Now-a-days gaming has sort of become the “it” thing to do; whether it is talking about what game to buy, what game related accessories to buy, which console is better or even what achievements or trophies you have earned. All of these things have become distractions, deluding the image of what gaming truly is. What gaming truly means to you? Think back to when you started playing whether you were 2 or 22. Think back to that first time, what you were doing, what it truly meant to you, what you felt. That is what gaming is really about, not all those distractions that have come to occupy our lives now.
There is clothing, toys, comic books, and movies popping out of every vendors, trying to get gamers to come buy their product. Sadly it all feels rather gimmicky. Then there are the people who sit around arguing what console is better and why, not only does this feel like a waste of time and effort, but causes so much hatred and disrespect in the gaming community. Then there are the people who only play a game just to get all the achievements/ trophies in a game so that they feel as if they have managed to accomplish something with their lives. Yes, mentally you get the feeling that you have because it says you accomplished something, but what happens the moment when in one split second it’s gone. Hours, days, weeks, months, years of hard work down the drain in a matter of a moment erasing all feeling of accomplishment. The only person deciding whether you get to keep them or not is the corporation who sold you the console. The true factor behind all these things is money! Money is what the companies thrive off of , obviously because it helps them develop a new product but also because Greed is what makes the world go round. I am not saying that people should not buy gaming merchandise but they shouldn’t make it a higher priority than necessities. Whenever you do have free cash, why not splurge a bit on something you love.
The top three distractions to the modern gamer are: what games to play, what medals to get, and when you should game? Gaming has become an addiction; it eats up a majority of time and if not used constructively can cause more frustration. Think about the some instances where you were playing a game and got so frustrated that you either threw something or broke something. Not only does it make you angry but it makes you feel more determined to beat whatever challenge it is. If the object was the disc or even a controller the video game industry benefits because most likely you will end up replacing said broken item. So next time if you do get those bits of rage, just break something that is inexpensive if you really need to. Also try to remember that achievements are only a digital recognition of what you have done defined by the company and not what you feel that you have achieved from playing the game.
I remember the first time I ever played a video game; it was on my mothers PC. My first video game was Mario, a small little 8-bit game that I would play every night for an hour just before bed. I remember it being so much fun even though I would constantly die or get stuck; it wasn’t about whether I won or lost, it was about the time I spent with my mother while I played it because she would always try to help me figure out how to beat the level. Although my mother no longer participates in my gaming she still tries to enable it; whether she is buying me games or just defending my right to be a gamer, she has always got my back. Now some of you may try to argue that does not count as true gaming, to which I say it’s your opinion but I don’t care. A few years later I would move on to console gaming but I would have to say that my favorite memories from gaming was not the time I spent trying to beat the game but rather the time I spent playing games with my friends. Yes, I was happy when I would beat a game but my favorite memories would be when I was either playing through the story with my friend, were we’d take turns playing just going back and forth or whenever we could just battle it out in multiplayer, no matter what game. Within my last 23 years of being alive I would have to say that I have two favorite memories of gaming with my friends. The first one is when my friends and I would get together to play Nintendo 64 but this one time is what makes it my favorite. We went through playing multiple games like Mario Kart, Super Smash Brothers, Golden Eye, Battle Tanx and Mario Party. The goal was to see who was the best gamer but the only thing we did not expect is that we would be tied after the first four games. That left Mario Party, and for anyone who has ever played Mario Party you know how competitive it can get. You can also remember how it can cause strain in friendships, but this time that was not the case. We just all shook hands and congratulated the winner. The second one was when I would get together with my friends for the weekend. I would literally walk miles in the snow, rain, and even the blistering heat just to hang out with them. Most of the time we would just play Halo 3 or Call of Duty 4 for hours on end sometimes not sleeping until the next day; it’s not just one memory of playing games with them but rather all the times we spent together. Just think of the South Park episode were the guys are playing the Game Sphere together, that’s how gaming should truly be.
Gaming is not about the achievements that you earn or even the game that you beat; it is about what you take from the game whether it’s emotions, memories, or even the friendships you make from it. As they have said in Video Game High School, “remember it is all about the game.” This phrase can be taken multiple ways, but what it means to me is that don’t let the meaningless things in life distract you from what really matters. Gaming is meant to be something that you can relax while doing and have fun. Try to recall what gaming means to you, what originally got you into gaming. Try to rediscover the true gamer inside you so you can find your gaming bliss. We’d like to hear what was the first game that you ever played, what is your favorite gaming memory and what inspires your to keep playing?