Why I heart gaming

tl;dr – The reason why I love gaming isn’t really about games but the fact that it brings people together + crosses boundaries.

I guess it’s only fair to start my first post here on something I’ve always felt very passionate about — videogames. Every time I read a story on why people love videogames on the information superhighway Internet, they would usually mention how the NES during their childhood pretty much singlehandedly changed their lives. From Mario to Zelda to Metroid, there’s always one hero or heroine (surprised!) that seem to define their childhood.

Well, I guess I was a late bloomer.
My parents were pretty strict when I was a kid, and they have always instilled this mindset that only slackers play videogames. Not only that, but only naughty people, you know, people with mohawks and loud music, play videogames. And since the world tend to be pretty black-or-white when you’re a kid, being naughty was the last thing I ever wanted to be. So I believed them.

Only they play videogames, apparently
(Candy Cane Claus by pinguino)

It wasn’t until my late tweens was I exposed to Tetris, the first videogame I ever played. I still remember when my aunt bought my brother and I the original Game Boy, my dad was livid and yelled out “No one will ever become successful from playing videogames!”

My aunt retorted firmly with a “What about the inventor of Game Boy? I think he’s doing pretty well.” And it was only then did I realize how right she was and that videogame doesn’t have to be anything bad or evil. In fact, I distinctively remembered how proud and accomplished I felt the first time I scored a rocket in Tetris after scoring 100,000 points.

Over the next few years I started saving money so I can buy more games for my Game Boy. I remember calculating how many more weeks of chores I’d have to do in order to save enough money for Mortal Kombat or Spider-Man/X-Men: Arcade’s Revenge. The dim-lit screen may be monochromatic at best but in my head I was a superhero.

That said, the best part of playing videogames are actually not the games themselves. I’m not a good gamer, period. But the best part of playing videogames has to be the fact that it brings my friends and I so much closer. The fact that I was excited to go to a school every day when I was a kid was not because of any special classes but because I was able to tell my friend what I found in The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening or argue what the best weapon was in The Final Fantasy Legend.

And my fascination with videogames just didn’t go away after middle school, high school, or even college. From perfecting my moves in Super Street Fighter II Turbo to drooling after the graphics in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, videogames has always been the one thing I talked about to everyone around me.

Despite how much I suck as a gamer (you should see me play Fallout 3, I am utterly hopeless with shooters), I really do think that videogames is the one thing that crosses all boundaries. It doesn’t matter if you’re a girl, a republican, religious, Chinese, deaf, or gay, because at the end of the day all it matters is that you know how to throw a good shoryuken.

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