Gaming has been a part of my life since I was five years old. I’ve owned both original ataris, Intellivision, Colecovision, NES, SNES, Sega master system, Genesis, Sega CD, 32x, Neo Geo, N64, Atari Jaguar, 3DO, numerous computers, PlayStation 1,2,3, Gameboy, Sega game gear, Gameboy color, Gameboy advanced, Gameboy DS, Playstation Vita, etcetera… I’m sure I forgot a few… now I own a Nintendo Switch Lite and at 42 years old, I still game.

I have found many benefits in gaming, hand-eye coordination, decompression, joy, developing quick thinking, it’s much more than just wasting time. My kids play games, in their younger years it’s restricted to learning games, in pre-teen years it’s age-appropriate games, in teen years it’s full-on gaming. I grew up before and during the home computer craze, largely it’s my opinion that video game systems softened the idea of computer technology in the home.

By the time I got my first Atari system, wealthy family and friends were playing games on the computer, but computers weren’t seen as an essential part of everyday life. The more and more I visited people’s homes, the more often I’d find video game systems, it was truly a uniting factor amongst my friends and me. Video games forged friendships, brought people together, and made “fun,” the call to party with everyone. 

Video Gaming and history are intertwined, people of all ages enjoy gaming and have to some capacity, most people add gaming to their own history. Who can forget the Mario’s and Sonic’s? Who remembers their first game of Street fighter II or Mortal Kombat? 

After a stressful day or week, gaming is there to take me away, dissolve the stress, to turn stress into joy and some semblance of accomplishment. Gaming is there when I’m feeling down about something, it’s there when I just need to have fun and forget the world a bit. Though I don’t game nearly as much as I once did, I still get in some time here and there. 

Gaming and working out are my “Me,” times and are a part of making time for myself and my better mental and physical well-being. So much gaming has been done in my life, so much more to go still, even if I can only catch thirty-minutes of gaming in, during the day, I will make due. It’s something that has been there in the past, and will continue to be there for me in the future.