Growing Up Gamer

Our PlayStation is broken.  This has caused deep grief for my husband and minor annoyance for me.  It hasn’t affected our streaming capabilities, but you can’t play discs, so Mark and I have both been having Call of Duty withdrawal.  Next week we will send it to be fixed, which will really suck since then we will be stuck with the thirteen channels of crap Spectrum calls “basic cable.”

I am thinking back to my first experience with a video game.  I am maybe four years old, and my father shows me Pong.  I was immediately amazed by this newfangled technology and would have played all day everyday if it weren’t such a pain to hook up to the television.

My first introduction to video games came from my father, who also instilled a love of computer games in me. (To this day I play the original Doom to relax.)  However, I did not have my own console until I was twelve, so most of my video game experiences came through friends. When I was six or so, my friend Stacy got a Nintendo, and I begged my parents for one for several consecutive Christmas mornings.  I was complete garbage at Super Mario Bros, but did not care.  I tried fiercely to master those jumps and grab those coins.  Kevin had several systems over the years, which was cool because through him I got to play all sorts of games.  Eventually Sega comes along, with what was then considered to be amazing graphics, especially the handheld in comparison to the Gameboy, so I was then hooked on Sonic.  When my parents finally answered my Christmas wishes and gave me Kevin’s old Sega (he was getting a PlayStation that year,) I was ecstatic.

Another Christmas morning came where my parents got me and my sister a PlayStation 2, which is where I really started playing games.  I remember spending 24 straight hours at Kevin’s house trying to beat Burnout Revenge, and that was just a regular weekend.  I never really had the money to keep up with the technology and am kind of glad that I live a generation or two behind in most areas.  Our PS4 is the newest device, and when I watch the kids play games on it I think back to being young and playing games with my friends.  They are so different now, that it makes me wonder if it’s doing more harm then good.  I mean, this ain’t your father’s Pong, man.

But to hide some of this is futile, because kids still learn about games through their friends, as it has been since the beginning of time.  Once I admonished Mark for playing a game I deemed too inappropriate for M, who was in the room.  When I said this, M proceeded to tell me the entire plot of the game because he had already played it at a friend’s house.  I can’t control what they see at their friends, I can only remind them, as we often do, that video games are not reality, no matter how realistic they seem.  It’s a little strange that we have to do that.  Can you, my fellow Millennial, imagine your parents reminding you that turtle people aren’t really trying to kill the little Italian plumbers?

While we get the PlayStation fixed I will likely be doing a lot of reading, writing, and other introspective things, which will be lovely.  Then when it returns, I will likely be doing a lot of shooting at things, which will also be delightful.  I’m a lady with many tastes.



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