I’m going to come right out and say it.
I wouldn’t be who I am today without videogames.
From my earliest memories, to my biggest achievements, videogames have been there, by my side, every step of the way. I’ve shaped the very core of my existence around videogames in some way or another, and I can see them being an integral part of my life for many, many years to come.
However, I feel as though I need to explain myself a little, as there are people who have, just this minute, judged me. No, I’m not a shut-in; I’m not a hideaway hermit who plays videogames for fifteen hours a day. I have a full-time job, countless side pursuits, and I’m happily married.
But, at the core of that productive and positive existence, is gaming. I’ve been playing videogames for as long as I can remember, since my family inexplicably obtained an old ZX Spectrum, way back in the 1990s. Although I wasn’t a big gamer as I grew up, I really fell in love with the entire industry in my early teens, following the purchase of my first-ever Xbox 360 console.
And so, it begins
That’s where the wondrous and irrevocable changes began taking place. In the years that followed, I met friends while playing games online who I’ve remained in contact with for several years. In fact, my best man at my wedding was a person who, once upon a time, I met in a team deathmatch on Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.
My wife and I first spoke over Xbox Live, and we got to know each other while playing videogames. Today, we play on side-by-side, his-n-hers gaming PC setups — thankfully, she’s just as big a gamer as I am, otherwise she’d probably never have married me. I feel as though gaming really pulled me out of a shell, and (yes, it’s a little cliché) made me feel truly alive.
I ran gaming teams, I played competitively, I made gaming YouTube videos, I streamed my gameplay, and I bought as many new releases as I could get my hands on. My first real job saw me working for the UK’s most prominent video games retailer, and I loved that company for three long years.
Everywhere I looked, videogames were there.
As I get older, I have to admit that life is ever so slightly getting in the way of gaming. I’ve now reinvented myself, and I’m a professional writer and freelancer, a motivator, and a podcaster. However, I try and incorporate videogames into as many aspects of my life as possible.
For instance, I’m an esports writer, and I now get paid real money to write about video games. I write, produce, and host two gaming podcasts, which allows me to effortlessly reach an audience that cares about videogames just as I do.
Last year, I set a Guinness World Record, playing a Call of Duty game for thirty-eight hours straight. I certainly couldn’t have done that when I was a teenager, and I had to make real time for it as an adult. Although, Call of Duty probably claims the biggest chunk of my ‘gaming attention’.
I’m A Guinness World Record Holder
Do you want to set a world record? Find out how to do it here
I still play competitively, from time to time, and I’m the leader of a gaming team called NoMad — there’s a little plug, of course. There’s a stark difference between my gaming environment today and the one I enjoyed ten years ago, though. We’re all grown-up, we’re all adults, and we have responsibilities and errands to run and households to maintain. It’s a difficult balance sometimes, but we achieve it.
So, why am I writing this?
Today, people still discredit gaming slightly, and it’s still classified as that ultimate nerdy hobby that carries with it no real benefit. However, I’d argue the contrary — gaming is on the up and up, and it’s taking over the world. There are more than two billion gamers on a global scale, and it has evolved into a gargantuan beast of a medium in recent years.
I’m here to say, firmly, that gaming is awesome. It’s obvious now that videogames changed my life, made me a better person, connected me with dear friends, and helped me develop better relationships. It taught me new skills and talents, and today, it quite literally helps to pay the bills. It’s here to stay, to grow, and to expand.
About the Author
Grant Taylor-Hill is a freelance writer, podcaster, and motivator, with a background in support and team management. He’s a writer by trade and a gamer by passion, and he absolutely loves inspiring others. In his spare time, he produces three podcasts and is constantly expanding his network. Connect with him on social media; just search Grant Taylor-Hill.