How have siblings influenced your game-playing? Or more generally, what effects have they had on the things you like/dislike, beyond just games?

(Sorry if this post isolates any only children.)

In my case, I had an older brother with whom we somehow worked out a very fair and equitable deal where every game I had was his to take whenever he felt like it, but I was never allowed to touch any of his games. For example, I have never in my entire life played a Gamecube, even though my brother had gotten one for his birthday once. He had his own room and his own television set, so the only time I even got to watch him play his Gamecube was in the car, when he used some kind of weird portable monitor that attached to the top of the Gamecube. Here's some random picture I found off the internet of what it looked like:


I think this is one of the reasons most games feel so incomplete to me. For awhile I only had a Gameboy Color. Until I got a PS2, my only window into the world of big 3D games was the isolated glimpses I got of my brother playing his N64, and later on his Gamecube. I spent a lot of time imagining what actually playing those games would be like. Animal Crossing in particular was a game that fascinated me. I think I assumed there was a lot more going on in it than there actually was. Years later when I got a DS and played Wild World, I was so incredibly disappointed. I had spent all this time anticipating the dark secrets the animals were going to share with me, the massive worlds that would exist behind the door of every house, the soullessness of the gyroids -- but there was none of that! It was just fishing and paying rent.

One time, when I was still pretty young (maybe 8 or 9?), my brother was gone for a week (for some reason), but had left all his video game stuff at our house. So I ended up sneaking into his room to temporarily steal some of his Gameboy games. First of all, my memories of his room are so bizarre. I was only in there a few times. I feel like they have to be exaggerated beyond any remote connection to reality. I remember his walls were painted bright orange and lined with shelves that were stacked with Pokémon VHS tapes? And lots of Dragon Ball Z action figures. I'm not exactly sure why, but the game I ended up picking to play that week was Dragon Warrior Monsters, a game he had never mentioned in any way to me before. I just found it in his box of games.

Dragon Warrior Monsters was probably the most critical influence on my later taste. I never really got into Pokémon or Dragon Ball Z or any of the things my brother liked. But I did get into Dragon Quest. It was of course the music. The different variations of the overworld music, which came straight from the field music for the first two Dragon Quests, just felt so lonely and haunting to me. And the way the screen warped when you entered a traveler's gate. It would be years until I ended up getting a computer and learning how to emulate so I could play more of the Dragon Quest games -- but that image of otherworldliness continued to stick with me.

Now my brother is really nice to me. I guess this change happened around the time I started high school. He brought his N64 when he came home to visit during Christmas break, my junior year of high school, because I had to get my wisdom teeth removed and he thought it might be fun to play something together while I was under the influence of painkillers. We ended up playing all the way through Banjo Kazooie, and I got to finally experience how tedious that game is. When I got a 3DS while in college, he bought me, like, a hundred dollars worth of games as a birthday present. In 2019 (I originally typed "last summer", forgetting that there was in fact a summer during 2020) when I was at his house in Boston for his birthday he insisted that I spend as much time possible playing on his Switch, and even watched me -- a complete reversal! So I guess we are good buddies now.

Anyway, I'm curious what other people's sibling experiences were? I feel like the big-brother-who-doesn't-share is probably a pretty common phenomenon, but I wonder what other kinds of stories people have.

I was the big brother, but I did share. I don‘t think my parents would have let me get away with not sharing. My favorite memory of playing games with my brother was one time when he wanted to play Ocarina of Time but he wanted to skip straight to being Adult Link, so he asked me to play for hours to do all the first three dungeons and get him into the Temple of Time. I said no, because that’s insane. So he got my parents to make me do it, because they didn‘t understand exactly how much time that takes. And I did it! I was super annoyed. But now it’s pretty funny.

My brother is 24 now, and our tastes have diverged pretty drastically. I guess if I were to sum it up, I tend to favor Japanese or Japanese-inspired games that have focused campaigns with tightly scripted narratives. And I play mostly single-player stuff - lots of multiplayer games appeal to me in theory, but coordinating/scheduling to play a game with people instantly turns it into an obligation which just triggers something in my brain that instantly makes me not want to do it. Lately I'm playing Yakuza 7, before that I played the Demon's Souls remake, Spider-man Remastered, went back and played some older JRPGs I never got around to like Earthbound and Phantasy Star IV.

My brother got a fight stick earlier this year and he's become a Dragonball FighterZ monster. I have never been as good at fighting games as he is. Unlike me he plays lots of multiplayer games; apart from FighterZ he tends to like big, open-ended games with a lot of possibilities for emergent narratives. Lately he's been talking a lot about Space Station 13, he loves telling stories about being an engineer and getting killed by another player online who turned out to be an alien or a robot or something. Related to that, he's into a lot of medieval sim/strategy games like Crusader Kings or Mount & Blade. He has logged - not exaggerating - _thousands_ of hours into Crusader Kings. He's played all the Witcher games, and Fallout. I'm pretty sure he went back and played Fallout 1 & 2, which like, _I_ don't even really have the patience for old western PC RPGs.

In a lot of ways (not necessarily in the types of games he plays, but his commitment to them) I think he's become a way more hardcore gamer than I could ever be. And he's taller and in way better shape, too, the bastard.

@GigaSlime#13369 You and I have some stuff in common, Slime. I‘m also the older brother, but my younger sibling is a sister. I also loved sharing my video games with her. It never really felt parent-enforced, she and I have just always gotten along well, and I enjoyed having someone to share one of my hobbies with. And, like you, I’ve grown up to prefer mostly Japanese, mostly tightly-scripted narrative games, while my sister has gone on to favour more open-ended, expressive games like No Man's Sky.

Where our tastes converge, and where they always have, is Animal Crossing. Now that I live in Japan and she lives in Canada, it was nice to be able to visit each other's islands in the Switch version.

But back when we were kids, she was my window into a types game I never would have played otherwise. She's six years younger than me, so when I was getting hardcore into JRPGs, it was a tough sell for her. But she was passionate about stuff like Spyro the Dragon and Dance Dance Revolution, which I played sometimes, just as an excuse for us to hang out. That was fun!

As we got a little older, she became coordinated and competitive, so we had many hilarious rounds of Smash Bros, Mario Kart, and Super Mario Strikers. Good times!

edit: I forgot to mention that my sister now owns a copy of Rule of Rose for PS2, which is pretty cool. (Japanese horror games are another common interest for us.) She also owns my Dreamcast, dang it.

@whatsarobot#13370 Oh, that's uncanny! My brother is even 6 years younger than me!

@GigaSlime#13373 That’s wild!

I'm an older brother. WAs never possessive re videogames. I guess we just looked at it like the tv or computer: belongs to everyone. The only exception being controllers bc my brother was (and as an adult still is) a controller thrower/smasher/biter so he was on his own in that dept

@GigaSlime @whatsarobot I don't know what the deal is with the number 6 – it turns out my brother is 6 years older than me.

As a kid, my brother definitely liked mostly Japanese stuff. When he was in middle school and high school he started playing western stuff like Half-Life and Age of Empires II. The last time I saw him, he was just playing Fortnite and Apex Legends. I feel like what really captured me and influenced what my taste would grow into was all stuff that he very quickly grew out of, e.g. JRPGs, Animal Crossing, Gundam.

@yeso With my younger sister there was that belongs-to-everyone feeling, since we shared a TV and computer. I'm not sure why my brother got everything to himself.

my younger sis wasn't ever really into games. she did get little mermaid for genesis one year for easter (??) but i ended up playing it a lot more than she did lol

the only game-related anecdote i have with her is that she once tried to play through the deku tree in ocarina of time. she couldn't solve what i think is the first puzzle in the game, when you're in a room with a locked door and there's a lit torch, an unlit torch and a stick on the ground. she couldn't figure out that you had to light the stick on fire and use it on the unlit torch. since she's pretty smart otherwise it was kind of eye-opening for me re: how real-world logic isn't necessarily game logic, and that how people who play games are all operating from an understanding of game logic accumulated over many years

I have a small brother and I‘m three years older. Thinking about my relationship with him videogame-wise is kind of bittersweet because I have to admit I wasn’t a great brother in that regard growing up. While we had and still have a good nice relationship with each other, I used to be that kind of asshole brother that manipulated him to ask for the games I liked (almost invariably single player) in Christmas, birthdays and other gift occasions so I could get a 2x1 adding my own to his. He then proceeded to trust me, ask for what I had recommended, and then I would take his game, monopolize it while he watched me play and then move on.

Despite this shitty behavior on my part he hasn't any resentment towards me and I admit we have a lot good memories of me playing while he sort of backcouched me offering advice and ideas, mostly on how to beat bosses, solve puzzles and avoid getting stuck in general.

Even though I didn't let him play that much he still enjoys videogames, but there is a bit of regret on my part because I think this whole routine, in the end, defined the relationship he has with games in general. He plays a lot, but avoids almost invariably single player stuff (the games I like the most), while focusing mostly on competitive, e-sports and basically online stuff. I tend to think that, if I had let him participate more and wasn't so egoistic and selfish, letting him take control and play the games equally he would appreciate the types of games I like the most more.

There was this huge cybercafe craze in Spain during the mid 00s. Counter-Strike, Half-Life and Warcraft 3 became insanely popular and it isn't an exaggeration to say you could find a cybercafe almost every block with good PCs packing great-for-that-era hardware. That time, I think, marked the moment my brother could finally start enjoying videogames without my mediation and on his own terms, and that is probably what planted the seed that makes him lean towards those kinds of games now.

But hey, it's not like we *need* to like the same stuff, he found the thing he enjoys and it's not like he has lost the chance to start playing or enjoying stuff outside his comfort zone. Just a couple of hours ago he texted me to ask me to play Ark with him and some of his friends. I'm aggresively not interested in that game but I said yes anyway because I expect to have some good old bonding time with him.

I also discovered that Ark has a dedicated button to defecating and I find that extremely hilarious. I hope to have a good time in what from now is to me the Poop & Dinosaurs videogame.


For my brother's birthday my mom took me to the store with her to pick out a pokemon tape for him. I knew his favorite was gengar but mine was raichu and I picked the tape with the Lt. Surge episode over the one where ash and pikachu turn into ghosts and hang out with the ghost crew. I think my mom was suspicious but went along with it. I still feel bad about that honestly haha.

I have 3 siblings that I grew up with, all younger, and we all played games together. Sonic was a mainstay in the household and we each identified with a different main character, so there were never arguments about who got to be who. We played hours upon hours of sonic shuffle where I'd be sonic, my brother tails, and my 2 sisters were knuckles and Amy.

I also have an awesome memory of bringing home Sonic adventure 2 and we kept the dreamcast on from morning to night passing the controller back and forth until we beat it.

Then this one time... I was in high school taking some illustration classes at an art university in SF during the weekends. One weekend I get home and find out that my brother had done something wrong and pissed off my mom so bad that she went around the house with a garbage bag, stuffed all the consoles and games in it and stashed them in her room. Now, she intended to punish my brother, but 85% of the games in the house were mine that I had bought with my own money so I was pretty pissed. I guess she was trying to make a point about how much video games we had in our life and that she thought it was too much. It was maybe a few weeks before we got our games back and I was ticked at my brother for a long time because of that.

@yeso#13384 controller biter sounds cool, what was that like

@tapevulture#13422 as I recall it was a red n64 controller with bite marks on it lol. goldeneye rage events

I guess I’ll describe a bit more about my bro and my videogame playing. I think I mentioned it in another thread but we had a pretty intense competitive rivalry. I remember nes north and south (I was always the Union side FOR THE RECORD) and this genesis game called General Havoc I think being major contests. But we definitely got most worked up about nfl 2K. To the point where we would use the create a team mode to take shots at each other. So for example it would be a game between the “you're an assholes” vs the “he's a crapheads” and we'd change the uniform colors to all brown to drive the point home. I also remember for some reason we had this child-sized rocking chair that my great uncle made when we were like toddlers, but my brother always insisted on sitting in it because it was the lucky gamer chair or whatever. And this continued while he was basically adult sized as a teen. So we would be playing screamingly competitively as two brown crap-themed football teams, with my 200 lb brother with his ass jammed into a tiny rocking chair.

While I have a lot of interests in common with my younger sister videogames is not really one of them. We did play a few games together though, I remember that she really liked the level in Crash Bandicoot 3 where you ride the tiger. Unfortunately I think that the few times we played any two-player game I was a competitive jerk and cared more about winning than trying to play fair with someone who was 3 years younger and had less experience with videogames than me.

On the other hand we did a share a lot of other interests and it is likely that I would not be living in Okinawa right now if not for her sharing my interest in Japanese stuff. I think she was probably only 10-11 when we started watching a lot of anime together in Japanese with English subtitles. At that point I had started reading fantasy books in English, as I realized that I had already read most of the stuff written in or translated into Danish and was really into fantasy books at the time. Therefore my English had improved dramatically over a pretty short amount of time. However, my sister must have had a real hard time following some of these shows initially, as she had only just started learning English in school around that time!

This experience along with general internet use, however, spurred her to become much more proficient in English than I was at her age. Indeed, if I compare an English text written by me at age 15 to one written by her at age 15 the difference in quality is almost embarrassing.

As we both liked anime and this got us into other Japanese cultural products as well, we were both naturally interested in the Japanese language and Japan. After I had already started my bachelor's degree my sister did a one-year exchange at a Japanese high school. During this year she learned Japanese quite well in addition to regaling me with tales from her time there (both good and bad). A few years later as I was finishing my bachelor's degree, my passion for physics was waning and my motivation was pretty low. I therefore felt the need for a break to hopefully recover my enthusiasm for mathematics/physics before starting my Master's degree.

Obviously I might still have gone to Japan if my sister hadn't, but I think it was a big influence on my decision and there was definitely a part of me that thought it was unfair that she had learned Japanese and I hadn't. So I attended a language school in Fukuoka prefecture and got a part-time job at a bento factory (no English teaching for me, aside from at the very end of my stay) for about a year. I had a pretty good time.

2-3 years after coming back to Denmark and having realized I wanted to pursue a PhD I started to seriously consider if I could somehow do it in Japan because I wanted to go back. As a result I ended up at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology and have been living here for the last 5 and half years. So a pretty big influence!

Rationally, my sister probably did the much smarter thing by just dipping her toes for a year. I now face an unfortunate problem, entirely of my own making. I basically feel like I belong in two different places. I will most likely move back to Denmark long-term for a variety of reasons (although I am currently planning to stay for a few more years), but I know that I will always miss Japan a lot. If on the other hand those few more years end up morphing into permanently staying here I would definitely miss Denmark a lot. Still, it is what it is and I am happy that my sister lit my adventurous spirit.

@SU2MM#13467 that's a pretty cool story! thanks for sharing

Very good, very good.

My brother and I are very close, in age (~ 2 years) and as friends. My interest in games is pretty much inseparable from my interest in Japanese media and culture, and my brother doesn't care as much about that stuff. Not to pigeonhole either of us too much, but I like Metal Gear, JRPGs, Devil May Cry, indie games clearly inspired by Japanese design, etc., and my brother is into Immersive Sims (I hate that genre name, god), Dark Souls, Mass Effect, and occasionally huge loud American AAA stuff. (I love Half-Life, he loves Steins;Gate, whatever, that's beside the point.) For some reason I've been thinking about this lately: if I somehow grew up an only child, what butterfly effect-altered dimension would I be living in instead? My brother is the one who begged our parents for a game console in the first place. I don't even know how he knew what a Game Boy Advanced [sic] was, but he wanted one. This is going to get insufferably speculative and question-marked.

My brother and I were friends with another pair of brothers, through whom we became acquainted with Smash Bros., Soulcalibur, Pokémon, Sonic, Zelda, and Mario Party. If I didn't have my brother, I might not have been friends with these guys in the first place. I surely would have found out about all those extremely popular games at some point, but when? And how? I don't have a particular attachment to any of those series now, but they must have had some kind of effect on my developing brain. The Dreamcast aesthetic sensibility of Sonic Adventure 2 certainly did...

Fast-forward: My brother is extremely into Mass Effect and Dark Souls, obviously two very popular games. If I played games at all, I definitely would have played Dark Souls without my brother, and might have had a better time with it (he can be helicopter-y and gave me too much advice when I played it). Would I have played Mass Effect? I don't care about Mass Effect that much now, and some of that is down to taste, but I wonder if it's partly my unconscious effort to get to know things my brother doesn't care about at all (cannot understate the joy of discovering something for oneself).


On the other hand, I wonder how exactly I've influenced my brother in this respect. Like I said, I'm the little brother, but it was _I_ who didn't let _him_ touch my games! :o Not that I wouldn't let him play them or anything, no—I mean this literally. No touching! I would let him play my games if I could be the one to put the game in the console with my scrubbed-clean hands. I had some real bad OCD which I "discovered"/"acquired"/became afflicted by* in high school and any games I bought new from that point onward (on consoles we didn't already share) stayed locked away in my room. I felt uncomfortable at the idea of having anyone else touch them with their greasy, clammy, bacteria-ridden mitts. Washing your hands beforehand doesn't matter if you turn the faucet off with your bare hand, and then touch the bathroom doorknob, and then scratch your face, and so on, on and on. I felt bad about it but I knew he didn't care _that_ much, so I didn't find motivation in feeling bad to deal with this problem.

*(Clearly I have no idea what language to use to describe this topic; I haven't completely gotten rid of the habits I formed during this period but they're much more manageable now. It suffices to say, however, that I felt like I'd been training for half my life to deal with all of 2020's newly adopted precautions to preserve public hygiene.)

Anyway, this of course meant he couldn't play with my handheld consoles. Would he have given Persona 4 a try if I'd (been able to) let him use my Vita? Doubtful. Would he have gotten into Shin Megami Tensei at all if he'd been able to try Strange Journey? Probably not. I'd have liked to talk to him about those 3DS Fire Emblems. You didn't get a 3DS, _Bro_, it's your fault! If I weren't a FREAK and he'd been able to freely play whatever PS3 games he wanted, I don't know, would his taste be at all different from what it is now? Maybe not, but even though we weren't baby children when this became a problem for me, this was all still at a time when we were growing up and figuring out what we really liked. Maybe he would've discovered something he wouldn't have otherwise. This is a story of many "if only"s.

We're both playing Dusk right now and both love it. There is crossover between our tastes, but it's been a very long time since we've played the same game at the same time and liked it.

Oh huh, looks like my brother dusted off his twitter at some point last year and he's been posting videos demonstrating combos in Dragon Ball FighterZ

I was introduced to Final Fantasy VII in the 5th grade by my friend's older brother, who was 17, he was goth, had long, dyed black, sephiroth-length hair, and drove a motorcycle.

Andrew used to attack me violently if I made any facial expression whatsoever after beating him at Mario Kart.

My primary experience playing video games as a kid was asking my older brother if I could load one of his save files, and then just running around for hours doing nothing. Primarily Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask. My brain was not quite able to reach the points in these games where they opened up, so the only way I could actually experience the game world was to load his file, with the sworn promise that I would never, under any circumstances, save the game after I was done. I remember Super Mario Sunshine specifically as a game we got a bit later that I, for some reason, could not get my brain around at all, so he would let me load his file and kick the durians around. (I was 7 when that game came out, for context.)

I would also just watch him play a lot. He's four years older than me, so he could always get way farther in any game. If I wanted to play a game to completion, I'd usually need him around to solve puzzles or beat hard parts for me.

An especially fun memory for me is one morning when we decided to try to _actually beat_ Sonic 2. He played as Sonic, and I was on the second controller as Tails. Since Tails is invincible, I would be sent in waves to attack the bosses while he just stayed back and focused on not taking damage. We made it to the airship, and it blew our MINDS how many levels there actually were in the game. We had owned the game for years and had never made it past Casino Night Zone. It truly felt magical - I think it was one of the first times in my life that it occurred to me that games could be beaten.

My sister and I also used to play together, before she grew up and decided games weren't for girls. We were too young to play any game properly, but we would usually make our own fun, mostly by roleplaying. I remember we had a racing game for the Genesis, don't remember the name, but we would pretend that we were on the phone with each other while commuting to work, lol. I don't know how that's fun but I'm not going to argue with 4 year-old me on that one.