I Believe in Creating-a-Player
How many people have ever become or did something they dreamed their whole life of doing? Why do we dream of being or doing something different in our lives? Does it make us want to reach for something that we only wish could do? No one really knows but I have a way of at least feeling that dream no matter what it is.
Since I was a little kid, my imagination always ran wild. I wanted to be this I wanted to be that. But as I got older I started to realize how much I would really be able to accomplish in my lifetime. I became afraid of my future because the situation I was in really blinded me of what I could become. The situation was I had no money, no friends, no father, and no positive role model. That’s when video games came into my life and saved itself onto my memory card.
I was seven years old and I was visiting my cousin’s house. My cousin Derrick was five years older than me but you couldn’t tell by just by the way he acted towards me. He treated me like I was his age. This was the first time I ever saw a video game. It was a Sega Genesis. I didn’t know what it was but I seen how much fun my cousin was having playing that. It was no surprise that I wanted the jump in. He was playing Sonic the Hedgehog . “This is how you play,” he told me. “You’re the little blue guy that has special moves. Here press this button.” For the first time in my life I felt like I had control over something.
The years went by and as I got older video games evolved into even more then what they use to be. I was 11 when PlayStation came out in stores. I was first in line to get one. I am a big wrestling fan, so when WWF Smackdown came out for the PlayStation Derrick and I was excited. We got the game and realized that there was a feature to the game that was new to both of us. It was called create-a-player. It allowed you to make your own WWF superstar! I always wanted to be a WWF superstar and this felt like an opportunity to be one. Because of the game I felt like I was living the dream I always dreamed of. When I was through playing the game I felt like it was possible for me to fulfill that dream. It made me go out and sign up for
I played on the junior varsity team at Northwest Lutheran Middle School. We got third place at a citywide tournament. The coach said I was fast on my feet and he was impressed with my takedowns. Later, I tried out for the Hamilton High School team, but didn’t make it. The wrestling dream was short-lived, but I had more than one dream. And for every dream, there was a game. I wanted to be a basketball player; a basketball game, NBA Live , came out with create-a-player mode. I wanted to be a football player; a football game, NFL Madden , came out with create-a-player mode. And the list goes on. Anything I thought of being, there was a game that gave me a feeling of how it would be and give me the confidence to do it in real life.
I think of video games as living in a dream-fulfilling world where you have do-overs and more than one life. It’s an escape out of the real world and into the world of your fantasy. You can make yourself into whatever you want with the press of a button. Some people believe that video games are a waste of time and are a bad influence but I say that video games are just another way of living.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.