Too Mature for Video Games?

I am not sure when it happened. Most of my life I have played video games. But now, not so much. My feelings on video games as not changed. I still love to play a good game. I love the how much the graphics have evolved over the years and I am a big fan of certain franchise games. However, something has happened to me over the last year or so.

Before I go down the road of saying that I have matured, lets keep in mind that I read comic books. I consider myself to still be a big kid. I still play games on Facebook and I rock the games on my iPhone. I just haven’t played the games I am used to playing. See, when I was a kid, I used to buy all the good games and play them until I beat them. Of course, at the time I had a job at Pathmark in the Bronx and never had to worry about paying rent so I could buy as many games as I want.

Clearly games of the past are not what they are now, but I enjoyed playing games to pass the time. I made sure I had the latest Nintendo systems and Playstation models. However, I do not have PS3 or Xbox because they are too expensive. The Wii is not “mine” so I do not play at as much as I once did. Which brings me to my point, money. Because I love video games so much and tend to enjoy my experience, I have become picky. I am not trying to spend $50-$60 on a game that is not going to be that great. I can spend my money on other things…like food.

Realistically, I think about my life changes and wonder if that has anything to do with it. One would think that I would want to escape into a different reality and play more video games. I do work so much. For example, from Thursday to Saturday, I worked more than I slept. There was no room for any life because of Homecoming. While that is not normal, I do work long hours and sometimes the last thing I want to do is pick up a controller. However, I used to do that. So, maybe I am maturing.

However, I did stop reading comic books for a few months over the past year. I would still buy them though. But, I would make sure that I had the ones I need and just put them away for another time. I knew that eventually I would get back to them and I did. There are still certain books I have not read that are in my possession. It just makes me think that perhaps I will get back to the gamer that I used to be. Yet, do I want to be that guy who sat on the couch for hours on end playing games? I am not so sure about that. When I am running I feel that I am living life and that I am doing things to help myself. I think the person who used to play video games may have died 20 pounds ago.

Then there are times when I see the commercial you see above. My eyes light up! I think about how much I want that game, yet I thank God that I do not have a PS3 nor an Xbox. I am a competitive person by nature and although I do not care for Kobe Bryant, that just makes me yearn to play this game. I have to mention the song in the background, Eric B and Rakim “Don’t Sweat the Technique”, is a nice touch. I have had that song in my head for a week. So perhaps there is hope for me yet for Video games.

The last game I purchased was Star Wars: Force Unleashed, which was solely driven by the fact that the commercial was so hot. That was back in March. The best part was that I traded in quite a few games in order get a good discount on it. Not sure if I will do this for this game considering that I do not have any of the platforms. Perhaps one day I will purchase one of the major game consoles, but I am really not sure.

I am thinking that this lull in not playing video games may end when I move to New York City. My nephew, Justin, is the way I was when I was a kid. He loves playing these games. When I come down, I have to make sure I am on my game because he has intentions in beating me in every game that he owns. I enjoy watching him play because it makes him very happy. He provides the type of motivation I need to move back to my hometown.

Video Games…

As I write today’s post, I am watching Josie play with the Wii Fit. I find myself amazed about how far technology has advanced that allow us to stay fit as we play a video game. I would consider myself a Video Gamer to a lesser degree. I don’t play video games as much as I used to because I am just so picky with what I buy. Not to mention that I barely have time to play as it is. But, when I did have time…

My first game system was the Atari 2600. I got it for Christmas and I was the happiest kid on the block. It came with this horrible game called Combat and these stiff ass joysticks that have contributed in the carpal tunnel I have now. I also got Pac-Man (which was nothing like the arcade and therefore WACK) and a bunch of other games. Over that span of my Atari craze I ended up getting Pitfall, Berserk, and E.T. (which I think ended up being the worse video game of all time). What I remember, was the connection the back of the TV. You had to turn you knob to channel 3 and connect this huge silver box that had hooks to the screws where the antennae was attached. The you would have to flick the switch on the silver box to go from video game to TV.

Several years later, after Atari died out, Nintendo came out with the NES: Nintendo Entertainment System. This fancy little console that, again I got for Christmas, was the top of line in terms of video gaming. It came with 2 games, which never happens now, and those were Duck Hunt and Gyromite. It also came with a gun and a little robot named R.O.B. Of course, Dunk Hunt you could play for hours, however you got really bored with it after awhile. The damn little robot was for Gyromite which was ok, but they only made one more other game for that thing. So, it just collected dust. NES was great though, until it got old and you had to blow into the game in order for it to work.
Super Nintendo came out when I was in High School and once again I got it for Christmas (see a pattern?). I think this came with a game called Pilot Wings. I am not sure about that but I remember playing that game a lot. Anyway, I began to realize in High School that this was my escape from the real world. I can play these games not think about how my parents got divorced or how I felt I was the only guy in school who was a virgin (not that video games help this). I sought refuge in 40-50 dollar games that I bought myself because I had a job at Pathmark. By the way that was the last video game system I got for Christmas. By the time I got to college Sega Genesis was out and I new a lot of people that had this. I wasn’t into it at all, but I would play it at my buddy house on South Campus.

Nintendo 64 came out and this happened to be the first console I bought myself. I think this came with Super Mario 64, a game I never finished. There were several other games that I was interested in games like Mario Kart and Shadows of the Empire which took up a lot of my time. At this time I was already out of college working as a temp in Syracuse and recovering from a bad break up. Once again, I find myself taking solace in a video game system. It here that I learn that Nintendo cannot fill a void that someone may have.

The Nintendo Gamecube came out and I am in a different world. I am now dating to a video game junkie who tends to play more than I do. Which forced me to go to PlayStation 2 (which, actually I got for Christmas years before…my bad!). What I find interesting that I have gone through 3 PlayStation due to shitty parts and all my Nintendo game consoles still work (yes i still have them all). Which leads me back to the Wii.

I am still amazed how video games have been so much a part of my life. I particularly like the fact that I can still beat little kids in certain games. However, the highlight is that I can play online with my friends. The reason I play video games is still very much for the same reason. It is an escape. This time from work and all the other things that life tends to bring down on me.