I have been playing games since before I can remember. Befittingly, the original Game Boy was the first game system I owned and played. Oh the days when all I needed was Super Mario Land, Tetris, Mega Man 2, and Ducktales in my oversized official Game Boy hard case wherever I went. As time went on and I got more consoles and more games, and got better at gaming, my passion for the medium just continued to blossom. Back in those days I hadn’t a care in the world, and I could play games for hours on end to my heart’s content. Boy, do times change.
As we take our first steps into adulthood we can spare less and less of our time on this favorite pastime of ours. School starts to demand more work and attention, we need a job to pay for food, rent, and our games, and other interests and relationships need their share of our time as well. Gone are the days when I could just play Super Mario Bros 3 or Metal Gear Solid through from beginning to end for the umpteenth time, or score frags in Counter-Strike and Unreal Tournament online or at lans into the early hours.
These days I barely have time to keep up and play all the awesome games coming out. It also pains me not to be able to revisit my childhood favorites either. What I wouldn’t give to journey through FFVII again (Come on Square, give us that damn remake!!). It doesn’t help either that most of my close friends are planted closer to the casual gaming side of the spectrum (playing Fifa, CoD, or other popular “party” games) and don’t have the same kind of love and devotion to video games as I do. This means that diving into a cool co-op campaign or breaking out the ol’ NES when playing with friends occurs far too rarely, and instead we play more mainstream and accessible games, which I do enjoy as well – just not on the level that I prefer to enjoy gaming.
What this lack of proper game time has given me though, is an even deeper appreciation for video games when I finally do make the time to really dive into a good long gaming session. It’s gotten to the point where sitting down and tearing into a new game I’ve been hyped for has almost become like a ritual. I feel like an addict finally getting my fix. I also cherish my nostalgic gaming memories even more, and I’m almost looking forward to getting old and retiring so I can have all that time to just kick back and play some damn games. I’m betting we’re gonna be seeing a lot more consoles hooked up in retirement homes in the coming years.
I’m not sure what this little article is really about other than being kind of an open love letter to video games. To my fellow ageing gamers I say enjoy your game time to its fullest when you sit down and grab a controller or a mouse and keyboard. To the younger ones I say REALLY enjoy all the time you have now to play games, because sadly; it won’t last forever.
Video Games – I love you. I know I’m a bit busy right now, but we’ll kick it as much as we can until the day I kick the bucket.