| by Winter Lawrence |
When I was a kid, computers weren’t yet household items. I know we had a few at my school—the big, bulky box-types, but back in the 70s and early 80s, home computers were still in their infancy and they weren’t readily available to a girl from the South Bronx.
Gaming was also emerging as a popular pastime, and while the graphics and concepts were simple, getting a hold of an Atari was a far easier task for someone in my economic position and something that my two older brothers pleaded for and eventually got. Naturally, as the little sister, I didn’t get to play as often, but I remember spending hours trying to best games like Pong, Asteroids, Ms. Pac-Man, Q*Bert, and Pitfall! Those were some of my happiest memories.
But even as a child, I remember how most adults frowned upon our countless hours of gameplay. I don’t necessarily recall anyone labeling me as a gamer, but even back then, I knew that I was, and I didn’t think that made me less sociable or less approachable. I just thought it was a fun and cool pastime.
As I got older, gaming took a backseat to other things (like boys!), but it wasn’t something I entirely gave up, and when I entered adulthood, it was still something I really enjoyed doing, and the graphics had improved tremendously since I was a kid!
Then I had my daughter, which turned out to be the perfect excuse to invest in other really cool bits of technology and to pass along my passion for gaming. These days, my daughter is the one introducing me to all sorts of cool, new games and she’s a far better player than I! It makes a mom proud! I will say that over the years though, I’ve been criticized for allowing my daughter to spend so much time gaming because people still have this concept that it’s an anti-social activity.
I’d beg to differ.
Back in my day, yes, that may have been a valid argument. Gaming, in the beginning, could isolate people, but with advances in technology and with the internet, gaming is more social than ever! My daughter and I game with people from all over the world and we’ve established cool little communities where we support each other. In fact, there’s actually a group of kids who my daughter “grew up with” and “we know” as though they’re our own—though we’ve never actually met them—and now that they’re all in college, they still “meet up” once a week for a campaign or two. It’s cool and I’m glad that my daughter and I have had the opportunity to meet people we would have never met otherwise had it not been for gaming. So to those who say gaming is anti-social, I say, “game on, friends!” because gaming is lonely no more!
I'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter, so be sure to comment below. Until next time, friends!