While gaming continues to add channels for those lucky or skilled enough to become a professional, through streaming, journalism, or competitive gaming for example, the unfortunate reality for the majority of us is that it will simply always be a pastime. However, that does not deter from the fact that gaming has a substantial impact on our lives. In fact, I aim to explore the impact that gaming has on our lives, starting with the influence it has on our chosen hobbies.
From Controller to Board
In the summer of 1999, as I walked through Toys R Us with my family I saw the love of my early gaming life on display at a demo kiosk: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. After playing the demo for what had to be close to an hour, I was hooked. The music, sound effects, and on-screen antics gripped the core of my 9-year-old soul. Following some clever begging and bartering, my mom was convinced and I was clutching a copy of the skate simulator for my PlayStation. In brief, this was the first game that I sunk a significant amount of time playing, the first game for which I pulled an all-nighter, and the first game that led me to pick up a hobby outside of gaming.
Now, I’m not going to ask for too much credit— outside of learning the basics of kicking and pushing, and a pretty terrible stationary kick-flip, I never really flourished as a skater; the fact, however, that a game had affected me to the point of attempting to emulate the pursuits of polygonal Tony Hawk seems entirely foreign to the adult version of me.
Keeping up with the Cenas
Another way in which my hobbies (or interests) have intersected with gaming is connected to the WWE. I grew up a huge fan of professional wrestling, but as I got older my interest unfortunately waned. The yearly WWE 2k series allows me to stay current(ish) with the roster, so that when WWE does come to town I am able to go to an event without being completely lost on the alignment and gimmicks of current wrestlers.
It is my assumption that other people have experiences similar to these and I would love to hear them. Maybe you took up a real instrument after jamming in Rock Band, perhaps Wii Sports convinced you to take to a real bowling alley, or maybe you were so affected by Glover that you decided you also wanted to also be an absolutely over-hyped piece of trash. Whatever your story, I am looking forward to reading it in the comments below.