An Adult Who Plays Video Games
For about five years I knew a man casually from his work. We chatted about six times a year as I waited in his shop 15 minutes at a time. He died recently and I learned that he was a big fan of video games.
We had never talked about video games. We had talked about where to go camping, how to keep the pool clear, where to buy decent Italian rolls. We talked about a whole lot of stupid things that neither of us was interested in like whether synthetic motor oil is worth the extra bucks. But never video games.
That’s the way it is with our generation. If you’re a baby boomer who admits you like video games you have to do it in a very qualified, restrained way. You say “I bought a game for my son, oh what was it, Ratchet and something, and I tell you, we really had fun together. I was surprised how much fun it was.” You leave off the part about how you stayed up for another five hours after junior went to bed trying to beat that ?#@*&%! Chairman Drek.
I love video games. In our household the general opinion is that watching a movie kills the evening. We sit, the movie plays, we go to bed. End of evening. No, if we want to have fun, a couple of us to try to beat Resident Evil 5 in two player co-operative mode while the rest of the family alternately cheers them on and dissects their mistakes. Now that’s an evening that will have at least two rolling-on-the-floor laughing fits, a couple of fights, and a long-running commentary reminiscent of Mark Twain’s keelboat men who, sitting around the fire passing the jug,
…got to talking about differences betwixt hogs, and their different kind of habits; and next about women and their different ways: and next about the best ways to put out houses that was afire; and next about what ought to be done with the Injuns; and next about what a king had to do, and how much he got; and next about how to make cats fight; and next about what to do when a man has fits; and next about differences betwixt clear-water rivers and muddy-water ones.
Except the talk is all about games. We talk about which are the best games; and then about who are the best bosses; and then about which are the worst games; and then about the who is the best boss in the worst game; and then about when you have to fight all the bosses again at the end; and then about role-playing games that start with you waking up. Ad on infinitum until with a weary sigh and a toss of the controller we finally shut it down two hours later than we should have. (For more on watching games compared to playing them, see THE JOY OF SPECTATING AND WHY IT MATTERS.)
Am I claiming that I only like games because it brings the family together? No, I play by myself plenty. I have spent more than 100 hours playing Earth Defense Force 2017 (video). Why? Why would any adult indulge in such idiocy? Here’s a video to try to explain the attraction of video games to those of you who don’t “get it.”
Never give up, Mario. Achieve your dreams.
Those of you who live in the 24 hour news cycle,
… or the world of the mind,
… or the great outdoors
–good for you. You’ve found your passion.
So have I.