It’s out in the open now – I, Julie Boyer, play video games. Some of you might have already suspected that, I’m sure. As I mentioned in previous posts, we don’t have cable. But we do have a PS3. That was our wedding gift to each other this summer. Yes, I married a “gamer”. It was all part of the Law of Attraction, since I asked for “someone who likes to play games” – of course I meant cards, board games etc. You have to be very specific when making a request to the universe. It’s quite funny actually how I got Dan to finally move in – all we had to do was move his tv and gaming system here, and that was that. Here’s what I’ve learned from playing video games:
I resisted playing for some time, thinking it was a waste of time (and sometimes, it is) but once I was introduced to some of the newer, more interactive games, I could resist no longer! I wouldn’t go as far as calling myself a gamer, but I do really enjoying spending time on the PS3 with Dan. If you have a partner, brother, sister or friend who plays video games and you wonder if they’re wasting away their life (they might be, but who I am to judge) – perhaps they have also learned from playing video games. Here are some of the rewards that I have gained from playing video games.
- Patience – Learning a new games, using all of the buttons on the controllers, sometimes more than 2 or 3 at once and learning how to operate the camera in a game takes a lot of patience. When I come to a point in the game where I struggle with a particular move or enemy, I used to ask Dan to get past it for me. He pointed out that it was a test of my patience and that I should keep trying until I got it. Sound like a familiar lesson?
- Following things through until completion – Before I met Dan, the only game I had even finished was Mario Brothers back on Nintendo 64. Now, I take pride in completing a game myself, without his help. How many things in life do we quit before we are finished? I have done that many times in my life, and now, through gaming, I am starting to really see how amazing it is to see even the little things through right until the end.
- Competition and Rewards – There are different trophies you can earn on the PS3 with each game that you play. This might sound trivial, but for someone like me who has a very competitive personality, it’s a great way to make the games even more of a challenge, by trying to earn the trophies. And the best part it, no one loses in this competition, in fact, for many of the challenges you have to work together with another player to earn it.
- Quality time with my spouse – it’s the old saying, “if you can’t beat them, join them!”. It may not seem like it on the outside, but when we play one of our games together on a Saturday morning, it’s one of the most fun times we have together. We have to work together to get ahead, we have quests to complete and we talk to each other as we are playing. And Dan is really great at gaming – so it’s fun to learn from him and become a better player myself.
- A respect for the gaming industry – Ever watched the credits at the end of a game? They are probably at least twice as long as the credits for a movie. It is amazing how many people are involved. There are actors too, for all of the voices in the games. A team of writers to tell the story. A computer animation team. It’s pretty amazing to see the hundreds, maybe thousands of people who have contributed to creating a game.
- Musical talent – Ok, I may be exaggerating here, but if you’ve ever played Guitar Hero, Rock Band, Band Hero or Singstar – you know what I mean. Especially the singing role, where you actually have to be able to carry a tune to succeed. These games are a great way to share music with friends. I grew up playing in the band, singing in the choir, and I’m certain that if these had been around when I was in high school, we would have been playing them. For this generation, it’s a great way to learn more about music from different eras, different styles and of course, different instruments. And it does take a lot of practice to be able to play an instrument, whether it be the guitar, drums or bass on the expert level. It’s great for learning rhythms – especially off-beats which I still find challenging. Finally – it’s actually a form of exercise. Playing guitar or bass standing up, or drumming at the hard levels – and you’ll definitely work up a sweat!
Now that you know that we play video games, anyone else ready to admit that you might enjoy them too? I have a great story about how my sister called me when we were en-route for a visit to her place, to ask if we’d brought the PS3 with us. We hadn’t, but turned around and grabbed it for her. She would never admit this though, so just keep that between us!
If you do engage in the habit, anything else you’ve learned from playing video games?