So with it being National Video Games Day and all just a few thoughts (and yes I know much more serious than the holiday is probably intended to be).

Games hold a special place in my life. It’s transported me to fantastic worlds and allowed me to have action packed adventures. As a child who liked to act out stories set in space, on a pirate ship and everything in between in my backyard, games allowed me to realize these stories in a whole new way. It was a way to connect with people. The rise of Pokémon gave us a common thread – something to overcome the awkward social encounters we had growing up in schools.

There was the immense pride I felt when I bought my Xbox, the first home console my family had. At the age of 13, I spent hours babysitting, doing yard work and selling snacks a local park to scrape every last penny. Unboxing that console was one of the coolest moments I can ever remember.

Games provided memories that will last a lifetime. Whether it was a team bonding night playing Halo or an epic night of Super Smash and Mario Kart with some of my best friends, games gave us laughter, bragging rights and nights that will always rank among my favorite from high school.

As games have matured as an art form, stories have become more emotional. Experiencing a game like “The Last of Us” was every bit as thrilling and emotional as any film I’ve seen or book I’ve read. Games can scare us, keep us at the edge of our seat, make us laugh and cry.

Lately, games have allowed me to stay connected to family, even when we’re in different parts of the world. A game like “Overwatch” has allowed me to play online and talk with my brother – who lives in Korea. It gives us common ground and something we can look forward to and to stay in touch much more than we ever would have without it.

I almost feel honored to see games grow and evolve as I have as a person. So yes, I know National Video Games Day is another one of the endless holidays that exist these days.

But it’s one that I’m glad is marked because without it, my world would be a lot less fun. Sometimes, a little fun is just what we all need.