Do you guys know what today is? The 50th year aniversary of the JFK assassination? Well... Yes. But more importantly for this article, it's the 8th aniversary of the Xbox 360, the first 7th gen console to be released. This is the longest generation in history, and I'd say it's just as important, if not more, than the 5th gen . That's a bold claim to make, I know. Perhaps I say that because I've more or less grown up with this gen. I don't- I can't- remember a time before the PS3, 360, and Wii were the big three competitiors. After all, I wasn't even ten when I got the Wii. So In honor of the gen I grew up with, here's a couple things I've learned...
The World is Full of Assholes
Disney works in mysterious ways. Unlike the Disney from thirty years ago, they make things for the now, and not the always. What I mean by that is, Pinnochio is still an amzing movie today, but in thirty years is my generation going to rant to their kids about how much better Disney was when they were making "High School Musical: Ultimate Twerk Edition" or "ToonTown Online"? For the unfimiliar, ToonTown Online was Disney's attempt to cash in on the MMO craze. Guess how it worked out? POORLY. Trolls ran rampant through the vitual streets. Thanks to Disney having NO CLUE how to censor text at that point, trolls were easily able to bypass the censor with a hyphen or two. I learned words there that kids usually learn from vandalized playgrouds. Not only that but they sabatoged most every mission I tried to go on. They even called me a fa-gg-ot! Those meanies!
It's Okay to Like Weird Stuff
I've never been one to go around flaunting my nerd. In fact, I've actively hid it, at least in school. Maybe because growing up I was exposed so much to the "nerds get beat up and made fun of so don't be one" mentality. I don't know why I ever woried about getting beat up (I'm not exactly scrawny), but the thought of other kids making fun of me terrified me. But now I'm starting to not really care, and I've noticed something. Not caring is amazing. Even if some jerk was going to say something, all it would really boil down to is "Haha, you like something! What a weirdo!" Don't get me wrong, I'm certainly not at the point where I really am weird, but I'm not afraid to doodle Mega Man in my notebook or put a Smash Bros. logo on my phone case anymore. The best part is that I've started friendships that I wouldn't have without doing those things.
I Want to Tell Stories
It really pisses me off when my friends' parents will dismiss video games as murder simulators. Keep in mind that I live in a stereotypical Christian Illinois town that still fears that their kids will catch the gay, but that's a pretty awful excuse. It pisses me off probably too much. But there's a reason it pisses me off. Video games have taught me what I want to do in life. And that's to tell stories. I've learned how to make a strong lore and world from games like Legend of Zelda and Ico. How to make fun and likeable characters from Professor Layton and Sly Cooper. How to write dialogue from Uncharted and Phoenix Wright. What to absolutely never do for any reason whatsoever from Beyond: Two Souls and Sonic the Hedgehog. It's not like I don't learn anything from books. Trust me, I do, but I learn so much from video games too.
I've learned that I'm not going to grow out of comic books, or anime, or cartoons, and especially not video games, and I don't want to, because he most important thing video games have done for me doesn't involve them teaching me anything. I'm a different person because of video games. I wouldn't have the same friends, the same room, the same aspirations, or the same life without them. So to William Higinbotham, to Ralph Baer, to Magnavox, to Atari, to Nintendo, to Sega, to Sony, and to Microsoft: Thanks.