Gaming has always been a part of my family, though in varying degrees for each family member. From my momís casual playing of Guitar Hero to my near obsession with the entirety of gaming, weíve all seemed to find something to enjoy with video games. However, I want to talk about how video games have affected my relationship with my Dad and my sister.
To put it simply, I probably wouldnít be playing games today if it werenít for my Father. Dad started playing games shortly after getting married to my mom. Enjoying such titles as X-com and Syndicate, Dad quickly found himself spending more and more time with them, so he was fairly well established with them by the time I came around.
Dad took no time to waste to introduce me to games. I have warm memories of sitting on his lap and watch him beat people with chains in Road Rash. However, I remember him always being a good dad and sending me out of the room when he felt things werenít overly appropriate. Now this is all well and good, but the reason I want to highlight this relationship is because this became one of the biggest ways I connected to my Dad.
Dad showing me the finer points of road etiquette.
See my Dadís a really big motorbike guy and Iím definitely not. Donít get me wrong motorbikes are wicked cool, but I just had no interest in getting on one. I even remember my Dad going to great lengths to try and get me to ride: often looking up great deals on bikes and getting me to throw a leg over as soon as I was tall enough, but hard as he may have tried, I never took interest.
As I went through some rebellious teenage years, I began to resent this difference, among others, and separation quickly crept up. However, the relationship was never fully sundered thanks to a few key common denominators, one of the main ones being video games.
Despite some of the differences I had with my Dad, video games always proved a common ground for us. We could always go back to them and discuss things like how cool the twist in Knightís of the Old Republic was, how video games could be a great social avenue, and coming up with arguments on how video games werenít of ďthe devil.Ē
As the years have gone on, my Dad and me have recovered that closeness we had years ago and I do believe that video games are definitely one of the strings that kept us close when things were shaky through high school. Speaking of teenage angst lets move on to my sister.
Growing up, my sister and I often played games together. Sometimes it was because she was interested in them, and other times it was just because she wanted to hang out with me. However, once my rocky teenage years came around, the relationship began to separate and those fun times spent around the 64 began to slide away.
Then, just as I was leaving behind my teenage angst days, my sister entered into them. This resulted in several years of a very cold, unsure relationship between my sister and I. Neither of us knew how to approach each other, we were constantly afraid of setting each other off. But then, about two years ago, my sister started getting into games of her own accord.
It started with more casual titles on the Wii, but quickly moved to western rpgs (she played Mass Effect 2 before me), and this really opened up a common ground where we could begin to repair our relationship. Talks that began with how awesome Bioshock is quickly progressed to how life was going and how she was enjoying school. The relationship still has lots of room to progress, but itís crazy to think how far itís come.
Nothing brings a brother and sister closer together than rescuing one from suffocation at the hands of a terrorist.
All in all, I wouldn't say that video games are the sole reason that these relationships have progressed the way they have, but it's impossible to deny that they haven't helped to keep us close. As our family begins to enter a new stage with me out of the house and my sister in her last year of high school, I know that video games will always provide a constant tie which we can use to catch up with one another. read