When a child leaves for college, parents typically try to find ways to stay connected despite the distance. For one father and son who shared gaming as a favorite past-time, they were looking for a new way to share the gaming experience just like they were sitting on the same couch. Parsec helped them re-connect and share the challenges and fun of exploring the Obduction worlds like they were sitting in the same room despite living in different cities.
Gaming Was Their Shared Experience
The relationship between a boy and his dad is one of the most important relationships that men carry with them throughout their lives. For those who are lucky enough, their relationship resembles the one Jackson has had with his dad, Glenn. From an early age, Glenn worked hard to find common interests and experiences to share with his son.
I did all the normal dad things, like coaching him in baseball and teaching him to ride a bike…later we skated together, made pancakes and smoothies, watched movies, hiked, camped, and just had a rich set of experiences.
At some point, they discovered Myst, and from that point forward, gaming became a favorite way to hang out. They shared the experience of the immersive worlds together — Glenn would even simulate for Jackson the feeling of being in the game while he transported between islands in Riven. He told me that while taking the roller-coaster-like transportation system between islands, “Jackson would sit in [his] lap, and [he] would try to be a simulator, leaning back as [they] accelerated and bounced over bumps.” These moments brought Glenn and Jackson closer together, forming a special part of their relationship.
Off To College — Sharing Experiences Becomes More Difficult
As it happens, sons get older, and Jackson moved away from home to attend college. The distance was difficult on their relationship, making it more difficult to share experiences. They had to rely on frequent phone calls to catch up with each other, but those weren’t enough. They tried playing online games together, but the experience didn’t feel the same. They were missing out on the experience of sitting together discovering new worlds and immersing themselves in the complexities of solving challenging puzzles together. When Obduction was released in 2016, Glenn was excited to share it with his Jackson and relive the magic of the Myst glory days.
During Jackson’s infrequent visits home during college, Glenn and him would dive into Obduction, but these visits were always too short to really immerse in a long-term game and maintain the momentum required. One day, however, Jackson found Parsec, and everything changed.
The Virtual Couch With Parsec
With Parsec, Jackson and Glenn were able to recreate the days of playing games together despite being in different cities. They’re making their way through Obduction together, sharing every moment.
We talk, share the controls, solve problems, take advice, etc. I don’t see him, but all the interactions that color shared experience are there. When we play via Parsec, it’s as satisfying to me as when we play in the same room. Between our time together on Parsec and our in-person visits, it no longer feels like he’s “away” from home…he just doesn’t sleep here and mess up the bathroom.
When we created Parsec, we did it for stories like this. We wanted to enhance the experience of gaming and bring back the world of couch gaming. The impersonal and oftentimes isolating world of today’s gaming has lost some of the magic of sitting together, solving problems together, and just hanging out. Hearing Glenn and Jackson’s story was one of the most rewarding stories we’ve ever heard. These quotes, and this story came from an automatic email we send out asking our customers about their experiences with Parsec. I could not have predicted such a heartfelt story that brought back memories of moments with my dad growing up.
Glenn and Jackson are so lucky to have a strong relationship like this, and we’re extremely happy that Parsec can play a small role in helping them stay connected, despite the distance.