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Games aren’t just a momentary distraction. They help us through tough times, or bolster our confidence when the world has worn us down. The experiences we have in games, the memories we create, stick with us throughout our lives, whether we realize it or not. –Marie


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I grew up playing video games. It all started with an Odyssey 4000. It had 8 variations of Pong – just monochrome lines and dots on the screen – and it was amazing. My brother and I always played against each other because back then it was all about high score. But, Atari 2600, NES, SNES and Genesis were my glory days of gaming. Each system brought a new world to me and my brother. We would spend endless hours trying to figure out every aspect of every game, finding secrets, bugs and hopefully getting to the end. When stores started renting games it was like a buffet for us. We had one goal: beat the game before it was due back! When sports games started getting better (mainly with SNES and Genesis) it became a nightly ritual to play Madden or some Baseball title. In our heads we knew who was leading between us and it was always a blast as he would stomp me and then eventually I would do the same back.

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“One of the most disturbing and awesome moments of video gaming I ever had. “

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Listen to this gamer story (1 min, 25 seconds):


Or, read the transcript:

So, I was playing Fallout for a long time. And, I would play that game for like 8 hours at a time. Not even blink. And it would just keep pulling me in. And, I got so sucked into that world, in the story, that, as I was playing it… One of the things that you do in the game, right, is you have to pick locks with a hairpin or whatever. And, I’d spent a couple days where I couldn’t find any hairpins. I’d been looking around and I had to get into this door that I wanted to get into because I knew there was going to be something cool behind it. So, I took a break from playing the game, which I rarely did at that time, and I was… I thought I’d sweep up and clean up my room. So, I’m going around, I’m sweeping, and I lean down to sweep something up and I see a hairpin. And I go: “Fuck yes!” And I reach down to grab it and then I realized that this was real life – that this hairpin was something that was on the ground. But, I was so caught up in that game that I thought that I had found something that would help me in the game. And that was when I realized how immersed in that world that I was, where the two had blended together. And it was one of the most disturbing and awesome moments of video gaming I ever had.


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Keith Michael Hostert is an Associate Creative Director working in “advertising.” He has been playing “blippers” since the Atari days and has yet to beat RYGAR or MIKE TYSON’S PUNCH OUT. Please don’t judge him.

 

 

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