I sat in Afghanistan in a Combat Outpost dreaming of what I would do outside of the Military. Before deploying, I had a few days to try to figure out what I would do in my downtime, and so I looked into creating Video Games, and found some sites that influenced me. I also found Indie Game the Movie and decided to support it.
I need to get something off my chest. I love to play video games, I love to make video games, and I love to talk about video games.
My passion is Video Games.
Over the past two years since I left the military, I’ve been in transition. I wrestled with my previous accomplishments, trying to identify who I am, and wrestled with a built in shame of my love of video games.
Growing up, when I went over friends house, we played video games. Video games felt like something I was eventually supposed to grow out of though. Up through college, it felt like the same thing too. It felt that when I talked to others about hobbies, I felt like others thought playing video games was a waste of time. It seemed the equivalent of digging a ditch, then filling it in, everyday. I felt shame for something I took joy in.
During the time of getting out of the military, I felt torn about what to do next. My successes and strengths while at the Academy felt like a certain direction in my life was already predetermined. With a degree in Aeronautical Engineering, and 5 years experience as an Infantry Officer, my previous successes drove me in one direction, but my passion for video games kept me going down the indie path. I split my attention.
My wife and I would go to Tech Shops, I’d look into MIT for Engineering, and I’d always hear of job opportunities that pay significantly more than I make now (I make nothing…yet).
Slowly my competence grew in making Video Games, and as I blogged about my dying dream in the Army, my former passion of serving my country didn’t die, it changed. Entrepreneurs, small business, people with the determination to go out there and do what they love serve our country in a different way than military service. My love for what making games grew, and eventually, really 1 month ago, I started to feel an inner fire burn passionately for making games. Since then, I tell my wife every night that I’m excited for the work I get to do tomorrow because…
My wife stopped playing Video Games after Goldeneye. Life seemed to catch up with her, and she put the memories of Video Games behind her.
When we married, we decided that we enjoyed doing things together. Having both of us in the military, we enjoyed physical fitness together, and I told her I also would enjoy playing video games together.
However, the differences in playing ability, brought stresses to our game time. I felt immensely loved by her decision to play with me, but also felt conflicted because I played at a higher skill level.
Men often bond in being shoulder to shoulder with a buddy, not talking a lot, and doing stuff together. That’s why some men fish together, some men go to base-ball games together, and some men run together, but don’t talk a lot during it. It felt great to bond with my wife while playing video games.
With time, my wife’s skill levels grew. The initial patience and time invested by playing at a lower skill level was worth it. For any person who’s spouse is on a lower skill level than you, I encourage you to be patient, and encouraging when playing, it’ll pay in the long run.