Last week, I continued my story as to my start as a gamer and, this week, I’m concluding my tale (finally)! So, last time, I was talking about my start into playing video games. The early years of playing games was actually kind of hard. It’s easy for really hardcore gamers to take for granted all the years and years of playing video games through a myriad of consoles and PCs. But me? I had to start from scratch!
So I had to struggle with controllers that had a minimum of 8 buttons, 10 if you count pushing in the analog sticks as buttons and 12 if you also include the Start and Select buttons! I think it was easier during the 8-bit era of gaming when controllers only had the A and B buttons!
I think that’s why it’s extremely difficult to get into gaming for people that do want to get into the hobby at an “advanced” age: the controller does look intimidating! It’s easy to start from only using 2 buttons (8-bit) then 3-6 buttons (Sega Genesis and Super NES era) then moving on to the current generation of controllers that devote so much real estate to buttons!
Even with this “disadvantage” against me, I still tried to persevere with playing games. I tried playing different games. I picked up the controller and played a whole lot more of Street Fighter IV online. I tried out games that I never would’ve thought of trying out. I started playing platformers like Little Big Planet, hack-and-slash games like Lollipop Chainsaw and puzzle games like Catherine.
As I played these games, I realized something that broke my heart: I’ll never really be great at playing games. Sure I have fun playing games like The Sims, Street Fighter, Little Big Planet and Catherine. But I’ll never become so good that I can design great looking houses in The Sims, complete all of the trials in Street Fighter, create magical worlds in Little Big Planet, finish Lollipop Chainsaw on the hardest difficulty or climb up to the highest point in Catherine’s Babel Challenge.
When I finally understood this, like I said, I felt kind of depressed. This was something I would never be good at. I don’t have the time to devote to gaming since I’m still very focused with my studies. Even when I do graduate from college, I still don’t think I’ll be putting in the required number of hours to be really good at all kinds of games!
Even after playing games for around 5 years, I still panic a lot whenever I need to react to something on-screen. I forget to just look at the big picture in puzzle games and just try to “power” through them, hoping I’ll find to correct any errors along the way. I still fumble through the controller a lot. I forget which buttons do what during heated sessions!
But, one day, I was with some of my gamer friends and they were talking about Metal Gear Solid 3… and that the Revolver Ocelot there was the father of the Revolver Ocelot in Metal Gear Solid 1 and 2! Wait… no! That’s not true! There was only one Revolver Ocelot in the series! I tried to correct them but, since I wasn’t a “hardcore” gamer like them, they didn’t believe me! I insisted that they were the same person and eventually (and somewhat reluctantly) one of them agreed with me and he thought they were the same guy. Even with that guy’s “support,” the rest of them still didn’t believe me.
The next day, some of them told me they did look it up online just to prove I was wrong and they found out I was correct: it was the same Ocelot! They actually wanted to prove me wrong since I’m not a “hardcore” gamer and because I was a girl! It was a left-handed compliment in my opinion because I felt complimented and insulted at the same time. But that did teach me something about myself and gaming…
What I realized is, although I lack the sufficient experience of actually playing video games, I have a lot of knowledge about video game stories and history! I’ve been watching my brother play video games ever since I was around 3 years old! My brother also had a really crazy gaming collection as well! He had (and still has) a working Famicom, Super Famicom, all of the PlayStation consoles (currently up to PS4), a Dreamcast, the original Xbox, a Gamecube and a powerful PC! And I really enjoyed watching him play a lot of his games! He would play a huge variety of games. Whether it be retro, current or abandonware, he would play them… and I would watch him!
But all of that time, I was accumulating gaming knowledge! I know a lot of the stories of video games past. I’ve a good idea of the evolution of gaming from its primitive 8-bit days to today where the number of bits your console has doesn’t matter! I’ve seen how graphics have improved from pixel art to realistic polygon models!
So, even though I’m not really that good of a gamer, I still consider myself a gamer at heart. That’s why I call myself a non-hardcore gamer. And that’s my story!
I like to say that I’ve embedded myself into the gaming world in my own way because I love it. But there’s a certain female who became a huge sensation in the wrestling world because of her passion for the job, despite being a very petite girl (like me). And I’ll talk more about her… next week!
How about you? Would you call yourself a hardcore gamer? Let me know in the comment section below!