Sunday, May 15, 2016

Of Game Systems and Growing Up

I recently made a few definitive purchases that I feel mark my transition into adulthood. Yes, Bea Arthur the Forester is a pretty big deal; but today, I'm talking about my PS4. I've never been one to own the most current game system, but certain releases have convinced me that now was the time to do so. To see how I got here, we need to go back to the beginning of my journey with video games. 

The PS2 Era: 
To some extent I was raised by hippies; by that, I mean television and video games were pretty limited in my household in favor of books and art projects. I believe this did have a profound effect on my resourcefulness and creativity as a person. But I digress; when I was in eighth grade, my mother bought me a Playstation 2 along with Dance Dance Revolution, which my cousin had introduced us to the year before. For those of you not familiar with DDR, envision Just Dance with a much more interesting song library and dance pads that you must literally stomp on to register your movements. It was and still is one of the best games to exist. Before that, my experience with video games consisted mostly of educational computer games and things my friends were playing. But my interest would soon be ignited as I was introduced to my first RPG.

 Enter DragonQuest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King.  One would think that I would have played Assassin's Creed or some form of Final Fantasy first, but the adorable fantasy element of Dragon Quest stuck out to me. I was enchanted by the safe adventure presented as opposed to the difficulty I perceived other video games to possess. I suppose this was due to the fact I'd never experienced a turn based RPG before (this is also probably why the V.A.T.S. system in the Fallout franchise appeals to me). The idea of being able to choose my reaction instead of counting on my untrained hand eye coordination and being able to control my party members made me feel a lot more comfortable than I had previously.   The DragonQuest era is the root of my habit of replaying games (that and playing any and all of the Lego Star Wars games with my dad). 

My freshman year of college tragedy struck; while most of the world had moved on to Xbox 360 and PS3, I bemoaned the death of my beloved PS2 due to accidentally knocking over my dresser (because of limited dorm space, it also served as a ladder to my loft and a TV stand). Christmas of my Junior year, my mother had managed to find me a backward compatible PS3 so that Dad and I could also play our PS2 games. My boyfriend, partially raised by Nintendo and Connor Kenway, had a library of things for me to borrow. I think the first game I ever played of this generation was probably The Last of Us. However, the first game I completely beat was BioShock. To me it seemed like this next generation of games (other than suddenly needing me to control the camera) was truly focused on storytelling. As a writer, this definitely struck something in me. 

There is still a world of PS3 games out there to explore, and I fully intend to do so(*cough* Dishonored). But...

My well-meaning boyfriend bought me Fallout 4 as a birthday present thinking that I would be content to play at his house or get my own system soon. A few weeks ago (months later), Gamestop had a deal on used and refurbished current gen systems. After a bit of hopping back and forth, I totally caved and bought a PS4. I want to be able to play The Division with my dad and my boyfriend, there are sequels coming out to several of my favorite games, and I just wanted it. I have come to realize that being an adult gamer doesn't mean anything more than the fact that I have a hobby. I also sew, write, and do a variety of other things. It doesn't consume all of my time, I'm not screaming expletives at teenage boys over Destiny, and I take care of my responsibilities. I love the storytelling (and fun ) that modern games posses and am willing to stand up for the art.

What started your interest in Video Games? Are you an early adopter, or do you wait until last minute to purchase the current systems?


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