Darien's Story - The Teachings of Games

A Gamer Story by Darien Chetram

The first time I remember playing a video game was Pokemon Yellow on Gameboy color. I remember being so excited to get all the badges and feeling like I’d went on a true adventure when I defeated the elite four. In my early childhood, I played all sorts of games, mostly with my family. The social aspect of gaming attracted me, as it was a way to get respect from whoever was around and also facilitated the growth of relationships, playing and competing with one another.

I started leaning towards more competitive games as I got older, starting with Madden 07, as I was a huge football fan growing up. The ability to play and compete with my friends and family made the games even more gratifying and created a passion. Moving forward, I first discovered online gaming when I played COD4.

This game was my first real experience with FPS titles, and I immersed myself into it. All of my friends were playing COD as well, which undoubtedly fueled my passion to be as good as possible. Everything from the maps to the in-game mechanics made me love Modern Warfare. The best feeling though was at the end of the game looking at the scoreboard and seeing your gamertag (killagunit23 lol), at the top of the scoreboard. After COD4, I was a religious Call of Duty player, up until the end of Black Ops 2. COD really grew up with me.

My parents divorced when I was going into grade 10, but even before then the tumultuous nature of my household growing up warranted a lot of free time and hours spent in solitude. Gaming, along with sports and books, provided a mechanism to fill hours, which otherwise would’ve been spent worrying. These games also taught me valuable lessons in hard work and how practice provide the impetus for improvement.

I took a break from gaming for a few years as I was entering university. I began playing CS:GO on a whim when I saw it streamed on twitch one random afternoon. I was so curious about what I was watching because I had never seen this FPS title before. Its slow, methodical nature was mesmerizing to me, as I had only experienced fast-twitch, respawn based shooters up until that point. From then on, it was the only FPS title I played, as its complexity and high skill requirements aligned with my love of strategy and execution.

Currently it’s the only game I play. I enjoy it as a competitive outlet, especially after a long day. I find that it’s a nice way to get my mind off the multiple inherent stressors that are constantly attacking one's conscience.

In conclusion gaming has served a lot of roles in my life: a stress reliever, a competitive outlet, a social bonding mechanism, and just a way to have a good time. I’ve been gaming since I was about 7 years old and I can’t imagine myself not playing a game in at least some capacity even as I approach my mid-20’s.

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