Are video games beneficial for your child?

Hey, Gamers! Actually, this post isn’t aimed towards gamers so… hey, parents! My name is Eleanor, I’m 21 and studying at university. I am also a gamer. Before you click off, I made this whole blog to try to help people understand how video games are actually helpful and not just ‘a waste of time’, whether that be talking about what games can teach us or just showing I passionate I am about games. I’ve been doing this for over a year now; alternatively, I’ve been streaming for nearly three years. So, I’ve been in the gaming industry for a while. I hope my passion and my critical thinking helps you understand how great video games can be for your children!

Stardew Valley

So, first of all, you can bond with them. I’ve bonded with my partner and his younger siblings by playing video games with them. This encourages co-operation (or competitiveness, but I recommend the first), and it helps build trust between you and the child. If they can rely on you to heal them in a game, they can probably learn to open up to you more than if you just didn’t care about them or their interests.

Dauntless (me and my partner, because we looked cool and I was excited)

Something similar that games help with is general teamwork. In online games such as Fortnite and Geshin Impact, the player is usually put into a team. Teams rely on each other for support throughout the game, and friendships are often built based on these games. Being a team player is rewarded by other people helping you out. For example, if you help a team member by reviving them early on in the game, if they stumble upon you when you have low health, they may give you an item to heal yourself as a thank you. It’s teaching that if you put good things into the world, other people will see that and have the potential to give good things back to you. There’s also the chance that you get stuck with a… unhelpful team. This, instead, teaches players that not everyone who is on your team is in the team. Not all people are team players. Some people just want all the glory to themselves, and online games do a good job at showing this. However, I need to emphasise that these games really do a great job of rewarding team players. The best example I can think of is League of Legends which is a game I love (yet have limited experience and understanding of because my laptop isn’t the best, so correct me if you know differently) because it heavily encourages teamwork, giving you the chance at the end of the game to pick players who were the best team player, most supportive etc.

Another thing that games do a great job at displaying is that different people have different abilities. There are so many types of different games, and so many types of players in those games. If you take JRPGs (because I know them best), you have the protagonist which is usually an all-around type person, the muscle, the healer, the mage. You even have this in online games, but it’s worded somewhat differently. You still have mages, but you have tanks, melee fighters, all sorts! What this does is show players that just because someone’s ability is different from yours, that doesn’t mean they’re worth any less than you. It really helps some people understand the importance of others (such as healers) that are traditionally timider and less aggressive. The obvious real-world translation here is that players are more open-minded when it comes to people with disabilities. Whether that be a physical disability such as clubfoot, or a neurodiversity such as Autism. Players can accept that these people are different and still useful. This is obviously an amazing this because the world needs more people who understand that being disabled doesn’t mean that you’re worth less than abled people, it just means that society isn’t made for you.

Animal Crossing

Playing video games takes skill. Not only that, but if you play multiple video games, it shows that you’re able to learn new skills. For example, does your child play a lot of Skyrim? That usually means that they’re good at exploring and following through when they get presented with an opportunity. How about League of Legends? That usually means that they’re great team players and can successfully strategize- it may even mean that they’re a team leader and can command a team, communicating effectively with people in his team and that they’re capable of adapting to changes in the project (game) and feedback from the team. See, it’s not just ‘playing a game’. It’s different skills that players can work on repeatedly to maximize their potential. Can they put it on a CV when they’re older? Yes. Actually, both my partner and I were actively encouraged to talk about our gaming abilities in our personal statements for universities to read. Why? Because it shows that even in our free time, we’re still working on ourselves and trying to become better. Whether that be a better team player, a better thinker, better with reflexes or better communication. Games can show off the skills that your children have and help them practice those useful skills so that they can work better in the future.

Now, I know a lot of parents don’t particularly care about this one, but creativity is now valued in the workplace. Don’t try to say that it’s nothing to do with the workplace, because it is. I wanted to be an author as a child and my father argued because “it’s not a real job”. Now, employers value creative thinkers because creative thinkers encourage creative solutions which can generate profit for a company. Creativity isn’t just about marketing. It’s not just about art or writing. Creativity in games looks different. If you look at the game Hitman, this game encourages players to be both strategic and creative in assassination attempts. This leads to players finding new ways to successfully complete the mission with each attempt, which further leads to reflection on past attempts and critical thinking on how they could have done better. With creative thinking, players are much more reflective as there are so many different options, which encourages critical thinking which is something that is highly valued in the workplace.

Believe it or not, not everyone has the ability to be fully emersed in a story, either. Long, single-player games like Persona 5 (yeah I can’t write a post without mentioning it), The Witcher 3, and Red Dead Redemption all have complex plots with well-developed characters that fit incredibly well with the interactive aspect of video games as a medium. A large reason you probably can’t just sit and watch your child game is because you’re not interacting with the story like they are. These complex plots help children increase their ability to pay attention for longer periods of time, and they help their memory by including things like Easter Eggs (little throwbacks to earlier on in the game, or a previous game, or another game usually by the game company, or even a pop culture reference… Easter Egg is a short term for a big thing). Not only will this help them in the workplace, but also in school. I’ll give you a personal example of how this has helped me with my degree: if you don’t read my blog, you would’ve glossed over that Persona 5 reference earlier but it’s my favourite game. I’m autistic and while video games, in general, is a special interest of mine, Persona 5 would be my main one. I’m 21 and engaged and I have constant arguments with my partner over whether our babies’ nursery is going to be Persona 5 themed or Skyrim themed. That’s how much I love this game. And I study history… so that’s a lot of reading. The music in Persona 5 is sung in Japanese, so my brain doesn’t acknowledge it as lyrics unless I’m paying serious attention. If I’m focused, it’s just… a song. Obviously I’m focused when I’m playing Persona 5 (it’s a very intense game), and with the music in the background, my brain associates the music with me being focused. So I found this amazing 10-hour long background Persona 5 music thing on YouTube and that has honestly helped me focus on my degree so much. I used to be the most distracted person. Whenever I needed to study, I’d remember a chore I needed to get done or a blog post I needed to write or it was time to make food or I needed to take my medication. But because my brain associated that music with the game, I was able to focus so much more on my studying… and it actually helped me stop thinking about Persona 5 as much since my brain was already in that mode. I’ll link the music at the end of the most because it’s just a chill background sound- now it’s summer, I have it on when I’m doing chores and I literally have it on right now because I’m writing this blog post.

Persona 5 Royal

There is also an educational side to video games. Now, as a history student, one of the most promising careers for me is teaching. I’ve said this in lectures but video games are the best way to learn because it’s interactive. I’m digressing a little so I’ll come back to that point because my original point here was a lot of games have little mini-games where it’s a quiz about real life. The ones I immediately think of is in Persona 5 Royal (had to mention that too) and Yakuza: Like a Dragon (because Josh was playing it last night and I helped him with it). This encourages players to do their own research so that they pass the exam/ quiz/ mini-game. Furthering that point, let’s talk about the historic genre of video games because I’ve recently done an assignment on that and I loved it. This genre of video game helps children – players, even – learn about the past, mainly by encouraging them to do their own research. I’ve said multiple times that Josh knows more about the Cold War than I do because he has played the Metal Gear series. It piqued his interest. Another example, and I can’t believe I’m bringing this up again, is Persona 5. Some of the questions in the exam/ lesson section are about Japanese history and now my favourite podcast to listen to is one about Japanese history and I’m trying to learn Japanese so I can actually study it. When Josh (that’s my partner by the way, if I haven’t already said that) first played Red Dead Redemption 2, I was watching in awe at all the inaccuracies and explaining it to him, and then I was researching it to prove a point (overall though, it’s pretty accurate, I was just petty at the time). The main point of the historic genre of video games – or anything – is to encourage you to do your own research.

Now, I’m going to talk about socialising. I know you don’t think it’s good for your child to be on the [insert gaming device here] for hours at a time… but we’re in the middle of a pandemic. It’s something that they enjoy, that they can safely do with their friends. Quite frankly, there are far worse things that your child could be doing with their friends. But they’re not. They’re playing a video game, developing their skills and socialising with their friends. Video games can also be a great place to make friends! Especially, but not exclusively, online games like League of Legends or Fortnite. Games that encourage teamwork, builds trusts, creates friendship that can last for a lifetime. Even liking a single-player game, you can find people who also like it, you can join a subreddit or discord server… there are so many positive things about socialising through video games.

Something that I never thought about until I dated Josh was that video games help players get their emotions out when they don’t know how to process them. So, I have C-PTSD due to past abuse which means that when Josh and I argue, I get triggered if he raises his voice. So what he sometimes does is go and play a game – usually a violent one – so that he can get those angry emotions out before being able to process things logically. Josh is clearly the more logical one out of us because I just cry throughout the whole situation. But he’s actually been doing this for a while, even before he met me. Every sibling group argues, and Josh is the oldest so he tended to get in trouble the most for any anger-related incidents, so he used to take his anger out on video games instead. Video games provide players with a safe space so that if they were angry or upset, they wouldn’t actually hurt anyone. They can get the satisfaction from video games instead, by hurting fake people. Alternatively, if the player is struggling to process emotions – any emotions, not just anger – then video games give them a safe… environment so that they can take their time to process them. The game is something familiar to them and an issue with processing the emotions may be due to a change, so the familiarity of the game may help them be able to think about it more logically and process the emotions in a safe, healthy way.

Mystic Messenger

But I know what you’re saying… I know you’re still upset that all your child is doing is playing video games all the time. I get that. I’ve been in the same position with my partner, and he’s been in the same position as me. But I plead to you, reach out to them before getting mad. Mental illness is such a worrying thing that might be causing your child to play video games because at least they feel something, or at least they feel motivated to do that. Read about, do research, talk to a medical professional. There have been so many times that I’ve had to stop myself from snapping at Josh because he’s finally out of bed after a deep depression but all he’s done is play video games for 20 hours straight; likewise, I often find myself feeling resentment because I can’t find the emotional energy to do a load of washing but I can play Persona 5 for 12 hours straight. Video games are often the first thing that gamers get the motivation to do if they’re mentally ill, because at least they’re awake. At least they’re not sleeping all day. Sometimes we can’t even find the motivation to play the games we love; sometimes we don’t feel worthy or like we deserve to play the games we love. Mental illness is scary and I cannot stress how important video games are in recovery. I know that in my darkest moments, getting out of bed to play a game was an achievement. Sometimes I didn’t make it out of my bed, but I was awake and I was doing something and that was important to recovery. Please don’t get mad at your kids, because the odds are, there’s something more going on.       

In conclusion, video games are very beneficial and can help your whole family. They are not just for children, and I highly recommend you trying them out for yourself. In fact, I’m trying to save up money to get my mum a Nintendo Switch so that we can play Stardew Valley together. There are all sorts of different games with all sorts of different benefits, especially for your children! So, next time you get annoyed at your children spending too much time on their games, remember this list! Also, remember what I said about mental illness. If you think that this may be a case, try as I suggested about playing games with them if they are struggling to open up to you. As a child (any age, but I’m thinking more teenager years), it is very easy to think that your parents don’t care or that they have more important things to deal with. If you show any interest in their interest, they might realise that you do care and that you do have time for them. I hope this post helps someone, and if it did, give it a like!

Brothers: A tale of two sons

And for my regular readers, don’t forget to follow this blog for more gaming content, check out my social medias for any updates and to have a say in what I post, like this post if you liked it; don’t forget that me and Josh stream every single day (apart from Sundays) on Twitch over at 2nerds_1game. See you next post!

The music I listen to:


My experience playing Dauntless so far…

Hey, Gamers! So, every now and then I like to tell you guys about games I’m currently dabbling in. I know I talk about Persona 5 a lot, so it’s nice to show off that I do actually play other games. I’ve done it for Dark Souls and League of Legends, and now it’s time for Dauntless!

We (my partner and I) recently got a new PlayStation 4 after realising that the PlayStation 5 probably won’t be in continuous stock for another year or so, therefore making it difficult to get until that point. I think we both just wanted to be able to play together, and a lot of games don’t give you that opportunity when you only have one console. So we spent our PlayStation 5 money on a PlayStation 4, got myself PlayStation Plus (I was very excited and felt like this made me a real gamer) and found some games we could play. One game that we installed recently is Dauntless and I have some things to say about the game.

Josh and I in Dauntless… I know, we look cool

First, it’s free. That’s a huge bonus because the last time we got paid before September was April, so summer is always difficult for us financially. I like that this game is free because it’s not everyone’s cup of tea and it’s nice to be able to try it. To be completely honest, I thought that it wasn’t going to be for me. I was willing to try it because I like trying new games and I want to make more gamer friends, but it just sounded a lot like League of Legends. The game being free meant that we could try it with no downside.

So, about what I said about it being like League… it isn’t. I mean, in a way it is. You’re in a team like in League, but you don’t bring anyone down. I know after a while of me playing LOL – and others have voiced this too – they felt like they couldn’t win because they’d have one good day and then let their team down for the next six weeks. You don’t get that with Dauntless. You’re not even on an official ‘team’ but you are all there to help each other. Nothing you do can make the game harder for your teammates (unless you die a lot and they have to keep reviving you but that’s their choice).

Josh and I in Dauntless again

Playing Dauntless, I felt an overwhelming sense of community. Everyone is there to help each other out. I’ve never really felt this in any other game that I’ve played, so it was nice. It made me understand what all those Tik Toks about gamer friends are about. It’s like everyone in that server wants what is best for you, and it’s the best feeling.

Lastly, I cannot stress how good it has been for me and Josh to have a game that’s not competitive. I’ve talked briefly before about how competitive we are when it comes to games and how the only ‘win’ I really have is Persona 5. Not only do we get to help each other in Dauntless, but when I decided that I was going to change my weapon, he decided that he would do the same so that we could trade up together (he missed his weapon so he changed back pretty quickly but it’s fine). We can take turns in leading each other and it doesn’t feel as though I lose if he gets a win. I mean, we all win at the end of the day but if he gets the last blow in, I’m happy for him and vice versa. I feel like in any other game, we would be so competitive over petty stuff like that.

So, that’s it for this post, Gamers! Don’t forget to let me know your thoughts and feelings in the comments section. If you liked this post, give it a like and follow this blog for more gaming content! Check out my social medias if you want to keep updated on what’s coming out or if you want a say in what I post, they should all be linked. I’m trying to post more on Twitter now too! If you want to watch a stream one day, check out 2nerds_1game on Twitch, where Josh and I stream every day! That should also be linked. See you in the next post, Gamers!

Quote of the week #11

“Come on, Karen. Don’t act all hurt. It’s too late. Where were you when I broke my leg when I was 13? Not with me… When Daniel got a bad flu a couple years ago, you didn’t sleep next to him every night… Where were you?! Where were you?”- Sean, Life is Strange 2, 2018-2019

I was one of the people who played the second Life Is Strange game as it came out. I was so ready to see Karen and for her to be this awful person. But she wasn’t and, just like Sean, the image I had built up in my head had to change. I was happy, however, when Sean got angry at her. He finally got to say what he had been thinking and building up for years. It just felt… right.

Have you played Life Is Strange 2? Let me know your thoughts and feelings in the comments, don’t forget to follow this blog for more gaming content and check out 2nerds_1game on Twitch! See you on Sunday, Gamers!

The problem with Shane- Stardew Valley

Hey, Gamers! So, this week we will be talking about Stardew Valley, focusing mainly on Shane. Shane is a datable character who is… not the nicest to you when you first move in. Of course, I decided I would make him like me and now I’m married to him. Only, I regret it so much. Some of his dialogue is… not the best. Let’s look into it!

So, when you first move into Stardew Valley, you meet all the villagers. You can usually find Shane at the saloon most nights. He usually asks why you are talking to him or just tells you to go away. Even as you gain hearts with him, his attitude towards you doesn’t immediately change. This makes the difference between him being hostile towards you and him being nice to you very sudden. The other characters warm up to you. You’re a stranger to them, at the end of the day. With the other characters, you get a real sense of them beginning to trust you, taking a liking to you, all that good stuff. The only time you get this with Shane is during his heart events.

Shane is an alcoholic. He literally has to get his stomach pumped and he goes to a specialised councillor due to his poor mental health. His 14-heart event is literally the player and Marnie (his aunt) worrying about him as they see him exit the saloon because of his alcoholism. So, you’d think that his everyday dialogue would reflect this…

But no. I actually forgot to screenshot the line of dialogue that made me want to write this post, but then I found out that this type of thing is a common occurrence. Here is some of the worrying dialogue that Shane says after marriage (from the wiki, will link at the end of the post):

‘If I don’t order a cold one now and then, Gus will go out of business. I’m just doing my civic duty. I’ll head home around 10’

‘I’m just gonna have a couple more beers before closing my eyes for the night’

‘What are your plans for the fall? I’m going to try and incorporate more wine into my diet’

If you’ve had to have a treatment for your alcoholism, you shouldn’t be having a single drink of alcohol. That can easily make you relapse. That’s why I find what Shane says so troubling. It’s said so nonchalantly like he never had a problem with alcohol.

Even his room is troubling. It’s basically a smaller version of his room in Marnie’s house. Now, this would be fine if he didn’t have a problem with alcohol. I cannot stress this enough. He shouldn’t be having any alcohol because it can make him relapse.

But as I’ve said, him potentially relapsing has been addressed (in the 14-heart event) and he gets upset that the player and Marnie thought he had relapsed because he’s stronger than that now. But he still drinks alcohol? This makes no sense.

So, that’s it for today’s post, Gamers! What do you guys think? Remember to leave your thoughts and feelings in the comments below and check out my social medias if you want to stay updated and have a say in what I post! Also, if you’re interested in streamers, my partner and I stream every day! We stream Stardew Valley on Friday, and we’ve only just started the game this past week so check out 2nerds_1game on Twitch! See you next post!

PS: There’s two Stardew Valley wikis, so this is the one that I use almost daily:
https://stardewvalley.fandom.com/wiki/Shane
I don’t use this page daily, but I’ve found the fandom wiki very helpful.

Can you play Persona 5 Strikers without playing the original game?

Hey, Gamers! So this week we’re tackling this question because I know a lot of not-JRPG fans like the look of Strikers. The combat is a lot more mainstream and they think it looks better overall. So, as a Persona 5 expert, I’m here to dive into this and answer honestly.

DISCLAIMER: Although I have been called a ‘persona 5 expert’, please remember that this is just my opinion. It might be a good idea to read the full post before diving straight into the game. I have held off on posting this because I wanted to finish the game first just in case, so yeah.

Spoiler warning: Okay so I tried to be as not-spoilery as possible, but there is a very vague spoiler about the end game boss. For this, if you haven’t played the original games then you’ll be fine but if you have played Persona 5/ Persona 5 Royal then you’ll probably click on to who I’m talking about. Again, I know it’s complicated but I’m sure it’ll make sense.

JK Akechi isn’t in this game

So, surprising to myself and probably all of my regular readers, my answer is yes. But just hold on, because like most things in life, this is a bit complicated and I want you to know what you’re in for if you choose to do this. I’ve tried to be as unbiased as possible here, but it’s a Persona game so obviously nothing is easy to explain.

Fans that have played Persona 5 and/ or Persona 5 Royal (regardless of which one you play it does not matter, as long as you know if it is the latter game then some characters are missing) have spent over 100 hours (on average for one playthrough) with these characters. Persona 5 is heavily story based, which means that there is a whole lot of character development in that game, especially with the Phantom Thieves as a whole. Those guys were basically complete strangers in April and by December they are family. So if you skip straight to Strikers, you’re not going to completely understand the bond of the group, which I personally think is a huge part of Strikers. As many reviewers have stated, this is a game for the fans. But it’s such a good game, so this might help you become a fan!

Another thing you might not understand is the little jokes and references to the first game. This obviously isn’t a huge thing, but it’s nice. I can’t help you with that but if you do decide to play Strikers and you like it, maybe try the original and then go back to Strikers and see how much more fun it is.

Yet another thing (because apparently I do not know another way to start a paragraph) I think some people who haven’t played the original game is just who the characters are. To put this into perspective, a character from the original game shows up over half way through without having much of a mention before. Obviously you will know their name and their relation to the group, but you won’t know much about the background.

So, what can you do? Well I have some tips for you. Listen, I understand that Persona 5 and Persona 5 Royal are both long games that can be confusing for some. What you’re not going to do is watch the animation. That does not do the game justice at all. And I’m someone who likes the animation.

I think this is in Strikers but who knows?

Instead, you’re going to read my ‘Persona 5 for Dummies’ post just to get a good understanding of everything that’s going on. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them there. My DMs on Instagram are always open to talking about this game and if you tell me why you’re messaging I will try my best not to gush about it. The link for the post is here:

Persona 5 for Dummies

Then you’re going to click on this link which will take you to the right fandom Wikipedia. Use the previously mentioned blog post to try to navigate the site. My recommendation is to look at the pages for the following characters (at least):

https://megamitensei.fandom.com/wiki/Megami_Tensei_Wiki

Protagonist (Joker)
https://megamitensei.fandom.com/wiki/Protagonist_(Persona_5)

Ryuji Sakamoto (Skull)
https://megamitensei.fandom.com/wiki/Ryuji_Sakamoto

Ann Takamaki (Panther)
https://megamitensei.fandom.com/wiki/Ann_Takamaki

Yusuke Kitagawa (Fox)
https://megamitensei.fandom.com/wiki/Yusuke_Kitagawa

Makoto Niijima (Queen)- which will help you get to Sae Niijima, which is someone else you should look at
https://megamitensei.fandom.com/wiki/Makoto_Niijima

Futaba Sakura (Oracle)
https://megamitensei.fandom.com/wiki/Futaba_Sakura

Haru Okumura (Noir)
https://megamitensei.fandom.com/wiki/Haru_Okumura

Morgana (Mona)
https://megamitensei.fandom.com/wiki/Morgana

Blue because blocked scenes

Sojiro Sakura
https://megamitensei.fandom.com/wiki/Sojiro_Sakura

Doing some background reading on these characters will help you understand the story, as well as understanding their motivation and determination to right the wrongs in the world. I genuinely think that reading about it is the best thing you can do (other than playing the game). After playing the game the full way through, I strongly believe that you need to know about the original game to understand why they’re so passionate etc.

And for those who only want to do the bare minimum… Joker, Morgana – it’s hard because they all go through stuff but – Futaba and Makoto. Maybe Haru if you’re up for that too, but you should have a good understanding of the plot and what they did and what happened to Haru’s father if you read the ones I’ve mentioned. I’m making you read Morgana so that you understand… Morgana. I cannot explain that properly.

Something I want to say is that the Phantom Thieves have technically… fought the last boss of the game before… technically. I mean, they’re different but- it’s so hard to explain but I can’t link the boss I wanted to link for comparison because they have the same page. I want you to know that they’ve been through this, have fought a very similar boss, and that they have saved so many people previously. I hope this makes sense. I know that this is all very complicated and vague but when you get to the last boss, you’ll probably know.

I really hope this helps. I know that this community isn’t the best, but I would love if someone got to experience these characters, even if it’s not from their original game. If anyone wants to talk about something, whether you’re confused about what’s happening or are excited or anything, my DMs are always open on Instagram (which is linked on my ‘contact me’ page). More Persona 5 fans – again, even if it’s not the original game – the better.

Can’t believe they don’t make Yusuke repeat his best line

SIDENOTE: I just remembered about this as I’m uploading this but Igor isn’t in this game. If you’ve seen memes or at least something about Persona 5, you probably know about the Velvet Room twins, Justine and Caroline. They are in the game as Lavenza. That’s all I’m going to say.

So, that’s it for this post, Gamers. I hope someone got something out of this post. If I can help stop the gatekeeping in this community, that would make me happy. Don’t forget to like this post if you liked it, follow my blog, check out my social medias and my partner and I stream almost every day on Twitch @2nerds_1game. See you next post!

Cute pic to end the post

Tops 5 games (or game series) for History nerds

Hey, Gamers! So, as you may know, I’m just finishing my last year of a History Undergraduate course. I love history, and I’m hoping to do a masters course this coming fall. And I obviously love gaming, which brings me to this post: games for history people! I’m saying 5 but there will be extras because… history means different things to different people. So, without further diversion, let’s get to it!

5) The Assassin’s Creed series
As with most of these games, I’ve written about them before. The Assassin’s Creed series is the obvious one when thinking about history games. I started with the Ezio ones, but my favourite is actually Origins. That might be a controversial opinion but it’s true. Overall, while not the most factually accurate series, Assassin’s Creed helps the player remember that historical figures (Leonardo DiVinchi, George Washington, Marie Anttonette etc) were actual people. This is one of my favourite thing about history: humanising the past.

4) Metal Gear series
No word of a joke, Joshua knows more about the Cold War than I do, and my uncle was in the Cold War. How did he learn this? Metal Gear. I had an exam on the Cold War the other day and before I started it (because I was very freaked out, my face had a huge rash, I was not in a good mental place), Josh said “hey babe, don’t forget- after world war two, the world was split into two- east and west. This marked the beginning of the era called the cold war,” and suddenly it wasn’t as scary anymore. He’s a walking encyclopaedia of Cold War stuff because of this game. I’ve mentioned before that I first had the idea for this blog because of a lecture I had where I was debating with someone (who’s actually the closest person I have to a friend from uni now) about video games and their use in history and I was saying that games like Metal Gear make people interested. They make people want to know more about history. That’s what’s important. Plus, if you’re already into history, you can sit there and point out the inaccuracies and that’s fun too.

3) Tomb Raider series
So I’ve written about Tomb Raider before, and how it was the main video game that I watched my dad play when I was a kid. Well, a little bit of a personal note here, but my dad recently got sick and can no longer look after himself, so he’s staying with me for a week before going to my sisters’ houses and likely moving closer to them. I’ve had the rockiest relationship with my father over the past… 20 years and yesterday, we started playing Shadow of the Tomb Raider together. It was the nicest time I’ve had with him in a good 5 years (frustrating because he kept missing stuff, but still nice). The last game I had played with him was the 2013 Tomb Raider, which I loved. That brings us to the reason I’m putting this on the list. Obviously Lara Croft is a… tomb… raider so it’s kind of obvious, but (this is probably going to make me sound ignorant) recently I have started learning about the history of Japan (great podcast, 10/10 recommend) and was happy to learn that Himiko was actually a Queen! And as I was playing yesterday, I realised that there was so much history imbedded that people, if interested, could research on their own if the game had made it seem interesting enough (which, in my opinion, it does). Obviously not everything is factual – as with a lot of media – but it peeks people’s interest enough that they recognise it and can do their own research.

2) The Witcher 3
The Witcher 3 is an amazing fantasy game that is based around the middle ages in Europe. This is seen more in the books, but the game (I can only speak for the third as that’s the only one I’ve played) does an amazing job at displaying life during these times. I know when a lot of people think of history, they think of wars and kings and all that stuff… but for the majority of people, it was nothing like that. It was poverty and religion being forced on them and being scared of discrimination and where their next meal is coming from. I think that this is shown very well during the Witcher 3; out of all of these games, it does – what I think is – the best job at displaying the lives of normal, everyday people in the past.

1) Red Dead Redemption 2
I love this game. I am yet to finish this game since our PS4 broke a while ago (and since then we haven’t had the space but we got a new one so I’m going to finish it, I promise!), but I love it. It did, however, take a while for me to love it. I studied the American West for GCSE history and when Josh got this game, I spent an hour or so of every time he played ranting about how cowboys were actually really boring and it wasn’t this glamourous. But then Josh turned about and said “well, yeah. But it’s fun” and that shut me up for a while. I just watched him play, and got engrossed in the story. Red Dead 2 does an amazing job – like the Witcher 3 – of showing off the story of the everyday person. However, Red Dead 2 gets you emotionally invested way more than the Witcher 3 does. Arthur Morgan is a wonderfully balanced protagonist, and the world around him is well written. It gets you invested in the world, which makes you interested in the history.

Honourable mentions:

As a history student, I’ve learnt that history is created everyday… and it’s so much more than just “the past”. It’s about society and how it changes, the discussions that are had on important issues and why they’re had. So, while these games may not be obvious to some people when thinking about history, they stand out to me.

  • Persona 5 Royal
    Okay, before you roll your eyes, hear me out. Persona 5 Royal came out when the Black Lives Matter movement was starting up. I remember that there was a lot of discussion on Persona 5 fan pages on how they should either stay out of it or speak up about it. I was in the latter category. In a game about injustice and rebellion… you can’t be a fan of this game and then just stay out of important issues like the BLM movement. If you are, you clearly learnt nothing from the game. This is a hill that I will die on. I’ve actually said in a lecture with real academic people that this game deserves a spot in some kind of cultural museum because the debate in the fandom around the time it came out was huge and it reflected a lot of society too.
  • Cyberpunk 2077
    This game demonstrated that workers in the gaming industry were overworked and underpaid, therefore resulting in a product that was… not up to scratch. They pushed the date back several times to try to give the workers more time, but it clearly wasn’t enough. Whilst I feel like this hasn’t sparked as much debate in the gaming community as it should have, I think it opened people’s eyes to the realities of the gaming industry.
  • Minecraft
    Okay so I can’t play Minecraft because motion sickness (yeah it’s weird, I don’t get it either but we’re saying it’s motion sickness until proving otherwise but it happened with the Unfinished Swan too) but it has undeniable cultural significance. I remember when I was like 10, there was books everywhere. I think I’ve talked about how my sister is actually a Minecraft genius and taught me that Minecraft is actually pretty cool. But there’s so many books, toys, youtube videos, everything. Minecraft has everything and has done for over a decade. This game actually belongs in a museum.
  • Fortnite
    I’m putting this one last in hopes that my partner doesn’t see it but Fortnite has huge cultural significance. Discourse, dances and everything. Fortnite has had a large impact on our culture, especially the younger generation.

So, that’s it for this week’s post, Gamers! Don’t forget to like this post if you liked it, follow this blog for more gaming content, check out my social medias (should be linked) if you want to keep updated and if you’re looking for a twitch channel, I hear 2nerds_1game is pretty cool (because it’s me and Josh, and we stream pretty much everyday apart from this past week due to personal issues). See you next post!

Stardew Valley has taken over my life…

Hey, Gamers! So this week we are talking about Stardew Valley, a game that is available on pretty much anything. Now, I didn’t think I’d like this game very much but I wanted something different and it was pretty cheap so I got it for the Switch (I swear my main console is the switch now). I think I got it about a month ago and, keep in mind that I am in my last few weeks of a history undergrad, I’m nearly at the end of the 2nd year with over 50 hours. This game has taken over my life.

I think a lot of people experienced a similar thing with Animal Crossing when that first came out because of the pandemic, but this game has been wonderful for calming my anxiety. Obviously without the pandemic, I do have several mental illnesses and a lot of things have been happening recently to cause me a lot of anxiety. I’m not going to sit here and say that this game is calming because it’s probably one of the most stressful games I have ever played… but it does calm my anxiety and takes my mind off the things that I can’t seem to stop thinking about. So I’m going to talk a little about my experience with the characters, the farming aspect of the game and the mining aspect of the game.

So I married Shane. I kind of wish I hadn’t but he reminded me a lot of Josh when we first got together so I felt it was right. Other early options were Maru, Abigail and Alex. I ended up not liking Alex because he seems to be a bit of a jerk and very judgemental. I stopped talking to Maru after spending some time with Sebastian and deciding that he deserves more attention and for someone to prefer him to Maru. I think the main issue with Abigail was finding her. She’d often just wander off and I ran out of time looking for her.

The farming aspect of the game is the most stressful. I’ve cried over how long it has taken me to water my crops. I know I can eventually get sprinklers but I’m not quite there yet. I have one normal sprinkler and it isn’t very useful. I have 7 chickens and 2 cows and that’s stressful too because I always seem to run out of hay when I need it the most and my chickens never all seem to lay eggs. Who knew being a farmer was this hard?

Lastly, mining. At first, mining was terrifying for me. Honestly, I still don’t like it now. But after getting past level 20, it’s pretty chill. I actually have rearranged my tools to make mining easier. It’s still very stressful and I am on edge the whole time, but it’s better now.

So that’s it for today’s post, Gamers! Have you played Stardew Valley? Leave your thoughts in the comments section, don’t forget to like this post if you liked it, and follow me for more gaming content. See you next time!

Things my partner has said while gaming that I never thought I’d ever hear anyone say

Hey, Gamers! So this post has been a long time in the making, and I wasn’t going to post it yet but there’s a lot here so I figured I might do a part 2 when it comes to it. So some background- my partner and I have been together for three and a half years. He got me into gaming and he’s my best friend. So enjoy him being funny and some cute pictures that I wouldn’t normally share. Let me know if you like this kind of content because… he says this stuff a ton!

“I’m having a dance off against Michael Jackson”- Yakuza 0

“Babe Michael Jackson is working at my real estate firm”- Yakuza 0

“I need to kill more people so I can buy their houses”- Fable

“Liam Neeson is my dad”- Fallout 3

“I had to get into a fist fight with a transgender lady to get some real estate”- Yakuza 0

“Oh… that’s a lot to spend on Michael Jackson… I think I’ll just go with Josuke”- Yakuza 0

“Now I have a chicken working for my real estate agency… that I won… from rolling a turkey in bowling”- Yakuza 0

“Gonna higher Michael Jackson to invest in this theatre”- Yakuza 0

“This is the greatest achievement I’ve ever achieved… this beats the time I got a girlfriend”- Yakuza 0, getting 100 in karaoke (yes I am the girlfriend he is referring to)

“I’m in a battle royal and- oh no the TIGER IS- THERE’S A LION”- Yakuza Kiwami 2

“I don’t always make bad decisions, but when I do… they’re god awful decisions”- Bloodborne

“I tried to kick a guy off a ladder and he fell off the ladder but it also drained my stamina so I fell off the ladder as well”- Bloodborne

“This big meat sack just landed on my head”- Bloodborne

“Oh my god oh my god this big naked guy keeps whacking me with his stick”- Bloodborne

“Im gonna help you fly… You didn’t do it right”- Assassins Creed 2

“I SAID I’m going to do it, Assassins Creed, so you didn’t have to yell at me did you *imitates honking noise” – Assassins Creed 2

“I’m gonna walk without my net because I’m slightly scared that I’ve angered the tarantula mafia”- Animal Crossing New Horizons

“I’m pretty sure that mini game is what a stroke feels like”- Yakuza 5

“This kid is a pain in the butt… I’m starting to think the CPS guy should have taken him”- Yakuza 6

So that’s it for today’s post, Gamers! Again, let me know if you like it because I probably have a ton of these. Remember to hit the like button if you did like it, hit follow for more gaming content and if you head over to Twitch, you can find me (and this wonderful man) over at 2nerds_1game. See you next time, Gamers!

Why do you feel differently about Goro Akechi depending on whether you’re playing Persona 5 or Persona 5 Royal?

Hey, Gamers! This week we’re making the well needed return to Persona 5 Royal.. and the original. For those who don’t know… I write about these games a lot because they take up about 70% of my thinking time each day, if not more. Persona 5 has been my favourite game for over two years now, and I feel like I know enough about the game that I can write a lot about it (I swear if any of you watch our streams and comments about Ganesh… I will cry). I pre-ordered Royal as soon as I could because I was so excited, and I was very surprised when my feelings towards Goro Akechi changed, so I’ve been overthinking this for a while so now I’m writing this to try and make some sense out of it.

Sidenote: Josh wanted me to write a post about who is the best Goro out of Akechi and Majima but it would literally just be ‘Majima’ so I’m not doing that.

Spoiler Warning: This post contains spoilers for Persona 5 and Persona 5 Royal.

So, in the original game… I hated Akechi. He made my blood boil. He was the first character to make me genuinely angry, only rivalled with Zenkichi at the beginning of Persona 5 Strikers. I think he just oozes manipulation and it make me mad. After playing the game for the first time, I was able to appreciate how well Akechi is written in the original game. His confidant arc just naturally increased as it would when bumping into someone repeatedly. You were always meant to hate him. You were always meant to know that he was the traitor. The game wasn’t trying to hide that from you; it was trying to hide his intentions, which I think it did well. You’re meant to know what is going to happen, and you’re not meant to like him.

This changed with Royal, though. Akechi’s confidant arc became something that the player had to spend time on. You got to hang out with Akechi and get to know his personality a little better. He didn’t feel as manipulating. The relationship between Akechi and Joker in Royal felt more like a friendly rivalry than arch enemies like it sometimes did in the original game. There’s an element of childish competition that it brought up throughout the arc… it’s like Joker gives Akechi a chance to be a kid again. Their bond is deeper and it feels like much more is on the line. You slowly start to care more about Akechi, despite however you felt while playing the original game.

Goro Akechi is still Goro Akechi. He doesn’t change, but your feelings towards him almost certainly do and this is exactly what Atlus wanted.

I’m sure most Persona 5 fans would agree that the most anticipated thing about Persona 5 Royal was a third semester. And I think, from what I can remember, we knew that Akechi was somehow going to be in that third semester. We would spend more time with him, and therefore, he had to have a better relationship with him. Although by the third semester, the confidant arc is done and Akechi is basically evil (my opinion), we were taken on more of a journey with his character development so that when the third semester came around, there was always the possibility of him changing again. We anticipated it, even.

Sorry for the blueness… this is what happens when Atlus blocks scenes and I have to take pictures on my phone to talk about it (still haven’t written the post I took this picture for because my feelings are still too raw)

Now, I’m not going to talk much about the ending of Persona 5 Royal. Everyone has different opinions on the ending; my own opinion is one I don’t like talking about much because it’s not the most positive. But there was a hint to something that needs to be discussed. Now, obviously now we have Strikers. I know a lot of people assumed that because of that hint, Akechi would be in Strikers. However, Strikers is a sequel to the original game, not Royal, hence the absence of Sumire (although I can come up with a few ideas about why she wasn’t there but that’s for another post). Now a lot of people are assuming one of two things: either DLC with Akechi for Strikers or Persona 5 fighting game. I’m going to say that we’re not going to get either of these, and if we are it won’t be for a very long time. We, in the West, are not going to get anything before Japan gets it, so it’s important to keep in mind that if there was something, we would know about it. Royal was released in the October before our March release, and Strikers was released – as far as I can remember – over a year before we got it. Another thing might be that they’re trying to leave things open ended for Persona 6. But, again, Japan will get it first so we’ll know more then. It could be a similar tie with Persona 3 and 4 (with them both being SEES as far as I know).

Some Sumire because… Royal = Sumire 🙂

But the ending of Royal leaves more to the imagination than the original ending when talking about Akechi, which is good because I feel like a lot of people wanted his character arc to do a full 180 and that’s not what happened. Underneath everything, Akechi is a bad guy. He’s a villain. He’s an antagonist. Using black and white thinking, there’s not much difference in his character between the two games. What changed was the relationship that Akechi had with the protagonist. Using black and white thinking, however, is not always what’s best. Personally, I do not see any redeemable qualities in Akechi. I’ve always said that his ‘redemption’ wasn’t redemption. But I know other people feel very differently and are very passionate about this. And in a world where – to quote The 100 – ‘there are no good guys’, Akechi is the perfect example of what Joker could have become.

So that’s it for this post, Gamers! Did your opinion on Akechi changed when you played Royal? I’m very interested in hearing your thoughts. If you liked this post, give it a like and follow this blog for more gaming content! Check out my social medias to stay updated (I’m posting a lot more on Twitter because it lets me send screenshots straight from the Switch), and if you head over to Twitch you can check out 2nerds_1game where me and my partner stream almost everyday… apart from when I’m sick, but we’re back at it and I think we’ll be finishing Strikers this week! See you next week, Gamers!

Had to throw it in again…

Should Trigger Warnings be used in Video Games?

Hey, Gamers. This post is a little heavy and therefore I recommend making sure you’re in the right headspace before reading. It won’t be too bad but I am going to discuss things such as child abuse, sexual assault and hate crimes. I will also be talking a little bit about my experience with the first two things (for context reasons) so if you’re not feeling up to that, it might be best to skip this post.

So there are a few things we need to make clear. I think we have a general split in today’s society, which is you either hear the word ‘triggered’ and think everyone is too sensitive or you hear the word ‘triggered’ and you immediately know that things need to change to accommodate that person as they’ve been through trauma. So, the word we need to clarify is ‘triggered’. For the purposes of this post (and in general), ‘triggered’ is used by people who have been through trauma to explain that something – whether that be a sound, smell or experience – has triggered a flashback which usually takes them back to the time of the trauma. It is important to mention that you can have good triggers too, but most people wouldn’t mention that they’re triggered by something good. It’s important to note that these flashbacks can be very real and the person will probably not be okay during or after it happens. It’s best to get them out of whatever situation triggered them.

I love games. I mean, I have a gaming blog and a Twitch so I feel like that’s obvious. I also have a ton of trauma, which I am pretty open about (especially on my Twitch). For this post, we are going to be talking about four games: Persona 5 Strikers (so beware of spoilers of the Osaka jail), Persona 5, Mystic Messenger and Life Is Strange 2. This is obviously a difficult subject for me, but I feel like it is an important one too. So, let’s get to it!

I came up with this post idea last Wednesday. If any of you are watching my Persona 5 Strikers runthrough on Twitch… you probably know why. I got to the end of the Osaka jail (despite the spiders making me feel sick) and… I was hit with a huge trigger for me when Konoe’s trauma was revealed. It felt so close to my own. I was abused as a child by my stepfather, and my mother tried to cover it up because she didn’t want to lose me. All of my attempts to tell my teachers and the police were met with my overactive imagination. This is something I don’t get to talk about much in places like therapy as it happened a long time ago and a lot of traumatic stuff has happened since. I tried my very best to go into Persona 5 Strikers completely blind. I mean, it’s the sequel to my favourite game and I wanted to find out everything as I played it. I regret that, because I wasn’t able to prepare myself for a game about trauma after trauma after trauma. And I wasn’t able to prepare myself for the child abuse. It hit me so hard. I wasn’t able to finish the stream properly as I was hit by vivid flashbacks and panic attacks. After nearly a week of reflection, I’ve calmed down a lot and I’m now prepared to play the game again with this in mind. See, the thing with this game in particular is that if there was a trigger warning, that would also be spoilers for the game. Trauma is such a huge part of this game that it would have been hard to implement a trigger warning without spoiling the game. I know that that would upset more people than the game would trigger people. Actually, knowing Persona fans… they’d probably complain that there’s a trigger warning in the first place, even if there’s no spoilers. Moving forward, I think maybe putting a trigger warning maybe on the back of the case may be the best solution.

I have no screenshots from Strikers yet so uh enjoy this Akechi image from Royal 🙂

I feel like it’s obvious when talking about the prospect of trigger warnings in games, we should talk about Persona 5 (both vanilla and Royal). Within the first 10 hours, there’s sexual assault, sexual harassment and an attempted suicide attempt. It’s a heavy game and it is meant to shock you into realising how compliant society is. Obviously if you’re in a vulnerable mental place, it is going to trigger you. Would a trigger warning help? Honestly, probably not. Persona 5 has been under a lot of flack for “not naming things” such as rape. This gives a little more leeway for the brain to make up something else if need be. The use of traumatic things in Persona 5 is completely different compared to Persona 5 Strikers. It’s used to shock the audience, or as a way of explaining how bad people are.

There’s one other game that I’ve been triggered by since my gaming journey began, and that’s Mystic Messenger. Now, I was obsessed with this game last year and I played it from March to… around September, maybe October. Now this is really personal and it serves me right for playing a game in a toilet but I got sexually assaulted in several bathrooms by my ex, which is why I try not to use public bathrooms. But regardless, it happened years ago and since I was in my own house, I didn’t think of it. And then I played Saeran’s route. Now, it is important to note that ‘another story’ has a slight trigger warning at the very start, stating that this version of the game is not appropriate for people under the age of 15. So I play because, I mean, I’m 21 and these fictional characters are the only people blowing up my phone, and… I’m met with threats of sexual assault by the person I am meant to be romancing. And I made the mistake of doing this part when I was in the bathroom so I read this and was suddenly triggered. I finished that route… and I have yet to do another route. Now I have a lot of issues with Saeran’s route as I have DID and feel like a ton of that stuff was harmful to the community but I also know I’m probably being a little too sensitive there. Usually this would all be fine and I am aware that these circumstances are personal… but I can’t help but think of other people who are in a similar situation to me. I would never wish being triggered on anyone, especially something like this. I just feel like this could have been handled differently. If they had just put a trigger warning of sexual assault when you go down his route… I feel like that wouldn’t be a huge spoiler and people could just restart after the four days if they weren’t in the best mental place.

Now, we’re going to talk about something that I haven’t personally been triggered by… but I feel like it’s something that could trigger people. Life Is Strange 2 is a beautifully written game (much better than the first in my opinion). The main characters are from Mexican descent and the game is based in America… so I’m sure you can already tell that there’s a whole load of racism in the game. I’m from Britain, and I felt quite ignorant the first time playing the game (which, if you’re interested, is on the 2nerds1game YouTube channel). I felt like there was so much about the culture in America that I didn’t know. I did some research because I felt like I needed it to fully understand what the characters were going through, and to understand how real their situation was. After talking to some people in America (of different races, family backgrounds etc), it blew my mind that people experience this level of racism and worse on a daily basis. But I’m just a white girl who likes to think that she’s doing good in the world so what does what I think matter? The general census is that some people may be triggered by the scenes in Life Is Strange 2, but because racial attacks happen to them so often, they just use it as a way to make themselves stronger. A lot of people said that you could tell their race from the trailer and therefore racism should be expected. At first I was against this, but seeing how often it happens, I have to agree. So personally, I don’t think a trigger warning should be implemented here but, again, I’m just a white girl so I really have no say in how something I don’t experience affects people that it does affect.

I have no screenshots from Life Is Strange 2 because I played it before this blog was even a dream of mine so uh have a screenshot from Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons because they remind me of Sean and Daniel.

So, overall, it really depends on the trauma, how the game portrays it, if it’s obvious in the trailers and all that stuff. I think it’s important to remember that being triggered is a serious thing and trauma is no joke. I know the gaming community can be not the best, but know that if you get triggered by a game, that was not the intentions of the creator and people are usually understanding when its explained… but you shouldn’t have to explain your trauma if you’re not ready. All trauma is valid. All experiences are valid.

Wholesome Persona 5 Royal pic because this post was a bit heavy

So, that’s it for this post, Gamers! Leave your thoughts and feelings in the comments below. Hit the like button for me to do a little happy dance. Head over to my socials to keep updated, and if you are looking for a Twitch channel to follow, I hear 2nerds_1game is great (the voices in my head tell me, because it’s actually me and my partner and we stream almost every day – apart from this past week because I’ve been sick). See you next post, guys!

Bonus content:

If you want to find out any more about the following games, I’ve written something about all of them!

Persona 5 (and Royal) (this isn’t everything, this is my favourite game so I’ve written a bunch):
First impression of Persona 5 Royal (I did weekly updates): https://eleanorreesgaming.com/2020/04/01/persona-5-royal-first-impressions/
First part of my confidant analysis: https://eleanorreesgaming.com/2020/04/05/confidant-analysis-persona-5/
Persona 5 for Dummies: https://eleanorreesgaming.com/2020/12/06/persona-5-for-dummies/

Persona 5 Strikers:
Why the third jail trauma hits differently (wow I was so naive when I wrote this): https://eleanorreesgaming.com/2021/03/14/526/
Akane’s Joker: https://eleanorreesgaming.com/2021/03/29/3-akanes-joker-3/

Mystic Messenger:
Mystic Messenger is… Good?: https://eleanorreesgaming.com/2020/11/22/mystic-messenger-is-good/
In defense of Jaehee’s route: https://eleanorreesgaming.com/2020/12/20/in-defense-of-jaehees-route-mystic-messenger/

Life Is Strange 2 (and the original):
Grooming in Life Is Strange: https://eleanorreesgaming.com/2020/03/15/what-life-is-strange-teaches-us-about-child-grooming/
Life Is Strange 2 Game Review: https://eleanorreesgaming.com/2020/03/29/life-is-strange-2-2018-game-review/
The significance of Mushroom: https://eleanorreesgaming.com/2020/05/06/the-significance-of-mushroom-in-life-is-strange-2/