I'm the quintessential 90's kid. I was born smack dab in the middle of 1990 and grew up in the era of technical revolution. I've seen more advances in modern technology at the age of 27 than even my elderly grandparents have. I saw the cassette tape, CDs, and the advent of the MP3. I went from using VHS tapes, to DVDs, to Blu-Rays, to streaming services. I also saw the movement from DOS computers, the original Game Boy, and PlayStation to the PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, computers with 4K graphics, and virtual reality. Gaming has been a part of my life practically from birth.
As a child, an adolescent, a teenager, a college student, a early twenty-something and adult, I have greatly enjoyed video games. As I've gotten older though, I've noticed one thing. There really isn't anything like being a kid and playing video games. If I could go back to the era of Kingdom Hearts II, when I rented the game and played it from the moment I got it until 6am the next day, I absolutely would. Back in those days, I didn't have to worry about going to work the next day. I didn't have to worry about making sure I could pay all my bills when I was traveling with Donald and Goofy. These were the best of times, and I took them for granted, as a teenager is wont to do.
When we game when we're younger, we are absolutely captivated by the worlds we explore. That's not to say we aren't still as adults. I can't even begin to explain how many times I've surprised myself at the amount of time consecutively I've sat playing a single game. Final Fantasy XV sucks me in before I even know what's happening, Horizon Zero Dawn takes hours away from my life without my knowledge. Even Okami HD passes the time with lightning speed. The only difference is the other things that we could or should be doing. As adults, we have responsibilities that we simply didn't have when we were younger.
It was an easier time back then in so many different ways. As an adult gamer, we have to reconcile the fact that we have jobs/careers, significant others/family, and dare I say it... errands to take care of. It's not an impossible task to create an enjoyable work/play balance but it can still be tough at times. When I want to get a new console, I have to consider the fact that I could use the money to buy food or to pay other bills. Most adult gamers have to consider the same thought processes. Do I play Overwatch or do I spend time with the in-laws? They're certainly not fun choices to make.
At the least, they're not the easy choices we got to make when we were younger. Do I play Kingdom Hearts II or Baldur's Gate II? How about PlayStation 2 or PC? Hmm... I think I'll just take out the old Game Boy Advance instead. These easy days are gone for the most part, and while that's lamentable, there is a silver lining. While I look back and curse the loss of my childhood, I can also revel in the fact that I have the memories I do. How many kids before me got to play games all by themselves pretty much whenever they wanted? How many kids had a system actually in their room that they could play? 90s kids are all older now, and trying to git gud at this adulting thing while still enjoying video games. It's a little tougher, but we can still do it.