Thursday, July 5, 2012

I Want To Play A Game

Sometime around midnight in early July, 1997, my childhood came to screeching halt. In my tiny, darkened bedroom, I stared at my little television set, completely shocked and speechless.

HCTS

I wasn't sure if I was sad or angry. I'd spent months playing through Final Fantasy 7, and it felt like such an achievement just to reach the end of the first disc. Aeris had been a mainstay in my party. Now she was gone.

As a kid, I was terrible at video games. I was an only child, and with no older siblings to show me the ropes, I had to stumble through the process on my own. I was eight when I received a Super Nintendo for Christmas, and it was such a strange and novel contraption. I didn't really know anyone who had a video game system, and now that I had one, I wasn't sure what to make of it. Like the monkeys in 2001: A Space Odyssey, marveling at the giant black monolith, I didn't entirely trust or understand my new device.

My mom would take me to the video store to rent games, and for years I didn't realize people could actually buy them to keep. I'd look at the back of the boxes, choose whatever looked most interesting, and spend the weekend crouched in front of the television. I could never truly grasp the strategy involved in the games, but it didn't stop me from being completely enamored with the experience. I'd try to recount events to my mother, who did her best to act interested.

vgexplain

It didn't matter to me that my skill with video games was on par with a lobotomized preschooler with no fingers. A houseplant could have fallen onto the controller and had more luck at beating the game than I even did, yet I never felt frustrated while playing. I was happy to just be experiencing new and different worlds. Because I only rented games for years, I was able to play other people's save files, meaning new areas were always opening up to me. If I waited a couple weeks, I could rent a game I'd played half a dozen times before, and if I was lucky, someone else would have advanced the story for me. It made games strange and mysterious, because I never knew what to expect.

One weekend I rented Final Fantasy 3 (technically 6, but let's not get into that) and opened up a save file from the previous renter. I played for a while, wondering why I was on an island, and doing my best to catch fish for the whiny banana-looking dude in my cabin.



When the banana guy died from tainted fish, I thought I'd done something wrong. I had tried so hard to catch healthy fish for him, but he bit the dust anyway. I felt awful for my tiny sprite-based character, lugging fish back to sickly banana-friend.

vgceles

Then, feeling alone in the world, she tried to commit suicide. It was a lot for a nine-year-old to handle.

HCU3

Slowly I got a little more skilled at video games, but by and large I still sucked. I didn't beat a game on my own for years, but still I was enamored with them. It gave me something to talk about with other kids in my school. Since I could draw, I'd doodle characters from my favorite games, which impressed my schoolmates, and making friends became easy for me.

One day in class, I learned that some kids actually owned their video games and that renting wasn't the only option.

vgwizard

I felt like I'd been lied to for months. How was it possible that I'd remained in the dark so long? Lowly humans could purchase videogames? For keeps? Everything had changed. I went home that afternoon and made an announcement to my mother.

vglist

That Christmas, I received
Earthbound as a present. To say I was excited would be an understatement. I was thrilled. I was ecstatic.

vgearthbound

It was the first game I'd ever owned, and I cherished it like the treasure it was. None of the video stores around me had copies of it to rent. I'd only heard tales of it from my friends, and it sounded too good to be real.

"It's like, set in modern day. You run around town and fight aliens and monsters and stuff. You eat pizza to regain health!" I didn't believe it. It sounded like a myth.

It's difficult to put into words exactly how delighted I was to own a game of my own. I went nuts. My little heart could barely handle the excitement.

vgearthbound2

With a game in my permanent possession, I could take extra time and learn the strategy involved. It was still a struggle, and I died hundreds of times, but slowly and surely I managed to advance further and further into the storyline.

Earthbound spilled over into my real life. I fought evil robots at recess. Everything I ate in the cafeteria refilled my HP. A sandwich was no longer a sandwich; it was a vital item, bringing me back from the brink of death so that I might save the world.

vgsandwich

Earthbound, like the other games I'd played before, eventually became too difficult for me to beat, but I didn't mind. I'd start over from the beginning and play through the familiar parts, over and over.

I became a gamer. I'd brag to my friends about completing dungeons in A Link to the Past, or we'd speculate what the secret might be in Secret of Mana.

When I was eleven, I sold my Super Nintendo to a neighbor so I could buy a Playstation. Then, because I didn't have any money left, it sat unused for several months until I could afford a game to play. I bought Final Fantasy 7. I died six times before the first boss. I was awful. But I stuck with it, and advanced in the game bit by bit. It might've been easier if I'd known what I was doing, if I didn't run away from battles so often and load up my characters exclusively with Summon Materia.

vgsummon

When Aeris died, I was floored. Final Fantasy 7 was the first game in my life I'd had any real success at, so it felt like a real blow. I eventually beat it, but it took a year, and I've never felt that sense of accomplishment since. Graduating from college pales in comparison to delivering that final blow to Sephiroth.

In high school, I played games less and less, focusing more on my studies. Senior year was devoted to college admissions, and soon after that I stopped playing games altogether. I moved to Boston for college and left my videogame systems behind. "I love video games!" became, "Yeah, I used to play games. Are they still making Zelda?" I fell out of the loop.

A couple months after I graduated, and several years after I'd picked up a controller, I came to possess a copy of Fallout 3. I don't remember how I came to own it. I like to think it just appeared in my apartment one day like a divine gift from above.

I popped it in my Playstation 3 (which I'd purchased as a Blu-ray player) and didn't leave my apartment for four days.

HBOA

Just like that, I was a gamer again. I went back and beat all the old games I was too young to grasp. I sought out the games I'd missed in high school and college and blazed through them with ease.

At 25 years old, I pre-ordered my first video game: Skyrim. I waited in line for the midnight release, barely able to contain my excitement.

HAZS

I played it all night and well into the morning. I felt like a kid again. I didn't feel bad about neglecting my friends over the next couple weeks, because they were all playing it too.

vggrapes

I remember once trying to make my mom play Street Fighter 2 with me but she wasn't interested. To her, I think videogames were just flashing lights set to bleeps and blips. I took that to mean adults don't like videogames in general, and that I should enjoy them while I was young because eventually I'd lose interest.

On the contrary, I'm more fascinated and enamored with videogames as an adult than I ever was as a child, and I can't imagine a time when I won't be. Years from now, I'll be sitting on my porch, leering at youngsters as they pass by, thinking, "fucking n00b. I bet I could waste you in Mortal Kombat 23."

188 comments:

  1. THIS is what makes someone a gamer. Not having a 5:1 kill/death ratio and 5000 hours burned in the latest CoD.

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    1. amen, m friend. amen. but try telling this to my roommate.

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    2. Both things make you a gamer, just different kinds.

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    3. A gamer is someone who enjoys and plays games. Not one game, not one game franchise, but games in general. That means a person who only has time to play 50 hours a week at max, but plays all sorts of different games is a gamer; but a person who burns away 300 hours on CoD every week isn't a "gamer." Yes they play games, but they don't play games because they enjoy the games, they play a single game just so they can beat their friends high scores and kill/death ratio, or to just burn time. Most gamers see gaming as a passion, and games as an artform.

      TL:DR
      Basically what I'm saying is that you can't say that you're a gamer if the only game you can appreciate is a single franchise or type of game.

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    4. Twitch gamer, casual gamer, RPG gamer, it's not like anyone but us knows there's a difference.

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    5. I think trying to label what a gamer is beyond someone who likes games is stupid. I mean I play video games, table top games, boardgames, cardgames...been doing them all since I could hold the controller or dice or whatever. But that doesn't make me a gamer and you not because I've gamed more than you, that's stupid. If you think you're a gamer then sure you're a gamer. Can we please not turn into the new emos sitting about yelling poser at each other?

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    6. @Anon, so you're a gamer if you play 50 hours max, but not any more? What if I play all sorts of games, AND spend 300 hours a week. What if I play one game 300 hours a week, but enjoy many, however I only dedicate time to one. Who are you to say that one is a gamer and the other isnt, that kid who spends 300 hours a week playing CoD is still a gamer, no matter his intentions.

      Mind you this is coming from someone who's job revolves around video games and I also own just about every major console right back to the NES. You were about to make a really good point, but then you completely ruined it, if YOU were a real gamer, you would of simply said "if you play a game, and enjoy it, you're a gamer."

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    7. If you're playing games, he'll doing anything, for 300 hours per week, congratulations you're a time traveling ninja. Or an idiot. Haha.

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    8. How about a time traveling, ninja idiot!

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  2. I recently found a site where I could play pokemon color online. played it for 12 hours non stop. developed carpal tunnel syndrome.

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    1. What website? Tease.

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    2. Agreed you seriously need to tell me where to play it.

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    3. Picked it up while browsing Reddit.
      Enjoy.

      :)

      http://gamecenter.grantgalitz.org/?hotlinked=true

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    4. Uh it's called buy a Game Boy and a Pokemon game so you can take it with you like you're supposed to be able to. Also, authentic experience.

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    5. You can use this emulator right on the site -> gamecenter.grantgalitz.org

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    6. WORTH IT!!!!!XD

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  3. Secret of Mana was the best freaking SNES game ever made!

    And I, also, never owned it--I just kept renting it. Years later I had heard about this magical list that the video store owner kept of people he would sell video games to once the games were too old or unpopular and no longer making him any money. For more than a decade I was crushed at the thought that I could have gotten on that list to get SoM when he finally sold off the SNES games. Of course, wii's virtual console changed all that, but there were some heart-crushing years in there where I really thought I'd never play that game again.

    Great cartoon, Adam :)

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    1. Secret of Mana is good, but Chrono Trigger is the best SNES game, SORRY TO SAY.

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    2. I dunno I get into debates between Chrono Trigger and Breath of Fire 2.

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    3. dudes.... why would you pick one over them all when ALL of them are fucking marvelous, grow up dudes all SNES RPG's are legendary.

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    4. Agreed. In the time of SNES it was the golden age for RPG's. Can't pick which one was best, but I will say that Chrono Trigger was probably my favorite.

      Speaking of Secret of Mana though, Seiken Densetsu 3 (which is the sequel to secret of mana for those who don't know) was actually way better then secret of mana. There were multiple endings, you could pick any 3 characters out of 6(I think) to make up your party and they had a class change system. One of the most well thought out and diverse games of the time. Sadly wasn't released in English, but there is a fan translated version of it kicking around online. Highly recommend checking it out if you haven't before.

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    5. I can never decide between Secret of Mana and Illusion of Gaia as my favorite game of all time =/

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  4. I had the exact same reaction to the death of Aeris!!! Not ashamed to say it made me cry!

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  5. Did you ever play Donkey Kong Country 2? If so, then you'll probably identify with this...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxuvqD6tGLg

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  6. Commie is a homo

    also I loved this article, brought back some good feels

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  7. this, this is my life. Entirely. Except more GTA.

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    1. I liked GTA when they added horses and cowboys.

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    2. Red dead Redemption.. Like that, but with more zombies.
      '3 yus please.

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    3. Pfh, they need more horses. Less danger and more brilliance

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  8. Oh the memories of my first childhood trauma. First Aeris dies then I find out that Link is a boy.

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    Replies
    1. but then there was shiek so it's all good

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    2. what do you mean there was sheik so its all good!?!?

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  9. This post left me laughing out loud!

    Funnily enough it's my parents who were the gamers, and they are the ones who got me into video games. I was playing Final Fantasy VII when I was about 7 or 8 years old, and even I remember the devastation of Aeris' death. I still play Final Fantasy VII today, whenever I get the change to engross myself in it. Also had a similar experience with Fallout 3 when I got that. Very addictive game indeed! Haven't found anything to hold my attention like that in quite some time though.

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  10. Hilarious! I became a 3d animator because of FFVII!

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  11. I love how you are incorporating .gifs! It really adds another layer to your blogs. I'm really excited for your book, probably the only book I'll buy in like the last few years.

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    1. Thanks! You know my book won't have animated gifs though, right? This isn't Hogwarts, c'mon.

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    2. @Adam - You could totally have a few flip-book pages like in the Captain Underpants books. Retro .gifs. ...not that I've read the Captain Underpants books or anything...while I was in college...nope...

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  12. Fallout 3; I know that feel, bro. I lost a solid week of college because of that particular shard of awesome.
    Totally worth it.

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  13. As a gamer this one hits home. Great post. Glad you're back into gaming. I never left it. I started with my Atari 2600 and moved up the Nintendo ranks until I got a PS2 and now a PS3. I'm trying to collect all my old games now though. As a kid, my parents made me give all my old games to my cousins in Mexico if I wanted them to buy me a new one. God only knows what they did to those beautiful games. Slowly but surely, I'll get them all back.

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  14. Please, please, please make a t-shirt of you boring the crap out of your mom with video game details. That is the exact face I make when my nephews and kid talk to me about anything I am not interested in.

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  15. I have the same reaction to any Fallout or Elder Scrolls game haha. You wouldn't believe how sad I am that I have to wait a whole month for the Dawnguard while xbox players already have it.

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    1. When Fallout 4 eventually comes out, this blog is dead. I won't be able to do anything else.

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    2. NOOOOO!Sad news, oh well festuvus for the rest of us.

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  16. Play Lord of the Rings Online instead. :P I know you mentioned falling asleep during the movie, but the game definitely beats Skyrim. :D

    Love,

    a proud girl gamer.

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    1. Nononono! I play LotRO, and while it is fun, it doesn't stand chance to Skyrim.

      Love,
      Another very proud female gamer.

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    2. I tell you it's all about SW:TOR! Bioware so has me in their pocket, even with the ME3 fiasco.

      Love,
      Yet another proud girl gamer

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    3. I don't know what any of you are talking about...but you all rock! :)

      love,
      A girl that is not another proud girl gamer...wa wa waaa


      *mmmerrrrfff...BUTILOVECOMICS!!!!! SQUEEEEEEEEE! :)

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    4. It's all about minecraft. I loved it so much that I bought it after I had already torrented it.

      Love,
      Another of many proud female gamers

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    5. I just picked up Dragon's Dogma and that game kicks Skyrim in the pants.

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    6. I echo Billie's Minecraft comment. If you haven't already lost your social life to Skyrim, you'll lose it to Minecraft.
      *kksssssssssssss..... BOOM!

      More love, from another proud female gamer. :)

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  17. You know what's even better? When your kids FINALLY get old enough to enjoy video games with you. Nothing bonds you like killing Gannon. *nods*

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  18. Adam, your blogmics (my new awesome word), make my day entirely. I was the only lady in line for skyrim a few months ago. And, semi related via previous post, I just re-watched labyrinth (starring David bowie's bulge).

    Everything you write about makes my day. I either think we were separated at birth or are soul mates.

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  19. You have inspired me. Time to spend all weekend on videogames.

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  20. I want your babies.

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  21. For years, my brother and I rented SNES games from the local Blockbuster. Every weekend we would check out games.

    Our method for making sure we checked out the same copy of Final Fantasy or Earthbound? We took a Sharpie and make an X on the back corner of the cartridge. Then when we went back on Friday after school, we asked the clerk to grab us the one with the X on the back. I can't believe they let us get away with it, and I also kind of can't believe how many RPG's we beat that way on the SNES.

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  22. This is so cool! You know, there were two games before and after EarthBound that never got translated into English. It's called The Mother Series in Japan, so it goes: EarthBound0/MOTHER 1, ALLLLLLMOST translated, never fully, EarthBound/MOTHER 2, and MOTHER 3, which was GOING to be EarthBound 64, but they put it on the GBA instead. They're pretty cool. I think you can find some fan translations somewhere, too.

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  23. My friend and I decided a few weeks ago that beating Sephiroth should be an achievement to put on your resume.

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    1. I would be impressed with that if I wan an employer. Shows dedication.

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  24. I've been following your blog ever since I came across it on StumbleUpon. Probably my greatest internet discovery! I love your writing and art. Totally excited for your book release too!

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  25. Graduating college was the best thing ever. Because then it finally gave me a chance to go back to playing TONS OF VIDEO GAMES.


    The brief unemployed life after college made it even easier.

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  26. I totally know how you feel, Adam. I *finally* beat Super Mario Bros. on my totally cool NES last summer, and although it was bitchin' to finally beat the game, I have to say, the ending was kind of a letdown...

    I'm 45, by the way...

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    1. Congratulations!

      Way back when, Dad told me and my sister that we would not get SMB2 until we beat the original. When we finally saw Princess Peach there was jumping and screaming and hugging. We never beat SMB2, but a friend had it, so we got to play a bit.

      Oh, and to Tyler at the top of the page - You are correct, sir.

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  27. Welcome back (belated) to the gaming world! Try League of Legends (http://na.leagueoflegends.com/). It's addictive and routine; that, or get in line for Pokemon Black and White 2 or Guild Wars 2.

    P.S. Golden Sun was my Final Fantasy. I loved those freakin' djinn.

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  28. I have a cousin who's about the same age as me, and we talk about video games a lot. One time we were doing so on facebook, and our younger cousin was making fun of us for being "adults" who are more into video games than he is. I truly believe that the older you get, the more games are necessary. Middle school? You don't need an escape from that. Finals, work, and bills? Yeah, I'm gonna hang out in Hyrule for a bit.

    Oh, and I was younger than you when I saw Aeris' death (I was watching my mom playing - I could never get that far in the game), so I just flat out cried.

    Great post, glad to hear you've rediscovered video games!

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  29. I agree with some of the above comments : this is the true meaning of a gamer - one who enjoys the games so much you turn into an excited squealing school girl. Thank you for interpreting perfectly how I feel about gaming!

    FFVII was my livelihood when I was growing up. I spent I don't know how many hours getting all of the summons, materia, a GOLDEN CHOCOBO. That game meant so much to me that I had Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy played during my wedding, and I have the meteor tattooed on my leg.

    I don't want to get into my Fallout and Skyrim addictions, but they're there...trust me.

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  30. The picture of cloud with the summon materia, i died!

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  31. I had to send the link for this post to my husband. He’s not much of a blog reader but he’ll love this. He’s the only adult we know in his age bracket who’s an avid (nice word for hopelessly addicted) gamer.

    I try really, really hard to be a good wife and show interest when he enthusiastically tells me his endless, repetitious, godawful boring details about skyrim and the other stuff he plays. But I’m afraid I eventually zone out, just the way he zones out when I talk about what I’m doing on my blog, FB or Twitter.

    LOVE the animation you’ve been adding recently, Adam. Well done! The first one with the TV screen was hypnotic. The 2nd with the jiggling eyeballs is so totally my husband it’s scary! LOL

    Really looking forward to your book!

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  32. I was definitely the typical girl growing up. I had no interest in video games and didn't have any friends who were either. My parents bought me a used N64 with one game (Banjo Kazooie), and I thought it was fun, but I was terrible and it didn't hold my interest for very long. I didn't pick up gaming until I was 20, when I bought a PS3 and GTA4. I was still terrible, but that game is a great stress reliever. I didn't really get excited over video games until a friend insisted I find a copy of the Orange Box and play Portal. Definitely changed my life.

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  33. It's kind of a funny coincidence that you mention Chrono Trigger, recently my boyfriend and I started re-playing it(well, it's my first time playing it) and I absolutely love it! We are close to finish it and I have to agree that it's the best SNES game

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  34. The Tank Girl & Mad Max posters made me giddy. The Walking Dead episodes are my new favorite games &&Borderlands.

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  35. You are aware that Earthbound is worth a big chunk of cash these days, aren't you? ;)

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  36. Not a gamer; mom to gamers. Had to say that young Adam is too cute to handle! I wanna smush his widdle cheeks so much!

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  37. I love Skyrim!! Getting ready to play it right now. I got the Dawnguard add on and played for HOURS, finished the main story line and was disappointed. I wouldn't say it was worth the cost. :)

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  38. I refuse to get rid of my Little Mermaid Gameboy game solely because it was my first game. I never could get past the second level and it took me years to beat the first one. My Pokemon Yellow I was terrible at, making one Pokemon stronger than the rest. Thought I was awesome till the Elite Four wiped me out oh so fast. Makes me laugh at how terrible I used to be. Great post. Brings back a lot of memories.

    Also, my town was small enough to were we weren't able to rent our games for a long time. Buying was the only option so it was a BIG DEAL when I got a new game. If you told me you could rent games, I probably would have the same reaction as you learning you could buy.

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  39. Adam, please never play WoW or Diablo 3, I don't think we would ever see another blog post again o.O

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  40. Man... My mom is a gamer. She's been playing the Fallout games and several other RPGs with full dedication since she got her first home computer with like Windows 3.whatever. Way back in the day. She would steal my gameboy to play Pokemon. She's the one who taught me how to pirate emulators... She just turned 49 today and spent all day playing Skyrim.

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  41. Ive never been interested in video games, but that 8 minute clip made me want to play that game.

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  42. Yessss so happy about the Zelda mentions! I love Zelda so much but for a long time growing up it was just my dad and I who were into the games so every time I meet a fellow Zelda fan I'm like "Oh my God! You like it too? Where have you been for so long? Under a rock?"

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  43. Skyrim will take. over. your. life. I used to have a family...

    Hugs!

    Valerie

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  44. Ahhhh! I was just about to start playing FF6 tonight! Spoilers :(
    But I love Earthbound, Chrono Trigger and FF7 - Aeris' death was one of the saddest moments of my childhood.

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  45. Great story Adam. You should check out www.omo-cat.com . She draws a lot of great illustrations of video games like earthbound, zelda, and many other games. Did you ever get a chance to play earthbound all the way through? The ending is one of the weirdest in video game history.

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  46. Dude, if you can get that far in Chrono Trigger in just a weekend, you were still an adequate gamer as a child. I couldn't get past the first boss until I was sixteen

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    1. Also, YOU ARE RIGHT TO SAY THAT CHRONO TRIGGER IS THE BEST SNES GAME

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  47. The Tank Girl poster was just icing on the cake. Thank you.

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  48. You're speaking my language. There's so much I want to write, but I have a reputation to maintain. I will say this, Sephiroth is the best video game villain ever created.

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    1. I can't beat him on KH1 or KH2. Hes so damn badass. >.<

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  49. So relatable! Love your blog, keep up the good work!

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  50. I dropped out of college my first time around mostly due to Half-Life 2. I bought it on a Monday and didn't go to a single class that week, I barely took time to eat. I had it beaten by that Friday, and I immediately started playing it again. The next week was thanksgiving break, and I never went back.

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  51. RdSubjec2FludingJuly 6, 2012 at 5:54 AM

    Final Fantasy 3/6 in my mind is still one of the best games ever. There were several times I got choked up. I love the Chrono Trigger reference too. Thanks for sharing your personal experience that feels so familiar to my own.

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  53. At least you never had FF for Dreamcast. They had that stupid little pocket game/memory stick that allowed you to have the game invade your entire life.

    College, you wasteful years you. One of my best friends and I decided to pick up a couple cases of beer and journey on down to Gamestop to get all of the NES/SNES/N64 consoles. We played the entire Zelda series up through the latest one (cant remember which N64 one it was). After a week, our dorm room looked like a recycling plant that was inhabited by two zombies.

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    1. That's it. As soon as my roommate has a job, I'm quitting mine to do exactly that.

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  54. You are too cute.

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  55. I'm always scared the day will come when I won't want to play video games anymore/lose my sense of identity. I like the image of sitting on a porch as an old woman and looking at all the people I could cream in a future Super Smash Brothers game waaaayyy better.

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  56. Hilarious post! Wonderful!

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  57. I'm a gamer too who kinda wandered away from it when I started working. Then, I found Heavy Rain. I've played through once in the past couple of days, and now I have to play it again and again and probably again to get all of my trophies. I feel your pain Adam! :)

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  58. THE CHEESY GOODNESSJuly 6, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    I always royally sucked at video games, too, but that's because I didn't have any until I got a Playstation when I was 14. I remember the first game I officially beat. It was Silent Hill, and it used to scare the crap outta me. But I got so good at it and played it so much, I could whip through it in no time, and I'd try to beat my own time and get all the alternate endings. WHICH I DID...LIKE A BOSS! And then there was Spyro. Ah, Spyro. What a soft spot I still have for you and your little purple, stubby legs and puny wings. For some reason, I played Tony Hawk's ProSkater 3 for basically 6 months straight. I don't think I slept. There was that one time (for about 3 years) when I was obsessed with WoW. But we won't talk about that. And I, too, have graduated on to Skyrim. Best. Game. EVER.

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  59. I love that I knew it was Chrono Trigger you were talking about as a little kid to your mom. I said, as I read "O man I just got hard 'cause I know that game!!!!" and yea, I'm a girl.... got a girl hard-on for you.... so... there. :)

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  60. I love that I knew it was Chrono Trigger you were talking about as a little kid to your mom. I said, as I read "O man I just got hard 'cause I know that game!!!!" and yea, I'm a girl.... got a girl hard-on for you.... so... there. :)

    ReplyDelete
  61. I finish my postgrad diploma in two weeks. I've banned myself from Playstation for the last 6 months. I have two weeks of solid work left to go and then you go and post this. I'm dying.

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    ReplyDelete
  62. AHMAZING! I was the first child of my family, and although my cousin was very good at video games, he had no patience to teach me. So I was terrible at video games for a very long time. I relate to this post 100%!!

    Final Fantasy 7 was my first RPG. I was 9, and I believe I was 13 when I finally beat it. It took me forever to beat the first boss because I didn't know what counterattack meant.

    I actually explored the world of FF7 without the help of the internet for the longest time. I bred the golden chocobo, I got the omnislash, found Vincent, and I found all the ultimate weapons! I remember when I first got the plane/boat, and I went to Wutai instead of the Temple of the Ancients. That damn Yuffie stole all my materia, and I was terribly under leveled. I have been bias against her ever since.

    For some reason, I could not find her or find out how to get out of the town. So I level grinded for months. Eventually everyone got their final or level 3 limit breaks, and I got everyone up to level 60.

    That story was amazing for me. I know many people consider it overrated, but finding cloud at Mideel with Mako poisoning at 2am was the scariest, most heart breaking thing I had ever seen.

    Awesome Awesome Awesome post! I went through the same college, no video games period too. Though it was more because I didn't want to be a geek anymore. Now I fully embrace the geek.

    P.S. I was always a Tifa fan, though I was really sad when Aeris died.

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  63. LOL, this is exactly how I am with games! You should give Dragon's Dogma a try, it's my new obsession.

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  64. Dude, You and Pewdiepie should hang out.

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  65. That last picture is me, my best friend, and my brother, all over.

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  66. It has probably already been said/asked, but is the game you're describing to your mom Chrono Trigger by any chance? Love it!

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  67. I crossed my fingers and hoped for no whammies that you'd have a new comic up. And I was NOT disappointed. The Tank Girl poster in the background has made me love you even more. Thank you for the bright spot in my day and the excitement I always get from reading your work.

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  68. Ah, the nostalgia this has brought me, Adam. I could remember the first time I was amazed by how my friends could easily execute fatalities on MK. Also played Double Dragon. Contra. Sonic Wings. By high school, Counterstrike was a craze and was my first FPS to play. I was shooting bullets all over the place on my first round. Then came Diablo 2. 3. Ragnarok. WOW. Warcraft:ROC/FT. DoTA. Online games then became mainstream. I eventually had to give up playing games when I started working.

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  69. Sorry, I had to stop reading and say: *by enlarge

    ReplyDelete
  70. I pre-ordered God of War III for my fiance and he didn't leave the bedroom for three days. I played the first God of War briefly and was enamored with the colors, but I am TERRIBLE so yeah, back to Harvest Moon for me.

    I can farm the fuck out of some tomatoes, though.

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  71. Final Fantasy 7 is the greatest video game story line ever.
    Aeris dying was huge but finding out you're a Seph clone was shattering!
    And don't forget the Cait Sith betrayal.

    Love your blog man, can't wait for the book

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh and I'm pretty sure I developed a gambling problem... After raising a golden chocobo.. I spent an entire month betting on Chocobo races.

      Delete
  72. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SuXjysaxzPQ&feature=relmfu

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  73. Watch this bitch and mind will be blown.
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  74. Holy shit this post was wonderful. I remember feeling the same sadness when Aeris died.

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  75. Adam, you're once again my hero.
    Chrono trigger was one of the best games ever made for the SNES, although I did love some of the more esoteric RPGs like Inindo and Robotrek as well. And for the love of the digital gods, have you played Chrono Cross? The sequel to Chrono Trigger; if watching Aeris died was a blow to you as a kid, you should try Chrono Cross, where you have to actually concede to killing off the entire cast of Chrono Trigger (the heroes, not the villains) in order to get to the second disk.

    That was the day my childhood died.

    ReplyDelete
  76. Do you only play console games? Never try the PC ones? I'm founder of =MSG= Midnight Shadow Gaming Community. We have several servers of BF3, BC2 and BC2 Vietnam (Battlefield), L4D (oh yeah, kill the zombies all the way), Killing Floor (more zombies), TF2 (Team Fortress, fancy characters and stuff) and Red Orchestra 2 (a noir war going on here). We stand for fair game and respect. They're FPS mostly, but you get some fun when playing with others, and we expand the set often when our members make a call for it. I think you're more of a strategy guy, but when comes a time to spare your feellings shooting wild, capturing objectives, healing friends and exploding foes don't be shy and visit us. I'm a fan of you and the Oatmeal, you are great!

    ReplyDelete
  77. It's quite possible we learned everything we need to know from playing Earthbound. I adored every second of that game and time of life. Awesome article.

    ReplyDelete
  78. This reminds me of my son so much! The pic with the mom...that's me! Wow! I laughed all of the way through because this is my son's life. Our life.

    I still love him...

    ReplyDelete
  79. Your eyes are not in the centre of your portrait on the right hand side of the page. It frustrates me every time I look at it.

    ReplyDelete
  80. Tank Girl poster. LOVES IT.

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  81. the first game i ever pre-ordered was super mario galaxy, then pokemon black and white. super mario? worth it. pokemon? no. and this is from a total pokemon nerd. but either way, i still love the games, and i'm totally like you , Adam, when it comes to getting slightly...ATTATCHED to video games XD

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  82. This just made my entire day, do you give out your PSN username?

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  83. At 25 did you feel as much excitement as when you were 9?

    ReplyDelete
  84. Earthbound was the first game you owned....I'm envious; I only heard about it much later when I was an adult.

    This is an amazing coming of age story of the birth of gamer and was a joy to read. Thank-you.

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  85. "Your mom did what? Is she a wizard?" Had me floored. Tears were forming, I was laughing so hard...

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  86. Love the post: the gifs were amazing!
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