When I was young I loved to watch my dad and brother play video games. In my teens I played, but it was never as fun as watching was for me.
Is that strange?
I think it was Jimmy Kimmel who jabbed at people who watched others play video games. Many like him don’t get it.
My husband and I hardly play video games anymore, but we did get a Switch. We have played Mario Odyssey and Breath of the Wild. However, we both peter out eventually. The demands of time and life eat into any game time.
If we had kids we might play with them or watch them play. Playing video games isn’t as interesting to me as it was in my teens. My love of watching others play a video game has never changed.
It’s hard to explain and few get it. When I try, there is either a “Oooh, you too?” or a quizzical eyebrow of “What?” You get it or you don’t. There doesn’t seem to be much daylight between the two.
My mom would never get it. My younger brother gets it. He grew up watching me play games. I remember him begging me to play this and that game (he was too scared to play Resident Evil but wanted to watch his big sister play). Whenever I did play my younger brother would happily grab our favorite drinks and snacks before positioning himself in front of the TV. Looking back, it was adorable seeing him sitting on a cushion, cross-legged with a delighted grin that his big sis’ would play for him.
“Hurry, hurry!” he would say eagerly.
Every time I came home from college, he would ask me to play. It reminded me of how at his age I was the same towards my dad and older sibling playing. People play board games to bond, we played video games. It was a family time experience for my brother and I.
Now he plays and I usually watch when I go back to the States.
I have such happy memories that something in my brain still feels that nostalgia when I watch others play video games. I have discovered Twitch and find that same joy. When I watch, I feel like I’m eleven again and sitting behind my older sibling and dad as they navigate a dungeon. It all comes back.
I feel like I’m reliving a treasured memory of my youth when I watch.