My latest writing, game related.
Posted 1/26/08 , edited 1/26/08
All people have things that define them. Moments that create who they will be for the rest of their lives. I decided a few weeks ago to write some of mine, while talking to a friend about what got me into the music I am now. I will do it in chapters, because it is entirely too difficult to remember all things at once.

Videogames. This may sound stupid, silly...whatever. Fuck you if you don't like it. Videogames have helped me in many, many ways. Sure, they have done their harm, too, mainly on my schooling and my wallet. But a more than even trade, I believe.

My first videogames were Mario Bros. 3, for the Nintendo Entertainment System. My brother got it for his birthday, when he turned 8, I believe. 16 years is a long time to remember, but I remember the way my eyes were...attacked almost by the glory of those first minutes. I also received a volleyball/soccer game for the NES, but this was far more mundane. It was not long after my NES birth before my parents began to bicker, and fight, and eventually grew to hate one another. I was 6 when they were divorced, and I remember it pretty clearly. We had gotten more videogames, but all I remember now is Mario Brothers 3. It was something special, amazing.

When we left the house with dad, we got an apartment, and times were good, and we got a Sega Genesis for Christmas, and with it, Sonic the Hedgehog 2. I remember when we bought a new tv, I thought it was massive. Knowing that Sonic was going to be as big as he was, I was extatic. In fact, the TV still is around, and is sitting next to me as I write this. By comparrison, it is an old POS, and not large atal. But it was my gaming TV, and remains so even today.

When we went to visit dad, we would bring our NES with us, and we would rent games sometimes. The one game we rented most was Contra, a game that to this day is easily top 10 retro games. UUDDLRLR Start Select. It is engraved in my brain, something I cannot ever forget. It is impossible to say how many times Tyler and I have beaten that game, but it is easily in the hundreds, perhaps even low thousands. At the time, gaming was just fun, and a small escape for us. A way to forget some of the crap going on in life, to just play. That aspect of gaming has only grown for me with time. Indeed, this is why I now play so many games.

We soon moved in with Rick, my mothers fiance, and his son Todd had a Super Nintendo. We had never had one before, and barely played one, so it was incredibly exciting for us. We had Mortal Kombat 2, my first figting game, and ofcourse, Super Mario World. I also bought Donkey Kong Country, which is still, again, top 10 list of retro games. Mom and Rick broke up, and we decided we needed our own SNES, so Ty and I saved our money, and bought one, along with some games like Killer Instinct, Super Mario and a few others. In that apartment I had the kidney infection that kept me out of school for almost a month, and we rented DKC2. Not as good as the original, but longer, and I spent a lot of my time playing it. I beat it multiple times, and found most of the secrets.

We moved in, and back out again, of Rick's house, and it was in this new apartment, the last I lived in in Greeley, that the Playstation, N64 and Saturn came out. Tyler and I decided upon the Saturn, as it came with free games. We got Virtua Fighter 2, Virtua Cop, Sonic 3d Blast, and a game I only remember as Solar Eclipse, though I am not positive that is the name. We lived near a Gamestop, and we frequented it, saving up money and trading in to get new and different games. I still have some of those games, and though I have not played a single one in years, I would never sell my Saturn. It is a legacy.

We moved to Aurora, in with Roy, and it was there that my gaming took itself to a new level. Before, it was just fun, a passtime. Now, it had become a part of my life. With one game.

Tyler and I regretted getting the Saturn, but we loved it anyway. We decided to save up and get a Playstation together, along with a few games, namely, Coolboarders 2. We played the hell out of it, unlocking everything in the game, and having highscores that were mindboggling for 2 kids. It was around then that I remember seeing a commercial on TV. I remember very little of it, except the announcers voice, and seeing a spiky-haired blonde man with a giant sword staring up at a building. The man said "Final Fantasy....Seven". And the title flashed across the screen. While we had lived in our last apartment, Tyler and I had gotten from our grandfather a game called Mario RPG. Neither of us had ever played an RPG before, but we spent hours and hours on the game, perfecting our characters, and understanding the world. When it came time to rent next, we decided upon FF7 and FFT, thinking they were related. We tried Tactics first, but couldn't understand it, so we put it aside, and popped in FF7.

To this day, I remember every second of that first night in vivid clarity. The music, the senses overloaded with beauty from all angles. This game changed my life. Tyler and I stayed up til 1 in the morning, playing our new character, whom I named NickH12, thinking it would be like a highscore name. I didn't realize we were naming this person, this character, this...avatar of US. After our time with the rental was up, we saved up and bought FF7 first thing with our christmas money. it was the christmas of 97', 10 years ago. Hard to believe a decade has passed.

This was the first game that I loved so much, I thought about it at school. I dreamt about it. I yearned to play it at all times. Tyler and I had an agreement, that we could play without the other there, but only so long as we did not progress in the story. We leveled, bought things, explored, but it was only with both of us that we learned Cloud's fate, Tifa's love, Barret's heartbreak. Aeris' demise. After Midgar, we assumed we were moving on to disc 2, we were close to halfway, we had been playing for 20 hours already. No, this was only the beginning. On the second disc, Tyler accidentally deleted our entire memory card, and we started over. I was angry, yes, but I was happy to play it all again, relearn it, get all that I missed. I have since played the entire game 4 times, and its prequels and sequels just as many, or more.

From that point on, we bought any videogame we could get our hands on that looked good. Pokemon, Metal Gear Solid, FF8, Xenogears, Chrono Trigger. My heart swells with joy as I remember each of these. The friends I have made because of them, namely Matt, my best friend to date. I remember renting a Dreamcast and playing true 3D for the first time. I remember seeing the PS2 take hold of the market. I remember all of the events of the past decade in comparrison to videogames, and music.

In 7th grade, I started to really hang out with Traevor, and he was into a game called Diablo 2. Made by the creators of Starcraft, a game her and I both also loved. He got me to try it, downloading a free trial, and I fell in love. This was how my forray into Blizzard, my favorite company, and PC gaming (and building) began. It evolved quickly, to Warcraft, Doom, Quake, and many others. It turned into a love for MMOs with RO and FF11 years later. And it now remains such with my love of WoW.

Interestingly, I still love to take out the nintendo or play an old gameboy game. There is not a single system I will not play, or would not own if not for monetary constraints. I currently own: PS2, NES, SNES, Genesis, GBA, PC, Saturn, Dreamcast, N64, and I even have a Pong game somewhere!

Videogames have changed my life. Made friends, releived stress, taught me history, psychology, philosophy, science, literature. I know how to read, write, type and spell pretty well, because of them. They have helped pique my interest in 3 of the other 4 pillars of me, history, philosophy, music. Videogames bring my life together, and thankfully, keep it together. People may think it is pathetic that I sit around and play so many games, or that I view them as more than just a game. But like I said, fuck them. This is what I love. And what I have no intention to stop loving.

This is a thank you to Miyomoto, Sakaguchi, Kojima, Uematsu, Metzen, Nagle, Matsuno, and all of the other great creators of videogames. You have changed my life. Keep it up, and never stop changing the lives of some of us. Some of us just need a little bit of help, a little place to call our own, a little way to escape. You supply these. I thank you.
Posted 1/26/08 , edited 1/26/08
This is so idealistic. But yeah bet that videogames helped you to get through the troubles of that time. So in many points and cases it can be almost called a life-saviour. And it is not that pathetic. Though I myself am not really a videogamer, when I got my first Gameboy, I was playing quite a lot, and I really liked it, it made me forget troubles and other annoying circumstances in our family. Also computer games, like Tomb Raider..haha..awesome...but I guess I grew out of that...

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Posted 1/26/08 , edited 1/26/08
so much writing...

impossible to read with my short attention span
Posted 1/26/08 , edited 1/26/08
Haddon I'm with you there. I've been playing games since the NES era. They made my life alot easier and more exciting. I had a rough childhood and playing Super Mario and Legend of Zelda helped me survived through my childhood. Whenever I get stressed or having a really bad day I would turn on my console and play for a few hours. It helps alot. I don't know where i would be if it wasn't for Videogames.
Posted 1/26/08 , edited 1/26/08
so here is the rest i have so far. nothing to do with games, tho

The second pillar of The Haddon is music. I love it. I think most people do, but it feels like I have a special connection. Something more than most people. I play drums, I played keyboard/piano, recorder which doesnt entirely count. I love to sing, I love to dance, I love to make up songs. I am not good at any of these, but I have a blast with them.

As a kiddo, I listened to what my parents did. Most little kids do. The both love The Beatles, The Eagles, Stones. My dad also got me into the greatest band of all time, Pink Floyd. It is his favorite, my brother's favorite, and mine. Nick Mason and Neil Pert of Rush, along with a few others, are the reason I started drumming. But I was not always into the music I am now. I have a very, ver eclectic taste. I will read off some of the wildly different music on my playlist.

The Beatles
The Stones
Janis Joplin
John Denver
John Cougar Mellancamp
Joe Satriani
Steve Vai
Elton John
Eric Clapton
Stevie Ray Vaughn
Bob Dylan

As you can see, I have a very wide range of musical tastes. Country, blues, metal, oldies, guitar greats, some rap...But, as said, it was not always like this.

When I was around 8 or so, I started getting really into R&B and oldschool Rap. Boyz II Men and Coolio, for instance, were some of my favorites. It remained such until I started rollerblading and skateboarding. I was what was called a "skater", you see, and back then, it was terribly shunned upon. Because of this, I got into a brand of shoes called Airwalks. Tyler and I once bought a pair each, and it came with a sampler CD, with one song we both really liked. Spiderwebs, by No Doubt. I told a friend of mine, Brandon, at school, and he said he liked them too. But he liked a few other bands far more, and let me borrow a CD. Metallica. I am not sure which it was, now, but Tyler and I loved it, so we went out and bought Load. After that, it all sort of clicked. We went from Metallica to Nirvana, Foo Fighters, more No Doubt, and it was in the hay-day of the alternative music scene, that rose from the ashes of Grunge. We got into this, and into metal, and slowly over time, we began getting more and more albums from bands we loved. I still love all of those I mentioned above, and all are on my playlist right now.

I wanted a CD player, so my mother took me to a pawn shop to look around. I found one that was broken, and Mom would not let me buy it. We went back a few weeks later, and I got my first CD player, and with it, my first CD. Iron Mairden, Fear of the Dark. I remember the cover. I remember taking it home, popping it in, and marvelling in amazement at the glory.

All the while, my dad still listened to oldies, and Tyler and I made a lot of fun of him for John Denver. Up at the cabin, which I speak of often, Rex, Jake and Dad would listen to it, and a few other records. On the way TO the cabin, we had a ritual, of sorts. We would listen to the radio until we hit the mountains, the canyon would cut out all but the AM stations, so Dad would pop in Pink Floyd, The Wall. We knew every word to every song, and would sing it like there would be no tomorrow. He would aslo pop in Harry Nilson, The Point, a song/story on tape. Both of them we listened to so much, the tapes were utterly destroyed.

In 6th grade, we had to make a "Time-folder" of sorts, to put in our favorite things and decorate how we liked, then it was put away for the year, and at the end we would take it out to see how we had changed. I remember putting Limp Bizkut, Korn, and a few others that, by the end of the year, I no longer liked a whole lot. Some remained unchanged, Metallica and Nirvana most present. But it made me realize, and I was thinking back on it a few days ago, just how much our tastes can change in so little of time. 5 years ago, at the age of 15, I would not have been into George Thorogood or BB King like I am now.

I am not sure how it changed, but slowly over the years my music calmed down, as does most peoples, but it also got more "hard". Once, in 9th or 10th grade, my computer was completely whiped of all files, including my music. So rather than download them all again, I turned to internet radio. On this, I heard a band called Manowar, Warriors of the World United was the song they played. I knew right away, this band meant something to me. I looked them up online, and found as many bands that I was able that sounded remotely close. In that time, I found Dragonforce, Nuclear Assault, Nightwish and have been given many others from friends of like mind. I also got more and more into the grunge music scene, loving bands that had split up when I was young, but I knew their music. Sound Garden and Alice in Chains are some, along with old favorites of mine like Pearl Jam and Nirvana.

It was also near this time, perhaps a small bit earlier, that my brother's friend Dustin showed me a man named Joe Satriani. His music struck a chord in me, pun most certainly intended, and I loved it, and him. I looked around for more guitar greats, and found Vai, Vaughn, McKee and many others, with some help of a friend of mine, Matt, who was into them as well.

My tastes in music are ever-growing, constantly finding new songs, bands, and even genres that I addore. But the one constant is what music means to me. It, like the games above, are a way of escape, and a way into my mind. Into others minds. Without ever saying a word, it is possible to tell the world all that you feel, all that you believe, with a guitar, or bass, or any instruement with more than a few notes. The beauty and splendor of every song I love reaches into me. It makes things ok. Whenever I am upset, I listen to Pink Floyd, and I know there is life worth living all about me. Obladi, a saying of mine, is taken from a simple, silly song. But life will go on, no matter how troublesome, because I know I have this music, to touch me. To keep me sane...enough, at least. Every keystroke of Joel, every strum of Clapton, every note of Waters, and every thought of all of these men, and women, help me live a life full of ugly people, ugly feelings, and ugliness in general all about.

Just as above, I thank you all. There are too many musicians to cite, too many to thank. And so, I thank all of them. From even musicians I do not like, to those whose songs keep me alive. Thank you. Except you fucking rapper sons of bitches. I hope you all fucking die. You are destroying music day in, and day out, with your songs of bling and hoes. Please, go to hell. Quickly.
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Posted 1/26/08 , edited 1/27/08

haddon wrote:

All people have things that define them. Moments that create who they will be for the rest of their lives. I decided a few weeks ago to write some of mine, while talking to a friend about what got me into the music I am now. I will do it in chapters, because it is entirely too difficult to remember all things at once.

Videogames. This may sound stupid, silly...whatever. Fuck you if you don't like it.

I stopped reading there.

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