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I started gaming when I was 7 or 8 years old. I grew up in the time when Nintendo dominated the videogame market and FuncoLand was a gamer’s paradise. As I matured, so did the videogames and the technology used to play them. Newcomer’s Sony and Microsoft released these machines that took the world by storm with new controllers and IP’s. The fantasy world of Final Fantasy to the colorful realm of the Mushroom Kingdom open my mind to the many pathways and narratives games could take me and I have never been the same since.
I am now 22 years old and still become jittery and anxious when a new videogame that I want hits store shelves. The fresh scent of a new videogame once you rip apart the plastic covering is the same feeling of opening a gift on Christmas morning or going to your favorite restaurant and ordering the new special. However, I do miss being able to consistently play for hours on end everyday, but those days are long gone. Those days of going straight home right after school to pay Halo 3 are over.
Not being able to play games everyday is not all bad, especially as you grow older and take on more responsibilities in life. I take great pleasure when I am able to hop online and kill a couple grunts for a few hours. It makes each playthrough more meaningful. Though I cannot play games as often does not mean I have strayed from all of gaming culture. Quite the contrary, I am now a graduate student who wants to know more and add to this lively and diverse culture.
I recently graduated with my Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Maryland, College Park. This achievement was merely a dream for my mother that has now become reality. It was at my alma mater where I was able to take my passion of videogames and turn it into an academic pursuit. Now, I am a 1st year PhD student at Indiana University in the School of Informatics and Computing. This is mind blowing to me! I am getting paid to studying videogames and to fully immerse myself in what encompasses gaming culture!
I say this to let the people who trivialize and stereotype gamers as loud, violent, socially awkward, and live in a basement that they’re wildly misinformed . Yes, some fit these characteristics, but there is such a huge range of gamers that it is hard to pin down what all gamers act like and/or look like. What I can say is that gamers are hardworking in the pursuit of being better than once they were before. Gamers are excellent collaborators even if the reward are strictly for one’s on benefit, however most games give rewards to other players involvement in the collaborative effort.
So as I embark on this new journey to become an expert in videogame culture I want to say thank you. Thank you to the many people who I have played videogame with, discussed games with, and those who pushed me to starting this blog about videogames.
Thank you! Another adventure awaits and I am ready to press start to begin once more!