A few years ago, I felt it important to stand up for video games. It was a time when I had to make an important decision in my life. I had to choose whether or not I wanted to write, and whether or not I wanted to write about video games. It was a time to put my foot down and make a future career choice, to begin my training.
This spark came from the comments of Roger Ebert, a name I’d heard throughout my lifetime. A film reviewer, he was the easiest example I gave to those who couldn’t grasp why anyone would write about games, of all things. My parents, my teachers, and my friends, all heard his name to describe what I thought I might do.
When Ebert said video games are not art, I felt compelled to prove him wrong. I furiously wrote a rebuttal, which I doubt he read, and posted it on the internet, where it still sits today. Today, I’m embarrassed by it, but then, I was strengthened by it. I’d proved to myself, video games mattered to me. They were what I would spend my life with. I suppose the article was actually addressed to myself, rather than Ebert.
And although I’m embarrassed by my lousy writing, my weak arguments, I am still proud of myself for making that choice. For having the courage to stand up to someone with years of experience, to write about a thing that I loved, and to discover what I was truly passionate about.
I also found a mantra I follow to this day. Write with courage. Write like you’re proving someone wrong. Write strong. In those few hours, I slammed out incredible, declarative sentences. I’d built a foundation for every word; they could stand a tsunami. I’d published a stone tablet.
That’s what Ebert made me do. He encouraged me to write with power, and to believe he was no different than I. To not be afraid. Sure, I made mistakes, but they slip under the message I wanted to convey. I wrote like I had something to say.
(1992 - 2013)