I will be the first to admit- I suck at most videogames. I love playing them. I rarely win. Put me in a First Person Shooter, and after a few moments, I’m usually the bait. Probably because I run full force into the middle of the game, guns blazing and not aiming at anything but the ground. Playing a racing game, and my thumb is on the gas the entire time. I often can’t judge the upcoming turns and end up off the track. Add weapons into the game? Chances are I’ll blow myself up. Fighting game? Hahahaha. I button mash with the best of them. When my daughter was aged four, she could beat me at my Mortal Kombat 4 upright arcade game.
I generally succeed at puzzle games. Tetris, or gem matching style, even Pacman and side scrolling Mario Bros is more my forté. Maybe it’s the 8Bit simplicity. Maybe I just never matured in my gaming. Maybe I can focus on the repetition easier than figuring out the next move. Maybe it’s the pretty colors.
I began playing videogames in 1981. I was five and played my first arcade game. I was visiting my mother’s friend for a weekend and we went to get a pizza. As we picked up the pizza, there was a lone arcade game near the front door. I was awestruck by the colors, lights and sounds being emitted. She saw my interest and gave me a quarter to play my very first Pacman. Later that year, my family received our first home gaming system- The Intellivision. Since then, I’ve kept up with the newest systems, and the latest tech. My family has far surpassed my skills at gaming. But that’s ok, I enjoy watching them and hearing about the adventures they have. My son loves talking videogames almost as much as playing them.
This weekend, my kids and I have had a chance to experience VR. The artificial worlds are fully immersive and bordering between cartoon and realism. As I played around in this world, part of my mind knew there were strangers watching me wander around waving my arms and moving my head. Gaming controls are no longer buttons, but your movements. Your goggles and headset block out sense of the real world. I could easily spend hours immersed away from reality. But as these VR games get more intricate, my button mashing skills won’t help me.
I am at the point in my life that I may have to admit that it’s time to pass on the torch. The next generation gamer is my son. May he mash the buttons of VR and succeed.