No Game, No Life?

MUSIC CLASSICAL GETS GAMEI was on a date the other night when the topic of childhood nostalgia came up. Naturally, the conversation steered toward video games.

“I’ve never actually played any of the Zelda or Final Fantasy games,” my date confessed. My facial expression must have suggested that I had heard him say he kills puppies in his downtime, because he quickly explained, “I didn’t have any consoles when I was younger! I didn’t have a PlayStation or anything Nintendo!”

It got me thinking a lot about how significant video games were to my childhood – and still are to my life. I even use things like dota 2 booster to continue to improve my gaming skills and make the experience even more enjoyable to play.

I used to play my parents’ old Game Boy and collection of random Mario and sports games when I was a very little kid, but my real “first” game was Pokemon Red at the ripe old age of 7.

It was magical.

Here was this world – this wonderful place with all these cool monsters and battling and adventure – and here was me, at the center of everything. I was good at it (as good as a 7-year-old could be). And I loved my Pokemon. I gave them personalities and imagined how our lives on the road went when I wasn’t playing. If only Pokemon were real, I used to wish, desperately – if only, if only.

It’s not that I lead an unhappy life; on the contrary, I am very happy. But there’s something about the escapism of video games that I find enthralling. These are places where I can be more than what I am. I can save lives or end them. Be a beautiful sorceress or a lithe swordsman. Command armies. Travel through time. Save the world.

I love video games so much that I struggle to understand how people can be happy without them. How can movies and books alone fill that void in their lives? Why don’t we talk about playing the new Assassin’s Creed with the same certainty we do about seeing the next Star Wars film?

What makes people so reluctant to play video games?

I just don’t understand.

The best games become real – for a moment, for a minute, for an hour – when I forget I am holding a controller. At that point, I believe wholeheartedly that I am Link galloping through Hyrule Field atop his steed Epona, or Hawke prowling around Kirkwall at night with her merry band of misfits, or Vaan racing through the streets of Rabanastre, chased by sky pirates, or my character of choice in Elden Ring exploring the Lands Between looking for gloveworts 1 – 10 locations to take my spirit ashes to the next level.

It’s a fantastic feeling. I wish more people had experienced it.

That all being said, I should conclude by noting that video games are anything but isolating (much as my account may have implied otherwise). That date I mentioned, he does play a lot of games (just not a lot of Japanese ones, sadly). Although, he did say at the time that he was thinking about reliving his childhood again by playing some Super nintendo games on Gamulator, like Super Mario Kart and Yoshi’s Island. Now, that makes me feel super happy on the inside, but I’m not sure if I’d admit that to his face.

After all, we probably wouldn’t have gone out at all if it weren’t for our mutual love for The Witcher 3.

Like I said, games are portals to whole new worlds – in a lot of ways.

Editor’s Note: Staff writer Paige Takeya is temporarily filling in for Christa Wittmier. Follow Paige on Twitter @lordmayocloud. Christa’s SuperTech column will return shortly.