Gaming has been a big part of my life since I was 6 years old. Just after my parents split, my father took my brother and I to the local pawn shop and bought us a Sega Mega Drive (known as the Sega Genesis in America). From my first moments playing it I was hooked.
Gaming became my go to for entertainment. Rather than binge watch shows or watch movies, I’d play games. I’ve met many of my close friends through gaming, and have even become a part of this wonderful SwitchWatch family because of my hobby. Before all that though, I started to lose the hobby I so loved.
Losing Gaming In My Life
After finishing my schooling I started working night shift at a grocery store. Working naturally eats into your hobby time, but what working shift work does to your body also affects how you function during the day. As my energy levels dropped so did my gaming time. I also picked up a new hobby that dominated my time.
I had been playing guitar on and off for a while, but after high school I started joining bands and creating music. One band ended up being 8 years of my life, and when we were gearing up to record, almost all of my extra time, energy and money went toward the music. Even after the band had dissolved, I was in the habit of playing and creating music constantly, and thus barely set aside time to game.
Then almost two years ago I got into a horrible car accident. Someone ran a red light and hit the side of my car at high speed, leaving me in a neck brace for 3 months. One of the discs in my neck had slipped, almost forcing its way into my spinal cord. Having almost lost my bodily function from the neck down was a life changing experience, but it also changed what I could actually do while in a neck brace.
Being in a neck brace made it almost impossible to play guitar, and I couldn’t drive for that time either. Not being able to work and being cooped up in the house 24/7, I rediscovered my love for gaming. I spent my days playing OG Xbox and my backlog of PS4 games, and loved every minute of it. During that time I also met a wonderful woman whom I have been dedicating my time to.
Coming out of the neck brace though seemed to take that hobby away again. Adding work back into the fold ate up most of the time I had spare when I wasn’t with my partner. When I would visit her I would bring my Vita or GBA micro, but I missed the full fledged console experiences I was getting when I had so much free time. Then the Nintendo Switch arrived.
A New Way To Play
From the announcement I knew this had the potential to be huge, but it also seemed too good to be true. How could Nintendo, who’s recent efforts left much to be desired, pull off something so mind blowing as a console handheld hybrid? I wouldn’t believe it until I had one in my hands, but that didn’t stop me from preordering one, or lining up at midnight to pick it up.
The first time I played with the console, I spent most of my time playing with docking and undocking the console. It was amazing to see Nintendo actually pull off what they had promised. Not only that, but seeing Zelda look and play perfectly no matter how you decide to play it was jaw dropping. I was also shocked that the joy cons in the joy con grip worked well as an actual controller. It was a dream come true.
The handheld mode was more than just a gimmick. My dock is only set up for review purposes, or else I would play all of my games as handhelds. The convenience of being able to take my games anywhere was something I knew was a game changer, but I highly underestimated how much I would use it as a handheld.
It has been almost a year since the Switch released, and it still shocks me today how well the console is able to seamlessly go from a home console to a handheld. Being able to have home console quality Nintendo titles on the go has allowed gaming to fit into my life again in a way I never expected. The hybrid nature of the Nintendo Switch gave me my hobby back, and I am thankful to have gaming back in my life.