Do you remember when it happened? Do you remember the day or how old you were? If you’re reading this, then it has already taken its grip and tightened its hold on you. When did you realize you were going to enjoy video games for the rest of your life?
My story began like many others. I was introduced to gaming by a family member—my brother to be exact. We were both very athletic and enjoyed competing against one another. “Bubba,” as I used to call him, and I would use video gaming as a way to wind down and give our mom a break. Of course, it wasn’t much of a break when she walked in the room to find me hitting my brother with a NES controller. Two lessons were learned that day: Lesson one: “taking turns” policy. This was quickly soothed by lesson number two: get kids their own system and there will be no more fighting.
Fast forward a bit and you’ll find me playing the original Playstation. I was still busy playing the demo CD when my brother’s friend made an offer we could not refuse. He let us borrow three games, but it was only for the weekend. He needed them back on Monday. I sift through the games to come upon one named “Metal Gear Solid.” I took my loot and headed back to my room to begin gaming.
My jaw dropped the floor the first scene in. This is when I first saw that the AI can respond to what you do! There was no set pattern in which the enemy goes from point A to point B. They move according to what you do! “I can knock on this vent and the enemy makes their moves accordingly?!” Mind bomb! Total mind bomb! More awesome discoveries ensued as the hours passed. That Monday morning I discovered something outside of the game.
I am up bright and early! The MGS disc still rests in the disc tray as I hurry to get ready for school. “Alright screw your hair! Just throw it up in a friggin’ ponytail. No time for breakfast. I have to finish this game before we have to give it back!” Needless to say, I didn’t finish before it was time for school. I did not know how long I had left in the game, but I knew I had to finish it. I had to know what happened with Snake! “Think quick, think quick…gosh! What do I do?!” Then it hit me.
I, little Brittality, am going to fake sick. Genius! “I will pretend I am sick and then I can stay home and finish the game. Yes! Great plan!” I stared at my pillows and came up with a strategy. I had to get my mind right for this. Deep breaths took over. This performance meant everything! I could not screw this up.
“Mom…(ughh, cough),” I said as I held my stomach.
“What is it honey?”
“I don’t feel so good,” I said as I followed with a list of symptoms.
She walked out of the room and I was so nervous. Thoughts raced through my little noggin’. “Did my performance flop? Oh no, she knows! She knows! Why did I do this?” She walked back in to the room with a glass of water and said that I needed to stay home since I didn’t feel well. As she left the room and the coast was clear, I commenced a cerebral celebration and remained under the covers until she left for work.
That was the pinnacle moment when I realized I was hooked on gaming. I was a goodie-goodie and had never lied to my mom…well, that I can remember anyway. I risked my life! That was when gaming to a grip and decided to never let go. It was when I decided that I loved being the hero, if only for an hour at a time. That was when I knew I was a gamer for life.