Video games are most readily associated with beeps and boops and fat lazy people. While I will admit that I am a little on the chunky side, the other misconceptions about video games are just that, misconceptions! Video games are able to do so much more than give someone the satisfaction of “totally owning” some other person in an online skirmish. For me, video games are able to bring people together, and relax me to the point where I attain a mood comparable to that of Nirvana.
It was in fourth grade that I truly started to realize the impact cartridges and controllers would have on my young life, and whole life thereafter. It was in the fourth grade that I met one of my best friends. Most other people in the fourth grade found someone who was deeply compatible with them either on the playground or in the classroom, but I found him almost quite literally in another dimension. Bonded over our love for all things virtual, me and him have been as inseparable as Mario and Luigi. It wasn’t again until seventh grade that the unifying power of pixels reasserted itself. Me and my Luigi found a group of people with whom we got along famously, but we wouldn‘t even start to consider then friends, that was until one sentence was uttered off the lips of one of them, “ Have you ever played Zelda?” Me and my Luigi were as dumbfounded as if we were hit by a rogue bomb-omb. We knew others were as allured to their video screens as we were, but we never expected these people to be some of them. It was after that day that I can say without any shadow of a doubt that I was the happiest I ever been in my life. I had friends, good friends, true friends, friends with whom I could discuss anything.
Like in video games, life doesn’t come without its fair share of boss battles though, and the one I was about to face was a doozey. The name of this fearsome beast you ask? High school. It just so happened that all of my friends were destined to take part in a rival school , and I was left to fester in a new environment. My only consolation was that my Luigi was going to the same school as me, but we were condemned to a life like we had in fourth grade, just the two of us. “This was it,” I thought, the boss had won, I had used all of my extra lives and all my bonus points were lying on the floor, useless. It was at this point where I couldn’t get any lower where video games helped me rebound in a most unexpected way, through its music. With each video game comes a deeply moving story, and attached to this story is a well written piece of orchestral gold. Depending on the game, and the point of the story, these songs could evoke a multitude of emotions ranging from livid to blissful. It was the latter emotion that these games would bestow upon me. Throughout my freshman year, these melodic medics helped me sift through my thoughts and bring peace to a time of complete unrest.
To this very day, I am amazed at how deeply I can connect with people if like me, they play video games, and when I’m either stressed or sad or even just looking for a way to consolidate all my thoughts I still turn to the soundtrack of my favorite video game. Through all of the arduous levels in this game called life, and the countless boss battles I have faced, there is one thing that I believe above all others ; Video games are life altering and should be embraced.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.