Special little places: Ever changing ever the same

Promoted from our community blogs

[Here is the story as old as time, of swords and souls, eternally retold. Also, it’s about couches. There’s only a few days left in the month, no, the year, for our bloggers wanted prompt, special little places! ~ Strider]

I’ve been gaming for most of my life, and I’ve gotten to play on a good variety of systems whether new or old. I recall playing every Donkey Kong Country game on a crappy old TV that had the correct input, playing Crash Bandicoot on a PS1 and continuing on from there via a PS2 and GameCube that my siblings and I played with.

One constant remained, for as long as I lived with my parents: such games and spaces were held and played in the basement. The carpeting was warmed by an underneath heating system during colder months and my siblings and I would spend hours playing games together or by ourselves on whatever console had taken our fancy at that point in time. I recall my sister bringing home FFX being a big deal in terms of gaming in our household, playing split-screen Halo 1 and 2, us saving up for a GameCube, and all sorts of stuff like that.

I’d say I didn’t really come into my own gaming-wise until one Christmas we got a PS3, and played LittleBigPlanet. The game whose demo at best buy convinced me that this was the system to get-together upstairs before moving downstairs yet again to play there. Eventually, as our SDTV became bothersome during games of Dead Space or other similarly SD incompatible games we were able to use our dad’s old HDTV, from back when those were rare and not the only game in town basically. It was jaw-dropping to say the least. One of the first games I played on it was God of War III and the sheer detail blew me away. This began my spiral into gaming as more and more of a hobby, and that in turn required creating a space that was somewhat my own to house my hobby.

The setup came together pretty quickly after that. A crappy old long-but-short shelving unit to hold the TV, with the console worked in and its wires in back, getting the Ethernet cable to stretch across one u-shaped room to reach the PS3 on the other side of the far wall away from the router, the TV sitting on the unit with its back to the wall, and a loveseat serving as the place where I would play my games. The shelves had random things on them. The PS3, the console itself sitting on top, controllers and games arrayed sloppily below, and a voice Bluetooth dongle to talk to others online. It was a comfortable set up. The loveseat was old and beat up, which meant it was worn in and comfy to sit in and it had space for a friend or sibling to play games with. I’d spend plenty of time playing things like Uncharted 2 or what have you on it, even recruiting a sibling and friend to throw each other to our deaths in LittleBigPlanet 2 for hours. Alas, my older sister was moving to college and a crappy apartment so the loveseat was unceremoniously torn from me, and replaced with a crappy recliner before the loveseat met its dog-piss-soaked end in a dumpster. Yes, I’m still a bit bitter.

Eventually, I went to college myself, and with me came the PS3 and a shelving unit for it. But sadly, not a good chair. This new setup had the TVs. My roommate and I had separate ones housed underneath a double bunk bed missing the bottom bed. I would use my desk chair, then the desk, then the ladder like separators to clamber up and down this bed. Despite the move though the setup was the same with a lone chair sitting in front of the TV. A crappy thing made of metal and fabric, cheap and not made for long periods of sitting. It caused me back pain if I sat to game too long, which given my penchant for gaming meant I suffered back pain a decent amount of the nights in my dorm. At this time a new entry appeared to my lifestyle: a gaming PC. I only ever really used corded stuff, and I would then, as now, set the gear on myself as I played. Less than an ideal situation, and not as nice as my previous setup, but it only held for a year before I returned to living at home as I continued my studies.

Eventually, I went to what was close to my current gaming setup. An old blue leather recliner was offered to me by my uncle, and after getting it to the house I set it up in front of the TV and got comfortable. By this point, I had two of those squatter shelving units side by side and was on the opposite side of the wall I had previously been hugging. Now it was a TV sitting on one of them, with all sorts of random PC hardware crap in its shelves and the PS3 sitting on the other with all the other memorabilia, games, and things I had acquired. A plastic tub filled with more random stuff sat on the right-hand side of the chair, with its top being used for remotes and controllers as well as a pair of headphones. It was my own spot where I kept most of my personal stuff, spent most of my time, and just relaxed and gamed to my heart’s content. I’ve spent a lot of time in that spot, for years and years. It’s been a comforting place to just detoxify and relax after the stresses of life.

And finally, I did what seemed after every chemistry or physics test to be impossible: I graduated from college this year and found a job away from home. The gaming setup again has changed. The TV is larger, the angle is different, and as I am in an apartment, a basement is not a thing. At least, not a thing I want to get anywhere near. Yet despite not having that other shelf, my current setup is still the same for the most part, with a box sitting in front of a monster TV to hold my newly-added soundbox. Yet the function of course remains the same, as I put up paintings nearby and fill out my own home — a place to dive into a hobby I love and relieve some of the stress of the day to day. It’s one I see taking similar shape and form wherever I go from here, and it’ll always serve that purpose going forward to me. It’s a very special place and one that brings me immense joy.

Thanks for reading!

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