Many of you may not be familiar with me or my blog over at simpleek. If you visit my blog, you may notice how I call myself the “intermediate gamer.” Ever since I started blogging over a year ago, I’ve been thinking a lot about my experiences and my identity as a gamer. I consider myself an intermediate gamer because my level with games lies somewhere in the middle. I’m not completely clueless about gaming because I have watched my cousin play Mario and other games that would be considered classic and retro at this point. I have held a controller before and played a little Mario, Mortal Kombat, and Aladdin as a kid. For some reason having a brief flirtation with games as a kid wasn’t enough for me to become a hardcore gamer.
My transformation as a gamer didn’t come until 2009, the year I decided I wanted to purchase a Nintendo DS and then the Wii. The Wii attracted me to gaming because of the motion controls. I don’t know why, but the idea of interactive gaming that encourages you to get up and move was appealing. By purchasing the DS and Wii it just opened up the floodgates to more gaming devices my friends felt I needed to have. When the PSP was added to the bunch, thanks to a friend who gave me one as a birthday gift one year, I thought this would be the last portable handheld device and console I would have in my possession.
Friends thought they could sway me to add an Xbox 360 or a Playstation console to my growing collection of gaming devices. I refused for the longest time. I was content with Nintendo and all the current systems I had. And the games! They just never stopped coming. I bought a few and then each Christmas and birthday were opportunities for my friends to pile on games they thought I would like to add to my growing library. I still have an insane backlog of games. I wonder if I’ll ever be able to put a dent on them.
My resolve against getting another console finally broke sometime in the fall of 2012. My friend showed me Dragon Age: Origins and I was a goner. It quickly became, “Why hello there, Xbox 360! Where have you been all my life?” The rest, as the tired saying goes, was history. I was knee deep into gaming and there was no turning back. I don’t regret my transition into a full on gamer. It just makes splitting my time amongst other leisure activities way trickier than it was before. Navigating my new found status as gamer was exciting, confusing, and a little intimidating.
Being the intermediate gamer meant I was no where near being a total infant in the realm of games, but I wasn’t an expert either. When I bought my Xbox and it came time to play a game where I had to get used to all the buttons and joysticks the controller had, I was as awkward and unsure as the girl who waited with baited breath to find out if the guy she had a crush on in high school may actually like her back. That’s how I compare the experience. It was a little embarrassing to find the simple use of a controller hard to grasp. What do all these colorful buttons do? When do I need to use the left/right trigger buttons? Why am I getting dizzy from moving the camera with this joystick? Believe me, there were plenty of issues I had to overcome when using the Xbox controller for the first time. These were not issues I encountered with the Wiimote.
Nowadays, these aren’t issues I have anymore. I was amazed by how quickly I got over them. It was a matter of getting used to something unfamiliar. A few years have gone by since my entrance into gaming, but I’m still reluctant to call myself an expert gamer. I have a lot to learn and plenty of games to conquer, but maybe in a few years time I can proudly call myself an expert gamer.