Games All Through my Life

 

board games

I’ve been playing games all of my life. As a child I play games with my family and friends, and I love the challenge and the creativity it brought to my life. I played all kinds of games. Board games, outdoor games, puzzle games, and later videogames. I always included games into almost every aspect of my life.

In school, a played of number of sports, and was involved in various other activities as well. I thrive on competition in general good clean fun. Even things like the banner club in school, I would turn the event into some sort of game in which two sides would race to see who could create their banner the fastest.

I couldn’t even get away from it in class. I would debate on various subjects with my classmates and teachers in an attempt to win every argument I could get into. My instructors thought I was too challenging, but I just saw it as the competitive side of my nature.

Now later in life, I still can’t get away from the need to bring gameplay into my day to day affairs. Work is a good example. I work in the insurance field, and those of us in the office get into a day to day rut very easily. So I started introducing various activities in which to lighten everyone’s moods. It started with simple things like sports pools, current events bets, and even chess tournaments.

I noticed everyone in the office would look forward to these things to break up their day. So I decided to go to the extreme. Our office building is in a wooded area, so I talked about starting up paintball leagues with all the office buildings in our area. It caught on very fast. The idea of challenging the machine shop down the street, the furniture warehouse up the block, or even the students at the nearby community college was invigorating for people.

office paintball

It caught on very fast, and pretty soon we’re all shopping for the perfect gear for our new sport. I borrowed my son’s lacrosse pads, and my husband’s work gloves to help save some money on equipment. I had some alpaca clothes that I had received as a Christmas gift the year before which was perfect for keeping me warm outside.

My only major investment were good running boots, and of course paintball guns and pellets. After work my coworkers and I would meet at the local bar and discuss our strategy. A mailroom clerk lived nearby, and knew those woods very well. He gave us all the great vantage points in which to stake out our enemy.

So every season, we make up new teams gather the rest of the community to embark on our winter paintball challenge. To me having a game that I can include even in my work life is awesome!! Maybe one year even my husband will join.


The moral of the story is, never stop playing. If you enjoy games and activities as a child, try to bring that sense of wonderment and excitement into your adult life. You can join groups after work that go bowling, play darts, or shoot pool. Whatever your speed is, there is an activity to match. And if you’re like me a little on the wild side, go crazy and join a paintball league. Taking your anxiety out on someone with a simple little ball of paint, as simple as it is, can bring joy and laughter to your life.

How I Started Playing Games

arcade

My first experience with video games was when I was 11 years old. Back then they had arcades instead of home video game systems. I remember I went in with some friends and was overwhelmed by the sights and sounds that emanated from the door. Lights were flashing, bells were ringing, and people were cheering for their favorite player.

They had just opened this arcade in the local mall. All my friends it been in before me, and that’s all they could talk about at school. They were talking about things like high scores, levels, bosses, and extra lives. I had no idea what they meant. But when I walked in there, I knew I was in for a new experience.

I had five dollars in quarters in my pocket from my paper route, and I didn’t know where to begin. At first I watched some kids play, but some of the games looked too complex for me as a beginner. So I settled in with a game called Galaga. I was alone spaceship shooting at aliens that were falling from a star filled screen. The music was right in my ears and I felt exhilarated.

I didn’t do very well my first time, but I kept on playing until I got the hang of it. From there I moved on to more complicated games. Defender caught my eye and I decided to give it a whirl. Here I had to rescue people from the clutches of another group of aliens by zigzagging back and forth shooting everything in sight.

defender game

From there I moved up to Asteroids which required multiple fingers to operate the buttons in a bit of a choreographed dance. Getting the coordination down was a little tricky, but after about two dollars in quarters, I got the hang of it.

People say that video games were a waste of time and money, but it gave me an opportunity to interact with people that I normally would not have. I even made some new friends from my school who I had seen in class, but never talk to. Now we had a common pastime in which to share at lunch or after class.

We even developed tournaments in which we would all play each other until there was a decisive winner. I developed a camaraderie with a very large group of kids that I never would have met otherwise. To this day, when I walk through a shopping mall I miss hearing the distant sounds of the neighborhood arcade. Home game systems are okay, but it’s not the same is meeting the gang and spending an afternoon laughing, playing, and competing against each other with the newest video games.

arcade challenge