Exactly one year ago today I wrote my very first Cblog and took my first marvelous steps into the wonderful and dementedly awesome community that is Destructoid. If you would have told me then how much I would come to love and care about this place, there is probably no way I would have believed you. You see, Destructoid is much more then a website to me. It's a place where I have met some incredibly awesome people, so many that I couldn't even begin to list them because it would take too long. It's a place that I come in my spare time to relax and talk about video games. It's a place where I come to laugh and smile and forget about my real life. Most importantly though, it's a place where I get to share my passion of video games with other people who's hearts burn with the exact same passion.
In my single year here at Destructoid I have forged many new friendships with people I would have never met if it wasn't for this website. Unfortunately I have not gotten to meet any of these people in person yet, but I hope to remedy that when I attend PAX '09. I have also tried to get more involved with the community by volunteering to be a cblog recapper. What began as just a reservist role, where I filled in for people when they couldn't do their recap, has now grown into an official role as the weekend recapper. The interesting this is, that while I might bitch and complain about how long it takes to do a full day's recap (2-3 hours), I still really enjoy doing it. I really feel like by doing the recaps I'm contributing to the community that I care so much about. Ok, that might sound a little goofy, but I don't care. It's the way I feel.
So yeah., I love Destructoid. Whether I'm checking out the front page for the latest news, browsing the cblogs, or joking around in the forums, I always enjoy spending time in this community. When I'm not hanging out on the site, I'm playing games with people I met on the site. I gotta give a special shout-out to the PS3 FNF crew and the Dtoid Killzone 2 Clan. Without them I would be stuck playing online games with random teenagers who like to yell and scream into their microphone how "elite" they are. You guys all rock.
Now let's get back to the fact that today is my one year anniversary. One year ago today, when I introduced myself to the community, I did so in a pretty pathetic way. Not only was my introduction blog short and pointless, it also broke pretty much every rule ever written about how to write a proper introduction blog. In other words I broke Rule #1 which is .... DON'T SUCK! Seeing how I now lecture others on upholding these rules, I felt it was necessary for me to finally write a proper introduction blog myself, this way I'm not a hypocrite when I criticize others for doing it badly. So without further ado, I present my actual introduction blog!
SilverDragon's Official Introduction Blog
Hello Destructoid, my name is Shawn and I'm a 29 year old little boy who's essentially obsessed with video games. I say this because when I'm not at work, watching TV, sleeping, eating, or working out, there's a 90% chance I'm playing video games. Yes, that's right, I absolutely LOVE video games. I have ever since 1987 when my parents bought me my first video games system, the Atari 2600. This is where my life story really begins, at the ripe age of 8. Everything before that is worthless and can be forgotten. Let us begin shall we.
My first video game system
You have to understand that I did not ask for the Atari 2600. It was given to me without my consent. You see, all of my other friends owned NES's, and I of course, asked my parents for a NES. Did they listen to the desires of their 8 year old son? No, of course they didn't. They instead went out and bought me "last generation's" console, with a bunch of outdated games. Now when you are an 8 year old kid, impressing your friends is everything. There is absolutely no way to impress your friends however with Missile Command
and Pole Position
when they are playing Super Mario Brothers
. I was the laughing stock of my school. That was all about to change though, and I would never again be left in the video game past.
When the Sega Genesis launched, I was the first kid to get one. While all of my friends were stuck playing 8-bit games, I was playing Sonic the Hedgehog
and Streets of Rage
. I remember how they all used to come to my house and sit around my 15" TV with their jaws dropped, amazed by the beautiful colors, and next gen graphics. I was quickly becoming the cool kid that everyone else wanted to be. My coolness factor increased even more when my parents bought me my first Gameboy. I'm talking the very first original gameboy, in all of it's 4 color glory. I brought that bad boy to school, and quickly had all the 10 year old girls all over me. What can I say, they digged my block dropping Tetris skillz, with it's addicting music. They couldn't resist me. As time passed and I got older, I continued to always be the first among my friends to get new systems, as I got the SNES, Sega CD, Game Gear, and PS1 when they all first came out.
My Career in the Video Games Industry Begins
I loved video games so much, that I knew when I finally turned 16 I needed to get a job selling video games. Luckily for me, a position opened up at the local Babbage's
and I immediately applied. I wonder how many of you remember Babbage's
. It was one of the very first nationwide video game retailers. I worked there between 1995 and 1996, in the early days of the PS1 and Sega Saturn. I remember working the day that the original Resident Evil shipped. That was a crazy day. I had never seen so many people flock to a store to buy one game. It was crazy. Unfortunately, the entire staff of my store got fired when a bunch of stuff went missing. I went on to work for Circuit City for 4 years, wondering if I would ever return to the world of video game retail.
In 1999 I got a lucky break, and was offered a lead position at the Electronics Boutique
in our local mall. They offered my $8.25 an hour, and all the free video games I could play. I was exactly what I had been waiting for, so I immediately jumped at the opportunity. Now, you have to understand that back in 1999, Electronic's Boutique was not the evil company it is now. It had only recently gone public, so it wasn't as hell bent on pleasing its stock holders as it is now. Back then, the people who worked there really enjoyed selling video games, and really enjoyed playing them and talking to other people about them. This was also back before internet retailers were popular, and before Walmart sold video games, so people's only option when they wanted to buy games was to come to our store. The store I worked at in Raleigh, NC was one of the top 3 selling stores on the entire East Coast. The only two stores better then us were located in Boston.
I ended up working for Electronics Boutique
for 3-4 years, and I was there for all the big releases. I worked from midnight till 4AM when the Sega Dreamcast launched. I helped our store get 800 preorders of the PS2, and worked for 24 hours straight as we sold each and every one of them in a row, to a line of people that seemed to go on for miles. I was there when the Gameboy Advanced launched and a thousand eager children all screamed to their parents to buy them one. I watched parents physically fight each other over who would get the last copy of Pokemon Silver on Christmas Eve, so that they wouldn't have to tell they kid they couldn't get it because they waited to the last minute to shop. I saw so many wonderful, and terrible things in those 4 years, all memories that I'll never forget.
Eventually though, things started changing at EB. The store started becoming more and more like it is now, as you could start to see the company stock holders get their greedy hands around the store and suck all the life out of it. It wasn't long before I knew it was time for me to move on. In 2002 I said goodbye to the world of video game retail forever.
How I changed the Video Game Industry
So I went to college to become a Marine Biologist, but that went no where at all. It wasn't long before I realized that I could become an Electrical/Computer Engineer and actually get a job in the video game industry creating hardware. You have to understand though that this was not what my instructors wanted me to do with my life. You see, I was a pretty smart student. In fact, I was the valedictorian of my entire 2002 graduating class with a 4.0 GPA. Yeah, I guess you could say I'm a pretty smart guy. When my instructors used to ask me what I wanted to do when I graduated, I would tell them I wanted to work for a video game company creating games or hardware, and they would always laugh at me. They thought it would be a complete waste of my talent and my time. Valedictorians of major colleges are not expected to move on and create video games. They are expected to get their PHD and change the world. That is not what I had in mind.
It didn't matter what I wanted though, because when I graduated college there was absolutely no hope that I was going to get a job in the video game industry. All of my good grades didn't matter one bit to the video games industry, because I had absolutely no work experience, so no one wanted to offer my a job. The only work experience I had was working for a semiconductor company creating DC-to-DC power converters for computers. When I couldn't find a job creating video games or video game systems, I went back to that company and asked for a job, and luckily got offered one. Little did I know that I would actually get a change to work on video game systems at this new job.
Zoom forward 7 years and you arrive at today, where I have actually been able to have quite the impact on the video games industry. You see my company, which will remain nameless, designs DC-to-DC power converters that go into everything from computers, to cell phones, to video game systems. They are what power the CPU, GPU, and memory. I have had the opportunity to design the power converters that go in the original XBOX, the PS2, and the PS3. My most recent design was actually a redesign for a "new and cheaper" PS3 coming out in the future. I took the $10 GPU power converter designed by another company, and completely redesigned it from scratch to work just as good, but for only $2. This means that in the future, the PS3 will be cheaper thanks, in part, to me. I'll let you take a guess as to what "future" version of the PS3 I might be talking about here. So while I might not have been able to actually work in the video games industry, I have been able to directly affect it in some way or another. It's funny how life has a way of working things out in the end.
My Favorite Games
Now let me just share with you a list of some of my favorite games of all time. These are in absolutely no particular order.
1) Final Fantasy 7
- Seriously do I need to go into explanation of why I love this game?
2) Wing Commander (entire series)
- I used to be a huge space simulation fan. I owned a super nice, force feedback joystick, and played every single game in the WC series. If would give my left nut to bring this series, and the popularity of space simulators, back.
3) World of Warcraft
- I was obsessed with this game for almost 3 straight years. I used to play for 20-40 hours a week, and was in one of the best guilds in the world. It eventually effected my life so much and I had to completely quit. I've been off the crack for almost 2 straight years now.
4) Legend of Dragoon
- When will Sony release a sequel to this game. PLEASE!!!!
- I probably have played over 100 hours of each game, individually, in the SSX series. I honestly have no clue why a sequel hasn't been released on the PS3 or XBOX360.
6) Final Fantasy 9
- My second Favorite Final Fantasy game of all time.
- Another great space simulator that needs a remake.
8) Mega Man 2
- No explanation needed.
9) TMNT: The Arcade Game
- I have so many memories of having my friends over to play this on my NES. Simply an epic brawler, even to this day.
- Am I the only person who loved this game? Seriously? Anyone?
11) Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
- Another game that needs no explanation.
12) Parasite Eve
- I feel like there is a small contingent of people who loved this game.
13) Counter Strike
- I rock at this game. Seriously, I'm so good it's scary.
14) Dino Crisis
- Combine Dinosaurs with survival horror, and you have an AWESOME game!
Ok, this list could go on and on, but there are just a couple of the games that came to my mind as I made this list.
Let's End this Shall We
So there you have it, my 1 year Destructoid Anniversary, along with my first real introduction. I could honestly go on and on, but this would turn into the longest blog ever posted on Dtoid, and no one would ever read it. Let me just end by saying I love this community, and I love the people in it. I look forward to another exciting year, and I really look forward to meeting everyone at PAX '09 this fall.
Destructoid, I love you.