I have no games.
I mean of course I ‘have’ games. I ‘own’ games. I have consoles in my possession technically. But as of right now, this very second, I have no games. They are inaccessible. I can’t play any of them.
Please allow me to explain
Recently my wife and I bought a new house. There were delays. There were ‘issues’ to the point where we almost lost the house and a sizeable deposit. Stress is not the word. We need to invent a new word to describe the intensity of the stress we’re talking about here. At one point I almost threw up.
At one point we were literally homeless. We had renters moving into our old apartment at a date when we had assumed our own move would be done and dusted. We assumed wrong. We had to move practically everything into storage before we actually had the keys to our new house.
‘Everything’ included my consoles. All of them. My Xbox 360, my PS3, my PS4, my Xbox One, my Wii U, my PS Vita, my 3DS, my tablet. Practically everything. Again I assumed that we would get the keys the next day, we’d move everything into our new house the following day, and I would be busting out The Last of Us Remastered in my kicking new pad before the weekend was out.
Once again, I assumed wrong. One week later I’m staying at a relative’s house. Everything of significance I own remains stuck in storage.
I have no games.
We managed to get the house keys. That part was fine. All ‘issues’ were resolved and the purchase of the new house went through, albeit at the very last minute. I thought that would be the end of our issues. Turns out it was just the start.
Put politely, the house we bought wasn’t in what my wife would describe as a ‘liveable’ condition. The previous occupant smoked like a goddamn chimney. She had smoked like a goddamn chimney in this particular house for the better part of a decade and that nicotine stained legacy was written across every square inch of the house. It stunk of smoke. The carpets stunk of smoke; the walls were yellow where they were once white. We quickly decided that it might be easier to just re-paint and re-carpet the entire place before we moved in all of our furniture.
So that was the plan. Our possessions would remain in storage. We would stay at a relative’s house while we painted and changed the carpets. I am currently in the process of putting that plan into practice.
It’s kind of a strange feeling, being separated from all that stuff. Your stuff. Not just the video games, but all of the stuff. The couch you sit on after a long day at work, the bed you sleep on, the fridge that stores your food. Moving house is always a relatively traumatic experience. You essentially rip yourself from one house-sized container for memories into a space you have no relationship with. Leaving was strange. I looked at the front door of my apartment – I’d lived there for six years. I couldn’t stop myself. I kept remembering the moment I carried my son through that door after he was born. Then I closed it for the last time.
It’s unhealthy to be attached to ‘things’. I understand that. I’ve never thought of myself as ‘that’ kind of person. I’ve never valued physical possessions. I throw things out. I get rid of my old consoles. When I was 20 years old a drug addict broke into my apartment and set the place on fire. I lost everything and I felt nothing.
But now I’m older and I have more to lose. I am a father and a husband. I’ve grown sentimental in these roles (and my old age) and being separated from the things that represent that existence, the things I associate with comfort and my ability to sustain myself — it’s a dissociating experience. It’s difficult to describe.
TL;DR I miss my video games. I can only describe it as a strange homesickness. I don’t necessarily miss playing my games, I think that would be silly. I’ve got bigger fish to fry (and paint). I just miss them as objects that fill out the space within which I exist. I miss them as a type of furniture. I miss them as a representation of normality: that life is regular, that life goes on as usual. That I am secure.
When your life is in a state of flux you tend to cling to the familiar. When I was 21 I moved to Japan. I remember getting into my apartment, feeling slightly scared, nervous, excited, everything. I turned on my GameBoy Advance and played A Link To The Past. I instantly felt better. I might as well have been sucking on a pacifier.
Once again I’m in a state of flux. I’m technically homeless and I’m carting a wife and child along for the ride. I don’t have my pacifier.
I have no games. I miss my games.