Well, another birthday is coming up for me tomorrow, and rather than dwell on being another year older, I figured today I’d talk about my favorite hobby/past-time: Video games. As a birthday present to myself, I pre-ordered “The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask” in the hopes of finally completing it for the first time. And while I impatiently wait for it to ship to my house, I started thinking about my gaming hobby.
Games are kind of a strange medium when you think about it. Much like books and movies, they allow you to escape into the fantasy (or semi-reality) of other worlds and stories. The major difference is, of course, that you are in control the majority of the time. You might not get a say over the direction a story goes, but you DO guide it from point A to point B through the gameplay. Unlike those two pieces of media I mentioned, games are also pretty costly from a consumer point of view. A book of 100+ pages can be anywhere from $8 to $30 (give or take) and a film of about 2+ hours can be about $25 to $40. Games, on the other hand, can range in length from 4 to 60+ hours and be anywhere from $30 to $60 dollars brand new. That’s not even getting into downloadable content or pay-to-play. It’s a thankful thing that I tend to be choosy with my purchases, because it’s definitely the most expensive hobby I’ve taken up in my life.
As far as being a gamer, I’ve never run into much drama concerning my gender (and no, I won’t be discussing GamerGate here). A lot of that can be attested to me not being much into online play, and nearly all of my girl friends have played games at least once in their life. But I remember even back in high school, there were times that girls playing games was seen (by other girls even) as just a thing to attract guys. As in, they only played games or said they did for the sake of guys, instead of just because they liked doing so. These comments were never directed at me specifically, but even back then it ticked me off to hear it. It’s for that reason among many others that I can’t stand the moniker “girl gamer” because it pushes the stigma that “gamers” in general are guys and tries to act as though girls are in a separate category. Given that more and more girls are getting into video games, it’s a moniker that I hope will die off eventually.
I’ve said in the past that I’m a Nintendo gamer first and that remains true even today. But I never liked the idea that one console is vastly superior than another. Every console over the years has had their pros and cons, and while I mainly get Nintendo for their licensed games and overall cheaper systems, I’ve enjoyed plenty of games from as early as the PS1 to as late as the Xbox360. I still want to give some games on the PS4 and Xbox One a fair shake once I’m able to get my hands on them, be it via owning them or while visiting friends. Having spent some of my early years being entertained by the Atari 2600, I’ve become the type of person who doesn’t get hung up over graphical power or hardware specs. For me, as long as fun games are continuously being produced on all consoles, I’ll forever be a happy gamer.
Ultimately, being a gamer is something I’m proud of. While gaming isn’t my sole hobby, it’s the first one that comes to mind due to it being ingrained in me since childhood. And until the day comes that I can’t physically play games anymore, I will never stop being a gamer in some capacity.