Dear Video Games,
The majority of our relationship has been awash with the Final Fantasy series. For the fellow gamers out there, that’s I, VII, VIII, X, X-2, XIII and XIII-2, and no, my favourite isn’t VII.
Our first encounter resulted in an early breakup when my parents sold our Sega Megadrive as punishment for my brother and I continuously fighting over who got to play Sonic, Toejam and Earl, and Echo the Dolphin (the jellyfish are rage inducing).
Next was the hand-me-down Amiga — which got me hooked. I also think back fondly to the time a friend lent me her Sega Megadrive II, and how it led to many a night and day glued to my bed and screen, enthralled, like many before me, with the likes of Shining Force II and Flashback.
Jealousy reared its head however, when my brother was the one to get a Playstation for Christmas. Lucky for me he let me borrow it though, and I can still remember excitedly handing over the empty cases of Pandemonium, Crash Bandicoot and the highlight of our whole relationship, Final Fantasy VIII.
As soon as I got my hands on my own copy of FFVIII, and headed out of Balamb Garden to fight for my first GF (that’s Guardian Force to you non-players), our relationship deepened, and I was hooked on you. A crazed fan, a permanent flock of butterflies in my stomach, awaiting the boss’ next move, the pit of despair when I realised I wasn’t strong enough to win and had to go back and level up, (LOL jk, I loved it), the moments of utter joy almost flinging myself over the side of the stairs to shout down to my (I like to think) proud family members that I had completed yet another disc.
The late nights, tucked up on my gaming chair (crafted from a futon), wrapped in a blanket, a bag of sweets to one side, a large bottle of pop to the other. My parents thought I had gone to bed, but secretly, I’d just turned the sound down low enough for just me to hear.
My mother might recall with glee (despair) the time I was so glued to the screen I’d decided to turn the huge block of a television on its side so I could lean over the edge of my single cabin bed and play without having to move an inch.
One might think we’d have grown apart, VG, but as any of your other addicts will recall, it’s not an easy relationship to end — and, quite frankly, at 28 years of age, who says it should be over? The times we share, curled up on rainy day, the pure escapism, who says that should be limited to any age, or gender for that matter? You’ve made me a girl gamer and proud. When I press that power button, I’ll forever remain that excitable 11 year old girl, and I think — no, I’m certain, I’ll be muttering, weary eyed, ‘just let me get to the next save point’, for a long while yet.