A change in perspective

Charr Davenport

Charr Davenport

Charr Davenport, Reporter

While I am still reeling in from my Persona 3 experience, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on the next game in the Persona series: Persona 4. Persona 4 is a game I know way too much about. I could tell you the plot, give you random trivia, show you concept art, whatever. So why is it different than every other game I’ve played? Well, that’s a loaded question. But it has a simple answer. I never played the game. My little sister did.

Katie, my little sister, is about four years younger than me. We shared a room most of our lives, so despite the age gap, we’re ridiculously similar. We even share a video game type, which is why, respectively, Persona 4 is hers and Persona 3 is mine.

When my friend Michael introduced me to Persona 3, he also introduced me to Persona 4. I immediately knew that Katie should play it while I played Persona 3. I was right, seeing as it ended up being her favorite game. Older sister intuition. What I didn’t know at the time, however, was that I would learn an odd lesson.

Katie and I shared a PlayStation since I was eight years old. Since I was the older sibling, it was always my turn (meaning I would always use my elder privilege to hog the console). Often Katie jokes that people who can watch video game streams for hours are younger siblings. That is kind of my fault.

Things changed when we played the Persona games though. Both games were for the PS2, and while we used to own that system, we no longer did. Luckily Katie’s trusty old laptop could run PS2 software for reasons we will not discuss (wink, wink). But because it was Katie’s laptop, I could not hog it. I had to watch her play for the first time instead of the other way around.

To make matters worse, Persona 4 is a really fun game. I was super jealous. I was out here living my death through Persona 3 while she was hanging out at supermarkets and hopping in TVs. How is that fair? And don’t even get me started on spoilers! I know the entire game! I got to watch Katie unfold every event in front of my eyes and it sucked.

At the same time though, it was nice to see her enjoy something. It was fun to watch her play the game. And when she almost spoiled it for herself, I “took the fall,” Googled it, and then bold-faced lied to her about how the game went so nothing was ruined for her. I wanted her to have the best experience playing possible, even if I wanted to play the game aswell and was ruining my own future experience.

To be honest, it gave me a lot to reflect on. Fourteen years worth of gaming with Katie watching me, always being pretty helpful or at least providing me with interesting and funny commentary. When we had a small conversation about it recently, she had revealed that she finished nearly none of the hundreds of games we owned as kids. But she was usually there when I finished them. She wasn’t mad about it at all though.

When I look back on watching Katie play, I’m not mad either. Yeah, I wanted to play the game, but I’m happy she got to play instead. She was overdue for a turn.