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I actually tried to submit this entry twice, but experienced errors involving visibility. Perhaps third time’s the charm.  

Nonetheless, I have a number of things that help me escape mentally. I may visit my gym, put in my headphones and become one with the day’s workout routine. I can sit down with a book, whether it involves a graphic novel or self-help perspective.

The list can go on of course, but I want to focus my attention today on video games. Similar to music and film, video games allow people from different backgrounds to come together as one.

This sounds utopian, but competitive gamers tend not to focus on the extent of your passion due to your height, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, gender, etc.

If you are a 45-year-old lesbian who weighs 18 stone, with a height of only 70cm, but is capable of accumulating the most head shots in a Call of Duty online match, your skills will be the focus.

The focus is not about your height, sexual preference, weight, age, etc. In other words, they do not negatively influence your actual skills.

There was a negative stigma surrounding the gaming culture during its origin, which seems to persist even today. In the conclusion of noncompetitive gamers, a gamer is usually…

A virgin

Someone who lives in the basement of a parent’s residence

Someone who is antisocial

Usually a Caucasian male

Nonetheless, video games, like all other competitive elements in life are about winning, and gaining the upper hand against someone else.

If you want to taunt someone, simply reference something physical (appearance) or perhaps a behavioral trait. The goal is to take their attention away from the current objective, which is winning.

I was recently introduced to Man Crates and their Super Retro Game Crate, which delivers an assortment of items inside a crate to its recipient. I then thought back to the nostalgia of my marathon gaming sessions.

I can speak on my origin with video games, because I have owned perhaps eight different consoles such as Nintendo, Super NES, PlayStation 3, TurboGrafx-16, Atari Jaguar, etc.

However, I do not want to focus on that aspect. Instead, I want to explain the moment I fell in love all over again, with one of my favorite pastimes.

In 2009, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was released. Though many gamers believe the series is regurgitated one after the other, with no changes in actual gameplay, I love the franchise.

I admire the storyline; I enjoy the connection you have with characters throughout the campaign, graphics, etc.

Upon the release of a new game in the Call of Duty franchise, my focus is to gain as many achievements, which will add to my overall Xbox Live Gamerscore. In fact, my goal is to gain all achievements in each game played.

The Gamerscore on Xbox Live is an achievements point accumulation system, which reflects the number of achievements accumulated by a user on Xbox Live, through the displaying of the amount of points accumulated.

These achievement points are awarded for the completion of game-specific challenges, such as beating a level or amassing a specified number of wins against other players in online matches, and other various in-game challenges.

For instance, if you play a fighting game like Street Fighter IV, the user can receive 25 achievement points, if they are able to complete a specific tournament on the most difficult setting.

Your Gamerscore separates good gamers from great gamers, and great gamers from exceptional gamers. After all, this is a competition.

Before getting married, we lived in separate locations. At times when she would call, the background noise of explosions, gunfire and other effects echoed into the phone.

We would then discuss the current mission and its difficulty. As mentioned above, I love Call of Duty, but my admiration enhanced the moment I bought my wife the Xbox 360. Upon purchasing her first Call of Duty game, she was hooked.

Instead of listening to my stories regarding difficult missions, I was now watching her play the same levels. One evening, she was excited about completing a current level, which took me quite some time to complete.

Me: Big Whoop. You beat a level on Normal. (Sinister Laugh)

Her: What do you mean Normal?

Me: The game is locked into an easy setting when you first begin. I always change the setting on Call of Duty to Veteran. Playing on Normal is far too easy. That’s why you beat the level so quickly…and why you suck. (Sinister Laugh)

She was actually quite far in the game’s campaign, but in an instant, she reset the game and changed the setting to Veteran.

That was incredibly sexy.

She did not want to feel satisfied with a handicap of any sort, which is of course completing the game on such an easy setting. She would not let me live down her accomplishment, so she was determined to play on the hardest setting from the beginning.

That was incredibly sexy.

Watching her react with each new mission was priceless. It was invaluable, as I observed her different reactions, on specific difficult sections of a mission.

Wait, how the heck did he kill me?

That’s cheating.

Oh my gosh! Why is he running so slowly?

This is what I love most about gaming now. Instead of talking about different missions to my wife, I get to watch her complete them.

Not only does she play each game on the most difficult setting, she seeks to gain all of the achievements. In fact, we would often compete on who has the most achievements in a game, and who received them first.

She became so good at shooting games like Call of Duty; she started playing online battles with my friends. Regardless of their differences, her gaming skills are what matter.

Watching her play games like Call of Duty, made me fall in love with gaming and her all over again.

Though we have not played competitive console games in a few years due to timing, she now has a new addiction on her iPad—Injustice: Gods Among Us.

This tablet based fighting game is truly awesome. She does not have a good track record with fighting games, but she is quite good here.

Gaming brings together people from different walks of life, which is why video games will always remain a favorite pastime of ours. It reminds me of my childhood, where we all got together and played for the sake of playing.

This is how I fell in love with one of my favorite pastimes, but I am more interested in learning more about you. How did you fall in love with yours?