I must say, when I first started playing first person shooter games, all I could basically do was look at the ground, and throw grenades. That was about 3 years ago. My husband would have friends over, and they would sit and play Call of Duty for hours. I just didn’t understand the appeal. I couldn’t wrap my head around how someone could sit there for so long just pressing buttons on a controller. Then, one day, I realized there was so much more to it that that.
I remembered how, since I was 5 years old, I had some sort of video game console in my house. I was an only child, and my Dad used to play Nintendo before I could even grasp the idea of controlling a character on the screen. Mario on Nintendo gave way to Sonic on Sega, which eventually evolved to Crash Bandicoot on PlayStation. I had them all. I used to love playing video games. What happened? What events took place in my life that made me break away from the amazingness of watching Sonic roll at high speeds through a course, and that sound when you picked up those shiny, golden rings?
As I sat on my couch, pregnant and bored, I decided to see what the fuss was all about. I just had to see what was keeping husbands and boyfriends around the world up until 3am. I put in Modern Warfare 2, and jumped directly into a multiplayer game. Bad idea. I think I went 2-24. Awful. Just Godawful. I quickly decided that campaign may be a better starting point. As I sat in front of my TV and PlayStation 3, tongue sticking out the side of my mouth, pulling my controller from side-to-side, fixated on this game, it all came flooding back. All those memories and feelings from my childhood. All that time I spent saving my progress in Doom and entering passwords my Dad had written on paper plates to beat the final stage–it was still there. Why had I ever stopped playing games? I had no idea. I finished single-player mode that day, and was feeling a little more confident.
I went back into multiplayer and gave it my all. I was still awful. But I didn’t care. I started to realize and remember how it felt to do something right in a game. How it felt when you practice and put time in and actually get good at a game. How triumphant you feel when you have tried the same mission, level–whatever you wanna call it–40 times, and you keep getting hung up on the same point, then you finally get past it. YOU are now the master of this game. You are no longer a noob.
Looking back, I still can’t really answer the question of why I stopped playing games. In my later teenage years, I was more focused on drugs, sex, drinking, and having “fun.”
I realize now, that perhaps if I had spent more time on video games, and less time doing the things I was doing, I most likely would have been lead down a completely different path. Some people may say video games cause you to be lazy, are a waste of time, or promote violence. If I had spent more time on video games when I was a teen, perhaps I would have said ‘no’ to drugs. Maybe I would have went to college sooner. Maybe I would be the first female president. Probably none of those things would have happened, but you never know. All I know now, is I have a wonderful life, nonetheless. I have a
n idiot fabulous husband (love you, honey), the cutest kid in the world, and we’re surviving. And we play a lot of games. Not to mention, practiced my way to Expert in every RockBand instrument.
Which brings me to another point– wives and girlfriends are always pushing men to be interested in things they want to do. How about popping in some Duty and playing 2nd player? If your man likes games, give ’em a try. You never know, you could be ‘pwning noobs’ in no time.