Video gaming is something I've done my entire life. When I think of the most thrilling moments of my childhood, many of them involve gaming. Zelda II on the NES, which I watched my uncles play in our crowded 3-bedroom condo. Playing Shinobi on the Sega Game Gear with my Mom. Even playing Sonic the Hedgehog on Sega Genesis with my sister. It was purely a social and familial activity, but over time as games got more complicated, they all dropped out in favor of real responsibilities or other hobbies. I stuck through it, despite always being an entire console generation behind the other kids at school. I remained current on the internet and hooked up to last year's glowing machine at home.
Despite this connection, gaming isn't something I've really written about. For something that has been such a consistent hobby through the years, I haven't really made it an apparent part of my identity. The reason for this is that gaming is usually what I do to turn off. There will always come a time when my head is too full of something heavy and toxic, and the best thing I can do is escape for an hour or two. It's always been this way. As a child, I would daydream for fun, inventing new lives and adventures in my head until I didn't need to because video games caught up with what I had always pictured.