You know that E3 exists. You have heard of Nintendo Direct. You know that Twitch is some sort of social media platform. But you don’t know when these things happen, why they happen, or what happens at them. You know that you love video games. Your favorite video game characters name is… well you can’t remember, but he’s in that one game. The one with the swords and the fights. He battles this big dude at the end. Wait what’s a boss battle? Soccer but with cars? What even is that? WHAT DO YOU MEAN ZELDA IS THE GIRL ON THE COVER?
Does this sound familiar? If it does, you might be known as a “casual gamer.” And if that isn’t a term that you are familiar with, you are now. And honestly, those of us who are casual gamers need a voice.
I personally would consider myself a casual gamer. I grew up with brothers who played video games around me and I hung out with friends who also played video games. Despite this, no one ever put a controller in my hand. I didn’t ever speak up about it but I wanted to learn how to play these games. I wanted to have fun with my brothers, their friends, or my own friends, but the only game I ever got really good at, and I mean REALLY good, was Guitar Hero. I would sneak into the basement after my family went to bed and try to figure out how to play Halo (I’m assuming this is where my love of first-person shooters or FPS games began). I probably accidentally deleted 7 or 8 of my brothers’ saved games and got reprimanded too many times to count.
Fast forward 17 years. I still love playing video games. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time or energy to dedicate into more gaming. I wish I did, but I just can’t. And you know what? That’s okay. It’s okay that I don’t know every video game designer, every CEO, every release date. It’s alright to say “Oh, I’ve never played that. Tell me more” when someone brings up a video game I’ve never heard of. It’s definitely acceptable to not be the best at every video game because as much as I love playing them I just don’t have the ability to put in as many hours necessary to become a pro. And that’s okay.
So if you find yourself a casual gamer, you’re in good company. We might never win at Mario Kart, and we might be considered “noobs” in most facets as far as video games go. But don’t let that discourage you from doing something you love, even if you will never know as much as your friends, or siblings. That’s the great thing about video games. They don’t care if you are an expert or starting at level -30. They just want to be played.