Posted by Mandi McGuire @Mc_Mandi
I am an eclectic mom of two, gaming enthusiast, and cinephile. I sell tech at Best Buy when I'm not writing about the things I love.
Mandi McGuire

Believe it or not, I wasn't always as enthusiastic about gaming as I am now. I played games more than I studied throughout elementary and middle school. However, once my uncontested Pokemon Stadium victories lost their luster and I had found Carmen Sandiego for the millionth time, I entered a gameless chapter of my life that would last over a decade.

After surviving high school sans video games, I began my adult life and assimilated into the working class. I struggled to make friends because everyone I became close to was into gaming and we had nothing in common. I tried to get back into it, for the sake of my social life and sanity, to no avail. I had been out of the world for so long that everything was foreign to me. Nintendo was no longer the top dog of console gaming, PC gaming was seeing a rather steep mainstream decline, and I found myself discouraged and uninterested. I joined the Army, had a child and went back to school, still feeling like I was missing a part of me.

It wasn't until 2009 that I dipped my feet back into the waters of gaming. A little MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) called League of Legends launched and I couldn't have been happier. Finally! A game with enough gravitas to pull me out from under the rock that held me paralyzed for years. I tried to use my new obsession as a gateway to new age console gaming, desperate to restore the passion in me that had died long ago. It didn't work. I couldn't hold my attention on any console game; they simply weren't my style. I even fell away from League for a few years, slipping into a dull and uninspiring existence.

Enter Let's Plays: Finding Games That Fit My Personality

In late 2015, around the same time I began writing for MP/Creators, I began spectating League of Legends pro games with my boyfriend. While we play together occasionally, I found myself more willing to watch the games than to actually play. I've discovered that I'm not that great at gameplay myself, but I have great respect for those that are. I also learned that being bad at games doesn't mean you can't enjoy them. I began asking my boyfriend what he's always streaming on YouTube and he introduced me to the world of Let's Plays.

The more I invested my time into watching Let's Plays, the more excited I became about gaming. I eventually found that "style" of game I can enjoy playing as well. Thanks to the Let's Play, Rage Quit, and Achievement Hunter sublets of Rooster Teeth, I have discovered that I would rather play simple, content light indie games such as, Party Hard and Who's Your Daddy. I found my gaming oasis when I joined Steam, spending excessive amounts of time on these simple, yet hilariously fun time-wasters.

The Let's Watch Phenomenon: Keeping Up With Major Releases Vicariously

While I was happy to be gaming again, in any form, I still felt guilty when attempting to call myself a gamer or a gaming enthusiast. I felt that any respectable gamer should at least know about the major console and PC releases as well as the design innovations that have taken the console community by storm.

With no major desire to play any of these blockbuster titles, I turned to Rooster Teeth and GT Live to experience the wonder of games like Overwatch, Uncharted 4 and Until Dawn. I even became obsessed with the Five Nights At Freddy's franchise by watching others play, and of course, MatPat's amazing Game Theories. I discovered that story heavy, largely mechanical games scare me as a mediocre gamer. However, upon discovering them through YouTube, I was amazed by their complexity and entertainment value. I do not have the endurance to complete games like this in their entirety, but I can love them just as much as the rest of the community now that I have a way to experience them too.

Room For One More: Finding My Home In The Gaming Community

I graduated from MoviepilotU in 2015, proudly displayed my diploma, and promptly stopped writing. Upon much thought, I realized that the movies and TV shows I was writing about were becoming a smaller part of my life in comparison to the amount of online gaming content I was consuming.

As if with me in mind, the Creators platform was born. I wrote a few more articles at the request of my former mentors who didn't want to see my passion die. While I got the rush writing used to give me, it still wasn't quite right. Once again, with convenient timing, Creators announced the Now Loading launch. I have found my homestead for the time being. I began covering League of Legends for the site, specifically the NA pro circuit. I aspire to cover more gaming topics as the months pass by and I owe it all to a few Let's Plays, an unrelenting desire to bring gaming closer to my heart where it belongs, and a group of Creators staff that refused to let me quit.

I've finally realized that I don't have to be good at games to be great at loving them. I found my own unique way to be a part of the community and I overcame my self-defeating assumptions that I didn't belong.

How do you fit into the community you love? Tell me about it in the comments, be sure to follow my page for more gaming content, and most importantly, do what you love!!


What type of games do you enjoy most?