Lately, I’ve had a lot of people ask me why I am so into video games. I haven’t ever really taken a step back and thought about it too much… But, now that I’ve had some time to think about it, it has to be because I was introduced to them at such a young age. My dad introduced me to video games at a very young age, and ever since then I have been addicted to games. Now, my dad passed away a couple of years ago, but he is the definite reason that I have such a passion for video games.
Games Bring People Together
Firstly, Dad made a huge impact on me. As I stated earlier, my dad introduced me to video games when I was two years old. Some of my earliest memories are of sitting in his lap and playing the Nintendo Entertainment System, mainly Mickey Mousecapade and Super Mario Bros. Together, we were able to beat both of those games. Every time I needed help, he was there to beat the level for me and, honestly, this is where my video game addiction started.
As I grew older, Dad would take me and my two younger brothers camping. I remember pulling out our old, giant Gameboy at night to take turns playing Super Mario Land. It was a great time for us to bond together. We would joke, snack, and game all through the night and see who could make it the furthest. Staying up all night and goofing off is one of the best ways to bond. I’m glad Dad decided to take us camping all those times.
See, I have a lot of memories with my dad. Sure, not every single one pertains to games, but these do. He not only introduced me to the games, but he showed me that they were a great tool to bring people together. With him being gone now, I am so thankful to have these memories to recall. These memories are all small impacts on my life that have really helped shape who I am.
The greatest thing Dad taught me was passion, but my father was just not that interested in video games. He was much more into sports than anything else. Specifically, he was into college football. Most people who knew my dad understand just how much he loved it. For those of you who did not have the opportunity, let me explain: We have season tickets that allow us to go to every home game. Dad didn’t just do home games, though. He would travel to each and every away game that he was able to. In fact, I am pretty sure that for the last two or three years of his life, he went to every single game that Alabama played. Now that’s dedication!
He loved everything about the sport and wanted to share it with everyone he could. He allowed me and my two brothers to invite numerous friends to different games. I can’t even count the amount of tickets he would give away to make sure someone who had never been exposed to the atmosphere would be able to. Every time we took someone who had never been to a game, he would see to it that they had an authentic encounter with football. There were two guys who he met from Spain that wanted to go to a game. He took them camping and tailgating, trying to give them the best experience possible! His passion became infectious, getting more and more people involved in what he loved.
Now, you’re probably trying to understand how these two different things connect with one another. It all comes down to what my dad told me during some of the last days of his life. We were coming home from going out to eat, and I was complaining about my current job. Before we got out of the car, he stopped me and told me that life was too short to be miserable doing something I disliked. He specifically told me to do something with video games because of my passion for them. So, I decided to take his advice and do something.
Time to Take Fatherly Advice
I decided to start trying to share my gaming passion with some of my personal friends. Rachel, my wife, quickly got into the Halo series with me. And, of course, I had other friends who were already playing Destiny with me as well. I went out on a limb and started talking to a few others about. Some of my local friends began to play Destiny because of my recommendation. Then, their wives and other friends quickly jumped on board and we began to hang out more and more. My dad was right, passion is infectious in the best way!
After getting more comfortable discussing my passion with people, I decided to seek out others who shared my similar interests online. From Twitch to Twitter, I was talking to greater amounts of people about video games. Video game streamers were easy to talk to and get to know. People on Twitter became more than that small image next to their name, but actual friends. I soon found some Discord channels and got to know even more people. Then, after having a few people ask my opinions on things, I decided to start writing about video games.
Living the Dream
Writing about video games is my passion coming alive. I love talking about games with other people and sharing my thoughts and opinions on the matter. So, I started my own personal blog. After writing there for a bit, I started writing for other groups of people. Then, I finally found a home at MHG. The crew of contributors are fantastic. Fans in the group’s Discord chat and the Patreons of MHG are great to be around and talk with. We share a similar passion and I definitely have felt at home with them.
I feel like I’m “living the dream” now. I’ve recently had an opportunity to go to PAX South with the MHG crew; Not just as fans, but as members of the media. It was a fantastic opportunity that I never would have had the chance to jump at if it weren’t for my Dad’s advice. Now, I know that this may never become a “real job,” but if I enjoy life even more because of my hobby, then it is worth doing.
So, my dad is the reason that I got so deep into gaming. He introduced me to games and then pushed me to take it to the next level. I was able to experience his passion for sports and see how a hobby can make a life worth living. Every single day I miss him, and I don’t think that is ever going to change, but I know that he would be happy that I am using my passion, impacting people, and enjoying life because of him.