The eternally burning tire fire that is 2020 hasn’t exactly been a laugh riot. And yet, as I reflect on what have been some of the most gruelling times I can remember, it’s interesting how much video games have played a part in getting me through. As pure colorful distraction, or even daily pursuits completed with my son. There have been weeks where I’ve walked about my house, my Switch clutched in my hand like a toddler with a teddy bear. I’ve not played on it, I just needed to have it be there. Thank you video games for existing. These were my top 10 in the 21st century’s Official Worst Year.
When I read comic book writer Brian Michael Bendis’ first Miles Morales book, I immediately felt this deep sense of connection to the character. About which I felt an odd combination of guilt and confusion. I’m a middle-aged fat white English bloke. My similarities with a biracial teenager from New York City are somewhat limited. But we do have one thing in common: we both wanted to be Spider-Man.
I spent a good proportion of my childhood convinced I could will this into being. I would climb the door frames of my house, initiate infinite varieties of Spider-Man-based games on the school playground, and would regularly climb out of the second-story window of my bedroom and dangle outward to test my spidery skills. (It is a wonder I am alive to type this.) Unlike me, Miles had it come true, and unlike almost every superhero ever (with the glorious exception of Ms. Marvel), is completely overjoyed about it!