Video games have always been a huge part of my life. Some of my earliest and happiest memories are of sinking hours into platformer games on the Playstation 2 out in the living room or buffing up my party team in a roleplaying game on a handheld console. I don’t think that I’ll ever “grow out” of my interest in gaming or popular culture, it’s just too embedded in who I am as a person and, to be frank, I haven’t ever really felt a need to let go of these hobbies from my childhood. I consider video games an art form, a way to escape from reality, and much, much more. I like to think of them as their own little universes, really, something that’s easy to get lost in. They’re harmless fun for a lot of everyday people and get a bad rap for no real good reason at all, namely as a waste of time or something only for kids.
If anything, the world of gaming has quite an interesting story, especially as it relates to mental health. Naturally, it’s important to consider the concept of “too much of a good thing”, but games are a much-needed outlet for a lot of people, no matter their ages, and I think it can be a wonderful thing. In the same vein, they can serve as a form of self-expression. They can also be a way to cope with the stressors of daily life. Video games are a lot more than just mindless entertainment for people.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that my interests and hobbies, specifically gaming, have largely remained the same, if not rooted in the same things. A few things have changed here and there, like the genre, title, or console, but otherwise, my interests still lay in popular culture and the nerdy side of things. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s very likely that these will still always be a part of my life and a huge part of who I am. That’s okay. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
One of my biggest gripes about having a keen interest in these kinds of things is the kind of backlash that often follows it. People are often quick to call them a waste of time or something meant only for kids when a good majority of those who actually play games are older and, on top of that, most titles are geared towards a mature audience. Maybe I’m just stewing on passive-aggressive comments from the past, but when I get to really thinking about them I still find myself getting peeved. Games are so much more than what most people make them out to be and, in all honesty, they deserve to be on the same pedestal as film and literature. That’ll likely be a long time from now, but for the time being and as the bare minimum, I think some respect is in order for video games.