I’ve been playing video games since I was 3. I haven’t stopped and don’t plan on stopping any time soon. Or any time later for that matter. Everyone who knows me knows that I’m a gamer. Heck, I’m wearing a Wind Waker shirt as I type this article. What I find funny is that when people try to relate to me, they do it through video games (some have failed miserably, but I try not to tell them that). What’s even funnier to me is that when I was a kid I was made fun of for playing video games, by the same types of people who are now trying to relate to me.
Growing up as a gamer was fun at home, but the cause of a lot of strife at school, on the playground, at summer camp, and everywhere else that jocks ruled. The popular kids made me feel out of place for liking video games. While they were shooting hoops with dreams of becoming the next Jordan or Bird, I was playing Jordan vs. Bird on the NES. I was laughed at for reading Game Informer instead of Sports Illustrated. I was actually pretty lucky to have friends who played video games as well. The popular kids made fun out of all of us for this.
Nowadays, gaming is not so much part of the counter culture as it once was. Gamers are now anyone from kids to grandparents. Age and social status make no difference. Actually, the more I think on it, gaming is the great equalizer, similar to a metal chair in a WWE match. Yeah, I may not be athletic, but I will whoop some ass in Mortal Kombat. And what’s more embarrassing really? Go ahead and dunk over me. I’m only 5’ 5”. You’ll change your tune pretty quick when I’m holding your spinal column in my hands.
This article ended up more as a stream of consciousness piece than I originally intended. I guess my point here is that I’ve noticed a change in the way gamers are perceived by those outside of our realm. It’s cooler to be good at Call of Duty than it is to have a mean crossover. And if you don’t have a mean crossover in real life, you can still have one in NBA 2k12. I’m happy to see it as an accepted form of society. I would like kids to know it’s cool to be a gamer. It really is the age of the geek. Video games may be a scapegoat for media and irresponsible or ignorant parents, but I’ve made more friends with my Hadoken than I ever did with my fade-away jumper.
On a side note, next week I’m going to be at the Anime Central (ACEN) convention in Rosemont, IL. I’m hoping to have a lot of cool pictures for you faithful readers out there, and some interesting stories to tell.
Just In Bailey –an homage to the secret code from Metroid, which allowed you to play as Samus Aran without her suit– is an editorial column at Vagary.TV brought to you by Joey Alesia. What started as an alternate perspective on different parts of video games has since become a more wide-ranged look at the gaming industry from a gamer’s perspective with over 25 years of gaming knowledge and a twisted sense of humor. Follow Joey on Twitter (@wrkngclsswrtr) or email him at Joey.Alesia@Vagary.tv.