I bought my very own Super Nintendo system from Costco with money saved from my weekly allowance when I was in grade school. It was a prideful purchase for me, and though I only bought two games, Super Mario and Aladdin, you better believe I played them into the ground. I can’t even fathom the number of hours I spent glued to the TV screen in our living room trying to topple Bowser or rescue Princess Jasmine. I knew all the tricks—how to dodge hot lava waves in the Cave of Wonders or where to locate Yoshis.
But when I hit middle school, clothes, girl talk, movies, dance parties, boy craziness, and painted nails eclipsed my childhood love for videogames. My Super Nintendo system gathered dust and fell quiet. I sold it at a garage sale one year, although I can’t remember when.
In college, I equated video games with HALO, World of Warcraft, and Grand Theft Auto. None of these titles interested me, and there was always a friend complaining that all her boyfriend did, for hours on end, was play videogames when they could be going out and having fun together. I naively thought videogames had morphed into someone I’d never be interested in again.
Fast forward to present day, and it sounds a little something like this:
Bryan: We should probably get some sleep.
Tiffany: I know, but I really, really want to see how it ends.
What is the gateway game that made me excited about videogames again? Gone Home. It’s a storytelling game, something I didn’t even know existed. Instead of shooting up zombies or racing around a track or fighting dragons, the object of the game is to explore a house and find clues to reveal a story and solve a mystery.
In Gone Home, you play a college student who’s been studying abroad for a year, and when you return home…things have changed. No one is there to greet you. So what happened? And where is your family? You have to figure it out by navigating the house, picking up clues, and revealing bits and pieces of a larger, overarching story here and there.
When Bryan and I played Gone Home together, hours flew by and I fought tired eyes and a stiff back to stay up later than I have in a really long time. Because we were so close to figuring it out. Ultimately, we had to sleep, but the next day, I was excited to conclude the game.
Now, I’m not going to be ambitious and label myself a gamer girl. Not yet. But Bryan and I have been playing LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, which reminds me a lot of my early Nintendo games due to the fun factor, and there’s photo evidence of me previewing a game called Tokyo Dark at San Diego Comic-Con a few weeks ago.
It’s safe to say I’m slowly starting to warm back up to the idea of playing video games and realizing that there’s more out there than first person shooters, sports simulators, and racetracks. Who knows, there may be a gamer girl in me after all.