Amir's Story - Getting Older

Getting Older

A Gamer Story by Amir Yani

Gaming has always been my favourite hobby since I was a child. I remember Christmas mornings in the late 90s where my brother and I would run downstairs to open our presents and play the latest Pokémon game all day. I also remember bringing my Game Boy to elementary school and playing on the bus or during recess with my friends. Regardless of my age, video games have constantly been a big part of my life and a way for me to connect with others and build friendships.

The biggest gaming transition for me occurred when I purchased the Xbox 360 back in 2006. This was my first ever console with online features that allowed me to meet a bunch of new people from across the globe as we played our favourite games together like Gears of War and Halo 3. Playing online also introduced me to the competitive world of gaming as I participated in tournaments against other gamers. One of my most prized possessions was a copy of Gears of War 3 signed by the entire developer team at a tournament that I won in a team with my online friends. 12 years later, I’m still talking to some of these friends today, and I’ve just recently met two of them in person for the first time. We’ve each grown from young teenagers to mature adults and it’s still crazy to me that these lifelong friendships with people hundreds of miles away started through an online video game.

As I’ve gotten older, my passion for gaming has only increased. There are so many interesting storylines, characters and concepts that can only be experienced through the medium of video games. There I have an active role as a player rather than simply a viewer, the latter being the case while watching movies or television shows. These captivating worlds in video games inspired me to start my own blog to record my experiences with a variety of titles from different genres. I also use this blog to share my opinions with close friends who are looking for recommendations on what to play next. My interest in documenting my personal impressions about the games I’ve played has recently motivated me to explore writing as a professional career.

Besides connecting me with other people, video games have also been a consistent source of entertainment throughout my life. With the huge variety of titles available, there is always a game to play during my free time whether I only have an hour or an entire day to kill. New titles are constantly being announced, so gamers always have something to look forward to. For example, this fall one of my favourite games, Red Dead Redemption, is getting a sequel. My friends and I could not be more excited to play it together! On top of that, there are major gaming conferences such as E3 and the VGAs (Video Game Awards) that allow developers to update fans on the latest news about their games. These events are another way to bring communities of passionate gamers together and build hype towards the release of future titles.

Although there are many positive benefits to playing video games, it seems that these benefits have constantly been overshadowed by negative connotations associated with gaming in the mainstream media. I’m glad that nowadays, gaming as a hobby is becoming more widely accepted thanks to the introduction of new games like Fortnite, which are free and accessible across a variety of platforms. The emergence of e-sports is another factor that has helped promote playing video games as a regular hobby. You can now watch competitive games broadcasted on major networks like ESPN and these are even played in sports bars at times. Overall, gaming has had such a positive effect on my life and I look forward to the future of this hobby as technology further develops.

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