One of the hobbies Adam and I do together is play video games. It is a staple in our lives that started when we were kids. For me it stopped and picked up again when Adam gave me a Nintendo 2DS for Christmas when we were first dating. For Adam it is something he has never stopped since he got his very first GameBoy back in the day. I thought it would be fun to interview him and see what his thoughts/memories/opinions are around gaming and to share them with you. Check out his responses below:
Can you tell me about your first memory of video games?
“My most vivid memory of video games from when I was a kid was when I received a Gameboy color and Pokemon Red Version for my birthday in November 1998. I had been asking my parents for a Gameboy and Pokemon for a while, since it was the hot new thing and everyone had the cards and watched the anime. It was a really special moment when I received it and I still remember it to this day!"
What video game have you probably spent the most time playing?
"This question is twofold, since I definitely spent the most time over the years playing all the different Pokemon games, but that is more of a “what video game series have I spent the most time playing” thing. As for just a straight up game, it would probably have to be Halo 2. My brother and I spent an entire summer break one year playing that game (and getting insanely good at it). We both played it way more as the year went on as well, so I likely logged over 400-500 hours in that game."
What are your top 5 favorite video game franchises of all time?
When was the first time you played video games with other people?
"The first time I recall playing video games with someone else was when my brother and I played our copies of Pokemon Blue and Red, respectively. We would sit together and talk about all the things we were doing as we were doing them in the game; which looking back on it probably drove everyone else in our family crazy. Our family made fun of how many hours we could sit there playing these games and I even recall my grandma saying “They can’t even hear us when their heads are in those games!” but you know what? I totally did hear you grandma!"
Do you prefer to play games on your own or with friends/on teams/against others?
"This one is tricky, because I am not the type of “gamer” who sticks with just one style of gameplay. I really enjoy getting to play solid single-player games such as Skyrim, Pokemon, or other RPGs, and I also really enjoy playing team based games that are competitive such as Halo, Gears of War, Rocket League, etc. At this age though, I am definitely happiest whenever I get to play a game with my friends but we are all on the same team against the game (PvE gaming as it is called), because I really enjoy the teamwork aspect without having the stress of playing competitively against other real humans. This is one of the main reasons that the Dark Souls game series is so high on my list, since my friends and I can beat the game together, fighting the enemies and bosses in sync with each other."
What do you define as a “gamer”?
"I would define a “gamer” as someone who is passionate about video gaming and sees it as an art form that it really is. There is literally no other art medium like it. It brings together the music, video, reading, and learning aspects of all the other mediums out there and makes it into one cohesive piece (as long as it is a good game). I think that people who appreciate this and enjoy it should call themselves a “gamer”, and not think of it as only someone who plays competitively or earns money from gaming."
Do you see video games always being a part of your life?
"I really do. I can’t imagine a time in my life at this point where I will altogether stop playing games. Even with the stresses of moving, college, grad school, getting married, and moving some more, I have always carved out time to play video games. As I have evolved over the years, so too have video games. You can now play them portably much easier than when I was young, and with things like Virtual Reality (VR) on the rise, I cannot wait to see what the industry has in store for the future. Video gaming is a hobby of mine that I am very passionate about, and I love getting to share that passion with others such as my lovely wife, family, and friends. "
How have video games benefited you up to this point? (List several ways if there are several)
"I sort of touched on this with the previous questions, but video games have been a universal truth in my life that have been around all of the ups and downs I experience. When I was young, video games helped me learn how to read, reason, and helped with things like my vocabulary and understanding more about the world around me. As I grew, video games were an outlet and a passion that helped me when I would feel stressed from my family or friends. Times such as my parent’s divorce, going through puberty, high school and going off to college, were all surrounded by one never-changing constant; Video games. I truly think that without gaming my life would be quite different from what it is today, which may sound a bit over dramatic until you think about how something like your favorite television show, movie, or book may have helped you through tough or trying times in your life. Video games are a fun way to relax and destress, but they also teach me more about who I am as a person, and how I can work to achieve my goals. "
How have video games hindered you up to this point (if at all)?
"Probably the first thing that comes to my mind with how video games have hindered me up to this point is that they can on occasion be used as a “crutch” so to speak. Just like how some people will in their darker times turn to alcohol, binge watching tv shows, or overeating to make themselves feel better, so too have I been guilty of video games being this “crutch” for me. There have been times where rather than face my problems or try to fix them, I instead chose to instead jump on another game of Call of Duty. Or instead of going out and trying to make new friends and meet new people, I have chosen to sit inside and play Skyrim for 18+ hours on a weekend. My point is, people all have their own vices that they use when faced with hard times, and the reason they do these things is because they bring fleeting moments of joy and help distract us from the real issues at hand. By using video games in this way throughout points in my life, I would say it probably hindered me at certain points. However, just like alcohol and relaxing and watching TV can be done responsibly, so too can gaming. Finding the balance in life is what is important, because as they say, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing."
I am a student affairs professional, an amateur chef, and an adventurer at heart.
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