Game On! Worlds Await at VGU_Con

This weekend’s VGU_Con video game convention in Washington, DC was a spectacular event. It was chocked full of cool things to experience for young and old. It brought out the inner gamer in me that I had not seen in some twenty years.

Photo courtesy of Washington Post

My go-to game of choice?…Ms. Pac-Man! I can play it all day every day. For as long as I can remember it has always been a source of joy. Every time my cute little yellow avatar is bitten I feel it at my core and I jump. My other all-time fave, Mario!!! Who doesn’t love that little red plumber and his brother Luigi? When he saves the Princess, we save her together and the joy of victory against King Koopa is as real as any. In the gaming world, it’s so easy to be totally lost in fantasy and live a life beyond your wildest dreams. It was nice to experience this all over again and share the joy with my son.

video games is travel for your mind

I had forgotten the power of gaming to transport you into an alternative reality where you write the outcome of your existence by every move you make, a world where a second chance to right your wrongs is as simple as pressing the reset button.

VGU_Con had set up an incredible free-to-play arcade that included modern consoles and old school consoles and even included stand-up machines. There were games for every interest, for every level, for every age. It was the perfect event for family time. I was able to play the games that made me laugh as a kid as well as new games that made me feel like I was in the middle of some Hollywood epic. My son taught me all about the games he loved and we were able to suspend reality for a time and just get lost in our own little worlds.

Luckily, we also had the bonus benefit of access to the VIP lounge where I was able to be bitten by a vampire (True Blood’s Riley Smith), my son sat next to an NFL all-star (Clinton Portis), I snapped a pick with Rufio (Actor, Danté Basco) and we were able to lose ourselves in the fun and excitement of the gaming world. There was wonderful catered cuisine, an open bar, plus a chance to do the cha-cha slide with Spider-man. Talk about living the dream!

Video Games are not a waste of time

Ironically, I remember when video games were thought to be brain drainers, something smart parents steered their kids away from. That is certainly the stance my parents took. Books, books, and more books are what I was given. Indeed, all things in excess can be bad; however, this event showed how powerful video games were as a tool to teach creative thinking, logic, and reasoning.

With my little gamer, Diego!

Video games are not bad for kids but rather something parents should value as part of their kids’ routines. Players are not only the actors in gaming but they become writers and directors of their character’s realities. Any child exposed to such an expressive outlet has access to a tool that can stretch them without limit, where the only boundary to their exploration is the one they create themselves.

With my homie Andy in his Luigi costume.

I can’t wait for next year’s event. I’m filled with anticipation to see what new worlds will be created for gamers to explore and what new platforms will have evolved. This is an exciting time for the world of gaming and I’m so happy to be a part of it and to be able to share it with my son.