I hate writing introductions. As a student I was the first to flip past anything with a roman numeral instead of a page number, intent on getting to the meat of the novel. It wasn’t until college that I came to appreciate the value of a well written introduction, one that illuminates the context of the piece and the mindset of the author. I reached out to Stephen King, Michael Chabon, and Jonathan Franzen to see if they’d be willing to open this blog for me with some back cover worthy praise, but I have yet to hear back from any of them.
Not sure why.
Instead, like some sort of commoner, I shall have to introduce myself… using my own words. How pedestrian!
Video games and me go way back. Some people measure their life in loves or other achievements, I harken back to whatever video game dominated me at the time. Elementary school was conquering the original Final Fantasy in 30 minute chunks before going to school. Middle school was reading a heavily stained copy of a massive X-com FAQ I had bribed my father into printing at his office. High school was sitting at my graduation playing Tetris on my Dreamcast VMU while my thousand strong senior class crossed the stage. College was dropping my 8am HIST12 class to squeeze in just…one…more…Mephisto…run in Diablo 2. My first girlfriend? Still has my copy of Legend of Dragoon. I have her original copy of Final Fantasy II for the Super Nintendo though, so it’s easy to move on.
The web of my memory is dotted with these moments of both victory and defeat, pillars upon which my character has been built. Even seminal moments in my life like my first camping trip are overshadowed by the fact that I brought a Nintendo Power magazine that had a guide for Final Fantasy Adventure for the Gameboy in it, a game I never played but desperately wanted. I traded climbing trees for memorizing maps for a game I knew I couldn’t have.
As an adult, with the dreaded Real Life setting in, it’s become harder and harder to recapture that joyous obsession. World of Warcraft came close, but veered down the dark alley of alternate employment rather than true passion. There was no more waiting with bated breath for the next Metroid game to come out only to beat it in a single sitting, or gathering around a stack of pizza to beat Soul Reaver 2 with my friends. Gaming now is always in the shadow of a pile of work, spouse, or instrument of home maintenance that was being ignored. No longer is it the core of my life, but instead a black hole at the edge, desperately drawing me towards my eventual destruction. I’m sure raiding 4 days a week didn’t help that much.
In an attempt to recapture that exuberance, I’m starting this blog. Somewhere in here, I hope to stumble upon that fresh faced little boy who wrote Nintendo Power asking how to beat the witch boss in Crystalis, the teenager who got about 60% of the way through designing a Star Wars total conversion mod for Doom II, or even the college student who crammed the entire second floor of his dorm into his room to watch him play Silent Hill 2.
I’m here to rediscover the fun.