I’m a lucky person, at least that is what I am told. People always say this when I tell them how supportive my parents are of my gaming hobby. When my brother and I were kids they would buy us games and watch us playing them or even jump in an join us, in an attempt to understand what it was we were doing. It was great because I know that some parents out there see video games as a waste of time and don’t support their children’s choice to play them. My dad has jumped in with us over the years, playing local matches of Call of Duty or Halo with my brother and I. My mom is more of an observer, she isn’t too interested in playing video games but she likes to watch us play them. Not too long ago I played the last portion of Bioshock Infinite for them so that I could hear what they thought of it, and even though they hadn’t played the game or even watched me play it all, they liked it.
This past week I took a sick day and stayed home from school. I was home alone all day and board, so when my mom came home from work I got an idea. She came into my room to say hello and I asked, “Hey, wanna watch me play this really good game?” She said she would enjoy that so I brought my PS3 and copy of The Last of Us out to the living room, hooked it up, and started playing. My mom really likes zombie stuff, like me. We like to watch movies like Zombieland, 28 Days Later, Shaun of the Dead, or World War Z and while I enjoy playing games with zombies (or infected people), she likes watching them. I told her that I think she would like this game because it is like a movie at times, and the story is really captivating.
I started playing and one of the first things she said was that it looked so realistic. I think we all take for granted at times how realistic games look nowadays, I know I do. Playing a video game from past generations (PS1 or PS2 era mostly) is hard to do. The graphics are pixelated, the controls are impossible, voice acting is atrocious, and the storylines were usually lacking compared to games of today. When I was playing The Last of Us, my mom said it was difficult to tell if I was playing or if it was a cutscene. The Last of Us features seamless transitions between cutscenes and gameplay, so I understood her confusion. She said it really was like watching a movie. As time went on she and I were discussing the game, she wanted to know a little more about the characters and I told her what I could without spoiling everything. My mom became legitimately interested in watching this game and I ended up playing for about 2 hours before I decided to take a break.
All week she has been asking if I would like to play some more of The Last of Us in the living room, since I ended on a sort of cliffhanger and she’s like to know what happens next. Between my streaming schedule and school hours, I have yet to play more for her but I plan to in the next few days. Not only do I love playing The Last of Us, I love that she enjoys watching me play it. It’s entertainment all around. I’ve taken a conclusionary statement from my mom in regards to what she took away from the game:
“It felt like we were watching a movie. The graphics are so good and the story was amazing, both made it really interesting to watch. It was hard to tell if we were just watching something or if you were actually playing it. I really want to see more, where we ended last time just made me interested in what was going to happen next. I want to finish the movie, I fell like I’m missing out. I’d like to see you play more soon!”
Subsequently, my mom didn’t quite enjoy watching my brother play Grand Theft Auto V this past week. Looks like she and I have a lot in common!