No game is made the same. Neither is a person or a potential player. Saying that, I truly believe every person, no matter their circumstances can find joy in video games. Anyone can become whoever they want to be, even if it’s for just a few hours and become a winner in their own way.
Whether it is a traditional FPS, Action-Adventure, Strategy based game, or even an online MMORG, we can all find a game that matches our unique interests, skill sets and desires. That’s the beauty of gaming. It’s the great equalizer.
A 70 year-old man or woman – who you might expect at a Craps table or better yet, a penny coin machine at one of Vegas’s finest – may get their fancy now playing Wii Party, Wii Fit, or the countless other titles that Nintendo purposely geared towards an older crowd.
You might even get the occasional grandpa rocking out to Super Smash Bros. on the Wii U in the nursing home. The point is: it doesn’t matter what your age is. You can be any age, in any shape or form, and still play and enjoy video games of any type. May it be a simple and fun party-based game (Is that still a thing?) or even a hardcore FPS game.
It allows you to become someone you’re not in real life. It allows you to escape into a rock-em sock-em fantasy world where anything is possible. At that point, the 13 year-old kid playing Call of Duty Black Ops III is no different than the elderly person. They’re both out for a similar experience and gaming can give them that.
I remember when I was kid, my friend Chris and I used to play on his PlayStation (I didn’t own a console of my own at this point; terrible childhood, I know). He was better than me in a lot of games: mostly sports games like Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. However, I would watch him play contently as he pulled off moves that I honestly to this day couldn’t tell you what they were called. Super back flips, Ollies, 360s, whatever, the game allowed him to be an all-star like Tony Hawk and do moves and tricks that him or I could never dream to do.
His step father used to come in the room sometimes and watch us play in awe. A PC gamer himself (very much in its infancy at the time – think Duke Nukem, Unreal, Myst), he’d sometimes grab the controller and get in on the game. I was fascinated watching my 10 year-old friend go toe to toe with his senior step father, sometimes getting his socks knocked off and sometimes winning. It showed me that games are the great equalizer no matter who we are. It can bring us together or let us become whoever we want on our own.
Personally, I was an avid single-player gamer. When I did finally buy myself an original PlayStation, I played Final Fantasy Tactics, 7, 8, and 9. I was chased through Resident Evil 1, 2, and 3. I tried my hand at Dino Crisis and Parasite Eve. I was a bit of a Square Soft and Capcom nut to be honest. But to me, after a long day at school all I wanted was to escape to the magical land of Ivalice in Tactics or to the riveting Raccoon City. It was my great escape. I could become Cloud, Claire, Jill, Leon and the countless other characters I got lost in. A kid who was terrible at sports and didn’t have an athletic bone in his body could forcefully defeat a horde of brain eating zombies.\
I don’t want to belabor the point. Games allow all of us a chance to be winners. To win at something. A kid in a wheelchair could be a skateboarding all-star. A 70 year-old grandpa could whoop some “noob” 13 year-old in Call of Duty. Games are the great equalizer. It let me be who I wanted to be when I needed to be someone else. I value what games have given me. Let me know some of your game stories in the comments section and what they meant to you while growing up. Maybe I’m totally full of it.