Video games aren’t just about saving loved ones, blowing stuff up or grabbing as much loot as possible. Whether it’s that classic you played as a child and bonded with family over, or a newer release which made you change your outlook on life, there are titles which hold a special meaning for each of us.
Megan from A Geeky Gal very kindly nominated Later Levels for the Mystery Blogger Award last month and I’m incredibly grateful! One of the questions put to her nominees stood out for me: which TV show, book, or game has most impacted you personally? The following post is dedicated to this lovely blogger, and it has been wonderful being able to to talk about the titles which have had a positive impact and brought amazing people into my life.
The Secret of Monkey Island
Admit it: you knew this was going to be the first entry on the list, didn’t you? It would be impossible to talk about video games which have influenced me without mentioning The Secret of Monkey Island. Although this wasn’t the first title I ever played, it was the first I played for myself after receiving an Amiga 500 as a kid. This was the game that started my lifelong love of the adventure genre and a crush on wannabe pirates.
You can read more about that story here in a post which was created for the first Charming and Open event held by Ian from Adventure Rules last year. This was a great way of getting to know the host a little better as well as meeting other bloggers who have since become friends. It was Guybrush who got me into gaming in the first place; and it’s events like Ian’s which remind me just how brilliant being a member of the WordPress community is.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
I first experienced The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time in the late 1990s after a boyfriend had cruelly broken my heart. My younger brother invited me to play it with him to take my mind off things and it worked; we spent countless evenings up in his bedroom just running about the fields of Hyrule and fishing in Lake Hylia. It was the first time we hadn’t had a sibling argument in ages and I didn’t give that boyfriend a second thought.
Years later, my other-half and I had the pleasure of introducing my stepson Ethan to the game and it even managed to cure him of his Minecraft obsession. You can read more about that tale here in a post which was created for another event: The Legend of Zelda retrospective hosted by NekoJonez. It’s one more example of how hard the writers around us work to produce amazing projects and bring the community together.
Speaking of my other-half, it was Street Fighter that first got us talking four years ago. Pete and I met in a local pub after he overheard me talking about the game to a friend and then started trying to guess my favourite character; and in a conversation over a couple of drinks, we realised we’d grown up in houses located on parallel streets before moving to the same town as adults but had never come across each other before. It’s a small world.
He’s been my player two ever since and I wouldn’t do without him. It would be hard to encapsulate just how awesome he is in a couple of sentences here (and I know it would make him blush) so let me just say that he plays video games, can cook a great steak and makes me laugh every single day. Pete and Ethan are top of the list of things which make me happy and I love them both to bits.
Gaming has always played a part in my relationship with the boys and it’s something Ethan and I bonded over when we were first introduced. He was surprised to find that ‘girls play video games’ and there was an initial period when I had to prove my credentials, but we now sit down together with a game every weekend as a family – one such title being Journey.
We decided to get him to play it as part of an effort to teach my stepson that video games don’t have to be about explosions and guns to be fun. When he reached the end, he said: “So I’m the star… and the next person playing right now will see me in the sky at the star of their game. That’s cool.” That’s exactly what we wanted to hear and it was that line which inspired me to write one of favourite posts last year.
To The Moon
One of the first indie titles I ever played after being introduced to this side of gaming by a friend was To The Moon. It absolutely broke my heart and I was in tears by the credits; and it taught me that video games are more than just entertainment or pixels. If there’s anything we should take away from this one, it’s that life is too short to have regrets so if there’s something you want to do, do it right now.
After coming across a piece of music by Chris from OverThinker Y on his site early last year, we started talking and realised we’re both massive fans of Freebird Games’ project. We had to wait a long time for the sequel Finding Paradise, and now that it’s finally here we’re planning to play at the same time and then have a long chat about it afterwards. Expect a post about that in the near future!
Gaming for good
Ted Hewett (@rg_ted) October 27, 2017
This entry on the list is dedicated to all titles instead of an individual one to highlight the good that gaming can achieve. SpecialEffect is an amazing UK-based charity which puts fun and inclusion back into the lives of people with physical disabilities by helping them to play video games. Using technology ranging from modified joypads to eye-control, they find ways for individuals to play to the very best of their abilities.
I’ve supported the charity since meeting their team at EGX five years ago and have volunteered on their stand at various expos since. Seeing their work closeup in these situations makes you appreciate how easy it is to take the joy of gaming for granted sometimes. That’s why we’re taking part in their annual marathon GameBlast18 later this year; find out more about the event and how you can get involved here.
Thank you once again to Megan and congratulations to all of her nominees! If there’s a video game which has had a profound impact on you, let me know in the comments below or write your own post on the subject; we’ve all got a story to share.