The following article was written by Cassie Gotto-White and originally appeared in Cape Gazette, republished with permission.
Thank you, video games.
Thank you for giving me so many amazing opportunities, like writing this column.
Thank you for opening my heart and my mind to new ideas.
Thank you for allowing me to experience storytelling in a way I never could have imagined when I played Super Mario Bros. and Battletoads on the NES.
Thank you for all the amazing memories of playing Mario Party with my friends.
Thank you for always being there for me during the darkest periods of my life.
Thank you for allowing me to feel emotions I’ve never felt from any other entertainment medium.
Thank you to my aunt Teresa for giving me my cousin’s NES Top Loader when he no longer wanted it.
Thank you to everyone who has ever appeared in the credits of a video game. Whether you know it for not, you are making a demonstrative impact on the world around you.
It’s hard for me to put into words how much video games mean to me. Games like Uncharted and Life is Strange have made me laugh hysterically, but also cry like a baby. I’ll never forget the first time I beat Life is Strange – I remember clapping during the credits and saying, “this is why I love video games.” That still holds true. My experience with thatgamecompany’s Journey is one I’ll never truly be able to articulate. I highly recommend you play that game if you haven’t yet; it is truly one of a kind.
Know someone who says they don’t like video games? Someone who has never played one (or maybe hasn’t played one since Pong)? Let them watch you play a game like God of War. Let them watch you play The Last of Us, Uncharted, Metal Gear Solid. Maybe let them try a game like Telltale’s The Wolf Among Us or The Walking Dead. Video games get a bad rap every time something tragic happens because it is the most misunderstood entertainment medium. No one blames TV or movies anymore because almost everyone watches some form of television or cinema. They blame games because they are still seen as this elusive form of entertainment that has no purpose. Prove them wrong. Show them the beauty of this medium. There is truly nothing else like it.
Thank you to everyone who has read this column this year and over the past seven years. I am truly grateful for your support. Thank you for allowing me to share my love of games with you.