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Gaming: A Love Story

Wednesday, September 6th

Whether it is with a person or with a video game, falling in love is a universal experience, and yet at the same time it is different for everyone. This piece explores three unique stories about how three of our own Klangers fell in love with gaming. Who knew that a shared love for gaming could come in so many different shapes and sizes?

Agnesë


For seven-year-old Agnesë, growing up in post-war Kosovo meant that having access to video games, or even TV for that matter, was not an easy feat. Luckily, their older brother had an old PC that he used for programming. There was just one small problem: he kept the PC locked in his room. Agnesë is still unsure whether he left the key to his room out on purpose or whether they found it themselves, but either way, Agnesë was able to sneak their way in. Having never used a computer before, they clicked the first thing they saw on the screen, which happened to be Hitman: Codename 47. “I was mindblown”, they say. “I couldn’t believe that all of a sudden I was this person and I had a mission. I felt like I was in his shoes”.


After that first experience, Agnesë officially had the gaming bug and slowly saved up enough money to buy their own laptop. Having their old laptop was revolutionary for Agnesë, and they spent many hours playing games like Half-Life and World of Warcraft (all bootleg copies due to the difficulty in getting access to games in Kosovo). Agnesë’s love affair with games only continued as they got older, and eventually inspired their entrance into the gaming industry!


Thibault


Thibault’s relationship with gaming started with his dad, who worked in computer science and encouraged him to play games. While he started out with educational games like the French game Adibou, as he grew he expanded his gaming repertoire to games like Commandos, FIFA, and Call of Duty 2. In fact, Call of Duty 2 was the first game that Thibault purchased with his own money (with the help of some of his little brothers' money too). However, it wasn’t always sunshine and roses for Thibault. When he got a little older, he started struggling in his studies and his dad put a password on the PC to limit his gaming. “That was very frustrating”, he says. But he didn’t let this get in the way of his love for gaming, and he would frequently go to friends' houses to play games on their consoles. True love prevails!


Oualid


Born at the end of the 90s, an only child to a middle-class family in Morocco, Oualid was lucky to be exposed to games from a young age. Oualid’s mom worked for one of the biggest internet providers in Morocco and had access to a computer, which was something not every other family could afford. Similar to Thibault, Oualid’s passion for games started with educational games that came in the comic books he had, but it soon grew beyond that. Oualid’s experience with gaming really took off when he got his first real console, a PS2, which was a gift from his mom. Oualid describes his mom as extremely hardworking, and his gratitude is obvious. “To buy a PS2 at that time for us was a big present”, he explains.


As an only child, during the summers Oualid was left to his own devices, and once he got his PS2, he spent a lot of the summers playing games (games that he still plays even today!). One of his favorite games, Dragon Quest, ultimately led him to online forums where he would discuss game strategy and nuances with other players. In a serendipitous turn of events, one of these forums connected Oulid with a group of Dragon Quest fans in France who wanted to make their own online fan game. Even though Oualid was only twelve at the time, he jumped at the chance to help develop a game. Before he knew it he was a co-founder, writing dialogue and storylines, as well as doing graphic design for the game. “It was completely illegal, we didn’t have a license or anything”, he recalls, “but it was my first experience in game creation and was really fun to do”. And the rest, as they say, is history.


We hope that you enjoyed these stories as much as we did. Our biggest takeaway is that there really is no one-size-fits-all way that people fall in love with gaming, and that’s what makes it so awesome!

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