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My story

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Growing up in the era of Pacman and Frogger, video games always held a certain appeal to me. I loved playing games, but setting them up was a pain and pieces always went missing. And I could never get my siblings to agree on what to play leaving me with a parent half playing a game with me, half trying to follow the evening news. So when I was introduced to video games, I found a way to be engaged in a game without having to rely on anyone else, all while having it fast paced with no pieces to lose or money to count.

I still have my first Atari, and surprisingly even with the world of online gaming being nearly endless, I still find myself hooking it back up with an adapter kit to play the classics. There is something mesmerizing and relaxing about the simplicity of games like Pong. There are some people who say that gaming has strayed too far from the days of Atari, but I like them all. I go weeks at a time wrapped up in one game, while others I check in on weekly.

While I had a dream as a teenager that I would become a professional video game tester, things don’t always work out that way. I have been involved in a few beta trials of new games, I do work in the IT world and moonlight as a rock star on Wacky Wednesday Karaoke at the local pub. I may or may not practice in front of the mirror and/or the Karaoke Revolution game.

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Now gamers often get clichéd as creepy and living in their mother’s basement, and while some do (nothing wrong with that) I’m proud to say I do own a condo, with my dog and have my fair share of girlfriends, usually those who also like to game. I hold down a full time job, and do see real people, but whereas most people go home and watch television each night, I go home and play a couple hours of games, and get up early to work out. It’s all about balance, folks.

I have two nieces and a nephew, all of whom love visiting their uncle and having him show them his games. We also go outside and play ball, but what’s a sleepover without staying up to ungodly hours playing games? Of both the classic and online variety, thank you very much. They keep us engaged, our brains working and keep us constantly thinking about our next step or the best strategy to defeat a challenge.

Those who think games are just for nerds are missing out on something that can be educational, fun, and great for socialization. Those people are likely the ones who sit down to watch television at the end of the night, which there is nothing wrong with, but at least gamers keep their brains active as they embark on adventures and conquer new lands. Give it a shot, you don’t have to become addicted but you may just find you enjoy it.