I have been an avid video game player since at least the age of seven, and my love of games in general extends as far back as I can remember.
Among my early video game memories, I can recall receiving the Nintendo Entertainment System as a Christmas present. Mario Bros., Blades of Steel, Excite Bike, Duck Hunt, Track and Field are all among the first games I fell in love with, and I clearly remember my introduction to the great feeling of “beating” a game, and the positive effect doing so had on my burgeoning self-esteem. Since then I’ve gone through many systems, genres, and eras of video-gaming and the topic only gets more interesting to me.
I am a strong believer in the positive aspects of the interactive nature of video games, and game playing in general, compared to more passive forms of entertainment such as movies or television. I find that a good video game experience can be as rewarding as a good book and while these two genres of entertainment are obviously very different, what marks their quality is their ability to force their audience to think critically about and respond personally to the subject matter.
Besides the personal development that a quality video game can foster, video games can be an excellent platform for social development as well. The summer I was thirteen my parents enrolled me in the Explorations day camp run out of Dawson College in Montreal. After many years of failed camp experiences, the hour or two a day in which I had access to computer labs allowed me to connect with my peers in a fashion I had not been able to previously. The shared experience of working on problems and over-coming challenges together was of vital importance to my development, even though at the time it seemed I was simply having fun and making friends.
Games in general and video games especially have played an important role in shaping my life. If I find myself in a nostalgic mood, what often comes to the forefront of my mind is what video games I was playing at a particular point in my life. The Oregon Trail, Sim City, the Civilization series, Wolfenstein 3D, and so many others since have been vital milestones along the way, and I’m sure that’s a fairly common sentiment for others of my generation as well.
Games are one of the few things in life that are truly universal, present in all cultures in some form, and a beautifully varied expression of various aspects of any given culture.
My sincere thanks for taking the time to read this letter. Please do not hesitate to contact me for any further information. I hope that I have done an ample job making my enthusiasm about this prospect clear!
July 30th, 2012