Immersed In Gaming

Sophomore speaks on gaming hobby

After a long day at OHS, sophomore Beckett Wagener unloads stress by sitting in his desk chair, going on his computer and playing video games.

Wagener has been playing video games for about eight years, and he remembers that the first game he played was a Dora the Explorer game on a Mac. It wasn’t until he got his Xbox 360 that he truly began to play video games as a hobby. According to Wagener, his favorite game of all time is Celeste. 

“I’m usually not a fan of platformers,” Beckett said, “but Celeste just holds a special place in my heart.”

While the gameplay for Celeste is a hook for Wagener, the part that made the game so incredibly personal to him was the story.

“Celeste has definitely changed my life. The powerful narrative and portrayal of anxiety and depression throughout the game are perfect. It’s never forced, and it can even be overlooked if one isn’t paying attention to the narrative,” Wagener said. “But if you really notice the details, every facet of Celeste is dedicated to portraying or explaining some part of anxiety.”

In addition to Celeste, Wagener said that his favorite genre of video games are shooter-style games such as DOOM and Team Fortress 2. Part of why he enjoys these games so much is because they are interactive, which he believes is part of the appeal of video games. 

“…Sure, books, TV, and movies are great, but video games allow you to be part of their world and their story,” Wagener said. “And if they don’t have a story, then they still allow you an escape from reality.”

For Wagener, the widespread appeal of games can be credited to the combination of cinematic storytelling and challenging yet rewarding gameplay, which is a big reason why Wagener and many others love games like Celeste and Dark Souls. The games feel handcrafted for them, being able to learn and grow from mistakes while being thoroughly entertained by an immersive storytelling experience.

“To me, the more I struggle in a game, the more triumphant I feel after completing whatever obstacles the game puts in front of me,” Wagener said. 

Celeste is such an important part of Wagener’s life, from the fine motor skills it helped him pick up and the relatable story that he said was life-changing that he has some advice for people who may just be starting to play video games for the first time.

“Well, I’d say one can enter gaming from any angle they want. But I’d say an important part is finding the genre you like. Open-world RPGs are far different from platformers and provide wildly different experiences. So I’d say cast a wide net to start,” Wagener said. “Try a bunch of different games from different genres.”