At the ‘tender’ age of 38 last year, my life hit a big roadblock. I was forced to rethink my life choices, job options, and basically what to do now that everybody was stuck at home. I had resigned from working a corporate job just the year before to go ‘live my dreams’ and focus on my music and hosting career after almost 11 years. My work had just started getting traction and I had jobs and gigs lined up for 2020, and I was starting to see my dreams come true. Then COVID.
So what does any 38-year-old do when forced to stay home while jobless and with nothing to do? I don’t really know the answer for other people, but this one coincidentally got a Nintendo Switch for her birthday just as the whole WFH-no-going-out business started around March. And that’s where I met a whole new community of people and made new friends over a fashion show competition on “Animal Crossing New Horizons”, organised by some amazing people [Editor’s note: These amazing people are me, Victoria and Brandon Chong. HI!]. Needless to say, my flare for doing high-fashion pixel art and being a super entertaining and utterly nonsensical queen helped me clinch the crown.
I started learning about new games, different platforms, discord, streaming, and all that jazz. One must understand, for me the only games/consoles I remembered playing were all known now as “retro stuff”, like Super Mario, Sonic, Dr. Mario, Doom on devices like Game Boy, Game Gear, Nintendo, Sega. I also had the very first PSP which I “zeng-ed” (modified) of course…because I was cool that way – or tried to be. Fast forward *ahem* decades, and here I was learning about a whole new world of gaming, different communities, cross-platforms, and new possibilities.
Meeting the right people who shared the same enthusiasm and love for gaming helped me tremendously on this new adventure of finally getting my first ever gaming PC setup. I was of course stressed out and worried as this was all new and a big investment on my part, considering I was jobless. But I took a deep breath, and with some hand holding (okay a lot of hand holding from kind friends around me), I got my first PC in August 2020.
I got a new PC, a new table, RGB lights (lots and lots of RGB lights because I’m fancy and flashy that way hurhur), a new webcam, and all the other peripherals I could think of to make the kick-ass gaming setup I had been dreaming off. I also got new equipment to complement the music streaming side of things so that I could also bring what I loved most to my audiences out there via livestreams.
I have to admit that this has all been a huge ass learning curve. I have affectionately become known as “Auntie Jill” for my awesomeness at embracing my auntieness and also being so amazingly boomer and cool at the same time – haha.
Although I have had my frustrations of learning new things, new games, new ‘many things’, I am very grateful to have had a very helpful community of friends and randoms come in and help me along the way.
Like learning how to play Valorant for the first time and having to self-medicate in the beginning to combat my motion sickness (yes, don’t laugh). Going from being scared to hear those words “if you clutch this” from teammates, to running in, guns blazing and sometimes not only clutching that game, but even getting my very first Ace!
It has indeed been a very interesting journey thus far, and even though I’m not top tier, I have come a long way from being a motion-sickness boomer lady who didn’t know how to even crouch or had trouble finding the “X” on her keyboard to Ultimate. I am still learning everyday about new games, new techniques, new streaming stuff, and new “many things” but I feel like it has been such a mind-blowing experience.
If anyone asked me in the beginning of 2020 if I would ever own a PC, be excited about going home to get online and play games, be streaming these games, and want to categorise myself as a gamer, I would have most probably said to you, “errr you wait long long”. But alas, come 2021, and here I am. I am loving my PC setup (which I continue to build on), trying out new games (current game is: Dead by Daylight – OMG I love it!), I have become a Twitch affiliate, I combine both my passions now (music + gaming), and made new friends and found a whole new community.
Now at the fabulous age of 39, I look back at the last year and am quite impressed at what I have managed to achieve. I may not be the most amazing at FPS games, and I may always jump, get scared shitless many times, and swear a lot (here I apologise to my young or old viewers), but I am and will always be an amazing Auntie Gamer #AuntieJillSayWan. LET’S GO 40 LET’S GO!!
This article was written by Jill-Marie Thomas. You can watch her game live on Twitch.