There isn’t much to say about my relationship with video games. I wasn’t even aware they were a thing until my younger brother asked for a Game Boy Color and invaded our (read: my) computer.
Through the years I played all sorts of things, but always because my brother had introduced me to them. I would say that I only ever made three autonomous video game choices: The Sims, Barbie Fashion Designer and a Sabrina the Teenage Witch Game Boy game. For quite some time, I played Pokémon Crystal in infinite sessions that would last until my mum would snatch the Game Boy away from me. I will never forget you, Suicune.
Despite my various attempts, I never really got into gaming. I ascribe my complete lack of interest for gaming to three things.
- Other media. Books, TV shows, films were so interesting to me that I just really didn’t care about video games. I was too busy managing the many magazines I had fake-founded during primary school. I also liked studying. A lot. Like, a lot a lot.
- I don’t think my brain is made for video games. I have the eye-hand coordination of a toddler. While I am a queen arts and crafts, I’m lost the second you put any type of controller in my hand. I don’t know how many hours I spent watching my character get killed because I just couldn’t press the right button. It makes me queasy just to think of a game that needs all the buttons on a PlayStation controller to operate. My fingers are just not that responsive.
- It takes me ages to understand anything more complex than Pac Man – and these days, stuff gets way more intricate than that. I try to play when I am by myself, with Google on the other laptop, because I don’t think my boyfriend can take one more minute of me crying “I don’t understaaaaaaand” to the computer screen.
In the past couple of years, though, I made an effort to at least try to play something. Anything would do, because literally any game was (still is) outside my comfort zone. This was thanks to my boyfriend, who has 179 games on his Steam account (ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY NINE, are you gulping? I am gulping) that I can click through at any time.
I also felt enabled to actually give it a go after watching hours and hours of Feminist Frequency, where one of my recent idols Anita Sarkeesian talks about (sexism in) video games in an interesting, complex yet accessible way. For the first time in my life I thought: “Why am I not doing that?!”. So I did it.
During 2014 I became completely addicted to Sid Meier’s Civilization V (copied the name straight from the game, so don’t make fun of me). A testament to the fact that I’m not lying about my complete lack of gaming skills is the following: Steam tells me I played it for 267 hours, and I still haven’t dared to set a difficulty level higher than 3 (out of 8). To be completely honest, since the moment we added the expansions, I haven’t tried anything harder than level 2 because I don’t understand Tourism or Religion. If anyone knows what to do with those, let me know.
I also played through the absolutely amazing Gone Home, which I finished in two hours and then cried over for other two. That was a good one.
Anyway. Last week I ended up buying two video games in the Steam sale, so I’m all set for 2015. My two picks were Transistor and Child of Light. I plan on playing through them, but I also hope to improve my Civilization V skills and try to play at least at level 4. As I progress and finish games, I will write about them, even though I am what the French call “les incompétents”. It’s happening, people. I’m getting into video games.