There’s no one thing that has tied in to almost every aspect of my life better than my horby of video games. While I know there are a lot of kids out there in the here and now that would agree with this sentiment, for someone in their upper 20s to state this, it’s not nearly as common as the youth now.
Gaming didn’t always exist as the norm. In fact, just a decade ago you were still seen as a “nerd” if you logged anymore than a handful of hours of gaming in a week. (Little did most people in high school and early college know I logged no less than 30 hours a week religiously.) The thing is, though, that I wasn’t any more unsocial than my peers at the time. Perhaps from a normative point of view, you could argue. But I had a blooming social life on a much different medium than most kids my age were accustomed to in the mid 2000s: the Internet.
The Internet is directly responsible for fostering my sense of critical thinking. It also helped me to navigate human interaction from a textual standpoint, something that I later applied to my life when in college and developing a lot of new in person relationships. I recall it all being so new in college, yet I was able to gain a lot of friends quickly that had similar interests, something we went on to share about each other the more time went on.
So it’s no surprise to hear that I get a bit emotional when digging through some old cardboard boxes filled with video games from my childhood. Those games were responsible for teaching me about different types of people, different ideologies, different worlds, and different narratives. Without them, I would have led a much different life, one that may have left me much more devoid of knowledge, of kindness, of patience, of intrigue. I don’t think I would change a thing about how I grew up and what I was interested in, because if things changed, I wouldn’t be who I am now. And I’m not sure about you, but I’m extremely happy with who I’ve become.
I challenge you to go digging through some of your own cardboard boxes full of old mementos that you’ve forgotten about. Think about who you are now, but really focus on who you were back then. Did it influence the current self you know and love? You obviously kept those boxes for a reason. It’s good to take the time to reflect on the past from time to time, if only to humble your present self.