One Step At A Time: Game On

Mitchell and I seal the deal. We headed to Gamestop to buy the PS4. 

Michael Reiner Columnist

Playing outside was always a lot of work for me as a kid. 

My brother Mitchell and I grew up living in the country and we had an amazing yard.

The catch was that playing outside wasn’t always fun and games. My cerebral palsy has prohibited me from swinging a bat, shooting hoops and catching a football. 

But Mitchell and I found another way to have fun and pass the time: we played video games. 

Now, let me explain. I played a lot of video games when I was younger, but I have never been a couch potato. After all, video games can make you unproductive and they are a huge procrastination tool.

But video games aren’t entirely bad. They help bring people together, and that’s definitely the case with me and my brother. I play sports games because they allow me to play and compete against Mitchell and my friends. I honestly do not have fun playing one player games because the part I enjoy most is the human to human connection. I love the competition. Video games allow me to compete on an even playing field without the need to think about my balance, coordination, or muscle tightness.

I remember the first video game that Mitchell and I ever played. It was NFL Gameday 2003 for the PlayStation 2. He would throw the ball in Hail Mary formation every time and I couldn’t stop it. The game was taken from us when our house was robbed when we were kids. Last summer, Mitchell and I found the game and all of the memories came back. 

The funny thing is that Mitchell still dominates me with the Hail Mary, and the game’s cover athlete Tom Brady still rules the league. Some things never change. 

My parents were okay with us playing video games throughout the years because they understood that my disability makes it harder for me to play outside. Since we lived out in the country, we didn’t live close to our friends, but playing games with them online helped bring us all together. 

Mitchell would always try to get me to split the purchase when we would buy certain games. One day he wanted me to split the new PlayStation 4 with him. I am incredibly cheap, so I jokingly asked him to make me a PowerPoint to convince me to buy it. 

 

His pitch worked and we went to GameStop to buy the PS4. I even attached the five year old PowerPoint. Check it out! 

 

I don’t get to play video games a lot anymore because of my busy schedule, but when I’m free I always battle Mitchell on the sticks. I am thankful that Mitchell is always down to play, no matter what. 

In the past I played video games because playing outside was too much work. Today, I play video games to take a quick break from work itself. 

If I ever have children, I will be outside playing with them as much as I can. I want them to be physically active, and I will be there with them. 

But if they would rather lose in Madden, I would gladly accept their offer to face them in a game or two. 

Contact Michael Reiner at [email protected]