Fandoms I Just Can’t Get Into: Video Games

Most people either love video games or hate video games. This one is actually not the typical reason why I can’t get into this fandom.

Growing up EVERYONE who wanted one (and even those who didn’t) had either a Nintendo or Sega system in their house. Most people were playing it hard core all the time while others just had it because it was the popular thing to have at the time. People who even HATE video games had something. We did not own a single gaming console in our household. It was not because we didn’t want one. It wasn’t because we only girls. It was because my parents did not see video games as a good use of free time. Why play Nintendo when you can read books or study and do more homework? Video games also meant spending money. Why waste money when you can save money for college? Therefore other than the very brief times at friends’ houses, I did not grow up playing any sort of video game.

It’s interesting how I see a lot of significant others and their views on gaming if they DON’T play. They find it to be a waste of time or immature. They will either put up with it or want to ban it all together. Maybe sometimes they’ll play if they find a game they like but most of the time it is usually a very guy thing and they don’t want to have anything to do with it and don’t want to try to understand it. It’s basically seen as a time suck that takes away the person from doing other things. But if you do it right, you accept that it’s an outlet for the other person, to relax and do their own thing because it is what they are interested in as long as you’re not letting it take over your life. Then again, this should probably be something you guys need to talk about BEFORE getting into a long term serious relationship but I digress.

As someone who physically cannot play about 95% of video games, I get super jealous of people who get to. Like I’ve said before, I would play if I could but when you feel nauseous or literally throw up almost every time you start playing or even just watching, it’s really hard to become a participant. And unfortunately, it doesn’t do me much good to study up on how to play because well, if I’m not actually able to put it in to practice, it’s not fun at all.

You can talk about what you play with me and I will genuinely be interested. I think people who work in this industry are some of the most creative folks out there. I wish that I could be a girl gamer (though I am rather relieved I don’t have to put up with all the misogyny, abuse, and ignorance that exists from the extreme male gamers) because there needs to be more of them out there. Plus frankly the whole subculture AGAINST women playing is frankly appalling.

You just can’t really show it to me because it’ll just make me sick. This actually kind of sucks because when you think about it, what you like makes me want to vomit.

But take heart, because actually I’m super jealous of you.


The one achievement that will never be unlocked

There is one area of geek fandom that I desperately have always wanted to be a part of but I never will. No, not anime or RPGs. While those are fine and dandy, I’ve tried them and while they are interesting, those just aren’t for me.

Nope, what I really wish I could do but can’t is play video games.

Growing up, my parents wouldn’t buy us any video game system. We were supposed to be focused more on our studies and any leisure time was supposed to be spent doing more studying or reading for pleasure. Video games were expensive and a waste of time. The only time I ever got to play them as a young child was when my sisters and I visited my cousin’s house and eagerly played Super Mario/Duckhunt. (Confession: because of my limited time playing Super Mario, I still have not passed the third level. Of the first game. I know. I know.)

When I got to school, everyone had video games. All the boys loved them. They brought their Gameboys and Game Gears on field trips, their Nintendo magazines and game guides were read illegally during class, and were always bragging what new games they got and what new achievements they reached. I was the weird girl who instead of being all “Boys and their silly video games” was more like “I want to join!”.

But I couldn’t. Not because I didn’t have access to games. Nope. It’s because…I GET STUPID MOTION SICKNESS PLAYING VIDEO GAMES.

Yes this is a problem that I have to face. I cannot play or watch certain video games without actually having to go throw up and then feeling like I want to die. Anything that is first person (most shooting games) or where the camera spins around while the person has to look for something, I cannot handle. I watched my friends play Portal one night (a game I would love to try out) and it was absolutely horrible. I pretty much spent the rest of the night dry heaving with severe nausea. I love playing Mario Kart but if we try just one round on Rainbow Road, my night is over.

Basically this is me:

It’s horribly embarrassing that this happens. It’s one thing to get motion sickness when in a car (and yet I can ride roller coasters with no problem whatsoever) but when watching/playing video games? While I do know some people who are the same way, it seems really rare among gamers. I’m going to assume that either a) they suck it up or b) it really is rare. I even googled “video games motion sickness” and I found an article that said this

Getting motion sickness while playing videogames affects a lot of people, yet it seems almost like a taboo to talk about among gamers because you might not be seen as “hardcore” since you can’t play certain things.”

There are games that I CAN play and do enjoy. You may ask, what is a game that you like AND can play? One that comes to mind is Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. I was introduced to that game about two years ago and had such a blast playing it. It didn’t make me sick at all and it was fun playing it with friends. However since I have no access to it without my friends, I can’t play it without them but that was something I really enjoyed.

It’s just really sad for me because I would love to be part of this community and I just physically can’t. Video games interest me but I can’t spend time playing them without wanting to cut off my head from the pain. Which is probably good because I could see myself getting quite addicted and not leaving. So maybe it’s a blessing in disguise.

That being said, I fully appreciate everything that goes into making a good game and I’m always interested in games that have good story lines and are visually appealing. I really liked watching the beginning of Bioshock Infinite and wish I could have played it. While I’m sometimes leery about how much time can be spent devoted to a game, I’m still always interested in hearing about new games. I also don’t mind watching demos but fair warning, if I start feeling sick, I’m going to ask you to stop. It would be awesome to work for a video game company as well. And maybe one day when I have kids, I can conquer this stumbling block so that all of us can play together.

In a nutshell, video games are fun. I wish I could play them. Until then, I live vicariously through my gamer friends (you know who you all are.) And this is about sums it up how I feel: