Confessions from an “Aging” Gamer
Hi. My name is Steve, and I am a gamer. This title has meant different things through the years, but it basically means that I really enjoy video games. I like the fun they create, I like the challenge they bring, and I really like how they provide an escape from normal life. I have always enjoyed games. Even before I owned my first console, the NES, I played games on my cousin’s Atari 2600. I also remember asking my grandmother to buy me the newest handheld Tiger game every time I went to the store with her. I loved going to the arcade, and I could spend hours just looking around and playing games like Galaga, Donkey Kong, and Pac-Man.
My history with Nintendo all started with my other cousin’s NES. Later that night, though, I was surprised with my own. From that day on, I have owned every Nintendo home console and most of the handheld consoles. Why? It is not because I have a ton of money to throw away on a hobby for children. Instead, it is because I love the experience I get when playing a game — both on my own or with a group of friends. This probably stems from my personality, because I like both losing myself in another world — whether that be a movie, book, or video game — and I love having fun playing any kind of game with a group of people.
Recently, though, I have realized that I do not have as much time for games that I once did. One obvious reason is because I am, unfortunately, getting older. Yes, I am far from being elderly, but I have been gaming for more than 25 years. Subsequently, age means more responsibilities and less time to “veg-out” with a game. Because of this, I have found I have gotten more picky as a gamer. What I used to run out and buy on day-one, I will think over a bit more. I pay more attention to reviews, and I only purchase what I know will have lasting appeal or really fit my given lifestyle. Sometimes, this means passing on a great single-player adventure game, because I know I have a couple other games just like it that are sitting on the shelf, begging me to finish. Other times, it means that I go after a party game that I know others will really enjoy, because maybe I will have guest over a lot in the coming weeks. Still, other times, it means I pick up a game that will fit my on-the-go lifestyle, where I can play for little bits of time here and there. Another thing I have noticed lately, though, is that I am much more apt to buy a downloadable game for just a couple dollars.
No matter how much time I have, the truth is that I love immersing myself in another world. Sure, I love a good puzzle or party game, but I really like how modern adventure games have the ability to throw you into an experience that is unlike any other. I often describe it as an interactive book or movie. I have the ability to somewhat become that main character, experience what he/she experiences, and explore a world that is unlike my own. For the same reason some people like books or movies, I also like about video games. Unfortunately, though, as I stated earlier, the time to experience that is becoming minimal as I grow older. Nevertheless, I long for it even more.
Here is a real-life example. I held off on buying Pikmin 3 — not because I didn’t think I would like it, but because I wasn’t sure if I’d have the time to actually play it yet. You know where it has been since I bought it? Sitting in its box, still in the packaging from the store! Why? It surely is not because it is a horrible game. It is because I have not stopped life to play anything recently except for a couple on-the-go sessions of Animal Crossing New Leaf or Donkey Kong. Let’s take this further. A few others on the NintendoFuse staff picked up Disney Infinity. They are loving it, and I recently got a gift card that almost pays for all of the starter set. Will I buy it? I am still not sure. I’m fairly sure I will enjoy the game and playing with the others online via the Toy Box mode, but spending that much money on something I will barely have time to play is really tough.
So, why this long post about my history as a gamer? Honestly, I do not know. Part of me just wanted to “talk” about it for a bit. Another part of me wanted to clear up some of the, what I would consider, skewed definition of the word “gamer.” In the end, though, I wanted to let you, our readers, know that I take my job of a reviewer seriously. In fact, I believe I speak for our entire team. When we give a game a particular score or review, it reflects the quality of the game, but it also conveys our attraction to the game. I am constantly asking myself, “If I did not receive this game as a review copy, would I buy it?” This is a product of our own perspectives of how reviews should be written, but it also comes from the fact that we are all volunteers and do not just play games for our job. This is still very much a hobby. Finally, I write this as a small thank you to many people and companies. Because this site exists, and because companies are willing to give us review copies, we are able to enjoy something that we love to do. On top of that, we are able to help you, our readers, make better decisions about what games you buy, because I can guess that I am not the only one who is becoming more picky about games.
So, because it is on my mind, I want to thank you, reader! Thanks for checking out our site, and thanks for coming back again and again. In large part, it is your dedication that allows us to do what we do. On behalf of the entire NintendoFuse staff, we thank you!