With hairpins jabbing into my brain, an assistant director yelling "Hold the noise!" and a vegan Rice Krispie Treat sitting on the edge of my keyboard that may have actually been a prop, I'm writing this from the set of an independent film—a project that never would have found me if it hadn't been for video games.
In fact, every acting project on my schedule for the next three months is the result of my involvement with games and, essentially, my love for them. I normally would never say something this sappy, so maybe it's just the animal-free dessert bar talking, but video games have absolutely changed my life.
And if you're on Kotaku reading this, they've probably changed yours, too.
Think about it: Have you ever scheduled gaming into your life in a completely serious way?
"Okay, I'll have half an hour between work and fondue with mom. That's not enough time for a Warcraft raid, but I can definitely fit in a Portal puzzle. But dammit, I'm so close to finishing Shadows of the Damned …Eh, mom and her cheese can wait."
Or how about canceled important events on release dates for highly anticipated games so you could stay home and play all day? What did you do at house parties before Rock Band came along?
I can't even imagine my life without games; they've become such a huge part of my daily routine, thought process, and sense of humor. Here's a look into the drastic ways video games have changed my life—and hopefully the boom mic in the next room doesn't pick up my typing sounds:
ME MINUS GAMES— In a world without video games… let's just hope I wouldn't be curing cancer or something.
If there's one way to define gaming, it's "small victories." Completing a video game isn't exactly a life hurdle that you'll cover in a memoir, but having completed each challenge sure gives you a feeling of satisfaction. I think that's what my life would lack without video games-–the challenges, the victories, that feeling of saving the world. Plus, my coordination and reaction time would suffer, my puzzle-solving skills would be slim to nil, and I never would have realized my full potential to fit things into other things, specifically colored blocks.
I also would have never punched that dent into my grandma's basement wall. Haven't played Pong since.
The Projects: Gamers seem to flock together like fifth grade girls in the cafeteria. Clearly we have some sort of pheromone that emanates from our pores allowing other gamers to sniff us out. No matter what the setting, I'll always find myself locating and socializing with the other gamers in the room. It's some kind of real-life Minesweeper.
It's no secret that like-minded people love working together, and being somewhat of a public nerd/dork/Monkey Island enthusiast, I've been lucky enough to have some amazing up-and-coming filmmakers seek me out and send me scripts for their video-game related projects. The one I'm currently filming is a movie called "Your Friends Close" and after that, I'll be involved with a web series based on a very popular RPG. If you're sneaky and have access to Google, you can probably figure out what it is. (And no, it's not a live-action Quest 64. Why won't anyone give that idea a chance?!)
One of the most fun opportunities so far, however, has been working with Twisted Pixel Games. They were awesome enough to let me voice the tutorial of Ms. Splosion Man, plus appear in the game in picture-form for the 2 Girls, 1 Controller mode–-and I definitely hope to work with them again in the future.
If I hadn't been a gamer, there's no way any of these opportunities would have found me.
The Boys: "OMG, Becky, did you SEE his perfect Turbo Tunnel run in Battletoads? HOT." Perhaps the biggest toll video games have taken on my life–-in a completely fantastic way-–is the fact that I cannot date non-gamers. I can't do it. Call me elitist, call me superficial, but video game ignorance is grotesquely unattractive. If a guy even hints at never playing Uncharted or not knowing who Tim Schafer is, it's like he's wearing a giant neon sign on his head that reads, "I AM NOT A FUN PERSON AND WON'T GET ANY OF YOUR JOKES." He could be the most entertaining, hilarious, up-for-anything guy on the planet… but if he can't mow me down with a sawed-off shotgun in a versus match, in the words of Liz Lemon, that's a deal-breaker.
The Observations: Gaming has sunk so deep into my brain like a lobotomy drill that I can't help but see video game references everywhere I go. This happened most severely during my time experiencing "Tetris Effect," a disorder that, quite literally, made me envision Tetris combinations in my sleep and day-to-day life due to my excessive gameplay. That was also when I lost a large chunk of friends and frequently hissed at the sun.