Hey, Gamers! This week, we’re going to be talking about my pride. Actually, scratch that. We’re going to be talking about how gaming has transformed me from someone who thought they had no worth and wasn’t capable of anything to someone who refuses to take things easy. It’s very personal so if you’re not into that kind of post, I’m sorry but I thought it might be nice to share this with you all!
So most of you know that I wasn’t much of a gamer before I met my partner, Josh. I had an Xbox 360 and played Tomb Raider with my dad but that was pretty much the extent of it. I’ve talked about this a few times before. What I haven’t really spoken about, however, is my relationship before Joshua. There were many things wrong with that relationship but the main thing I wanted to talk about is that he was a gamer (a PC gamer), he built his own PC and I tried to be supportive without ever really understanding. Whenever I would try to understand, he would always mock me. I remember one time, I tried to get into one of his games and he spent the whole time ridiculing me, saying that I couldn’t be a gamer because I’m a girl. This was my last experience of gaming before Joshua came along, so it was not positive and I honestly wasn’t even bothered about the PS4 when we moved in together.
I had been playing games on easy my whole life. I’m the youngest of three, and I think picking the easy mode was always expected of me because of that. But with my ex knocking my confidence completely in terms of gaming, I thought I would never play another difficulty.
The first game I played on Normal was Persona 5. I think I’ve spoken in brief about this before, but not in detail. Honestly, I’m not sure why I felt confidant enough to pick normal. I think it may have been Josh saying that it’s slow, turn-based combat so I wouldn’t get overwhelmed. It may be the fact that I had already played most of The Witcher 3 and did my first 6 hours straight gaming (which, according to Joshua, is what gave me my honourable ‘gamer’ status). Playing Persona 5 on normal difficulty gave me such a huge confidence boost. I felt like I could handle anything that games threw at me (which is why I tried Bloodborne after… which was a mistake). I completed it on the same difficulty most gamers would complete it on. I felt so… empowered. I was not going to go back.
I can’t remember the next game I played on normal. The issue I had was that I had started my Witcher 3 file on easy and hadn’t finished it. I’m actually only now getting round to playing it on normal for the first time. But I have never gone back. It’s been three years since I first played Persona 5 on normal instead of easy. I have not once clicked on ‘easy’, and I never intend to again.
The thing is, once I realised that I was capable of doing it, it suddenly became easier. The thing that was holding me back the whole time was myself. I felt like I had to press easy every single time because I wasn’t good enough to be like other gamers. I wasn’t skilled enough, fast enough, sneaky enough. I just wasn’t enough… but, I was. I was enough the whole time, and the only thing that was stopping me from realising that was my own brain.
Gaming isn’t easy. It’s not meant to be easy. It’s meant to be fun, challenging sometimes, and it’s meant to fully captivate you. Once I realised my own worth and that I was capable of playing it on normal, it changed my outlook on so many things as I realised that I was holding myself back on other things in life too. I realised that I was worth more than I was giving myself credit for, and I was capable of more than I was letting myself do. I was and still am better.
There’s also something to be said about my constant need to prove people wrong when it comes to accessibility and my disabilities. Obviously, there’s the whole argument going around that games with no difficulty settings are inaccessible to disabled people, and I’ve been open about the fact that the argument was created by people who don’t care about disabled people and just wanted to use us as scapegoats (I’ll link the post at the end if you’re interested). I refuse to be a part of their fake statistics, so I try my best to play on normal or hard because games aren’t inaccessible just because they don’t have an easy mode.
Also, I am stubborn. Very stubborn, sometimes too stubborn for my own good. It’s difficult for me to admit that something is hard, and if someone tells me I can’t do it, my brain just goes ‘let’s prove them wrong’. Not the best trait of mine, but it’s there and I’m working on it… just not with this.
Ultimately, I know what I’m capable of and, because of gaming, I am now willing to push my boundaries. I know my worth, and I know that struggling with a game isn’t the end of the world… sometimes, the whole point of the game is to struggle. And that’s okay.
So, that’s it for this post, Gamers! Do you have a similar experience? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, give it a ‘like’ and follow my blog for more gaming content (and check out our Twitch to watch us stream!). See you next post, Gamers!
Discussing the whole difficulty setting thing: https://eleanorreesgaming.com/2021/08/23/should-all-video-games-have-a-difficulty-setting/
Things I’ve learnt while playing games: https://eleanorreesgaming.com/2021/01/17/top-10-things-ive-learnt-while-playing-video-games/