On My Relationship with Video Games

entertainment concise21

Dec 26, 2021 • gold matter • ~ 2 minute read • 500 words

I love video games. But it’s a rocky relationship.

as a vehicle for programming

Games are why I first learned to use computers; from ages 4-8, my parents only let me play typing games, drilling into me the importance of computer skills.

Games taught me to code. When I was 9, my parents let me explore video games, provided I knew how to make them. I learned to code in Adobe Flash (CS3, on Vista!), and uploaded my games to Newgrounds, Miniclip, and Kongregate - to poor reviews.

Games pushed me to program more. I dove into Minecraft modding and learned Java to make my own (buggy) mods with Forge. ComputerCraft motivated me to pick up Lua, and I learned logic gates through Redstone and RedPower.

Games were the first type of programming that I taught. In high school, I created a game development class for kids in Scratch.

Games were why I joined ACM at UCLA; the first events I attended were Studio’s Unity Tutorials.

I cannot emphasize how lucky I am to have learned programming at a young age. Video games gave me the life I have now.

as an art form

Video games created my favourite experiences:

I’ll also shout out DOOM, Civ V, Borderlands 2, Slime Rancher, Stardew Valley, or Mini Metro.

as a time sink

My playtime in those games is dwarfed by just two: CS:GO and League of Legends. These are good games. However, …

Addicting is the right descriptor. Both consumed thousands of hours of my life.

Some of it was quality time with friends, but in retrospect, it was mostly mindless. I wished I spent time on other games instead - like The Witcher 3, Mirror’s Edge, or Hollow Knight. Or sleeping.

Playing competitive multiplayer games isn’t bad. I got too drawn into them, and they stopped being fun; that’s bad.

in the future

I still occasionally play League, and I just finished Gris and started DOOM Eternal. Moving forward, I want to spend time playing games that ignited my passion.

I’ll end by paraphrasing my friend in Discord, while we were playing League:

When I’m 50, I want to still be playing games. Not because they fill something missing in me. Because they’re fun.

Thank you for reading On My Relationship with Video Games. It was written on Dec 26, 2021 by gold matter. It was 500 words long, and should be a ~ 2 minute read. It was categorized under entertainment. It was part of the special series concise21.