As a parent, I often hope my kids will become interested in playing video games. As a kid and teenager, I enjoyed having a break from reality where I could “disconnect” and engage in a fun adventure. Doom II was one of those adventures. It had long levels and plenty of obstacles to overcome, such as dangerous terrains, horrifying creatures, and the ever-present feeling that something was going to jump out at you. The vivid sense of feeling like I was going to jump out of my skin as I played Doom II is as real today as it was when I was 14 years old. How many doors opened or elevators lifting up or down ended with a creature right there attacking you? Let’s just say my heart is racing now thinking about how creepy this game was for me.
The games of today are clearly different, with images that seem very real and terrifying, but the sense of feeling terrified while playing still seems like a genuine possibility. No, I’m not advocating to frighten your children or teenagers, but the ability to lose oneself in a video game can be fun. Whether it be Doom II or any other video game, there is a certain sense of satisfaction that comes with learning to play a game and then moving on from one level to the next.
To give you an idea of the longstanding history of this game, one final secret was uncovered from Doom II last year (2018). One of the great aspects to Doom II are the hidden elements, and the game has so many that its last discovery happened “almost 25 years after it was released.” To give you an idea of one of the many levels one might find in the game, you can watch this final secret be revealed on YouTube. The number of creatures, levels, weapons, armors, and other items seemed limitless when I originally played this game, and watching videos of it now – I still have that sense.
Video games can provide a wonderful outlet to create characters, build confidence, and “explore strange new worlds” (Star Trek reference). In today’s world, where there are live-streaming platforms for video games, it’s also an opportunity to introduce games where friends can play together and enjoy good sportsmanship. It’s okay to have fun and want to win, but like most activities or sports, a nice handshake or high five afterwards is absolutely okay and encouraged.
Video games, like many board games, represent life in that there are many times you will fail, but the true importance is whether you’ll get back up and try again. As a kid who grew up on games like Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Kid Icarus, Doom II, and Star Wars TIE Fighter (also celebrating 25 years this year), the first thing I wanted to do after losing was to play again. Well, sometimes that involved waiting for the game to reload, but you get the point.
Despite not playing video games in my own spare time now, I relish the opportunities to dive into them when my kids want to play or go to an arcade. It reminds me of satisfying moments in my life where video games allowed me to escape and decompress from the worries associated with teenage life. As a parent, video games are a nice reminder to take advantages of the opportunities to spend time with my kids while I can. Playing games together lets us have fun together, or if we’re in an arcade, I get to watch them have fun. Soon will be the days that they will enjoy those same fun moments more often with friends, and although that’s an expected normalcy as kids grow up, I hope to hold onto them as often as possible.
Now, my kids (ages five and six) are clearly not ready for the likes of Doom II. They’ve recently been introduced to Scooby-Doo, so they have quite a ways until they reach that level of scary. If your young teens are interested in playing Doom II, it’s currently available to play on “PC, Xbox One, PlayStation®4, Nintendo Switch, iOS, and Android.”
For all of you geeky parents out there, what video games do you recall playing that still stand out as vividly when you first played it? Are your kids interested in video games, and if so, what games (new or old) do they enjoy? If you have any thoughts on Doom II and its 25th anniversary, share your comments below or head over to Facebook or Twitter to share your thoughts with us.
Until next time, happy parenting and happy geeking.