I loved watching my brother play video games growing up. I would sit on the couch and watch him play Skyrim, Minecraft, Assassin’s Creed, anything. Sometimes he would hand me a controller, but I mostly watched him play.
I am a pretty introverted person, and I find it hard to connect and interact with people. Having an interest in video games has helped me make many of the friends I have today, and it’s why my brother and I share a really strong connection with each other.
Spending hours watching him play peaked my own interest in video games. Even though I just recently got my own console this last Christmas, that didn’t stop me from fully enjoying games in the past.
One of the earliest games I got really invested in was Minecraft, the open-world block game that has been very popular for years, with 126 million monthly players. I loved watching people play, whether they were building insane structures or beating the game.
Since I didn’t have my own way to play the game, I used to play the free app version that I got on my phone. I would build whatever came to mind, whether it was a simple house or a complex castle.
I got to watch in real time as the game evolved and turned into one of the most popular games ever. People were and still are coming up with ways to make it different and turn a simple block game into so much more.
Minecraft isn’t just some block game, though, it’s a place where my imagination got to run wild. All the worlds and adventures that only existed in my head could now be real by just pressing a few buttons.
Aside from open-world and survival games, I loved games that had stories to them. Watching characters go on epic adventures and develop their personalities fascinated me and showed me that many games can have deeper meanings.
One that really stuck with me was Undertale, a 2D role-playing game with a great story, colorful characters and even better music.
The player goes through the game as a young child who has fallen into a world full of monsters and is trying to get back home. My favorite feature of the game is that every detail matters. Every choice you make and every dialogue you choose has an impact.
The game makes the player think about it as not just a game, but as situations that have consequences. It remembers the choices you make and brings them up later on, reminding players of the actions they chose.
The game doesn’t just teach players about the consequences of their actions; it also teaches about the importance of not giving up.
The idea of determination is a constant reminder in the game, with text boxes popping up reminding the player to stay determined. It teaches us that even when everything is against you, you shouldn’t give up hope.
It’s a beautiful game that, I’ll admit, I cried to the first time I watched a playthrough of it. I continue to listen to the soundtrack to this day, because many of the songs repeat melodies, giving the player a sense of nostalgia as they play.
Video games to me are more than just pixels and pressing buttons. It became an outlet for my imagination, a way to learn new things and helped me connect with people.