A lot of people think playing video games is a waste of time. Video games can actually boost your brain power. Here's how it works and the benefits.
Our Most Embarrassing Gaming Confessions
Have you ever had one of those moments where you’re with a group of friends and they’re all talking about how awesome this movie is, and you just nod along quietly because you thought it was terrible but know you’re probably going to be bludgeoned to death if you say so? Ever have one of those moments in relation to video games? Some of us at Leviathyn certainly wouldn’t like to admit to our gaming faux pas, but that’s exactly what we’re going to do for you now.
Feel free to disagree and throw all manner of harmless projectiles at your monitor as you read along, but remember: the following confessions are in no way meant to degrade or insult any games or practices mentioned.
1. I didn’t like Journey.
Are you still there? If so, allow me to explain. Since its release on the PlayStation Network as a downloadable PlayStation 3 title, I heard nothing but showers of praise for the indie game that many heralded as a sheer work of art. I don’t discount that praise or deny its artistic integrity; it just did nothing for me when I played it. I didn’t feel any particular sentiment toward it, the gameplay was a bit too minimal for me, and the loose narrative didn’t grab me. I will, however, concede Austin Wintory’s score is immaculate.
2. I have never played the original Legend of Zelda.
The Legend of Zelda is one of my absolute favorite gaming franchises, and numerous titles in the series rest in my top ten favorite games of all-time. You can understand, then, how ashamed I am that I have not yet played the game that started it all. I can’t even claim lack of ownership. I have owned several copies of the game throughout my life (and still have one). I just haven’t gotten around to sitting down and basking in its 8-bit glory.
3. I used to consult walkthroughs religiously.
This may be one of the most shameful practices a gamer can indulge in. Getting stuck on one section for two hours and giving in to a walkthrough is somewhat understandable, but in high school I would rarely start a game without having a walkthrough bookmarked. To this day, I cannot say I’ve beaten Ocarina of Time completely guide-free (I also haven’t played it through in close to a decade). I broke this nasty habit during college when I began taking gaming more seriously, and I consider those my “dark days” of gaming.
1. I didn’t play a Final Fantasy game until Final Fantasy X.
2. World Class Track Meet for the Nintendo Entertainment System is on my list of top ten greatest games.
The game is essentially nothing more than a glorified button masher, but that never kept me from loving every minute of it. I suppose it may be the power of nostalgia at play as my brother and I poured hundreds of hours into challenging one another growing up, not to mention it was the only game we owned where we actually got to use the giant plastic Power Pad controller packaged with the game.
3. I enjoy playing Call of Duty for the single-player experience.
I’m just as much a fan of playing with others as the next person, but I’ve just never been able to find a suitable skill level playing online multiplayer. I suppose the concept of getting owned by strangers just doesn’t tickle my fancy. It’s even odder considering I was a huge fan of local multiplayer games like GoldenEye 007 back in the day. I’m also more of a story-driven player, so that may explain my penchant for scripted moments in first-person shooters.
1. I hate Grand Theft Auto. Like, a lot.
Look, I get it. The chance to run amok downtown a major city, blowing up everything in sight without ever having to sacrifice so much as your time and maybe even a little bit of money? A hyper-crazy power fantasy, right? Who wouldn’t want that?
It’s not necessarily the chaos-inducing abilities GTA grants one that turns me off to it (Lord knows I love me some Saints Row). No, it’s the fact that I feel like a bad person while playing. GTA’s worlds often contain a generous amount of satire of the real one we inhabit, but for some reason, there’s still a negative, biting edge to it that really rubs me the wrong way. Add to that some pretty egregious stereotypes and characters about as full-bodied as a piece of paper, and that’s it: I can’t do it. I can’t enjoy playing GTA.
2. I am fascinated with horror games, but cannot play them.
Truth: I once had nightmares for about a month after watching a Discovery Channel documentary about a lady who lived in a haunted house in Georgia. For weeks after the fact, every time my house creaked, I was convinced it was a restless spirit come to claim my soul.
Hence, why I can’t play horror games or watch anything more terrifying than Scooby-Doo.
And yet, I am absolutely fascinated with horror games. I love learning about their lore, watching them on YouTube let’s plays (usually while scrolling through the comments during the scarier bits), and studying the psychology behind their design. I’m one who is quick to recommend games I will never actually play. That is, unless I’m at a point in my life where self-induced insomnia is a necessity.
3. I once played a PC game called Barbie Horse Adventures: Mystery Ride and enjoyed it very much.
Yeah, it was cheesy and dripping with a choking amount of pink-ridden estrogen. But hey—I was ten years old and had an obsession with animals. Horses in particular.
The voice acting was bad, the story made little to no sense at all, and although I don’t remember much of it at this point, I can’t imagine it had much by way of tight gameplay or multiple game modes. But it was fun, okay? Don’t judge.