Lately, the reason ive been putting off buying certain video game related stuff (mainly a DS) is the opportunity cost. I think of many other things I could do with the money. However, on certain occasions (like today) i hate wasting money when I could have bought a DS and had so much more enjoyment out of it than what I lost (in a bet). Sigh...
As soon as I finished my Top 10 of 2010 list, a big Facebook button appeared with the caption "Make sure everyone sees it!".
Immediately my mind produced the thought "NO".
Im not sure what exactly that says about Me. I find it strange that a part of my life that has brought me such joy and comfort since my younger days should feel like something to hide. I like to think myself as someone who goes against the grain, and doesn't get affected by fads and popular opinions. Maybe I'm not as strong as I imagine. My gamer lifestyle is something anyone can see upon entering my home or ever just getting to know me well, but It its not something i advertise.
My earliest childhood memories include video games. My atari 2600, those handheld Tyger games, and almost complete Nintendo exclusivity until I the Playstation was released. Mario and Sonic got me through some tough times in my life. I had to deal with death in the immediate family at a very early age. I have to admit, Video Games were my shelter from the storm. I used them to escape to a world where I was in control and things would go well for me.
However, that shelter also became a shell. One that I would have a difficult time getting out of. I had plenty of friends, but I also tended to be alone, and like it. Before the age of online gaming, Video Games were for the most part a single player experience for me. It brought me much comfort to indulge in that new Final Fantasy or Breath of Fire. Now that I have shed that shell that was partly built with Video Games, I find that the subject of games is something that I treat as an invisible friend. Even in 2010, I don't feel like the gaming subculture is completely acceptable. I still have friends that think it is mostly a waste of time and money and that really affects me.
I feel that If I reveal my love for games, I will be seen as a one dimensional character. The "Video Game Guy", a label that I have been addressed as before, and one I don't like. Video Games have a been a big and wonderful part of my life, but I don't want people to think that is all there is to me. That that is all I "do". As the new generation of kids grow up, It seems video games has become a part of everyone's life. It will become harder to find those friends that "don't play video games". Even the girls in my family have grown up playing video games, and knowing how to play more than just Tetris.
I wonder, how many others feel as I do. If they feel that Video Games is something that is to be shed in adulthood, yet haven't done so.
I don't think ill ever stop being a gamer. But the thought crosses my mind that I probably should.
Maybe its the fact that life has become more busy now that I'm older. Maybe it's the economic recession these days, but I was surprised to find myself struggling to find games released in 2010 that I actually played!
Looking over the games I did play and enjoy in 2010, most of them were released anywhere from 2008 to late 2009. I tend to buy used games more now (through goozex.com and occasionally gamestop), and I feel perfectly fine. I do try to support the industry when I can by buying new games, but the opportunity costs of doing so become greater as my life changes. There are some releases that get me right away (usually Mario games), but lately, I haven't found much that excites me enough to dish out $60 on release day.
Most of the games that I did buy this year were for my nephews and niece. I'm not so sure I can honestly say I will "grow out" of playing video games. It's not so easy to do that when the video games themselves are growing and evolving with Me. Many of them still hold appeal as an adult. However, It seems I am growing out of the "got to have it now" attitude that caused me to buy more new games on release day.