As a kid my mom always told me that computer games are a waste of time, actually I think a lot of women in general think this. What most people don't know is that well at least for me, I learn A LOT of things from the games that I play. I know that sounds absurd but believe it or not, it's a reality.
On an academic note, the game Shogun : Total war taught me everything I know about Japan's history. From the Daimyo to the Shoguns to well basically everything abuot medieval Japan.
You can relate computer games to so many things in life, like for example Rockman for our Japanese friends or Megaman for our western hemisphere friends. For those of you who are not familiar with this game, you basically play as a man-robot boy with a laser cannon on your hand, you go through different levels and at the end of it all you fight a boss monster and when you kill the boss monster you get his/her power.
This is a lot like any relationship that you go through, at the end of it all, you might end up killing each other (figuratively hopefully), but either way you always learn something new. You always get a little bit stronger from the blows that you've taken from each other.
In most RPG's (Role playing games) that I play, more often than not you have choices which you have to make. Let's use Star Wars Knights of the old republic as an example. Basically you adventure through out the star wars world as a would be Jedi or Sith. I would always go to the Jedi direction, I would always make the "good" choices in game, whether it be saving an entire race from completely getting annihilated to convincing a once Jedi student to return back to the path of light after her descent into the dark side.
Now you're probably saying to yourself, okay how does that help me? Whenever I face a situation in my life where I did something morally questionable and I doubt my principles and morals. I remember the choices that I make whenever I start playing games like Star Wars KOTOR. For me it acts as a constant reminder that yes, sometimes I do make bad choices but deep down inside I'm a good guy and I know that I can make the right choices no matter how tough they seem to be. That I'm willing to stand by what's right even if it conflicts with what I want most of the time because at the end of it all I can look back and tell myself that hey I did make the right choice and as geeky as it may seem I am a Jedi. I'm sure some of you are saying, yeah the sith are cool, and yes I agree they can kick-ass but they're also the bad guys. Do you really want to be one? I know for a fact that I don't want to be one.
And for my final point and the game that made me realize all of this. The Mass Effect series. This game literally made me fall in love with games all over again, the story, the characters the delivery of the lines, the CGI acting, the plot. Everything's just amazing, but of course every now and then there are low points, certain parts of the game where it may seem repetitive and well routine-like. Like how you have to do well the same quest over and over again because well maybe you just need to, maybe because you failed at it once and that you have to just try again to get it right. But the feeling of accomplishment and content and general happiness of finishing that quest is pretty much reward enough for all the hard work that you put into it. More often than not when I'm so hooked onto a game I literally can't function as much as I want to without at least playing with the game for a bit.
This reminds me of what relationships are like, at the start of it all you'll be extremely ecstatic about it. You'll be in relationship bliss where nothing can go wrong and where everything is fresh, new and well amazingly beautiful. Then you hit your speed bumps, parts where you wish you could just have saved at that point in time and re-loaded every time you screw up. There are times when it seems monotonous and it seems like the things you're doing are only for routine's sake. But once you get over this hump you're back on relationship-nirvana again. And it makes all the tough times worth it. When you feel like you can't go on a single day without spending time or talking to the one you love.
But like all games, relationships end. And all you can hope for is a sequel, or for the next mind blowing relationship to come along and completely sweep you off your feet again.