I have never been a serious gamer. I have had most Nintendo systems over the years, including the Switch, and have been addicted to many a mobile game, but I have never had a a system that could play the popular, AAA games.

A lot of that was not seeing the real value of these expensive consoles and games, and not having the time to devote to games.

But over the last few years, there have been several games I’ve really wanted to play. Specifically, as a Star Wars nerd, Jedi Fallen Order and Jedi Survivor. I also realized what I was missing in gaming after watching the TV version of The Last of Us. It helped me understand the story component of games I hadn’t ever considered.

Then over the last few months, I started looking for something to do to wind down after the kids go to bed that didn’t involve an algorithmic timeline, and considered video games as an option. It was important to find something I could do while still in the room with my wife, so a large console was out.

I realized a Steam Deck might be the answer and began researching. Finally, I ordered the mid tier, 256GB version, and have had it for about 3 weeks. It has been an incredible decision.

The first game I bought was Spider-man Remastered since it was on my wishlist, and on sale with the deck arrived. I’ve now finished the main storyline, and am working through the DLCs. It is incredibly satisfying to end my day swinging through Manhattan and fighting Doc Ock.

I’ve also bought a few smaller games like Stray and Vampire Survivors to break up Spider-man. They’ve been delightful as well.

The Steam Deck is everything I wanted it to be. I am getting to experience incredibly fun games with great stories. The hardware and performance have been great so far. My only complaint is the battery life, but I understand why that has to be with a system like this.

It’s pricy, but right now I’m willing to direct some budget to things that help my mental health. And as silly as it sounds, the Steam Deck does.

Without getting too bleak in a blog post about a game console, winding down with algorithmic timelines was really bad for me, and I desperately needed a change. This has been a hard summer for a lot of reasons, and I have stood up to that difficulty better than I would have expected. Some of that resilience is coming from having this outlet for myself.

I really love this console. It is allowing me to experience games I would never be able to otherwise. Is it the same doing it on a large TV? No, but that would have never happened. The Steam Deck has opened a door to a world I don’t intend to close anytime soon.