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Love, Divorce and Video Games

  • Written by Gary LaPlante

Ever since I was a child I was playing video games, I remember finally getting my own system around the age of five there was a Super Nintendo at my Grandma’s house and a Sega Genesis at my other Grandma’s house. This is where it all started, going there whenever my parents worked late, playing video games until they came to pick me up, right then and there I loved video games. Although that wasn’t when I fell in love with video games. When I truly fell in love with video games was much later on in life.

It started around the ages of 9-11, my parents went through a long and ugly divorce. Getting back together and breaking up several times over this span. I would fall asleep to the sounds of screams, constant fighting, having to deal with seeing both my father and mother cry for the first time in my life. Without digging much deeper into it, it was depressing to say the least. Like most kids that deal with their parents getting divorced, especially at a young age, I didn’t know how to handle it. Was it my fault? Was it my mother's fault? Was it my father's fault? All these thoughts were rushing through my head, constantly being sick to my stomach, just the little things such as eating dinner with only my mother or father, it was a weird adjustment and I didn’t handle it well. I didn’t enjoy doing many things I did, I didn’t want to hang out with my friends, I just wanted to be by myself. 

When my parents finally got divorced around 2002, it was sort of a relief, I wouldn’t have to deal with the fighting, the false hope and everything else that came along with it. That’s not to say that I was happy, quite the opposite actually. During this time, I finally got to spend time with my parents, although it wasn’t enjoyable, I could still tell my parents weren’t happy, in return this make me depressed, making it feel as if I did something wrong.

Traveling from my mom’s house to my dad’s house was a hassle on everyone involved, my mother, my father, myself. While the places my parents lived always changed, there was one constant during this time, video games. During this time, that’s the one of the few things that put a smile on my face. Playing videos was an escape from the hell that my reality was. Whether it was playing as a lombax and a robot in maybe my favorite video games series of all time Ratchet and Clank, or it was spending hours upon hours fixing the camber, the downforce, the gear ratio, in my cars in Gran Turismo 3, whether it was exploring the colorful word of Vice City while listening to one of the greatest soundtracks of all time. It was at this moment when I stopped loving video games, and fell in love with them. They were there for me when I was at my lowest, they sucked me into their rich deep world, for those few hours a day. They brought me happiness when I didn’t think I could find it any. This is my story of falling in love with video games.

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