Child’s Play

You're only as old as your console.
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“That stuff is for kids,” is what I heard a co-worker say as I emphatically told him about my birthday present from my fiancé – a pre-ordered PS4. I began to argue but stopped short. Was it true? Have I, at twenty-two years old, finally grown too old for my sword swinging, mini-gun shooting, puzzle solving, treasure collecting, electronic fantasy life? It was a reality check that never really occurred to me before. One that made me think.

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Video games have been a huge part of my life since a very early age.

I remember playing Sonic the Hedgehog, Afterburner, Tetris, and many others on my grandfather’s Sega Genesis. My parents however, were not so fond of them. One Christmas, to my parents chagrin, my grandparents got me and my two brothers a Playstation. Joy of joys! We actually had a game system inside our own house! We would rule the gaming world! Or so we thought… Even though we were imposed curfews of game time and had a very limited number of titles, our fascination did not decrease with time. Me and my brothers would beat a game, and beat it again and again until we had another one. Which could be months at a time. 

This went on until we grew older and got an Xbox, and then on to the 360 by which we had gotten a little older and the curfew disappeared. We began to appreciate other things in life like girls, jobs, and friends, but the fascination with gaming grew with us, as have the systems and the culture.

Gaming used to be something that one did when they were home sick from school, or it was too rainy to play outside, or their friends were out of town. One might spend a half hour beating their previous best score at Space Invaders, and then move on and do whatever kids did before serious gaming.

It was the TV equivalent to a board game.

So for those who have not grown up into the gaming culture that has evolved since the mid 90’s, perhaps even earlier, they don’t understand how someone could spend hours playing a video game. It simply does not compute.

Now that electronic entertainment has become so deeply ingrained in our culture, many people are warming up to the fact the video games are an accepted form of a hobby. Just as someone might hone their skills for soccer, surfing, cooking, track, or mountain biking, one is just as able to practice their skills as a gamer. The developement of video games has made it possible that one can become a “professional” or gives the ability for one to practice to the height of human precision for that particular hobby/sport/etc.

Not everyone who swims wants to become an olympic diver.

Not everyone who takes pictures desires to become a professional photographer. But I don’t find many swimmers or camera phone picture-takers belittling the latter for being “too obsessed.” Serious gamers are people who have found what they love to do for recreation, and they have pursued it with all they have. That’s commendable to say the least.

That, in my opinion, is where gaming has grown from its casual level, to the competitive level it has achieved. And although it may have started out as a mindless distraction of everyday life, it has become a staple form of entertainment in today’s modern world for any age demographic. And after thinking all of this through and arriving upon my decision, I’m still excited about my PS4.

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Loves books, guns, photography, gaming, and writing. Getting married on the 20th of July, 2013 and am ready to start a fantastic chapter of life.