My Life In Pixels

I’ve been gaming since I was an innocent youth. It was basically “a toy to keep you quiet” quoting my doting father. Sonic was one of my best friends, SEGA Master System my babysitter. Many days after school were spent in front of the TV playing Spy VS Spy, Asterix, The Lion King, etc against my papa. Then my Master System was replaced. Cue the Super Nintendo, aka the SNES. Sonic and Alex were replaced with Gulie and Captain Falcon, as was my father with my brother. He needed some serious butt whooping and SNES helped that a lot. Gameboys moved onto the scene, specially for holidays and school trips. Thank you Nintendo for saving so many family meet-ups!

My faithful babysitter.

Jump to 1997 when my loving father won a Playstation One on our local radio station with a copy of Tomb Raider. Lara Croft had official entered my life and there went school. Any high schoolers reading this, please don’t throw your education away and do take it seriously. Games will always be there, a chance to have a good education won’t be. Okay, old woman ramblings aside. Maths and science weren’t my weapons of choice, they were Cloud Strife and George Stobbart. The pull of games has always been strong, even as I type this Halo Reach is looking at me, begging me to go shoot some grunts. It wasn’t until I was at college and university that I met people who were on the same gaming wavelength as me. I was a geeky gamer amongst… well, geeky gamers! Late night World of Warcraft sessions with all day RPGing if classes were cancelled, games always found a way in.

See, games can be educational.

Games can bring people together, ruin relationships and even make Christmas family reunions bearable. Every household has a console, from students with Xbox 360s, families with Nintendo Wiis, to old couples with a DS each, gaming has quickly taken up residence as top entertainment. Computer games have gotten bad rap over the last few years from the media, but that doesn’t stop the industry or the gamers. If anything it makes them more popular. Owning a copy of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas all those years ago was like having your first dirty movie, everyone wanted to come round and see what all the fuss was about.

Classes were cancelled, honest!

Games and education come together well and are not only fun, but teach children lessons on Maths, English, Science, etc. Parents shouldn’t shun games completely, I agree 10 year old Timmy would be better with Brain Training than Call of Duty, but not all games are bad and not all gamers are mindless, overweight, jobless slobs. Games have been around since the 1950s and will hopefully be around when my grandchildren want games on their Christmas lists. I encourage my cousins and godson to play computer games now, as long as homework has been done first. Then the virtual kick-ass sessions can begin! Sorry, did I say virtual kick-ass sessions? Of course I meant long division and reading chapters four to six of Catcher in the Rye!


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7 responses to “My Life In Pixels”

  1. Mark P avatar

    Even if the game itself isn’t educational, it can be the case that it can make you want to learn about stuff. Fallout 3 made me want to go and read up on some of the historical monuments littered around the Capital Wasteland and I believe Assassin’s Creed 2 achieved a similar feat.

    Gaming taught me that death is a preferable alternative to Communism.

  2. The Rook avatar
    The Rook

    The first Broken Sword taught me about the Templar Knights. And many games have problem solving to help the stimulate the brain. The first Sega machine I owned was the Dreamcast so I never grew up with Sonic. It’s all about finding the game/life balance, and maybe one day I’ll work it out, now let’s see what’s new on the Live dashboard…

  3. Ninja avatar
    Ninja

    I’ve learned that cardboard boxes are a really good hiding place. More seriously, but only just, there’s stuff like cause and effect, (virtual) hand-eye co-ordination/spatial awareness and that kind of guff. That last one came in handy through many attempts to plasma tag Elites and such ๐Ÿ˜‰

    There’s doubtless more useful stuff I’ve learned, or become interested in learning, but I can’t remember it all right now ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Lauren avatar
    Lauren

    Lol, thanks for the comments guys. I took learnt about Templar Knights from Broken Sword Rook. We do gather information, maybe not useful everyday info, but we do store it. It upsets me when people who arent gamers or even tried a game, believe gamers are overweight and single and games are a waste of time and cause people to act out in violent ways? Yeah cause last time I played I <3 Katamari I wanted to roll everyone up into a giant ball!

  5. Dean avatar
    Dean

    I’ve got a degree and a masters but sometimes I believe that everything worthwhile i’ve ever learned has been from games:P

    Aside from trivia lots of games have big ideas, that really make you think: Bioshock is a brilliant treatise on freedom and control, think of Final Fantasy VII’s environmental themes, then there’s Final Fantasy X’s astonishing critique of organised religion as a means of social control.

    Maybe older games like Sonic weren’t particularly educational, but I think that some of the most sophisticated explorations of a lot of important human issues have been in games in the last few years.

  6. Simon avatar
    Simon

    Games teach good organisation and grace under pressure.

    If only they gave out qualifications for bravely saving a teammate in Left 4 Dead. My friends would be well-qualified. I’d still have nothing, but they’d be ok.

  7. Ben avatar
    Ben

    ‘Games taught me that death is preferable to communism.’
    Now that made me laugh… ๐Ÿ™‚

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