Isaac Favel

At six years old, many youngsters long for a toy train set or a Barbie doll. Some lean toward fire trucks, while others cherish their Fisher Price little people sets. 

For sophomore Isaac Favel, his passion was for the Wii gaming system.

“I remember watching my dad play games back when I was two or three on his computer,” said Favel. “When I was around six, we got a Wii, and I loved playing Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort, which were my first games.”

His dad has remained a constant in his gaming journey, as he has evolved from the Wii into more complex systems. “I still like playing video games with my dad or even watching him – and vice versa – because he is good at video games,” he said. “We gain knowledge from each other, bounce ideas off each other and just have fun at it.”

Though he played mostly for fun, Favel felt that video games had much to offer those who played them. “Gaming has helped me to gain confidence, because if I can gain confidence in a game, I can have confidence in real life as well,” he explained, adding, “Gaming has also helped me with problem-solving, and figuring out how to do puzzles, and has really sharpened my brain to become better because of it. I have learned basic strategy as well, which can help in executing many different things throughout the day.”

In addition to playing games with his dad, Favel also amassed a group of several other gamers who shared his interests. “Gaming has affected my social life by giving me multiple friends who share the same game preferences and is a good conversation starter when talking to a new person,” he said.

For Favel, at the end of the day, nothing beat coming home from school to enjoy some downtime playing a video game. “Video games are a way to vent from the day,” he said, “as well as have fun.” Playing an easy-to-beat game can relieve stress, while more difficult games offer him a challenge to face. “The easiest game to play for me was Crystalis, while the hardest game I’ve ever played was Xcom – although I’ve heard that Xcom 2 is harder; but that will be for another day,” he said. “My favorite video game to play is Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.”

Each video game that he played offered him insight into a new world – and if he could go there in real life, he would. “If I could be a character in any game, I would be Starkiller from Star Wars Force Unleashed, because he is a very overpowered character, and has a good character arc that was really compelling,” he said.

Despite his love for video games, he found time for other activities in his free time. He admitted that he did love the occasional board game. “Both types of games have their perks; however, video games are superior when it comes to playing because of the stories that they tell and the things you can do with them,” he explained.

Story by Connor Burress