Ted discusses how video games helped him come to terms with the expansiveness and uncontrollable nature of life.
As many of my generation, I grew up playing video games. The first game I ever played was Donkey Kong on my cousin’s NES. I can’t begin to count the hours I must have spent playing Super Mario Brothers after we got an NES of our own. My mom says she used to hear the noises of jumping and coins in her sleep. Even simple games like the ones I played back then had a way of becoming part of the fabric of my life - the terrors and the joys I experienced in the game were just as powerful as those in real life, and they seemed to intertwine. I became familiar with the feeling of a screen that would never scroll left, and a princess just out of reach.
Games became personal for me when my parents were divorced. I was young and confused. I remember moving away with just one of my parents, clutching a red pillow with Christmas embroidery. I traced the candy, the house, the sleigh, over and over. It was like a game. It made me feel whole. As I grew up I played Final Fantasy games, walking to the very edge of the map, tracing the boundaries of the game just as I had when I was a child. In hindsight that’s all I ever did with games - tracing boundaries so I could feel complete. Possessed by completionism, I had to see every story branch and collect every possible item in the games I played. It wasn’t a particularly healthy mindset.
Eventually the boundaries of game spaces became too large for me to trace, which changed the way I played games and the way I thought about life. Mass Effect had more branches than I could follow. Red Dead Redemption’s random encounters were too open-ended to force me to reload from a save point. Slowly, I came to the realization that I couldn’t experience every possible scenario in these types of games. The same was true for life. I will never know what it would have been like if my parents hadn’t divorced. There are countless things that I will never do or have or be, but perimeters don’t frighten me anymore. Games taught me to be okay with finitude and not to obsess over what could have been.
- kopell likes this
- shyandsmiley likes this
- gamesruinedmylife likes this
- jonramirez18 likes this
- revcleo likes this
- davincisexual likes this
- pearwaldorf reblogged this from gamessavedmylife
- fantasticlifeofrod likes this
- lavenderpanda likes this
- the-seaward reblogged this from gamessavedmylife
- the-seaward likes this
- caughtblushing likes this
- wereupallnighttogetlucky likes this
- gamessavedmylife posted this