I held my breath and listened, certain that the three kids had heard me when I tripped and fell into the back of the pop-up camper. I was on the far side of the camper, away from the warm glow of the campfire and having trouble feeling my way around in the dark.
“It’s my turn to tell a story,” I heard Aiden say. Good. They still had no idea how close Uncle Ry-Ry was to scaring the bejesus out of them.
I made sure that my neck cover was pulled up snug around my nose and that my beanie was nice and low, leaving just enough room for my eyes to peer through. I looked in and saw Aiden take a seat in front of Randy and Madison, turning the flashlight so it cast his face in an eerie landscape of highlights and shadows.
“I’m going to tell the story of The Bloody Hand,” Aiden said, making his voice as creepy as possible. I took that as my cue and started scratching on the thick plastic window. It was too perfect an opportunity to pass up.
“Is that a…hand?” Madison asked, genuine fear crawling into her voice as she looked to where my hand rested against the window.
Aiden turned the flashlight towards the window. He only got out “What the–” before I leaned into the beam of light, giving a guttural growl.
The screams began instantly, high and shrill. I yanked my beanie off and pulled my neck warmer down, hurrying around to the other side of the camper as the rest of our camping group turned to see what the commotion was about. “It’s only me,” I yelled, swinging the camper door open and letting the kids get a good look at possibly the meanest uncle in the entire world. “It’s just Uncle Ry-Ry.”
The screams turned to laughter, and all three of the youngsters let me know how much of a jerk I was for scaring them.
The next day, shortly following an even bigger scare from Coach Dave when the kids genuinely thought they had stumbled upon the real Big Foot, Papa Jesse leaned down into the faces that were still damp with tears and said something that stuck with me.
“It was mean of him to scare you like that,” he said. “But I promise you one thing: You’re going to remember this camping trip.”
In the weeks leading up to this trek into the wilderness, I had made a solemn vow that I would be taking the opportunity to completely disconnect from the world. When we arrived at the campsite safely, I turned my cell phone off and put it in the glove box. That’s where it stayed for the next three days. I left my Vita at home and brought my Nook under the strict guidelines that it would only be used for reading. But even that felt like cheating, since it was a digital device, and so it stayed in my bag.
I had been playing a lot of games in the months before this annual camping trip with my buddy Jeremy and his family and friends. Darksiders II, Transformers, Battlefield 3, The Sly Collection and enough virtual and real pinball to give my hands flipper-cramps.
“It’s time to get away from all of that and immerse myself in the real world,” I thought. I was beginning to feel like all I ever did when I wasn’t working was play video games, so I wanted to take this opportunity to fully disconnect. Not just from games, but from anything with a glowing rectangular screen. I wanted to hit my own reset button, so that’s exactly what I did.
And you know what? It was wonderful. I got in a short hike, we did some fishing, made smores and sat around the campsite chatting for hours on end. The kids ran around and made a lot of noise while the adults talked about who was snoring the loudest the night before.
It’s stuff like that that sometimes makes me feel guilty about playing video games. I tell myself that I’m just being silly, but that doesn’t make me feel any less like what I’m doing with my free time is frequently a complete and utter waste. And I tell myself that it’s “work,” since I write about games, but that doesn’t take much of the edge off.
I was raised in a generation that was just getting to know video games. At the time they were seen as strictly kids toys – something you could enjoy through childhood but then had to give up when it was time to put on the big boy britches, get a job and start paying the bills.
I know that the hour or two I manage to squeeze in with video games on any given evening is nothing compared to the hours of television my fellow “adults” are consuming on a daily basis, but still that stigma remains. I fire up Jet Set Radio and have to force my brain to stop wrestling with the idea that I should be doing something more constructive with my time. I play games to have fun and unwind, and it’s hard to do that when said enjoyment is constantly at ends with this bizarre feeling of guilt.
In Telltale Game’s The Walking Dead, my back is against the door and Clementine has just handed me a cane to wedge between the handles to help keep the things closed. The undead are howling and pawing through holes in the rickety structure, doing their best to grab hold of an unexpecting snack.
To my left, one of my new friends is set upon by a bloodthirsty group of the walkers. To my right, another new acquaintance is desperately trying to shake free of one of the bastards as it tries to drag her to the ground and bite into her warm flesh.
As Lee Everett, I only have a few seconds to decide which of these people I will save. The other, I know, will be torn apart by a horde of monsters. It’s a decision I didn’t expect to have to make and, in The Walking Dead, the sort of situation I will become uncomfortably familiar with over the next several chapters of play.
This was the very evening I had returned home from the camping trip. I had unloaded the car, taken the world’s longest shower, snuck in a brief nap and, feeling groggy yet refreshed, I had decided to spend the remainder of my evening playing a video game. I decided on The Walking Dead and, despite what I had heard about the game, nothing had properly prepared me for the emotional and mental strain Telltale’s latest work would be putting me through.
That night, I went to bed with the decisions I had made and their consequences running in circles through my mind. My time with The Walking Dead had been a thrilling, gut-wrenching experience. I felt like my decisions mattered and, because of them, a pair of good people had suffered.
But then those old feelings of guilt started to stir. Why was I lying there awake, thinking about the deaths of virtual characters? I had work in the morning and other seriously grown-up stuff to worry about…like flossing and dropping off the rent check. Did any of that silly video game crap really matter?
The answer, of course, is that it absolutely matters. I have spent many hours trying to explain to family, friends and total strangers why video games are a legitimate form of entertainment but, despite my defense of video games to others, it has been as if I refuse to fully appreciate their value myself.
Why should our time with these games be viewed as anything less than the time we spend with movies, books, or in front of prime time TV? Their stories can be just as compelling. We can care just as much for their characters and be moved by their musical scores. They can make us laugh, hide under the covers or shed a few tears. The medium still has some growing to do (And always will), but video games still serve as a viable, and frequently more personal, way of telling a story or delivering a message. Slowly but surely, I’m finally coming around to the idea that I do not need to justify video games to anyone, least of all myself.
I don’t know if video games can live up to the experiences we have when actually connecting with one another in the real world, but what they provide is similarly important. They provide memories. Much like those kids I terrified while on a camping trip, I’m going to remember my time with The Walking Dead, just as I fondly remember my adventures with Super Mario Bros., Resident Evil, Metal Gear Solid and Shadow of the Colossus. The recollections I have of my favorite games burn just as brightly as those I have of reading Wuthering Heights, watching Cool Hand Luke or visiting family at a reunion.
Deep down, I cherish these memories and know that I want more of them. So I’m going to keep playing.
Filed Under: Editorial Life Reflections
About the Author:
Ryan Winslett is an Arizona-based journalist and freelance writer. He is a contributing writer for Gaming Blend and his work has also appeared on Joystiq, Gamasutra and Joystick Division. His only crime is loving too much.
8,884 Responses to “The Memories We Make”
Leave a Reply
This is a tough one to write. For those of you who know me, in person, by my writing, or…
OriginalsThe Fool and the Villain, Part II
(Warning: In Second Life, pixelated tits and dicks abound. Abandon all hope, all ye who enter this article at work.)…
CommentaryThe Edge Of The Ocean
The problem is to plot the map. My sense of geography is spotted with black holes. There’s the Chinatown and…
Play everything. No, I’m serious, play everything. Play that game of hopscotch those kids drew up on the sidewalk with…
CommentaryGenre In Question
Why are there so few video game comedies? At least twice in the past year I’ve bumped into conversations trying…
As I recall, some of those campsite conversations were in regards to games that had recently come out or were about to come out and how excited we were to dive in and get our hands on those characters.
That was a great weekend.
Indeed…Except for that bear that kept creeping past my tent the first night.
I precisely desired to say thanks again. I’m not certain the things I could possibly have accomplished in the absence of the aspects contributed by you about my area. Completely was a alarming case for me, but being able to see a expert approach you dealt with it forced me to cry for contentment. Extremely grateful for the advice and believe you are aware of a powerful job that you’re accomplishing educating many others all through a blog. I’m certain you’ve never come across all of us.
Thanks for your thoughts. One thing I’ve got noticed is the fact banks in addition to financial institutions understand the spending behaviors of consumers and as well understand that the majority of people max outside their cards around the breaks. They smartly take advantage of this specific fact and commence flooding your current inbox along with snail-mail box using hundreds of no-interest APR card offers just after the holiday season concludes. Knowing that should you be like 98% of American community, you’ll rush at the possible opportunity to consolidate card debt and shift balances for 0 apr interest rates credit cards. kjjjilm https://headachemedi.com – guided meditation for headache relief
Thanks for your tips. One thing we have noticed is always that banks and also financial institutions have in mind the spending behavior of consumers and also understand that a lot of people max out there their own credit cards around the holiday seasons. They prudently take advantage of this kind of fact and begin flooding the inbox and also snail-mail box together with hundreds of Zero APR card offers immediately after the holiday season comes to an end. Knowing that in case you are like 98% of all American open public, you’ll hop at the possiblity to consolidate personal credit card debt and move balances for 0 interest rates credit cards. gggffhk https://thyroidmedi.com – thyroid medication for sale
Thanks for your ideas. One thing I have noticed is that banks and financial institutions know the spending habits of consumers and understand that most people max out their credit cards around the holidays. They wisely take advantage of this fact and start flooding your inbox and snail-mail box with hundreds of 0 APR credit card offers soon after the holiday season ends. Knowing that if you are like 98% of the American public, you’ll jump at the chance to consolidate credit card debt and transfer balances to 0 APR credit cards. bbbbbba https://stomachmedi.com – buy stomach pain medicine
Thanks for your suggestions. One thing I’ve noticed is the fact that banks as well as financial institutions really know the spending routines of consumers as well as understand that many people max away their own credit cards around the vacations. They sensibly take advantage of this particular fact and begin flooding your own inbox as well as snail-mail box along with hundreds of Zero APR credit card offers right after the holiday season finishes. Knowing that if you’re like 98% of all American open public, you’ll soar at the possible opportunity to consolidate consumer credit card debt and shift balances towards 0 interest rate credit cards. kkkjiln https://pancreasmedi.com – stomach medications for acid reflux
As a Newbie, I am continuously exploring online for articles that can be of assistance to me. Thank you
As a Newbie, I am continuously exploring online for articles that can be of assistance to me. Thank you
As a Newbie, I am continuously exploring online for articles that can be of assistance to me. Thank you
Keep functioning ,remarkable job! https://chwilowki-pozyczka.pl – pożyczka
Keep functioning ,terrific job! https://chwilowki-pozyczka.pl – pożyczka
Today, with all the fast life style that everyone is having, credit cards have a big demand throughout the economy. Persons coming from every area of life are using credit card and people who aren’t using the credit cards have made up their minds to apply for even one. Thanks for expressing your ideas about credit cards. https://impotencemedi.com buy impotence threatment
Today, with the fast way of life that everyone leads, credit cards have a big demand throughout the economy. Persons throughout every area are using the credit card and people who aren’t using the credit cards have arranged to apply for 1. Thanks for revealing your ideas about credit cards. https://psoriasismedi.com best psoriasis treatment
Great info and straight to the point. I am not sure if this is in fact the best place to ask but do you folks have any thoughts on where to get some professional writers? Thanks 🙂 https://livermedi.com generic liver medicine
Hello. impressive job. I did not imagine this. This is a impressive story. Thanks! https://hairlossbimedi.com hair loss drugs for sale
Awsome post and right to the point. I don’t know if this is truly the best place to ask but do you guys have any ideea where to hire some professional writers? Thx 🙂 https://livermedi.com buy liver pain medications
Hello. impressive job. I did not imagine this. This is a splendid story. Thanks! https://hairlossbimedi.com buy hair loss drugs over the counter
Awsome article and right to the point. I don’t know if this is truly the best place to ask but do you people have any ideea where to employ some professional writers? Thx 🙂 https://arthritismedi.com buy Arthritis medication
You got a very superb website, Gladiola I discovered it through google. https://hcvmedi.com hcv drugs
Valuable information. Lucky me I discovered your website unintentionally, and I’m shocked why this accident didn’t took place earlier! I bookmarked it. https://stomachulcersmedi.com treatment for stomach
Today, taking into consideration the fast chosen lifestyle that everyone is having, credit cards get this amazing demand throughout the market. Persons out of every arena are using credit card and people who not using the credit card have prepared to apply for just one. Thanks for spreading your ideas in credit cards. https://hypertensionmedi.com hypertension medicine list
I am constantly looking online for posts that can facilitate me. Thx! https://dementiamedi.com dementia meds
You got a very superb website, Gladiola I discovered it through google. https://tuberculosismedi.com tuberculosis for sale
I am continually invstigating online for tips that can assist me. Thanks! https://dementiamedi.com dementia treatment
Today, with all the fast life style that everyone is having, credit cards have a big demand throughout the economy. Persons coming from every area of life are using credit card and people who aren’t using the credit cards have made up their minds to apply for even one. Thanks for expressing your ideas about credit cards. https://multiplesclerosismed.com drugs used to treat multiple sclerosis
Wonderful site. A lot of useful information here. I’m sending it to some pals ans also sharing in delicious. And obviously, thank you on your effort! https://schizophreniamedi.com schizophrenia meds
I am continuously browsing online for ideas that can benefit me. Thx! https://hivmedi.com hiv for sale
wonderful submit, very informative. I wonder why the other experts of this sector do not realize this. You should continue your writing. I am sure, you have a huge readers’ base already! https://rheumatoidarthritismed.com best rheumatoid arthritis medications
Great site. A lot of useful information here. I’m sending it to some pals ans also sharing in delicious. And of course, thank you for your effort! https://schizophreniamedi.com best schizophrenia meds
Great site. A lot of useful information here. I’m sending it to some pals ans also sharing in delicious. And of course, thank you for your effort! https://cancermedph.com most common cancer drugs
Wonderful site. A lot of useful information here. I’m sending it to some pals ans also sharing in delicious. And obviously, thank you on your effort! https://cancermedph.com breast cancer medicines
I am constantly looking online for posts that can aid me. Thank you! https://hyperactivitymed.com best hyperactivity drugs
fantastic submit, very informative. I’m wondering why the other experts of this sector do not understand this. You should continue your writing. I am sure, you have a huge readers’ base already! https://epilepsymedi.com epilepsy medication
Hi there, just became alert to your blog through Google, and found that it’s truly informative. I am going to watch out for brussels. I’ll be grateful if you continue this in future. Many people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers! https://hypothyroidismmed.com/ buy Hypothyroidism drugs over the counter
I wanted to compose a comment in order to appreciate you for all of the amazing advice you are giving at this site. My considerable internet investigation has at the end been compensated with awesome concept to exchange with my best friends. I ‘d admit that we website visitors are very lucky to live in a useful website with very many special professionals with very beneficial things. I feel very privileged to have used your entire website and look forward to tons of more pleasurable times reading here. Thanks a lot once more for everything. https://bronchitismed.com what is prescribed for bronchitis
great post, very informative. I wonder why the other experts of this sector do not realize this. You should continue your writing. I am sure, you have a huge readers’ base already! https://epilepsymedi.com best prescription drugs for epilepsy
magnificent publish, very informative. I ponder why the opposite specialists of this sector don’t notice this. You must proceed your writing. I’m confident, you’ve a great readers’ base already! https://epilepsymedi.com drugs used to treat epilepsy
Bardzo interesujące informacje! Idealnie to, czego szukałem maseczki jednorazowe maseczki jednorazowe.
Bardzo interesujące informacje! Idealnie to, czego szukałem maseczka jednorazowa cena.
Bardzo interesujące informacje! Idealnie to, czego szukałem pulsoksymetr naparstkowy.
Bardzo interesujący temat, doceniam to za wystawienie się urządzenia do treningu oddechu urządzenia do treningu oddechu.
Bardzo interesujący temat, pozdrawiam za wystawienie się Aparaty do ćwiczenia oddechu Aparaty do ćwiczenia oddechu.
Bardzo interesujący temat, doceniam to za wystawienie się plastry na opryszczke na ustach.
Bardzo interesujący temat, doceniam to za wystawienie się plaster na opryszczkę plaster na opryszczkę.
Bardzo interesujący temat, dziękuję za wysłanie wiadomości compeed plastry opryszczka compeed plastry opryszczka.
Bardzo interesujący temat, pozdrawiam za wystawienie się plastry na opryszczke.
Bardzo interesujący temat, dziękuję za wysłanie wiadomości tlen inhalacyjny tlen inhalacyjny.
Bardzo interesujący temat, dziękuję za wysłanie wiadomości tlen medyczny z maską tlen medyczny z maską.
I believe everything said was actually very reasonable.
However, what about this? what if you added a little information? I am not suggesting your content isn’t solid., but what if you added a headline that grabbed people’s attention? I mean The Memories We Make | Bit Creature is a
little vanilla. You ought to peek at Yahoo’s front page and note how they create article titles to grab
viewers interested. You might try adding a video or a picture
or two to get people interested about everything’ve written. In my
opinion, it might bring your blog a little bit more interesting.
buy lasix uk
buy cheap generic cialis uk
п»їviagra pills https://viagrabng.com/# 100mg viagra