I’m already running out of clever things to say about Saturdays. Oh well. Anyway, it’s time for the PSN Community Spotlight. For the unfamiliar, this is where PlayStation gamers tell their unique stories/experiences/thoughts, as submitted to this section in the PlayStation Community Forums. Those that make it all the way to the PlayStation Blog will receive a $50 PlayStation Store voucher.
Last week we asked about your PlayStation stories, and gamer PapaWarlock wrote in to tell us about how he bonded with his family by playing games.
Connecting With My Family Through PlayStation
I’ve been gaming for 30 years and for the most part my gaming has been solo. My daughter plays video games, but nowhere near as much as me. However, the PlayStation 2 allowed me to connect with both my daughter and my wife, and I was also able to connect more with my brother.
In 2002 I got a PlayStation 2 for Christmas from Santa Claus for graduating college with honors. I had spent the previous 4 years taking classes for my apprenticeship in welding, working full time, being a father and trying to get an Associate’s Degree in Accounting. My brother also got a PS2 for Christmas that year.
In 2003 Final Fantasy XI arrived in the US on the PlayStation 2. I bought the HDD attachment for the PlayStation 2 and it came with FFXI for free. I had never played an MMORPG before FFXI. I honestly don’t think I would have played past the 30 day mark if not for making a friend in the game. This friend introduced me to his Linkshell group (like a guild or clan). While chatting in the group one day, my wife was watching me play. I was trying to fish and I was talking. My wife became intrigued and she decided she wanted me to get her the game for the PC. Mind you, my wife is not a gamer.
She created a Mithra (a cat woman) and became a White Mage. We would adventure together, and after I introduced my brother and another friend to the game, all four of us would often do experience point groups and events like story missions or Burning Circle Notorious Monster fights (instance fights, similar to what you might find in WoW.) For 4 years we all played together in the game. What made this so amazing to me is that my wife and her friend could play on their PCs and my brother & I could play on our PlayStation 2s all together on the same server.
My wife and I met other couples who played FFXI together. Sometimes they were like us (they would often do things as a couple). Sometimes the couples would do their own things (otherwise they would fight). But more often than not, most of the people we met would complain that their wives (girlfriends, boyfriends or significant others) hated them spending so much time on a game. But for my wife and I, it kept us together. We shared an experience and it allowed us to bond deeper.
My brother is about 80% deaf. His hearing impairment makes it difficult to make friends in real life. In the game only those he told knew, but it didn’t impact his ability to play the game. It allowed us all to do things together rather cheaply. Before Square Enix made a few changes to the fishing craft, we even would let our young daughter do some fishing and also allowed her to run around in town as a Taru-Taru that we created for her.
As my daughter grew older, she and I discovered Ratchet & Clank. By this time I had suffered a ruptured disc at work and had back surgery. Because of this I am not able to play outside with her, like jump rope, running, kicking a ball or things like that. But Ratchet & Clank gave us a game in common that we both loved and could talk about. We also would take turns playing the game, and I would often help her out when she was having trouble with a boss fight.
As a father it hurts me not to be able to be active with her. But Sony has given us the opportunity to bond over a shared love. My wife and I no longer play Final Fantasy XI, but we still have a few inside jokes that we share from time to time that stem from the game. My brother still plays FFXI and he tells me about some of the changes from time to time.
So thank you Sony for giving my family some games to bond over, which is something we haven’t found elsewhere. Sure we have other things in common, but nothing says “I love you” like a Raise III when you’ve done something stupid or your party failed epically.
Thanks for writing in PapaWarlock! Remember folks, the family that games together, stays together.
Next week we want to hear more general stories about the PlayStation brand. Click here for more info on this call to action.