He sits to attention, hands on mouse and keyboard, glasses dipped partially down over his nose, his cheeks tense with anticipation. His beard is now white at 59, his smile slightly more weathered than before, but his intent on besting whatever challenge is thrown up on screen has never wavered. For 31 years, I've shared these sorts of experiences with my father, and will cherish the time ahead now it seems so limited.
He comes from a generation that isn't used to holding controllers, guiding dual joysticks, or taking his games on the go. He's from a generation that grew up on single paddle controllers, 8-bit graphics, and arcade machines. He's apart of a generation that is currently learning to adapt to the modern age.
Video games have played a major role in our lives, a hobby that he and I would come to share in 2014 after our first trip together to #QuakeCon. My father isn't used to twitch shooters, he isn't used to games that require fast reactions such as my favorite game of this generation: DOOM.
Unlike my brothers and father, I'm not a fan of reality TV, sports, and fine dining. I'm a simple man, one who looks up to his 59 year old dad, a man turning gamer in the later stages of his life. Our weekends as of late have changed drastically compared to the simple things we're used to, furiously clicking at our mice during our dark adventures through the fantasy worlds of Diablo III or Path of Exile.
Now his gaming forays have changed, relying upon my help to guide him through the demon infested corridors of the Mars UAC facility, the EDZ in Destiny 2 or a trek through the Commonwealth in Fallout 4. His adventures are much like my own, but at a slower pace, and it's because of this our bond has grown over time.
Our shared love for everything Bethesda and id Software has become noticeable to those around us. Our week day evenings are often seen to some as odd as he will sit on the edge of his chair, leaning forward brushing his whitening goatee while I scope in on my nearest target during a session of #PlayerUnknownsBattlegrounds or an intense match of #QuakeChampions.
He's one to take on simpler games, ones evolving around the press of a mouse button, puzzles being unlocked, and rich itemization for him to enjoy. But he, as stated, isn't near as advanced as I am, often relying upon my guidance, and coaching to complete each challenge that awaits him. Sometimes our laughs are shared as his hardships are alleviated, but it's moments like this that I enjoy, watching him overcome the odds.
He and I have found this as a way to become closer than ever before, using QuakeCon as our quintessential event for us to sit, and spend our time away from the screens we know so well. Our story is one that many others may relate to, games being way to bring two varied lifestyles together. Just for a few short hours a week have made a lifetime worth of memories.
If I've learned anything from my experience with my father, it's that our time together is limited. We've come to find commonalities within our varied lifestyles, giving us time to enjoy each other's company. So pick up a controller, grab a game, and share a few laughs with your loved ones.
If you game to bond with someone, what games do you use and or what's your story?