My name is Jason. I'm an avid lifelong gamer, and somewhat longish reader of Destructoid. Currently unemployed, my usual occupations are fixing PCs for people, replacing broken phone screens, and embarrassingly often, working behind a retail counter.
I tend to game on PC these days. Favorites of the last year were Cave Story+, Bastion, Portal 2, and E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy.
You can usually find me in Destructoid group chat on Steam as Morcant, or frequently in Tribes: Ascend as Jahok.
I'm not what you'd call an active community member. Nevertheless, I am here, and have been ever since Kotaku first linked to Destructoid way back when. This seems like a cathartic exercise, and I've enjoyed reading these. Maybe someone will enjoy mine.
I love to drive
My dad loved to drive, so the family would just take a drive on Saturdays to Cocoa Beach or Tampa or Clearwater. This partly inspired me to love driving as well. The other part is the freedom to get away from the ordinary. I enjoy just driving around town sometimes, but even more driving about 5 hours in any direction and seeing the difference in prices, language, roads, all kinds of tiny things you wouldn't think too much about.
I credit Gran Turismo 1's S-class license tests with teaching me a bit about driving. My driver's ed instructor asked me what else I'd driven before and I said lawn mowers and racing games. After that he always had to tell me to slow down. Doing the slalom at 40 MPH was discouraged for unlicensed drivers, it seems.
I use an electronic cigarette
I was a smoker for 12 years. Pack a day. I actually kind of enjoyed the habit. But it's gotten to the point that premium brands are about $5, maybe $6 a pack here now. It's simply not affordable, so I started thinking about how to quit.
I ordered my first electronic cigarette just a few days before I went to a weekend music festival with a friend last year. There, I did a lot of things I kind of regret. In an altered state of mind, however, I managed to not have a cigarette for a whole day. I tried out the e-cig, and it wasn't exactly the same, but it felt kind of familiar.
Third day, I got halfway through work and I had to have a cigarette. A real one. I felt like I would have previously if I went 2 hours without a smoke, anxious and jittery. Anyway, I bummed one from a coworker. I burned it down, and that's the last time I've put flame to a stick of tobacco. Still using an e-cig to this day. It costs about $20/month, but like I said, I actually sort of enjoyed smoking, and now that it doesn't cause coughing and odors and it comes in whatever flavor you want, I see no reason to stop.
I know some of you drink. That's cool. But I spent 3.5 years working at a liquor store. The only people who drink more than that are bartenders.
And before that, even, I went through a phase where a friend and I, and once in a while another person or two, would kill a handle of Bacardi every night. It was so ridiculous. But I was younger then, and I could still get to class in the morning somehow.
A couple weeks ago, I got a fifth of Bushmills Irish whiskey, and over the course of a couple hours drank it all. I love that stuff, but I'm getting too old to act like that. Booze is still my vice of choice, though. More enjoyable and economical to me than weed or anything else, plus it's legal.
Anyway, the upshot is, I know quite a bit about booze. I could fill the entire C-blogs index page with articles about different liquor, beer, and wine. Like most of the trivia rattling around in my brain though, it's not very useful.
I used to hang around Usenet/MUDs
My humble beginnings online. The first thing I discovered as I read through the ISP's documentation was something about their NNTP server. So I fiddled with Outlook and got it configured, and behold! It was full of something called Usenet groups. I landed in one related to Final Fantasy, stuck there for quite a bit.
From the people in that group, I was introduced to all kinds of things from the wider internet. I first learned about Linux there, and piracy, and trolling. rec.sports.pro-wrestling, haha. It's tragic that most ISPs now don't offer Usenet servers anymore. That's part of what made it great, it was ubiquitous.
I also eventually found my way to a Multi-User Dimension (MUD). Something about the text-based interface was really appealing to me, and the same MUD I started on in 1998, I still log on to every so often today.
Over time, lots of the people I really enjoyed in both of those places moved on, and I've never felt as connected to another community since.
I don't get social media
Facebook, Twitter, whatever. I don't use them. Twitter has become tempting, because there are awesome people here I'd like to follow. People like Occam's Electric Toothbrush, Corduroy Turtle, and knutaf of the Secret Moon Base podcast. People like Gobun, because I always want to know what spills out of his brain. Others whose toothy gears are firmly engaged with community events, so I can know what the hell is going on. People formerly of Destructoid, like Brad Nicholson and Aaron Linde and Topher Cantler, because I remember them being cool as fuck.
Might sign up soon. Then I'll have to stop making fun of my little sister for tweeting.
People who use Facebook but want to act like they hate it always have the same bullshit excuse. "I only do it to keep in touch with people." Guess what? E-mail has been fulfilling that need for decades. Even better, it's usually a prerequisite to signing up for any of this extraneous crap.
Twitter's okay. The rest of it, I hate. So much pointless e-drama.
Embarrassing childhood recollections!
This is the hard part for me, because I don't tell anyone about this. For a couple years when I was about 5 years old, my parents had me with my older sister in dance class. Like, jazz and ballet and shit. Now that I've said that, I can never, ever tell you my real name, just in case there's video.
I went on to play tee-ball and baseball though. I was always a little chunky, so I was kinda bad, but I could hit like a mofo if I connected.
I never really enjoyed the things my parents wanted me to do. I did those things because I wanted to make them proud. And maybe in that way I managed to get some indirect enjoyment out of them after all.
Fun fact: I got rejected by my first girl when I was in dance class. I was 5 or 6? I don't remember. She was probably like 15, but she was the prettiest thing I'd ever seen. Awkward.
I've seen a lot of death, and one broke me
I was inspired to include this by Beyamor's blog. Contrary to his story, I have lots of experience with family deaths. 1987, aunt. 1990, grandfather. 1992, grandmother. There were more, on my mom's side, in the late 90's and into the 00's.
The big one for me was when my dad died in 1994. I kind of stopped paying attention after that.
My dad worked as an industrial mechanic. He contracted Legionnaires' disease and was hospitalized. On release, he was told he couldn't return to work due to diminished heart and lung function.
Between 1992 and 1994, my older sister and I cared for him, as my mom worked two jobs to keep the house running. We'd cook dinner and do all the chores and such because he could barely walk down the hall without losing his breath. It was a lot to handle, but he'd been teaching us to cook and do for ourselves since I was 5 or so.
When he died in his sleep on a Wednesday morning, I lost my motivation. He was the reason I did anything in life up until then. Either he wanted me to be happy doing something, or he needed me to do something, so I did it. When he was gone, I withdrew. I never returned to public school. (More on that below.) I never got back to "normal."
I can't relate to people's high school stories
I went through elementary school, which was K-5. Was in accelerated learning from 3rd to 5th grade, which I appreciated for its focus on critical thinking. I started middle school, which was 6-8. The summer after 6th grade was when my dad passed. One of his wishes was to homeschool my sister and I. So my mom followed up on it.
Worst decision ever. For one thing, the curriculum was Christian. I could only handle it for half a year's worth of workbooks, and I refused to do any more. The other thing is that I really could have used the social distractions provided by school to help recover from my grief. Oh, and since I didn't go to school after the age of 12, I didn't really develop any useful adult social skills.
I ended up spending the better part of 4 years devouring every computer magazine I could get my hands on, teaching myself everything I could in lieu of having a computer to experiment with. I also read a lot, and my parents had the foresight to buy a Collier's encyclopedia back in the late 80's, so I could look things up. (It also gave them an excuse to never answer all of my dumb kid questions, the stock line was "Look it up.")
After we moved, I got my diploma (right on time, class of 2000, haw) after taking a free GED prep class for a month. Then I started taking college classes. Computer Science at first, then Computer Information Systems. I got my A.A. from community college while working full time at stupid jobs.
Couldn't get work with just that, so I went to the University to continue. Somewhere along the line, I realized that all these degree programs want me to learn programming, and I fucking hate programming. I can sort of fumble my way around in C++ and Java, enough to pass those courses, but I simply don't like doing it.
I also started working at the liquor store, and drinking a lot around that time. Ended up on academic probation (ineligible for financial aid), and haven't been back since.
I sort of collect video game music
I have almost 80GB of video game music, primarily Final Fantasy and such. There's not that much to say here. I used to hang around in some game music channel on DC++, I download the #gamemp3s releases (and seed to 200% minimum). I don't always listen to it all, but it's nice to have it, I guess?
I imported the Xenogears OST and Xenogears Creid before the game was even out here, on someone's recommendation. I never regretted that $75 or whatever it was that it cost. Yasunori Mitsuda is still one of my favorite composers. I first heard about Dale North when I found my way to Time & Space, OneUp Studios' tribute album to Mitsuda.
Kinda weird (and cool) to see him as EIC of the game site I ended up sticking to.
I am super-duper nice
I was unsure what to put here. This is a true statement, but if I told you why, it would just look like I get taken advantage of a lot. I'm also a little more dickish online. Just one of those things.
I spent a summer in central Florida with no central air conditioning in 1996 or so. The average temperature outside was 95 F.
It's too bad there aren't any gaming conventions around the gulf coast of Florida / Alabama / Mississippi. (Or really much of anything to attract (non-retired) people to this area.) It would be cool to meet some folks, but 1 on 1 is awkward for me.
I know how to fix all kinds of things around the house. I don't do stuff inside the walls much, but replacing sinks and faucets, toilets, replacing power outlets, switches, and fixtures, repairing sheetrock, hanging doors. I relaid the water main to my mom's house from the water meter, I've built a 300ft privacy fence. I've even framed a couple walls. I'm pretty handy.
My usual hangout these days is Destructoid's Steam group chat. The avatar gives it away, but I'm known as Morcant there. I don't know why I never changed my name here.
I had owned a computer previously, an old 486 that I earned over a summer in 1995 or 1996 slaving away doing yard work for a doctor. I say "slaving" because he owned like 12 acres of land, and the payment for working there every weekend for 6 months was an old computer hacked together by his son with Windows 3.1.
The day the PS2 was released, I was pulled over driving over a bridge doing 105 MPH in a 45 MPH zone. The cops found my brand new PS2 in the trunk, and immediately thought I stole it. I almost got arrested for the speed and for the PS2, but I ended up "only" getting a $280 ticket. The cop joked that I might have to sell it to pay the ticket, and with the most serious expression I could muster, I said, "I'd sooner go to jail."
Took a couple hours to transcribe all of this from my brain. It ended up being a lot longer than I thought. Most of this hasn't been shared before, which makes it feel really good to just put down in words. If you've read all this, you're probably really cool. So pat yourself on the back for being cool.