Rants & Essays

Gadabout Gamers: My Biggest Gaming Regret

Gadabout Gamers While some of you might have very specific regrets related to specific games (romancing the wrong character, not finishing all the side quests, etc.), I realized that my biggest gaming regret is actually very general.

I regret not playing more video games.

As I’ve mentioned elsewhere on this blog, I came to video games rather late. Sure, I played NES with my brother and sister in the early nineties and had flirtations with certain arcade fighting games and the odd match of Wolfenstein with my high school boyfriend, but never in my life had I considered myself a “gamer.”

The closest I ever came was while dating Stephen (name changed to protect the innocent) when I was 20. He was a friend of a friend, smart, and a dedicated, died in the wool GAMER. He constantly bemoaned his lack of a better rig, subscribed to all the game magazines of the day and even had a part-time job at the local EB Games.

My being a gamer was far from being a prerequisite for us dating, but it was clear from the get-go that this was a lifestyle for him and my participating in his hobby of choice would certainly bring us closer. And I tried. For a little while. He lent me his copy of Grim Fandango to play on my own and I distinctly remember struggling with the tank controls to get Manny to open a stupid drawer and then giving up after not being able to figure out what to do in the garage. I know. Not one of my finer moments.

After agreeing that maybe adventure games were not actually the way to go for me, we did try a few tournament games that I enjoyed, even if I was pathetic at them. I read PC Gamer magazine on the can and learned all about the hot new releases I lacked the technical skills to actually enjoy. I wanted desperately to be part of the culture, I just didn’t see my way in. I realize now that what I really wanted was to play with Stephen, but he was a PC gamer and pretty much all of his games were single player.

This was before Steam, before WoW even. Who knows, maybe if I had deigned to give Evercrack, as we used to call it, a try things would have been different. But as it was, we never really put the work in to find a game I could enjoy.

For some reason we never even attempted console gaming. I do remember that he bought a PS2 late into our courtship, but I don’t recall playing any games on it together. I’m not even sure if he had other consoles, or whether he just considered them too low-tech to bother with. Or maybe he just assumed I wasn’t cut out to be a “gamer-girl.” Maybe he was right.

For a long time I blamed Stephen’s gaming for our breakup, but with hindsight it’s obvious that the real reason we broke up was that we were 20. I held onto this idea for so long though, that I actually prohibited my first husband from getting a console while we were together. And my video game hate continued until I found myself years later in Montreal, starting one of the few jobs available to someone with my limited skills: video game translator.

It was while at this job that I actually managed to develop some video game skills, discover genres that appealed to me (RPGs, puzzle games, and of course, button mashers). I even met my current husband while working there, which is what inspired this blog.

But I guess, more than not playing enough games, what I really regret most of all is how things between Stephen and I fell apart. It wasn’t his fault. It wasn’t video games’ fault. It was bound to happen sooner or later.

I know he sometimes reads this blog and probably cracks up at the idea that I call myself Gamerwife now. Oh well.

You live, you learn, right?

Next month’s prompt is: My Dream Game

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11 Comments

  • Reply
    Megan
    April 28, 2014 at 11:35 am

    It sounds like you’ve had quite a journey with gaming, but it seems like you are in a very good place with it now!

  • Reply
    Stephanie Medeiros (@ohnerdjoy)
    April 28, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Totally agree, felt like I missed out on some things when friends talk about old school Mario and stuff. I didn’t get into “gaming” until the PS2! When my mom asked me if I wanted a PlayStation for Christmas one year, I thought she meant a literal play area, like a pop-up treehouse or something, haha. I was really into PC games beforehand though but it was still a small niche and consoles were considered “true gaming.” Then I started dating boys into games and exploring on my own and never looked back.

  • Reply
    Nagareboshi
    April 28, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    I somehow feel that I haven’t played enough. There was a time where I had to put myself on a gaming hiatus due to getting a bit carried away and playing too much (and by too much I mean even forgetting to drink water whilst playing, yes, I was that kind of person). After that I just didn’t really play, until recently when I suddenly realised that I haven’t been doing one of the things I love…. Sad realisation that was. I guess it’s never too late to catch up! ^__^

    • Reply
      Mariko
      April 28, 2014 at 11:13 pm

      That’s right! There’s always time to game. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Fiona
    April 29, 2014 at 3:17 am

    Loved reading this πŸ™‚ I wouldn’t consider myself a gamer but someone who likes playing games now and then – poor description I know! My boyfriends have always been the ones introducing games into my life, or my brothers and I’ve always jump on board and had fun. I’m not sure how I’d go dating a full on gamer, maybe it would lead me to have a gaming blog myself πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Jane Y.
    April 29, 2014 at 10:45 am

    i don’t think i would call myself a gamer too. i just played a few games with my brother when i was young, then got into tekken by playing with the boys in college (jun kazama was my favorite and the only combo i knew.. i beat a few newbies but they quickly caught on on how to block. heehe) and was so proud of myself when i beat chocobo’s dungeon all by myself. now i like to play with my husband who plays more than me (console and pc) but i’m not sure if he calls himself a gamer either (we have a thing with folks who call themselves one thing but are kinda superficial about it – activists for one… but that’s a whole other story). i think more than playing though i love watching other people play because i appreciate the full on production – the music, characters, storyline, graphics. maybe one regret would be that i immerse myself more? i sometimes i wish more than just on the surface.

  • Reply
    margotmeanie
    April 29, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    I TOTALLY hear you on this!! We had an atari in our house when we were little and I remember being fairly good at those, but most of the kids my age were getting their first Nintendo’s which was not happening in my house.

    As most kids started embracing games and got really good at them, I got worse and worse with my lack of exposure. My Dad eventually got an Nintendo, right around the time everyone had upgraded again. We had the basics, Mario & Duck Hunter and one other game, something with a caveman, I can’t remember. But I only got to play them every other weekend.

    Then as a teenager/early 20’s, I was too embarrassed to play with friends because I felt my skill was so inadequate. Unless it was a pure button masher.

    I’m more into gaming now than I every was, but still nothing compared to friends. I’ve found a few games that I really love, always console games, almost any Lego game, Diablo 3 & Portal 2 are perfect, I love being able to play in a room with friends. Skyrim is a great day waster and Left 4 Dead is terrifyingly fun, but I will only play with a friend, otherwise I get way too scared!!

    As for tablet gaming, I have a ton that I love! I’m really good at puzzles, I love how cheesy things like Leps world (I know it’s a Mario rip off and that’s what I love about it!) & RUA 2 are.

    <3

  • Reply
    My Biggest Gaming Regret | Mama Needs Mana
    April 30, 2014 at 1:02 am

    […] time again for Gadabout Gamers, and the theme for this month isΒ My Biggest Gaming Regret. While my first effort as a bit of light-hearted entertainment, this month’s topic is […]

  • Reply
    Syrco
    June 15, 2014 at 7:23 am

    I finally wrote my post about this topic! Been thinking about doing it for a long time now but life has been so busy πŸ˜›
    My biggest gaming regret is selling my Nintendo 64 games and Playstation 1 with games. Read more in my post, submitted the link above πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      Mariko
      June 15, 2014 at 11:51 am

      Awesome post! We’re very lucky my husband and his family kept all of his games and consoles, so we get to retro game fairly often. Still haven’t found the Sega Master System, though…

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