of my life as it�s not the proper time, perhaps one day in a later entry but just for now take my word for it, that these were very dark days indeed.
Some years later when I decided enough was enough, I began working towards becoming a better person and the first step was to distance myself from the people, places and things that were keeping me held down in that life of hell. For quite some time I was confined to my house because that was really the only way to combat my addiction in the early days. Thankfully, I found solace in something that I had enjoyed my entire life, and that was video games. Any recovering addict knows that the biggest enemy to their sobriety in the early stages is Boredom. I found myself escaping in the beautifully made world’s in which developers such as Bethesda, Ubisoft and Square Enix (to name a few) had made.
It amazed me to no end how far gaming had come in the few short years since I abandoned it. One game that stands out in my mind is the original Mass Effect game. It was so intricately detailed in every way: the story, background, character development, dialogue, the beautiful and grand world design, game mechanics and graphics. I found myself lost in an engrossing world for days at a time. It literally took me from my horrible and messed up life and transported me light-years away from it. Something that was needed so badly in my life at that time.
Now before you start to scratch your heads – don’t think that I’m promoting going out and getting so wrapped up in a game that your real world relationships fall apart. That’s just ridiculous, I’m just talking about myself at that particular point in my life, and it was just what I needed. Over time I learned once again how to function as a normal person. I became more able to get outdoors to experience many other things I enjoy and not become triggered being out with friends. Though I’ll never forget the role gaming had on my road to recovery.
Since those days I’ve become very vocal on video games. I personally believe these games are the most relevant and wonderful works of art of our time. Just as Cinema had its Golden Age, I believe video games are experiencing the same type of renaissance. One doesn’t need to look much further than this year’s releases to understand what I mean. With the releases of games like Tell Tales: The Walking Dead, The Last of Us or Bioshock Infinite it shows just how far gaming has come. Some of these stories have resonated with me much more than anything in the theatre’s these days.
So now, here I am – 26 years young and my favorite thing to do in my spare time is to play video games. Does that make me immature? Is it causing me to neglect my responsibilities as an adult? Does it mean I should just stop because real men aren’t supposed to game? I think those questions can be answered by where I’m at in my life right now. I’ve just recently bought my first home with my best friend and most amazing girl I have ever met; I have a great job that has begun to turn into a very promising career. I have a small, yet very close group of friends that are there for me when I need them and vice versa. I have a very healthy relationship with my girlfriend and family that have never been stronger.
With that, I think I’ll wrap it up for this week!
I hope you guys enjoyed my first entry into what will be my weekly blog centered on my life and the wonderful world of gaming. I apologize for the seriousness of this first entry but it was just something I felt was necessary to get off of my chest. I assure you that in the weeks to come there will be much humor and light reading.
Just a few things to look forward to in the coming weeks is my hands on review of the new generation of gaming on the Xbox one and what the first few weeks have been like as well as my impressions on the beautiful and massive Assassins Creed 4: Black Flag.
Until then, happy gaming folks 🙂