When I was a kid I played hours of video games. With six older brothers, it was very common for the Nintendo or Super Nintendo or Nintendo 64 to be on. And when we got our very first Windows 1995 Computer, video games spread to more than one room in our house. By the time I was 10 I played my fair share of computer and video games. I even saved up money to buy my very own see-through (standard size) GameBoy when I was like 10. Yes; I wanted to be just like my “cool” older brothers.
By middle school I was playing games quite a bit since my older brothers were now in Junior High or High School or older. My brothers would even invite me to their “cool” LAN parties which I ended up attending some times. I would play Quake III: Arena, Diablo, Starcraft, War Craft II Tides of Darkness, Super Smash Bros Melee, and other N64 and Game Cube games. I guess you could say I was a little girly nerd (and still am to some degree).
But, by the time I got into my high school years, I stopped playing video and computer games as much. The primary reason would have to be time constraints. As a Freshman in high school I was attending early morning Seminary at church, going to school, and coming home and doing my paper route. As a Sophomore I did those things as well as marching band, other extracurricular activities, and definitely starting hanging out with friends much more. When Junior year came and I was working a “real” part-time job after school, my time was restricted even more. Oh, yeah, and I actually did my homework and studied for exams. I was a 4.0 student in high school. I also increasingly picked up extra-curricular activities.
But, there was something else to it as well… I really feel I out-grew the video game phase of my life. While many of my siblings continued to play video and computer games, attend LAN parties and invite me to them, (even some of my friends inviting me to them), I just didn’t feel the desire to game anymore. Sure, I was actually a pretty good gamer and could probably beat most of my girlfriends in any game, and even some of my brother’s friends, I just lost the desire to play them. Part of the reason is that the rose-colored glasses came off my teenage eyes to see that my brothers love of gaming wasn’t actually as cool as I once thought it was. I didn’t feel the need to be just like them anymore because I was becoming my own person.
I think with age and maturity I began to see how “nerdy” it is to be a gamer, and what a huge time waster it is. One round of a game would easily consume an hour or more of my time. And while it may be enjoyable and fun, it didn’t help me earn good grades. I also learned at a young age how many creepy people are on chat rooms and how rude people are to each other (shouting “NOOB!” or “pwned!” to one another all the time, even in real life). It just wasn’t for me any more. I out-grew that.
Now, don’t get wrong. I have nothing against gamers, since many of my brothers and brother-in-laws, and even my husband, are mild to intense gamers, and I still love them all to death. I just don’t feel the need to game. Even though I do love a good round of Mario Kart and Wii Sports Resort (in fact I love the Wii gaming system) and have been greatly enjoying the last two days playing LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 with Josh on the PS3, I would almost never pick up the controller by myself. I only play with people. And you would not believe how much it means to Josh that I have been playing LEGO Harry Potter with him. He is so happy! But, it’s not so much that he’s happy I’m playing it, but that I’m playing it with him.
So while I am not anti-video games or computer games, I have just out-grown the need and desire to play them by-and-large, even if I do on occasion play them and enjoy them.
Have you outgrown your old gamer too? Or am I the only one?
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