Gaming has always been associated by the public as a negative hobby.
Some think that since it’s a stationary activity, it may cause weight gain. Some even believe in the false connections of gaming to violence. But what about the positive experiences, and what is it like to grow up gaming?
This article is a part of the Notes from Leadership series, a collection of articles from leaders of the OU Esports Club releasing throughout the fall 2019 semester.
Gaming to me is something that brings me intense happiness and has been connecting me to people throughout my life. Some of my fondest memories are associated with gaming and my closest childhood friends were made and solidified through gaming. The console I grew up on was the Nintendo 64. I’d spend hours playing Mario Kart 64, Diddy Kong Racing, and Starfox 64 with the neighborhood kids. I can still picture my parent’s bedroom and their old TV with the N64 hooked up on the floor. I played computer games on my parents’ computer like Pajama Sam, Freddy Fish, and Putt Putt and when the GameCube came out my gaming habits only grew.
This time my brother was old enough to play with me. A lot of the bonding between my brother and I was spent playing LEGO games like LEGO Star Wars. The kids in my neighborhood and I would play Super Smash Brothers Melee and Super Mario Double Dash. Although it was competition, it was extremely friendly and fun as we’d sit for hours.
I owned a Gameboy when I was younger, but it was the Nintendo DS that really brought me closer to people and solidified relationships. In Elementary School and Middle School, I spent a lot of time bonding with friends who played Nintendogs, Animal Crossings, and Harvest Moon (some special mentions include Mario Kart DS and Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games). Not to mention when we got older playing Sims 3 all night. The next console my family owned was the Xbox 360. I spent many hours beating my brother and his friend in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and playing through the campaign of Halo 3 and Gears of War. My first online multiplayer game was Call of Duty: Black Ops when my parents got my brother and I an Xbox live subscription.
When I got old enough my uncles and grandfather bought me a laptop to play PC games on like The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, Skyrim, and World of Warcraft. I started playing my first MMO (unless you count Club Penguin), World of Warcraft, in 2008 when I was only 12 years old with my mother who started playing in 2007. I got into League of Legends in 2013 and played throughout high school with friends and Overwatch in 2016 when it released and got close to online friends that I still play with today.
“[I] got close to online friends that I still play with today.“
It’s fair to bring up that I love gaming and have been playing games since I was very young. It’s unfair to give video games a negative stereotype when there are so many people who grew up and bonded with other people over gaming, gaming has sculpted who we are today.
Most of my childhood memories are built around gaming which is why I’m so excited to bring the OU gaming community closer, to relive and relish those memories. Friendships that build on our shared love for virtual worlds and friendly competition.
— CALLIE SIMONTON