If you don’t know that I am a straight up nerd, then you don’t know me well. I started reading at three and started playing the N64 at five. Because of this great exposure to other people’s creations, I love stories in any form they come in.
I loved playing games and reading to the point that I didn’t have many friends growing up, because I would spend my time reading Xanth novels or playing Zelda games. This type of nerddom has only become socially acceptable within the past five years, but that didn’t stop me from clinging to them.
The reason I love games is that you can be anyone and immerse yourself in a completely different world. You have that world right in front of you and can interpret it in many ways. The games I play have an immersive story line, a gripping plot and relatable characters. I’m not a fan of first person shooters or games that emphasize attaining specific skills over what the point of the game is and the back story of the character.
Just a few days ago, Jacob and I finished playing Earthbound on the SNES.
You start the game as a young boy (Ness) who wakes up to loud knocking on the door. Another neighborhood kid comes in and tells you that a meteor has just landed and that they should check it out. To make your mother feel safe, you check it out and discover through other characters that this force of evil (Giygas) has started possessing people with a predisposition for evil and aims to take over the universe. You spend the game fighting this force of evil and protecting the other people of the world from his influence.
The power of this story is so great that I am having story withdrawals. I don’t believe in spoilers, so talking about this game is somewhat difficult for me. But playing this game emphasized how much power we can have if we put our mind to something. Ness is about 10 years old and he saves the world, but when you play the game it doesn’t seem implausible that a 10 year old could do this. Actually, I think only Ness could have done this, because all of the adults were scared and set in their ways. But Ness didn’t know what he was up against, so he could go out there and do these things because he didn’t have those predispositions.
Games help me to maintain my suspension of disbelief in that anything is possible. And in games, they are. You can have a ten year old fighting UFO’s and possessed dogs without thinking about how terrifying it would be to have to wildlife come out and attack you.
If you have some time and you don’t mind playing games, I recommend playing Earthbound. There are some horrific elements, but the writing is humorous and playful and there are neat little easter eggs that make the game all the more fun.