Sorry for not posting anything last Tuesday. I really was feeling absolutely dead, but I’m feeling suitably not-dead now. Hooray!
I’ve been thinking about an old friend of mine.
We met when I was maybe 9 or 10 years old. I’d recently moved from Bogota to Florida, and I hadn’t been there long enough to make many friends. The fact I spent all my time with a nose in a book didn’t help either.
Fortunately, my mum proved better at making friends. One day she told me she to go to a nearby house and borrow some scissors from a woman she’d met at church. It really was a short walk, and after 15 minutes or so of relaxed walking, I’d gotten to her apartment.
She invited me in for a snack, and I obviously accepted (you never turn down free food.) I heard some noise coming from one of the bedrooms and went to investigate, and then I met C. C was a young boy around my age. He was the lady’s son, and he happened to have a PlayStation, just like me. We naturally became best friends.
I’d go to his house and play some of his games, and he’d come over to mine and play with some of mine. After a while, we started to also play with his hamster and legos, and build a swing on a nearby tree with a rope we found. However, we always had that foundation of videogames.
I remember we often spent time after-school at his computer playing an educational game. When he got a GameBoy Advance, we’d play Donkey Kong during car rides, and stay up late at each other’s house, hiding under a blanket fort and trying to pass Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga. We got older and moved on to Age of Empires II, and games on his Xbox 360.
Honestly, it isn’t until now that I realise just how much videogames had to do with it. When I think of him, I remembered that a videogame helped us become friends, but now I see it was a constant throughout.
I wanted to talk about this because after a year of being too busy to do anything but sleep, cook, eat, work, rinse & repeat, I now have more time off. Living a 15-minute bike ride from work means I’m saving over 2 hours of time that would normally have been spent in traffic. That alone is making the move to my new apartment worth it. I’m able to relax doing something I love (biking) and participating in exercise when I would normally be in a crowded bus stressing out until I got home to sleep.
The extra free time has left me free to do more things. Binge-watch Stranger Things in a couple of days, for example, read more than I could before, and pass a Pokemon game for the first time in a year.
It’s been nice getting to re-discover Pokemon, and it’s left me even more hyped for Pokemon Sun & Moon than I was last week. As an added bonus though, it’s also led to me also remembering how great it is to play videogames with others.
After passing the game I wanted to see how I measured up against other people, so I asked a few friends to play, and we did. It has been a ton of fun, and has left me feeling a lot less lonely than I have in a while.
Apparently, chatting with someone in another country through facebook doesn’t help with my near-constant feeling of solitude, but knowing I’m playing in my DS against someone in another country makes me feel like they’re really there.
Man, brains are weird.
Videogames are just a wonderful tool to bring people together. I have a ton more examples from my life. There’s the fact most of the one-on-one time I’ve spent with my little brother has been the time we’ve spent playing on our Wii, bonding with other kids because they had StarFox at their house, or that I got close to one of my closer friends because we enjoy the same videogames.
It makes me sad to hear of people who grow up without playing any videogames.
Not in a condescending way, but more because video games have brought me so much joy.
That’s all I wanted to say for today. Video games are cool 🙂