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Ask A Gamer: Shannon (Shananigans)

Welcome to Ask A Gamer! Each week I post a series of questions and answers from gamers to show just how similar or different we all are. My aim is to highlight the positivity in the gaming community and share what we love doing most: gaming.

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This week’s gamer is: Shannon

Introduce yourself and your blog/social media page

Hi! My name is Shannon. I blog about mental health and personal development over at . My Twitter is here: . I write to help people develop strategies to improve their mental health and well-being, especially if they are currently struggling with mental health issues, so they can continue to grow and accomplish their goals.

Where did your love for Gaming begin?

I started playing video games (with some help) at the age of 3. Most of the games I played early in life were educational. As I got older, video games were a good escape for me, and the possibility to fulfill objectives within games catered to my inner overachiever. On top of that, they were a ton of fun and gave me the chance to explore new worlds and stories. Video games also gave me the chance to develop some of my earliest friendships, as I used to play multiplayer games with my sister and other kids in our neighborhood.

What is your earliest gaming memory?

My earliest gaming memory was with my dad when I was around 3 years old. I distinctly remember sitting on his lap at the computer and playing through a couple of games. I tried to take control occasionally, but for the most part my dad manned the keyboard and mouse. Which was probably for the best, because video game time was usually accompanied by an ice cream sandwich, and I remember rubbing my sticky fingers all over the keyboard many times (and my dad cleaning up after we were done).

What was the first game you remember playing?

The first game I remember playing was Tuneland, followed by Lil’ Howie’s Fun House. They were children’s educational games from the early-mid 90s.

What was the first game you ever purchased with your own money?

I don’t remember this exactly, but if I had to guess it was probably one of the Sims 2 expansion packs (or the base game).

Which is your preferred platform? (No judgement here!)

I’ve traditionally been a PlayStation/PC girl, with some Nintendo on the side (GBA, NDS, Wii). More recently, I’ve fallen in love with a lot of the Nintendo Switch games. Overall though, I don’t have a huge preference.

What is your all time favourite game and why?

This one is probably a tie for me. I’ve always been a big fan of the Sims franchise, with the Sims 3 being my favorite. I’ve probably easily sunk a few thousand hours combined into different variations of Sims games. But recently, I fell in love with Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. For the Sims, I love how flexible the game is, and how much customization it allows. For Breath of the Wild, I love the vast and beautiful world and the exploration it allowed, as well as the interesting storyline as you unlocked memories.

What is your favourite genre of game?

This answer probably won’t be surprising based on my last answer, but I love action-adventure, platformers, and simulation games. No real favorite out of those three.

What Game(s) are you most looking forward to this year?

Even though the release has already happened, I have yet to buy Kingdom Hearts III so I will go ahead and put it on this list. I’m also excited for the new Animal Crossing game and Pokemon Sword/Shield for the Switch.

Which game made you realise that video games are a powerful storytelling medium?

Ooh this one is tough. I guess one of the earliest games I remember that (to young me at least) had a powerful storyline was Pokemon Sapphire.

What, in your opinion, is the most important aspect of a game (level design, music, story etc)?

While I want to say it’s the story, I love the Kingdom Hearts series and the plots of those make no sense! So I guess for me it’s mostly about the gameplay mechanics. How easy is it to figure out how to play, how much sense do the controls make in the context of what is standard for the field, how easy is the character to control, etc. That kind of thing can really make or break a gamer’s experience, in my opinion. I also love in-game objectives, so having side-quests along with a really fleshed out main quest is a huge plus for me.

Which game would you love a remake of?

I would love to see a good remake of the original Sonic the Hedgehog game. I loved it as a kid, but I feel like a lot of the recent Sonic games haven’t been great.

Which game do you feel not enough people know about?

Most of the games that I’ve played are very mainstream, so I don’t think I have a good answer to this one. At one point I would have said Stardew Valley, but I feel like that got a lot of attention about a year or so back.

What is your favourite video game movie?

I haven’t seen many video game movies, but I do remember enjoying the Pokemon movies when I was a kid. Pokemon 4Ever was my personal favorite.

If video game movies were largely good, which game would you like to see on the big screen?

I don’t know that there are many video games that I would want to transfer to a movie, because I feel like that takes some of the interactivity and fun out of it, but if I had to pick one, I’d like to see a movie based on Dragon Age: Inquisition

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