Yes. It is bedtime. And you will sit there and read every word I have to say. This story has charm, lovable characters, and paints a picture with words because the author is awesome. Let’s begin, dearest reader…
There’s an old Chinese proverb that says, “mo money, mo problems.”…or something like that. I wouldn’t know because I don’t speak Chinese. I’ll tell you what I do speak – video games. I’ve played video games since the tender age of thirteen, after begging the current adult/guardian in my life at the time for a gaming system. And, in the end, and after many hours of forced internment camp-styled labor that consisted of but wasn’t limited to: lawn mowing, car washing, weed pulling, and of course the dreaded “poop scoop patrol” duty, I got my desired gaming system of choice, and also a new found desire of appreciation for hard work.
Years would follow and my permanent residence would turn out to be not so permanent. I would make friends and lose friends, but one thing that would remain constant would be my interest in gaming. Watching one of my current friends at the time, “Chris”, play his new PlayStation, I was amazed. After long hours of flipping burgers and then going to his house to play his PlayStation, we played this crazy game called Street Fighter. We would play for hours, so much so, it would be into the wee hours of the night. Sometimes even into the next morning, when Chris’ mom would come out and look perplexed as to how we were even still alert and awake.
I, then, was thrust into different activities due to sport related things, and that whole pesky “Hey, want to go to college and play baseball for us?” at the time and had I had time to think about it; I, most likely, would’ve said no. Trust me, it was more work than fun and when you have a scholarship, it is less fun than a skillet full of rattlesnakes. I would finally finish obligations pertaining to school and other things that required my attention at the time, only to plunk down once again in my hometown of Portland, Oregon. Only to wander back into old habits of working even more soul crushing jobs, only this time, I got to wear a tie and some nice pants while I did them.
I, eventually, contacted my old chum, Chris, who still lived at home with his momma. When I walked into his house – low and behold…the boxy black behemoth ( otherwise known as the PS2) lay in front of me. I officially felt jealous and a bevy of emotion swept over me when I played this technological wonder. The game? Gran Turismo. I, sadly, couldn’t game with my old buddy Chris until the morning like I used to because, now, I was responsible. I had a job and had to be a productive member of society. But there was a catch: I could buy my own system and had the money and did so the very next day.
Let’s go ahead and do that dreamy fast forward button effect like they do in the movies and now I’m about 27 (give or take) years of age. Grown weary of the horrible weather in Oregon, I ventured forth for much greener pastures to the infamous “Golden State”. I moved to the hip-happening town of Vallejo. Not only known for it’s very anti-social citizen “The Zodiac Killer”, Vallejo seemed to get nothing but beautiful weather. Now, you have to remember, this is all very foreign to me – coming from the northwest – where the weather is worse than you can possibly imagine. So, this situation made me happier than a short legged horse in a hay field.
Some time would pass and I would come into my own and become and long time resident of Vallejo, and, eventually, worked even more brain deadening jobs pertaining to financial/mortgage type jobs and, although it paid well, I, sadly, lost my soul somewhere in the process. I would end up working for a mortgage company and meet this rather odd fellow by the name of Derrick. Upon talking to this cat, I found that he and I shared the same interests. Which was cool, because everyone else I seemed to work with seemed to have the personality of a dead moth.
Derrick slumped over my cubicle wall and whispered to me in his office voice one day,” Yo. You getting a PS3?”
I replied,” No. I have my PS2. And I got a ton of games I haven’t played yet…so I think I’ll wait.”
Derrick gave me a most unsatisfactory look and sauntered back to his desk. Weeks would pass and I would find the whole world had purchased a PS3, except for me. Derrick graciously invited me over to his pad and asked me if I wanted to check out the PS3. I accepted his offer and went over there that night. I was absolutely blown away, and for the life of me, I can’t remember what game was on, but it was epic. I think I waited for about a month before I bought mine and was sad to see my boxy black friend go, but at the end of the day it was for the best cause.
I often think about the days of gaming with my lanky pal Chris, and and how my friend, Derrick, showed me a whole new world. I think that nowadays, us as gamers are pretty spoiled when it comes to gaming news and developers now taking that extra step to include us with things like developer diaries and screenshots and gameplay footage; I think it can only get even better from here. So, the next time you hear something from someone you may not like, just remember that they may just know what the hell they’re talking about. And they probably live at home with their mom still. Or not.
Written by: Damon
- Contributing Editor