Playing Video Games Even Though I Suck

I like playing video games. I also suck at them.

Growing up my sisters and I weren’t really allowed to play them even though we really wanted to. I say really because my mom would allow us to and would always make it known that it was okay, but that we just had to respect the decisions of Dad. My dad used to tell us that they weren’t for girls. *GAG* I’m not really sure how my sisters feel about that time in our lives other than how fun it was to play with our cousins and run back into the house when Dad got home from work. Now, in my late twenties I’m going all in.

When the Nintendo DSi game out I bought one because that’s when I was able to without any mental reservation or fear of my dad. I got a puzzle/trivia game and of course the must-haves. I also got a PS2 with the usual racing ones, basesball, boxing for some reason, DDR and the like. Then I got an iPhone. All those gaming apps? I was all about them. Crossword puzzles, sudoku, endless point based games, competitive multi-player, single player mastery (I just made that up, but I hope you get it), etc., I’m not saying that’s all I did or that I had them out while socializing, but when I had me-time… you’d find me playing. Before the mobile versions, or before I discovered they were in app form, I actually had the books and a pencil or pen. Sometimes before bed I take out my iPad and I’m playing a game or two.

Recently I got myself an Xbox One- much to my BF’s chagrin. To him the PS4 is superior and even though I kind of agree, I stuck to my purchase. So, what’s the game of choice? Destiny – The Taken King. It’s awesome! But, I suck. I suck so badly at these types of games and I don’t care. I also downloaded Tomb Raider because … Lara Croft that’s why.

Playing allows me to laugh at myself and also to sharpen my sense of observation and strategy. I’m constantly getting lost and unable to find my way back to starting points. I run into walls and get stuck in caves and die at unmentionable rates and frequency. Let it be known that I am not ashamed of my gaming repertoire.

My favorite thing about online playing is that it gives me the chance to be openly frustrated with myself and occasionally experience that feeling of achieving those small significant victories from the storyline. It’s also taught me patience and determination. I used to go in charging in at the enemies and trying to punch my way through (still do at times). Thanks to my online buddies and seeing how they play and approach the mission I’ve gotten a little better. There are moments in which I surprise myself when I stay alive longer than five minutes because it means I learned something valuable. It may seem trivial and maybe even obvious to some, but if you know me then you know that I have a hard time staying back when I know there is an objective to be completed.

I wonder sometimes how playing video games consistently or on a not-hiding-from-my-dad basis would have shaped me differently in any way. I mean I’m an adult with a full time job and a college education and video games have been helping me in many aspects of my personal and professional life… even though I suck so badly at them. Let another thing be known: I don’t consider myself a gamer, but I do like that I am a girl who loves them and a Latina at that.

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5 Life Skills That Video Games Can Help You Develop

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