My oldest son, Damien, has been a gamer as long as I've known him and was before I came into his life so many years ago. Not directly related by blood, Damien was awe-inspired at a young age by my ability to play video games so proficiently. His game of choice at that time was LEGO: Indiana Jones, and he displayed a lot of unhealthy addiction habits that I'd seen in the past in my own gaming years.
Fortunately, we overcame that problem before it became worse, and Damien now stands as both a proficient and reserved gamer. His interest in gaming over the years has broadened even beyond my own, to games like NHL14, Terraria, Borderlands, Assassins Creed, Shadow of Mordor and more.
When we're gaming together, Damien doesn't often challenge me. While he is one of the strongest gamers amongst his friends, he still doesn't hold a candle to my years of experience. It's when we play games as a team that we really shine. We've played many co-operative games together, and I enjoy having a young protégé who's willing to learn how to play a game more efficiently. Accommodating his interests, we branch out on a lot of styles of video games, from action-adventure games like Mercenary Kings, Hyrule Warriors and World of Warcraft, to real-time-strategy games like Company of Heroes and Starcraft.
As you can see, Damien and I play on a fairly intense level, and he doesn't lose pace with me at any point.
As a father, I have been my son's idol. We always have something to talk about with video games as a common ground, and he's always asking me for more information about new games along with tips, tricks and tactics. When we play a game together that goes poorly, he'll come down and ask for advice on how to change his tactics to get better.
I see a lot of me in him, after raising him for six years now. He's turning into a formidable opponent, and a valuable teammate. But in time, I can easily see him outstripping his friends and becoming even more proficient. He may even become better than me.
I suppose only time will tell.
Michael Belkie is a student in the Professional Writing Program at Algonquin College and father of three children. Alongside co-host Jake Urquhart, he is also the creator of the Youtube series Digital Rapscallions, launched in 2014. Michael plays excessive amounts of video games and cosplaying Aiden Pearce for recreation.