• Erika Dowell

Did video games save my relationship with my sister?

Short answer, no. Long answer, yes.

For quite some time, probably at least a decade, my sister and I have had a... tumultuous relationship. We would fight about anything and everything. To be honest, I’m good at stirring the pot and she knows the right buttons to push.

At some point, I figured out to not ask certain questions and she probably figured out not to ask similar questions. Sometimes you just won’t agree or you agree enough to not discuss it further.


Back when I was 10, she was 8, my brother gave me arguably the best birthday gift to date. HerInteractive Nancy Drew Games. Since that date, my sister and I have played every Nancy Drew game made (except maybe one or two). Back in 2019, she came to visit me and we spent those few days playing a game together. I always felt like playing with someone else would be hard; is the other person bored? Do they wish that I went this way instead of the other way? But, we didn’t have that. Or if we did, one of us would “give in” and try it. Sometimes it worked out. Sometimes not. It was fun and usually a laugh if Nancy died or “second chance” had to happen.

At the start of the quarantine, I messaged my family and said “I’m playing nancy later if anyone wants to watch” and little sis (little sis as if she's not two years younger than me and an adult) joined. Since then, we have played 20-some games and are nearly done another. Before or after each game we always visit about what’s happening in our life; work, home, whatever. Maybe 5 minutes. Maybe a half-hour; sometimes we talk for so long that we don't have time to game.

During that half-hour to whenever is when our relationship has gone from “okay” to “solid foundation”

This was always in us, but I’m not sure we would have got there so easily if not for our passion for solving mysteries.

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