My son, now in his twenty’s, is a gamer; a very active gamer. He has about every system made, except those that predate Atari. From Nintendo to Sega Genesis, Game Boy, Game Cube, and on. We have an entertainment center that was hand built. It’s extremely large and stands in front of a whole wall. This thing is loaded with gaming systems, games, cheat codes, and game books - things he‘s collected over the years. Yeah, I’d say he’s a serious gamer. Even though he’s heterosexual, he’s in love with Bill Gates. He would leave his own mother for Microsoft.
When my son was four, he begged me, “Mama, please let me play!”
I was playing Mario Cart and he wanted in on it. “You’re too young,” I calmly tried to explain to him.
“But I know I can do it! Puh-leez!” He would bounce up and down next to me flexing his fingers and clenching his fist. He couldn‘t wait to get this little hands on it. “I know I can!”
“Here,” I said handing him the controller. I tried to explain to him what each of the buttons did and he pushed me away.
“I know what to do,” he said, pulling away from me.
So, we played Mario Cart together. Me, his mother, a seasoned player and he, a toddler, playing for the first time, ever. He kicked my ass. Let me say that again slowly. He kicked … my … ass!
I snatched the controller away and said, “How did you do that?"
“I told you I could do it,” he squealed in delight.
“Yeah, but you can’t even read yet! Gimme that!” I couldn’t believe I was getting creamed by a four year old.
About a day later he started his begging again to play so I figured I’d fix him. I had started playing Zelda about a week earlier so, I set him up with his own Zelda game. I thought I was smart because you have to know how to read in order to get the clues and advance to the next level or at least figure out where your artifacts and weapons are. I usually played this at night after work and after he was asleep. Yup, they don’t call me Mom for nothing.
I handed him the controller and once again, tried to show him what all the buttons did. “I already know,” he said, pulling it away from me.
“How do you know what they do?” I asked.
“I can figger it out,” he exclaimed full of confidence.
I let him go for an hour. I thought that would be sufficient enough time. I came back an hour later and that little bugger was almost on my level. He was like two steps behind me.
“What are you doing?“ I asked, amazed he had advanced so far.
“I love B-Tindo, Mama,“ he squealed, bouncing up and down.
“Gimme that,“ I insisted taking the controller. “You can’t even pronounce it right so, I don’t know how you got that far."
Just as insistently, he decided, “I don’t half to know how to nounce it right to play B-Tindo.”
“Yes you do!”
And so it began - my son has been a gamer every since, continuously showing me up on my skills, or lack there of. As he got older, we monitored a lot of his game playing. We were hesitant with James Bond as we knew there would be “some” violence involved after all, James Bond is a spy. He carries guns and weapons. However, before we figured out there was so much violence, he had already mastered the game. All kidding aside, said total, he did it in like one day.
We absolutely said no to Grand Theft Auto by Rock Star. I was very firm on that matter. It wasn’t that my son had the personality to be a violent, gun toting child, we just didn’t feel it was wise to ply our young, impressionable son with so much destruction. So, no to Grand Theft Auto. I figured he was going over to his friend’s houses and playing it there and that was fine, as long as he knew where Mom stood on the game. He killed it, literally.
He still playing Grand Theft Auto and he’s still mastering the game. He finds glitches in the game all the time. He’s tried to contact Rock Star and let them know what they are, but he says, “They don’t listen to me,” or, “they won’t talk to me.”
As an adult, we’ve tried to encourage him to find employment with these gaming companies, any gaming company. He has the ability to see things in the 3-D, he’s creative, and he’s very astute with these games. He’s made for them, and they for him.
Here lately, he’s been more of an X-Box sort-a guy. He’s got his head phones, his games (GTA-5, Call of Duty Ghost, Mindcraft and Halo games), friend‘s list; he‘s locked and loaded. Like I said, he’d leave his mother for Microsoft. I swear if Bill Gates stepped into the picture, he’d be like “Mom who?”
Game Stop hooked my son up with a live tournament when he was sixteen. He made it to the semi-finals. They have said the same thing about my son, “He knows his stuff. No doubt he should be working for some big conglomerate of video gaming.” He looks. He’s inquired but the gaming companies won’t even talk to him. He would be a top beta tester if they took him on. I’d like to see that happen for him. It would be his ultimate dream job - we all have a dream job and this is his.