[It's time for Destructoid's number one community autobiography feature! Once again I am your "host" taumpytears and joining me this week are tazarthayoot, Garison, and Sentry. For those of you not in the know biotoid is a weekly feature where three community members (and sometimes editors) give a brief history of themselves as a gamer.]
I am pretty sure that my gaming obsession started when I was about 4 or 5 years old. My mother purchased a NES for me back in 1990 and from then I became completely obsessed with the Italian plumber with the pedo stache. My family moved around quite a bit when I was growing up, so my NES became my best friend, which I'm sure is a feeling most of us here may have felt growing up. When I turned 8 or 9 I got a Genesis for my birthday, and from that point on I gave up on the plumber and moved on to the blue blur Sonic. From then on I was pretty much a Sega fanboy, all the way up to the demise of the company with the Dreamcast.
Growing up my favorite games were platformers, since they were simple games and easy to play. I loved fighters and shmups, but I was never any good at them, which is a problem which still plagues me to this day. Up until last year I had never even owned a SNES, and I'm very thankful to Droobies for giving me that for my birthday last year. I need to find myself a copy of Earthbound and the old Final Fantasy games so I can finally see what was so amazing about them.
Nowadays I pretty much play anything that is the new hotness. I only have a 360, and any game that allows me to a) play as myself a la create a character or b) allow me to destroy and do pretty much anything is my strawberry jam. I still love the classic fighters and shmups, and I go back to them from time to time to try to increase my abilities (which are still nothing special just like back when I was 12). You can send me a friend request or game invite whenever you see me online, my gamertag is Roncore.[Editor's note: roncore is Will Arnett's gamer tag.]
I've always loved videogames ever since I was a little kid. Even though I didn't have a game system 'till I was probably about 9 or 10. I remember I used to go over to my cousin's house all the time, and we would play Mario Kart 64, and Zelda: OoT nonstop all day. When me and my brother got our first gaming system, a secondhand Super Nintendo, it was pretty much the end of the SNES' life cycle. This wasn't necessarily a bad thing, because there was a ton of cheap second hand games to buy everywhere, and we probably wouldn't have had the opportunity to play games like A Link To The Past, Super Mario World, Uniracers, and all the old Capcom Disney games. When I eventually got a GameCube, I discovered Wind Waker, and it remains as my favourite game to this day.
Probably my most anticipated thing in videogames ever is the launch of Twilight Princess and the Wii. Since I am one of the younger community members on Destructoid, I was only 14 when the system was released back in '06, and man, did I work hard for that thing. I saved up all year, and it was great when the day finally came. Me and my Mom got up at 5 AM, drove an hour away to the nearest Walmart and waited in line in the bitter cold for an hour with some of the nerdiest people I have ever met. I have to admit, I'm not really too fond with what Nintendo is doing with the Wii. Like many gamers, I expected Nintendo to stick to their promise of a "Revolution" in game control, but so far I'm not really seeing much from their side of things. There have been lots great and different third party games, but nothing of too much merit that is from Nintendo (besides Galaxy of course, but that is an exception). [/wiirant]
I don't really remember when I first discovered Destructoid. I remember stumbling across Podtoid on iTunes while searching for game themed podcasts, but I also remember procrastinating during my Media Studies class first semester of 2007. But it doesn't really matter when I actually discovered the site, all that matters is that I was really digging the vibe of it and decided to stick around. Unfortunately I never even had internet at home until September of last year, when I posted my first blog , and I became a permanent troll of this place.
What I really love about Destructoid is the writing style. How completely honest the editors are in their opinions, how anyone is aloud to post pretty much anything they want (withing reason of course), and especially the podcasts. In my time here I have joined a podcast with some other community members, wrote some silly blogs, and generally just wasted a shit fuck amount of time doing nothing important at all. And I wouldn't have it any other way.
I first started playing video games at an early age, though I never really thought of myself as a "gamer" and - truth be told - still think of myself as rather casual, despite my intense interest in the industry and community at large. I've a smattering of memories involving playing Altered Beast at a friend of my mother's, as well as a game at the local rent-to-own place that I believe might have been on the Master System, but my first true entrance into gaming was when my mother bought for me on my fourth birthday a Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt, and Tetris. My NES is still with me and remains one of my most cherished systems, but it wasn't until I was about ten years old that I'd take my next "step", as it were, into gaming.
It was while living in a remote, terrible town in Texas that I eventually came across a complete-in-box copy of Final Fantasy at a neighboring town's Goodwill. I had never played an RPG, and spent hours upon hours learning both the basic mechanics of the genre as well as how to overcome that game's difficulty. In fact, my long-time nickname (Sentry) was indirectly inspired by that first Final Fantasy (another story for another time). Because of this lucky find, I went on to love the RPG genre, and would rent a new title from any local Blockbuster (we moved around a lot) on a near-weekly basis: Star Tropics, The Secret of Mana (we had a Super Nintendo at this point), Final Fantasy II and III, Illusion of Gaia, Lufia, et al.
There have been other steps along the way, such as when I first played Starcraft on PC, or watching my good friend Robert play through games like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (I'd never played a Castlevania title) and Half-Life 2 but a couple of years ago. Be that as it may, the MOST of my current identity as a gamer really developed when I started living with my friend and his wife
about a year ago, as well as the period of time following first deciding with them to open a used games shoppe and LAN center to this very moment, sitting in said store.
My attention to gaming grew by leaps and bounds over the last year. Patterns and forces I've always found fascinating in general social behaviour suddenly had relevant and immediate connections to video-games as an industry. Watching trends and consumer reactions, and the development of individual titles became one of my day-to-day activities. I can't go for an hour without at least checking Destructoid, Brian Crecente's Hair Palace, Crispy Gamer, or various developer/publisher twitters, though I usually end up browsing more than them alone.
Now I find that I care a great deal about who develops which games, the idea of gaming as both a commercial and artistic medium, as well as the elements of social interaction and community. Combining my love of local business, community in general, Destructoid, and the opening of our LAN center, I suddenly want to galvanize the gaming scene in Denver. I play games on PC (Left 4 Dead, Team Fortress 2, Red Alert 3, Call of Duty 4) with friends of the store on a regular basis, when I never used to even touch anything not on a console, not to mention the number of new titles that I consistently drool over, though don't always get a chance to play.
Gaming has always been present in my life, and it's now clear to me that it's going to play a HUGE role in the remainder of my years.
[Once again I am proud to thank tazar, Garison, Sentry and everyone who read this. Anyone who is interested in contributing can reach me at the "new" official biotoid email address firstname.lastname@example.org. Hugs & Kisses -taumpytears P.S. Sorry for the double post, I did the original on my iPhone and the formatting was all messed up.]