Last week Sony held a video showcase for games people could look forward to playing on the PlayStation 5. To be honest, it wasn’t really on my radar because I’ve always leaned more towards Nintendo and Xbox consoles – not that there aren’t good and exciting games on PlayStations. Anyway, as my housemate Sophie is rather more invested in the PlayStation than I am, we ended up watching the showcase together on our television.
As it happens, I’m very glad we did watch the showcase together because it lead to what I would describe as one of the most beautiful moments of my life. That may sound a little strange, and indeed, if I had told myself that the PlayStation showcase would lead to one of the most beautiful moments of my life, I’d have been sceptical. How could it? Why would it? It’s not like it’s a Christmas meal at Nando’s or a trip to go and visit an old friend.
Well, during the presentation, the game Final Fantasy XVI was announced. Nobody really saw this coming and it was a nice surprise (although to quietly toot my own horn for a second, I did say earlier in the day “Maybe they’ll announce Final Fantasy XVI.”) As someone who rather likes Final Fantasy, I thought that was pretty cool. I hope I get the chance to play it sooner or later as I’m sure I’ll enjoy myself. Sophie, on the other hand, had a different, stronger reaction.
Let me first give you some context: Sophie loves Final Fantasy. She has done all her life. She’s had fun playing the games during the nostalgic years of her childhood and as an adult, continues to enjoy the series and even draws from it to help inspire her creative writing. It helped mould her interest in literature and other media and has prompted her to go on to try lots of other things which she’s also loved a lot. It’s no exaggeration to say that Final Fantasy is one of the core pillars which makes up who Sophie is – she loves it and it is part of her identity.
So when Sophie saw the Final Fantasy XVI trailer, she was screaming with joy as tears poured down her face and she ran around the room with such overflowing excitement that she could not keep herself still. She even spilled her tea. I can honestly say that I have never seen anybody so happy and excited in my entire life. This is pretty significant, because I’ve seen close friends getting married before. I’ve had friends introduce me to new babies.
You might say to yourself, “What’s the big deal? It’s just a video game.” But to me, her reaction is very understandable. How many hours of her life have been spent playing each of the previous games in the series? How many times has a Final Fantasy game been there when she’s had a bad day? How many new things has she been introduced to thanks to Final Fantasy? How many interesting new writing ideas has it given her? Now, consider, Final Fantasy XVI will do all of this for her again. It’s wonderful news and she has a lot to look forward to. Anyone in that position would be so happy.
Sophie and I have known one another for almost seven years and lived together for over a year. We’re very close and to see somebody that I care about so much overcome with such a large dose of pure happiness was overwhelmingly heart-warming. That’s why I’d describe it as one of the most beautiful moments of my life. I can only hope that I get to see my other close friends experience such levels of happiness as Sophie did that night and that Sophie herself has many more moments of undiluted joy in her life going forward.