by Liam “loki” Belcher
This is more of a reflection on times gone by and what has changed since back then *points at the old times*.
Since I was a little kid, I was always told that my “disadvantage” would hinder me from doing most things that other kids my age were doing. I was even told that later in life, I would not be able to get the jobs that normal folk get or blend in socially like everyone else. It was disheartening, but a sad truth, and to this day approximately 1% to 2% of the human population is affected by it. Oh the woes of being a ginger headed child. For anyone who is thinking “Ginger hair isn’t a ‘disease’!” I hate to tell you but it actually is. For the sake of comedy and science I have to tell all the strawberry blonde people in denial that “Most red hair is caused by the MC1R gene and is non-pathological. However, in rare cases red hair can be associated with disease or genetic disorder”. Ok so I may have bent the truth a little but lets be honest, you can use the disease story to your advantage. Think about it! When there’s people taking the piss out of your hair in front of a girl you like you can say “did you know that it’s actually a defect in my genetics and that I couldn’t help being born this way? *sad face*”. GUILT them into liking your hair/you.
Anywho, I think I’ve gone somewhat off the point in trying to illustrate the past. In the past, gaming was something simple. You pick up the controller and you’re away. Apart from the odd text-based geeks of gaming like my brother and his friends (friends, hahahahaha) that was all we had to rely on. This was before you kids got your hands on them virtual reality toys and started playing around in flying cars. I honestly feel quite like Marty McFly in Back to the Future 2 sometimes. Here’s what I mean (thanks to disabled embedding, you must work for this video):
“You mean you have to use your hands?!” – says a bewildered and pre-Froddo Elijah Woods. Yes! Yes you do, strange future child!!! I feel like this is probably what will happen when we’re showing our kids games like Call of Duty or Bioshock in the future. “Oh lame. You couldn’t plug games into your brain back then? Pffffffft!”. One thing keeps me from imploding with frustration though and that is the fact that we did the exact same things to our parents or bigger brothers about other things. I’m sure everyone has had the conversation with their grandparents that goes something like “Well, back in my day we didn’t have oxygen. From the moment we got out of the womb we had full time jobs and had to physically make O2 all on our lonesome. You kids have everything these days!”. And as frustrating as that sounds, you’ll most likely have to have that conversation with your children or grandchildren some day.
Gaming has given me a lot in the past. It’s given me loads of friends that I can rely on, skills I can use in the workplace (I have a lot of splicers in my place of work) and a feeling of accomplishment when I look at the many thousands of hours I’ve spent playing games instead of working on educational agendas or looking for a better job. But, that’s not me being bitter, because in thruth I’ve loved almost every minute of it. Recently, I’ve just completed and passed the Football Association Level 1 1st4sport Qualification in football (soccer), meaning I can now coach kids in football anywhere in the country up to the age of 12. Now, I know what you’re thinking “How did you get from gaming being useful in real life, to you doing a football coaching course?” and the simple answer is that for many years, I was the team caller. Being confident enough to make loud, clear and courageous calls gave me the skills to go out on my final practical test and come out with “flying colours” and a “loud and confident, clear voice that kids would respond well to”. I’m not saying all of that JUST to inflate my ego, but also to demonstrate a point. If ever anyone says that “gaming gets you nothing but wasted time and wankers cramp in your wrist” then tell them to shove it where the sun don’t shine.
Gaming has not only given me experiences I’ll never forget and a reputation as an emo blogger (really do wish I could go back in time and pull the plug on that one), it’s also given me some completely practical and useful skills that I was able to apply to something I can now use as the stepping stone of my hopeful new career. So do me…no do yourself a favour and look at what gaming has done for you and what it may or may not have given you over the years that you can actually use in “real life,” whatever the hell that is anyway…
Take us away Mr. Dylan!!!