My love for video games dates back as far as I can remember. It may have even started in the womb while my mom and dad were playing Super Mario 3 on our Nintendo Entertainment System (yeah, that’s even before Super Nintendo). Growing up, video games were a source of unparalleled excitement which went far beyond actually playing the games. Every aspect of the ‘gaming experience’ was equally euphoric, whether it was reading the details of the latest Grand Theft Auto, going to Best Buy at midnight to purchase the newest Halo, or bragging to all your friends the next day in class about how fun the new Halo actually was. Of all the great gaming memories I have, I’ll never forget the day my mom and step-father bought me a Playstation 2.
At the time, the Sony consoles were impossible to find in stores – and if I did happen to find one, my ten-year-old self wouldn’t have been able to afford the $300 price tag. However, on a cold Saturday afternoon roaming the Maplewood Mall in Southern Minnesota, my dream came true when I spotted one in a store window. My heart raced as I contemplated how to ask my mom if she would buy it for me, but after I finally asked and she said yes, I stood in disbelief as I watched her pay for the coveted PS2 at the register. I went home and called my best friend Tony to tell him the great news, talking with him for the entire hour that it took for me to unpack the system and hook it up to my television. I played a racing game called Gran Turismo 3 for hours that day, thinking at the time that it was, without a doubt, the most realistic video game I had ever played in my life. I was in awe.
I miss those feelings today. Last month when the new Halo 4 was released, I didn’t go to Walmart at midnight to purchase it. (In fact, I still haven’t purchased it.) I play the new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 from time to time, as well as NBA 2k13 when my gateway-mates want to play, but it’s safe to say that I don’t experience the same euphoria I once did in regards to video games. Some people think of video games as a waste of time, which I can understand, but I don’t regret any of the time I spent gaming. I’m proud to say I loved everything about the ‘gaming experience’ growing up. And although I may not love it as much anymore, I know the feelings aren’t completely gone because I can’t wait for Grand Theft Auto V to come out this spring. Check out the trailer below. I’ll be heading to Walmart at midnight for this one.