I was reintroduced to video games a little later into my adulthood just when I started dating my significant other. The video game that started it all was Danganronpa, a visual novel that he adored and the only one he owned at the time which I came to love watching him play.
So you can say my video game journey started with me being a backseat gamer. Little did I know that this newfound hobby would be one of the biggest things that brought my boyfriend and I closer and closer together in our relationship. Each time we spent time together and he started up a video game, I would sit beside him and watch him smash those buttons on his computer. You can imagine my fascination as I spectated.
Fast forward the years, his video game collection grew, from visual novels (which are some of his favourite type of video game) to Japanese Role Playing Games, 2D platformers and a lot more genres. He finally bought a Playstation 4 and boy, that fed my interest in video games.
One particular game that made me start playing video games myself was Persona 5, another game we both love. I was so amazed by the story and gameplay mechanics. I usually played while he was at work and I had the time of my life until I got stuck in a particular castle and ditched the game. Haha…I mean, I was pretty new to this. Therefore, my boyfriend noticed that I struggled with it and decided to continue having me as a backseat gamer for a while. Over time, I watched him play VA-11 HALL-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action, Zero Time Dilemma (which I also gave a shot at playing), Papers Please, Yakuza 0, Uncharted 4, The Last of Us, Horizon Zero Dawn, Metroid and many more games.
Soon, I got into playing video games myself too. So the first game he bought for me was Okami. He took into account my love for calligraphy and decided this was the game for me. He was not wrong. I played and played and loved breaking pots and painting over enemies to slice them to death and stealing turnips out of gardens. I have not finished playing this game but I plan to do so. Later on, sometime at the end of 2018, he bought me my first console! The Nintendo Switch. A console we had both wanted to get and I was so excited.
My first games on the Switch were The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Mario Kart 8. Zelda blew my socks off. The open world format of it and the art style were so breath taking. I put in over 30 hours of it before I got stuck again and left it for a while (I know, lol. The struggle of a filthy casual). Then I got Night in the Woods and a few other games which I still adore.
I could give a really long account of my video game journey but let me get to the point of this post. Video games made me see so many important sides to my SO. His love for puzzlers and visual novels taught me that he was a critical thinker who liked solving problems. The pace at which he played, taking his time and never giving up showed me just how patient and comfortable he was with not getting things right the first time. An attribute I strongly admire until this day. Watching him play video games also taught me how much he pays attention to detail. His ability to empathise with game characters made me aware to his compassion and empathy for others.
Further, playing co-op video games helped us spend and enjoy time together as a couple while teaching us the value of team work. I remember our moments playing Rayman Legends. He carried me through those moments in the game (I called them demonic levels) when I got lost or frustrated. That was evident even in real life when he carried me through some of my toughest times. All these things we learned and came to love about each other because of sharing this hobby.
We even watched video game youtubers such as Scott the Woz, Jim Sterling, Yahtzee, Yong Yea and many more. We discussed their reviews together, gave each other game recommendations and even started our own blogs where we talked about the games we played.
Video games strengthened our bond and magnified some of our greatest qualities both as individuals and as a couple. Video games strengthened my love for my partner.
I will forever be grateful for this medium that some people still view as childish and pointless for bringing my SO and I together. I really could say a lot more but video games have become so important to me because of these things I have pointed out.
So, the next time you hesitate to get into video games, think about the opportunity that they give of bringing loved ones together while having so much fun.