The PlayStation Vita was to become Sony’s next generation portable, and like many gamers as myself, I was amazed by the beautiful OLED screen, the console like quality in the games, and the functionality it possessed. I knew that I had to have one, day one, no exceptions. Unlike me, my girlfriend was not a gamer, yet she supported my passion for gaming, and was right alongside me when I lined up at midnight to make my purchase. She never understood the gaming culture, and the power it has on its consumers, still she supported me, and showed an interest in this device that I desired.
Like all relationships, we have our hard times, but we love each other for who we are, and what we enjoy. One thing about our relationship that is very different than most is the fact that she lives back in my hometown in Texas, and I attend the university of Oklahoma, about a 2 and a half hour drive apart. This distance apart has made things extremely difficult at times. The inability to simply drive down the street and pick her up, hold her after an argument, and surprise her with gifts is a struggle that most couples could not endure, yet our love for each other has held us together, along with the help from the Playstation Vita.
Aside from a small game here and there on her cell phone, my girlfriend had never played a video game in her life. She had never traveled the world of Skyrim, or endured the PMC’s of Metal Gear Solid. She did not know who Master Chief or Nathan Drake were, but because of our relationship, these became regular names that she became accustomed to. Being a student studying music production and sound design, I felt that introducing her to the growing industry of games was important to her future, as the growing production value of video games is something that people in her place fail to realize could become a solid place of employment in the future. I decided what game could be better to introduce the production value of a game to a virgin gamer than Naughty Dog’s “Uncharted” series. I played “Uncharted 3: Drakes Deception” on the Playstation 3, using a surround sound system, and an HD television I allowed the two of us to become immersed in the beauty behind this game. She became attached to the characters, the writing, the music, and the overall beauty of the game, without even picking up a controller. Although I knew this was a fairly complex game for a beginner, I knew I had found our starting point
My girlfriend and I were both amazed at the power of the Playstation Vita, not just for the quality of the games, but also the non-gaming features that it contained. She loved the fact that it played Netflix and YouTube videos with stunning HD quality, and that it had the ability for voice chat and full video chat using Skype. Throw in the ability to surf the web, access Facebook, and download movies and tv shows from the Sony Entertainment Network, she was blown away that a “video game machine” had all of these capabilities. She had to have one, she truly wanted one. At this point, not for the gaming aspect of the device, but for the other capabilities, we decided that we would attempt to get her one. She did not have a device of her own that from the privacy of her bedroom, she could watch movies, watch tv shows, and talk on Skype. Therefore, the Playstation Vita was the perfect device for her, to not only utilize these things that she desired, but also gave her the ability to take it on the go, and enjoy these features in places such as between classes and waiting at the doctor’s office. In summary, we managed to purchase a Playstation Vita of her very own.
She basked in the glory of owning her very own Playstation Vita, and she absolutely loved having one. She showed it off to all of her friends, and showed pride in owning a device that none of her friends owned. She loved being able to watch her Netflix movies in peace, and able to keep up with her friends using the Facebook app. Most importantly, it gave me and her ease of access to Skype and open communication. We were now able to stay in contact more easily and with more personality than a simple text or phone call, all because of the PlayStation Vita. Along with these great features, I still believed that I could get my girlfriend into gaming. As stated before, she showed great interest in the “Uncharted” series, and I believed that “Uncharted: Golden Abyss” on the Vita was to be her first game. Little did I know that I would be opening a door to a whole new aspect of her life that had yet to be opened.
I let my girlfriend borrow my copy of Uncharted: Golden Abyss one weekend when I went home to Texas. The basic learning curve was apparent, and I had to show her how to move, shoot, and interact with puzzles. She struggled in the beginning to grasp the ability to move and aim, but she stayed dedicated to learn, and with time, was improving. She did not play much during the weekend that I was home as we were making sure to spend time going out and having a good time, but she seemed interested enough that I believed that she would continue to play once I was gone. As I returned home to Oklahoma, I received a call from her asking me some questions to do with the controls, which I was easily able to answer. Next thing I know, she promised to call me back, and was gone back to playing this game. Over the next three days she kept telling me that she was loving the game, and would call or text me later as she was at a great part in the game and didn’t want to stop. I was in shock, my girlfriend who never played a video game in her life, was unable to put down her Vita. To blow my mind even more, on the third evening of her playing the game, I receive a call from her where she is too excited to speak. She had beaten the game. Not only had she beaten the game, she had beaten a fairly lengthy game in three days!
The foundation was set, and now she was interested in video games. Conversations about “Uncharted” became normal, and I began to inform her about other great titles that were upcoming. Before the blink of an eye, she had next pre-ordered LittleBigPlanet: Vita and Assassin’s Creed: Liberation. With LittleBigPlanet, me and her were able to play together through the wonderful world of Sackboy and Sackgirl, and she loved the charm, and ease of use that came with this game. We laughed as we played together defeating bosses, and changing our characters outfits, and we both loved being able to communicate in a way we had never done before. Not only did she love LittleBigPlanet, she also loved being able to play as a woman in Assassins Creed: Liberation. She loved the story, and was able to grasp the complexity of this game with time, making the completion of the game even more rewarding for her. She had become a gamer, and she loved it.
The PlayStation Vita had opened a whole new avenue of communication for me and my girlfriend. Not only did it allow for us to stay in closer contact by using Skype and the chat features of the Vita, but also it allowed for us to interact in ways like never before by playing games together. It created new conversations and new forms of common interest, and it brought us even closer together. She continues to utilize all the features that the Vita offers, but also she is continuing to look forward to many new upcoming games and experiences such as the new Sly Cooper game. Each and every day we are able to stay in contact like never before, enjoy entertainment content quickly and easily, and connect through a whole new medium. With all of this, Sony has allowed for us to close the gap of the distance, and to become closer no matter how far apart we are. On behalf of me and my girlfriend, we thank you for making such a device, and because of the PlayStation Vita, I will not be watching “The Future of PlayStation” event on February 20th alone.