I’ve looked around the forum and haven’t seen a topic about this so I’ve decided to make my own.
I want to talk about video games and family interactions. Have video games been a major component of your relationship to another family member? If yes then how? In what way, discussing games you liked or playing together? Or did you had to explain gaming to another family member (most likely parent or grandparent)? Has that caused any funny or interesting conversations to pop up? Or were they just stressful?
I am gonna start with myself, listing each family member in order by how much they play games, starting from bottom and working way up top.
Mom: mom only played games like Tetris or Lemmings though I have never seen her play any video game, as far as I can tell.
She occasionally gets interested in games with more ‘artistic’ style, but even that is rare. Overall she isn’t interested in video games at all but generally she respects my hobby.
One of funnier game and mom related conversations was the one I and my dad had to convince her that Mario (of Super Mario fame) wasn’t polish. She was very insistent he had to be because of ‘polish plumber’ stereotype. She wasn’t convinced by us. I admire having this much dedication to your fanon.
Dad: now dad is very much a Gamer. One of my oldest memories involves playing a kid’s point and click adventure on his lap. Both me and my brother would often watch him play video games that we were too young for or had troubles with.
I remember watching him play Morrowind, not yet knowing sometime later I would play that game and how much it would influence my life. Some of games I real like I have never played personally (or very little)- I just watched my dad play them. I remember waiting for him to come back from work so we could continue playing Gothic (speaking of- does anyone remember this serie? It’s been years since I’ve had any contact with any of the games from the serie but they definitely seemed unique at that time).
Or asking him to help me beat a section in game that seemed impossible to 12 years old. We actually share steam account even! Wish he would stop buying games just because it’s on sale though (he gets like that with anything that’s on sale)…
Cw: discussion of child’s death and car accident.
Brother: one of my most precious memories of my brother involve video games. Rayman 2 & 3 were probably our favourite games, or at least there were mine (I can’t ask my brother if he agrees). Watching my brother beat Rayman 2 was utterly magical experience- I remember how scary we thought some levels were or how we got stuck at one point and my brother had to ask the kid we borrowed the game from what we were supposed to do (it was the introduction to rockets with legs). The Rayman world just seemed so alien and vibrant to us, and it felt so special to discover this bizarre world.
Rayman 3 was a bit different cause it is a lot more humorous than 2 is but it still had this magical alien atmosphere (especially at some parts-the area where you get your hands back (long story) is one of my favourites) with a humor that was a hit with two pre-teens.
Another category of games we enjoyed together were video games I have no interest on my own and never had- shooters and racing games. What’s the appeal of watching someone play genre you have no interest in? Well, I have no idea! I think the only person I liked watching play those games were my brother so I think that was the appeal for me. While shooters were nothing to write home about (for me) racing games were a different story. Since they often lack story or it’s very minimal we made up our own stories- why we raced, who we were etc.- which made those games so entertaining for us. After all you get so much more invested in something after you build a whole emotional arc for it!
Fun enough even if my brother probably played a lot more games than I did he never got into Morrowind, so it was a rare game I was better at. Which was a big deal for a young competitive me. Speaking of competition…
Multi-player. I remember mine and my brother’s introduction to a proper multi player (not the ‘okay I hold the arrow buttons while you shoot’ kind) very clearly- it was mind blowing at the time. While we had internet it was only real available to us under parents supervision so we had very little experience with it and what it could do. Now imagine having your dad come back to work and saying you two could play on two separate computers against each other!!! I remember our astonishment at seeing the same scene from two different laptops from two perspectives- two jedi facing against another controlled by two players. It’s a funny thing to look back to since it shows how much technology has progressed- no kid today would be astonished by this concept.
But getting back to the main topic- now armed with this new knowledge we could pursue new highs of gaming- to go even further than we ever went before…! Which meant playing Lego Star Wars (based on original trilogy) on the same computer with a way too small keyboard.
While it wasn’t a very comfortable experience it was definitely one of my most cherished ones- Star Wars meant so, so much to my brother and even though I didn’t care that much on my own I cared a lot when I was with him. First of- legitimately a very good game, that I wish I could get back to. Second of- the humor. I can’t tell if it holds up but at the time it was so formative to me. I know we mimicked cutscenes we found especially funny or made goofy noises at each other based on one character makes.
I have mentioned it in another topic but before the last mission in Episode IV (since you don’t have to play them in order we have already finished Episode VI) my brother got hit by a car and died three days later.
I remember some time after I was told siting down by our computer- located in his room- and clicking on Lego Star Wars icon. I’ve asked my dad if he would play with me and he off course agreed. You aren’t gonna deny something as trivial as this to your last remaining child that bursted into tears every five minutes and couldn’t sleep alone. I remember my mom walking in and saying it’s good I am playing something I and my brother had played together. That it’s a way of remembering him. Honouring him.
But I didn’t want to remember him, I’ve wanted to play a video game with my stupid brother, to get into arguments over our play styles, to sabotage each other’s plans, to finish a level after minutes of frustration. And I didn’t give a shit about honouring anything at that point in time. Looking back, my inner thoughts were too harsh but I can’t real blame myself or my parents. None of us knew what to do or say. There was no way out of this situation that wouldn’t involve emotional scars.
To close off the Lego Star Wars part… I don’t know how long after his death this was- I assume it was after Christmas (he died week before.yeah.) but I am not sure- but I was looking through stuff on computer when I’ve found a document titled ‘presents’. It was a cryptic title so I’ve clicked on it. I wish I hadn’t. I wish I had not seen my brother’s-my freshly dead brother- Christmas wish list. It was a small thing but one that made me realise that my brother had no plans to die- why would he?! He was 12 years old boy. He was looked forward to Christmas he wouldn’t live to see. And to playing another Lego Star Wars game on that day.
After beating Lego Star Wars with my dad I never touched another Lego game since. I can’t.
Sorry for such a gloomy first post in topic and probably weird grammar.