Adventure Map | The Games That Define Us

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Video games exist as fragments on the timeline of our lives, and each one of us have chosen the adventure we feel most defines us.

Welcome to The Games That Define Us, the second Normal Happenings collaboration! Starting on November 1, you will be embarking on a 34-day long journey through video games. Each piece is its own unique audiovisual experience, complete with artwork, designs, music, and (most importantly) amazing works of prose by brilliant bloggers around the world. These contributions go beyond mere game conversation, though each of these artists have proven time and again their ability to think critically about game mechanics and presentation. One need only view their blogs to see they are well-versed in the art of critique.

But that’s not what The Games That Define Us is all about.

This adventure will take you through nostalgia, joy, ambition, self-discovery, regret, anxiety, frustration, mourning, and every human experience in between. Video games exist as fragments on the timeline of our lives, and each one of us have chosen the adventure we feel most defines us.

What does it mean for a video game to define you? It can be hard to tell at first, but here is a good starting point: close your eyes and just think “video games.” What games pop into your head? Maybe there is only one – if so you may have already discovered the one that defines you. If there are several, ask yourself which one is the most meaningful to you. We think that is where you should look, and we would love to know what game defines you in the comments. Perhaps it’s even one of ours, and if so, you’re in for a treat.

This adventure map will serve as a guide through each day’s pieces – a table of contents, if you will. There will be a mini-version affixed to each post, but you can treat this as a table of contents or a launch point. We recommend reading each post in order, as they are arranged by game release date. However, feel free to dive right in to your favorite games. With these incredible bloggers, you simply cannot go wrong no matter where you start. And with that, let us begin The Games That Define Us!   

– Matthew, Normal Happenings

adventure map


This collaboration took an overwhelming amount of time and dedication from 34 exceptionally creative bloggers. Help us with the resources to make even greater collaborations in the future. We also have aspirations of developing a podcast called Normal Talks about finding optimism in everyday life. Please consider becoming a patron of Normal Happenings and help us try to make the world a better, more positive place.

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Matthew // Normal Happenings

Gump-based Blogger. Graphic Designer. Happily Married. One day I'll actually complete a book I'm happy with. I love pizza, video games, and using way too many ellipses...

56 thoughts on “Adventure Map | The Games That Define Us

  1. […] the wonderful words of 33 fantastic writers (plus my babblings about Banjo-Kazooie). Check out the Adventure Map here for links to everyone’s work. I can only imagine how much work Matt put into this […]


  2. […] Stardew Valley: The Game That (Re)Defines Me (Normal Happenings) – This piece is the culmination of a really impressive collaborative effort, where a bunch of bloggers got together and wrote passionately about the games they feel truly “define” them. Don’t just check out Matt’s piece here; take some time to read through the whole lot, it’s a wonderful extended feature. There’s a full “map” here. […]

    Liked by 1 person

  3. […] to hire him to do that for Livid Lightning… Oh and be sure to check out the project’s Adventure Map that points to all the amazing […]

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi NekoJonez! This collaboration was amazing! We had so many great bloggers contributing their wonderful work — but alas, it took place in November. That Adventure Map gives you access to everyone’s pieces, so I recommend blocking off some time, starting from the beginning, and exploring these wonderful stories. Regarding participating in a collab, we do several a year. I’ve got a big one planned this summer, so keep and eye out, and I’ll try to remember to message you on Twitter when we’re registering! 🙂


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