Today I turned 23.
This year I felt a little older than normal, as it is my first birthday as an “adult” (i.e. I’m not in school anymore, but the real world). And it’s strange to think 10 years ago, I was turning 13, an age that ushers you into your teenage years.
Well, some things have changed since I turned 13 (thank god we only have to survive middle school once per lifetime), but other things have stayed the same (I’m still the same height! ha!). One thing about me that hasn’t changed: I still love the same video games I loved when I was 13.
When I realized this about myself the other day, it got me wondering what is it about games that makes them so universal?
There are probably thousands of things I loved when I was 13 that I wouldn’t dream of doing now. But playing ‘Harvest Moon 3’ on my Gameboy Color will ALWAYS sound fun.
There’s something nostalgic about playing the same games I played when I was younger, and that could be where part of the enjoyment comes. However, I think a really good game is always going to be good. ‘The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time’ is often put on a pedestal as one of the best games ever. It was released in North America in 1998 for the Nintendo 64. I believe I was 10 the first time I played it and was awestruck at how interesting the story was from the start.
I’ve replayed ‘Ocarina of Time’ many times since then, and I still love it now as much as I did then.
Well-made video games have something that make them enjoyable for many different types of people and ages.
Of course, as I’ve grown older, I enjoy games that have more adult themes that I might not have liked when I was 13. I couldn’t see my 13-year-old self playing ‘Resident Evil 4’ or ‘Fallout 3’ or ‘Skyrim’ because I would have been too scared! (And let’s be honest, sometimes I still need to turn on the lights when I play those games.)
The thing about video games that makes them different from other forms of media for me is that when I go back to play old Nintendo or Playstation games, I don’t find them trivial or think, “how did I ever like this?” I often feel that way about other things I enjoyed when I was a kid.
The replay value on games that I loved then is still very high for me. I know many of my friends feel the same way.
It will be interesting to see how I feel about games in another 10 years. Who knows what life has in store. I could be teaching kids of my own how to hold a remote. I could be a full-time video game reviewer and blogger.
I’d like to think I’ll still be playing. It’s something that has been a part of my life for so long, I don’t think I’d give it up just because I’ve grown up. Really, I should only look forward to growing older, because it could mean I have more money and time to invest in this life-long hobby.
Hopefully I’ll never have to say “goodbye” to video games. In the words of Peter Pan:
“Never say goodbye because goodbye means going away and going away means forgetting.”
― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Thanks for reading the ramblings of an old lady.