Video games are wonderful things. I’ve even wrote a piece about how they saved my life and instilled me with the values I hold today. You’d think that would be the end of it? All the help gaming has given me with both survival, personality, and morals. Well turns out they assisted me with another major facet of life. Marriage. Funny enough, even one of my girlfriends I met through social media because my profile pic was Sora from Kingdom Hearts. Sadly, that didn’t work out. However, one of the PlayStation 3’s greatest games helped me meet my bride to be. We met through its beta and the rest is history. Also, bonus points if you can figure out what title before you continue reading.
So little ol’ me was home with the grandmother from college in the summer of 2011. I brought my PS3 from the college town back home and played on it more than I probably should have. Even though it was summer and all I love mah vidja gaems! Turns out that was the season Naughty Dog released the Uncharted 3 beta. Which was, off topic, the best multiplayer the third Drake adventure was ever going to get. Needless to say many matches were played on the Airstrip and Chateau maps but no regrets were had. Then one particular game, on Airstrip, I played incredibly well and my team steamrolled our opponents. So much so that I imagined that they were quite upset. Very next match (also on Airstrip) I get matchmaked with two of the previous enemy team’s members and they’re far from upset. Possibly a little drunk but definitely not upset. The two ladies are joking around and laughing up a storm as wannabe Drake’s are dying around the battlefield. Eventually, they realized I was the one who made them get double digit deaths in the last match and more humor was had.
Naturally being the proper gentlemen I am, I offered to party up with the duo because they were quite hilarious and made the summer Uncharted 3 beta even more fun. We grouped up for a few more matches and the rest is a little fuzzy. Don’t worry though, I wasn’t a creep just because they were girls playing a video game. From there, one of them liked playing all the same titles as me. Most notably Battlefield 3 and Final Fantasy. With the shooter was a squad that played together daily for months, including the lady and myself. For the longest time this rag tag group of friends laid waste to the fields of war. My current girlfriend at the time even got jealous that I was playing with a girl, in a group of people, so often even though everyone was strictly friends. An even smaller portion of that group swapped Final Fantasy tricks and tips and, yes, that lady and I were included. Except the only FF game at the time was XIII-2 and we all know how that went.
The next two years were full of platonic moments between the lady (let’s call her J from now on) and I in gaming. Then in the very early days of 2013, I broke up with my girlfriend. Things just didn’t work out and changed as with any relationship. Now I didn’t immediately go looking for another partner as a little me time was a good and healthy thing. However, that didn’t stop me from being more open to other girls’ interest. It was nothing big but I would say something a little bit different or slightly flirt with people now that I was single. Again, I had no goal of getting into a long term relationship. Despite that, J and I seemed to really hit it off on social media with meaningful conversations. All of which happened at the same time that the Tomb Raider game, by Crystal Dynamics, came out which we both played. I found out how smart, compassionate, and open she was now that I wasn’t in a committed relationship. Come spring break later that year, I traveled four or so hours to J’s location and things happened.
For the next year or so we were in a long-distance relationship. I was able to visit her quite often though thanks to me winning the PlayStation Blogger Contest and her current job and its travel perks. We played The Last of Us’ multiplayer quite often and even received both of our PlayStation 4’s together. Then it was all about Battlefield 4 at that point. After we got that out of our systems, my PlayStation Blogger opportunity brought us to CES 2014 thanks to a “plus 1” to bring along. What J didn’t know however, was that I got in touch with Naughty Dog. You see after a year of dating I realized she was the one. I would never find someone more compatible and this intellectual and after much thought I decided to propose. Luckily, my contacts within the PlayStation community got me in touch with Naughty Dog and they were able to make me a simple but meaningful proposal video. You can view it and the reactions below.
You’ll notice the Uncharted 3 map, Airstrip, and the dynamic event that happens within it. Except instead of the bomb’s explosion killing players, a proposal comes out of it. She said yes and I was shot with confetti. Things were arranged and eighteen months later we were wed. Also, our cake toppers had Kingdom Hearts keyblades on it. Thanks to gaming I was able to not only meet my wife but actually sustain a lasting friendship that bloomed into so much more. I’m not the only one either. I’ve heard many stories (including the most recent CoD one) about lovers meeting through video games and a few others even had their own gaming proposal videos (some with much more going on). So this experience of love isn’t the only example of what gaming can do.
As I write this I just heard my wife in the other room yell, “Genji f**k off!” and I couldn’t be more proud of her. Not just because we’re still avid gamers but Overwatch’s cyborg ninja is damn annoying. Although maybe not as much as Tracer but I’m rambling at this point. Video games bring us together and no matter how much they’re scapegoated, you can’t change that fact. I bet most of the people reading this will be able to name one really close friend they met through gaming. As always, just like books, tv, movies, and other forms of entertainment, video games are a work of art and deserve as much praise as they can get.