Recently, I’ve come to realize that, as gamers, we can spend so much time critiquing and criticizing games, systems, and products within the gaming industry that we lose sight of the things that we do like about it. I do believe that we all have a right to our opinions and perspectives, but I feel that we can forget all of the work, time, money, and sacrifices that are made for us to enjoy the products that we do. Everything that occurs in the gaming industry is the result of work that people have put their life forces into. And as a result, I want to use this platform as my way of saying, “Thank you.”
With all the stresses and challenges that life can bring forth, I am so thankful to have video games as a hobby. Not only do I enjoy the creativity, challenges, and spectacle that is video gaming, but it has served a positive purpose in my life. Video games have entertained and educated me, allowed me a temporary escape from reality, provided good mental workouts, put a smile on my face, and helped me to de-stress.
Some of my most prized memories with my family and friends came through video games. I can remember my mother playing Ms. Pac-Man on the Atari 2600 and my father playing Operation Wolf in the arcade. There’s the many occasions of playing games at home with my brothers, seeing Tecmo Super Bowl for the first time at my cousins’ house, laughing my tail off with my buddy over the silliness of Clayfighter, etc. As I look back on my life, I can say that I have shared some sort of gaming memory with all of the people who are closest to me. Gaming is a vehicle that can bring people together and allow them to share good moments and create positive memories. I’m thankful for that.
Gaming really helped bring balance to my days in college. There were times when I didn’t get home until close to midnight because I worked a part-time job as well. Even though I should have gone straight to bed and prepared for the next day, I couldn’t let my day end with just doing nothing but school and work. So I would go to my room and play video games for at least two to three hours before finally going to bed. It was my way of unwinding and exhaling after long, strenuous days. This was during the original Playstation’s heyday, which was arguably the greatest system for role-playing games. That was the perfect genre to play after a long day.
The games I would play nocturnally were Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII, Chrono Cross, Suikoden, Wild Arms, Final Fantasy Tactics, Xenogears, Star Ocean: The Second Story, and Grandia. I would just lose myself in the stories and the worlds that the games provided. It was like reading an excellent novel, except you were able to actively participate in the story instead of just being a passive observer. That allowed me such a wonderful escape from having to think about school projects or homework.
I appreciate all the programmers, writers, artists, leaders, and every single person involved at the ground level of creating video games. To bring concepts and ideas to life the way that they do is phenomenal. For every single title that we’ve come to play and love, these people are the ones who brought it to reality. The content of a game alone is a monumental achievement that can rival any Hollywood production, but the fact that video game development also simultaneously takes into consideration how the player will interact with that content is nothing short of spectacular. These creators will always have my respect.
Although they are many times overlooked, I’m thankful for the executives and corporate people who provide oversight and direction for companies so that developers have the resources to make these awesome games. Having people who know how to make and manage money is vital for a company’s financial health. Insomniac can create the high quality Spider-Man games it does not just because of the fantastic developers but because of the oversight of its executives and management that ensure they have the resources necessary to make a true gaming masterpiece.
I’ve never outgrown my interest in gaming nor do I plan to. It’s something that I enjoy and it has brought me many happy moments for myself and to share with others. I’m thankful that gaming exists and that it is something that I’m able to indulge in. This is my gratitude for a wonderful industry. Whatever part anyone plays in making things happen in the gaming world, I tip my hat to you. Happy Thanksgiving to those of you reading in the United States. And for everyone reading this, have a safe and wonderful week. I’ll return with a new post next Tuesday.