"Everything chances, nothing stay the same. Every friend betrays me, sooner or later, and every enemy becomes a lover or a friend, but that's the one thing that doesn't change: I don't ever give up, I can't give up"
- Neil Gaiman/Batman
Videogames can be a powerful medium. The narrative structure and gameplay often form a very interesting construction that’s without a doubt larger than the sum of it’s parts. In my case I believe videogames not only entertained me but they also thought me some of the most important lessons of my lifetime.
The day I first played the original Super Mario Brothers I was 4 years old and when the friendly Italian plumber fell into a pit for the first time my younger self became sad and discouraged and didn’t want to play anymore until my father approached me and told me that that particular death wasn't permanent and that I could have another go at it .
“But he’s just going to die again”
That was my answer. Why keep going when he was just going to die again and again in a vicious circle of abuse? Looking back that feeling was probably more frustration that sadness and picking up the controller a week later (it took me a week to get over the fact that Mario died) was a redeeming experience and one of the most powerful experiences of my life because it thought me tolerance to frustration. In real life things rarely go the way we want them to, but even when the world becomes ridiculously hard we have to get up and try again. That’s a powerful lesson that I learned from a few pixels and a controller. The Death of Nintendo’s mascot showed me how to live my life in a weird and unusual way.
This guy is a great teacher
That was just the first incident of many, like I mentioned in a previous C-blog the fight with “The End” in MGS3 thought me that “the chase is better than the catch”, an important gaming lesson that can also be applied to my experiences in dating and other aspects of interpersonal relationships. Someone could have just told me this but it wouldn’t have had the same impact because I killed The End, it’s something that was learned from personal experience therefore a lot more powerful than something that was experienced and someone else and then just told to me.
Not every lesson I've learned has been a good one
I’m curious. What are the lessons you’ve learned from gaming? Has it influenced your life in any way shape or form?
And remember in videogames and in real life: Never let the game be over
The Metal Gear Solid series is beloved for its great boss battles among other things. In my case there’s one particular battle a death so epic that I’ve come to consider it my favorite mistake.
Scariest Old Man in videogames
Snake Eater was the game and I had passed the halfway point when the game asked me to suspend my disbelief in a big way. Jim Sterling said it best when he called this called “An old sniper who’s on the brink of death and it’s also…photosynthetic” and his name was The End. I sat there on my bed in front of my TV watching as he talked to his pet bird and the battle started. The playing field was hug and I recalled a great sniping showdown with a Russian femme fatale called Sniper Wolf. I pulled out my trusty sniper rifle and…he beat me. The first time I fought The End I didn’t get a shot in, bullets rained and Naked Snake never stood a chance.
I don’t remember how many times I tried to beat him; I spend a full week trying to out-snipe The End. I remember being drowsy in class after long nights of failure, but what I remember the most were those epic 200 minutes. When I finally beat him and watched him die.
I’ve discovered in my many tries a couple of hiding spots were I could line up a shot every now and then, I thanked Hideo Kojima for making him bald, that way I could see his scalp in the middle of the jungle and take him down. The battle lasted for over 3 hours. When it was The End died so I could continue and it was awesome
The morning after that I went to school with maybe 2 hours of sleep. Between classes I told my best friend about my legendary battle and he replied.
YOU’RE A MORON. YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO SNIPE HIM! YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO SNEAK ON HIM AND KNIFE HIM! THAT WAY IT DOESN’T TAKE THAT LONG!
Over the years I’ve learned that if you shoot the guy in the first act of the game you never fight him at all, also you can just set the internal clock of your PS2 a week later and he dies of old age.
When I first found out about this stuff I felt really stupid. I’m talking about Jason Friedberg level of stupid.
Further Proof that Death can be awesome
However, eventually I realized that my mistake made the demise of The End that much more important and significant as it implied that not only the character but the player had gone over a huge hurdle in order to continue their quest.
And for that reason I’ll always cherish that mistake.
Well. Last night I was browsing the site when I realized one thing.
I really love Destructoid.
Let me tell you all some stories.
I’m a G1. This means I visit Screwattack.com on the fairly regular basis and have an account on the site. So one day I was watching Hard News and this girl with lovely blue eyes was hilariously tense in front of the camera but she still managed to deliver an interesting bit of videogame news. This woman was introduced as “Colette from Destructoid” So I decided to check out that mysterious website.
I remember the first article on the front page was written by Jim Sterling. I don’t remember what the article was but it seriously made me laugh. So I stuck around. The next story that caught my eye was a preview of a game I still want and I haven’t bought: Rock Band 2. Nick Chester wrote that story. I started reading the comments and noticed they were funny, witty and even smart. It was different than other forums where trolls are rule the land with an Iron First. Everybody cared so I had to open an account.
After a couple of months I discovered Retroforce Go! Podtoid and the Podcastle and discovered how awesome they were. Mainly because they sounded like a group of friends that really loved not only what they were talking about but also each other (In the most heterosexual way of course).
Then there’s the strange moments, the ones when somehow Dtoid managed to make my life a little big tolerable.
I graduated from college 8 months ago and with the current economy, finding a job has been a pain the ass. A Mental Hospital gave me a chance (I’m a Psychologist) and I took it. I was working there for a couple of months and one Saturday morning I went to work and before I could put on my doctor’s coat, the director of the hospital wanted to talk to me. I went to his office and he starting talking about budget cuts and the need to let go of the person with the least experience..that was me and I was fired that morning. I was pretty sad as I took the light rail back home. During this trip I started listening to Retroforce Go!. Not only was the show freaking awesome (The Ninja Gaiden Episode) but a comment I made about Ninja Gaiden trying to rape you everything you played was picked by the cast as the winner. Somehow that cheered me up like you wouldn’t imagine.
The Editors are great, the community, the podcasts, the giant robot head are now part of my daily life and it’s great.
I’ve always wanted to attend a NARP however living in Guadalajara, Mexico makes it kinda complicated. If there’s any local Dtoiders reading this, lets talk…maybe we can make it happen.
Happy Birthday Destructoid and thanks for everything
[size=18][color=#444444][color=blue]Videogames and dating: Writing under the influence
[/color]of Diet Soda[/color][/size]
Well it’s almost Valentine’s Day and since I don’t have a date I’m gonna make fun of the entire day scene
(Yes, that makes sense to me)
I tend to explain a lot of thing through videogames analogies, it seems to resonate with the people I hang out
with and more often than ever I’ve found that some of the lessons I probably learn through videogames on a
subconscious level are often so very right.
Mario’s relationship with Peach is a lot healthier now than in the early days.
This is Destructoid so I’m gonna assume that we all know the princess gets some sick pleasure out of cock
teasing the hell out of everybody, but there’s also the fact that Mario used to be pussy whipped like no other
man has before. His entire existence revolved around saving this princess that couldn’t fight her way out of a
paper bag and needed a big fat Italian guy to save her. That’s all he did, that’s what defined Mario he lived to
please an insatiable woman. He kept fighting a quest that was almost as noble as it is stupid.
These days Mario has become a more complete person. He practices tennis, golf, goes cart racing and
somehow managed to go to Med School and became a doctor and I applaud him for that. However there’s
the fact that Peach is always with him in these activities (except for the doctor part) and makes me think that
someone in that relationship is very clingy and just can’t leave the other person alone.
Also, Smash Brothers is kind of weird in the sense that I don’t understand if it’s just a friendly game or a
socially accepted (at least in Nintendo’s society) form of domestic violence.
“Your Princess is in another castle” was probably the first time I learned about heartbreak. Mario quite does
this epic feat to get this woman and supposed to save the world he lives in. He jumps over bottomless pits,
he stomps hellish creatures, he sends a monster to his fiery death in a pit of lava just to find this mushroom
shaped anthropomorphic piece of soul crushing disappointment at the end of his quest. That’s just as harsh
as things get.
However the phrase “Your Princess is in another castle” also implies that there is a princess somewhere for
Mario. This probably gives a lot more hope towards finding that special someone than real life.
Bowser is also a pretty interesting case. Most people know about “The one that got away” that person that
you wanted to be it so badly yet never quite managed to. Most people eventually moved on. Bowser never
moved on and he keeps chasing and kidnapping the same woman, a woman that very obviously doesn’t
want to be with him. This all seems very silly to me. There’s obviously a member of the opposite sex that
loves him just enough to have his babies, however he keeps following the dumb blonde that constantly
rejects him, maybe he just wants to be punished or something. We also have to consider that there’s
something sexually deviant about this whole thing since Bowser and Peach are of a different species.
I guess there’s also the fact that Bowser kidnaps Peach for entirely political purposes but there’s no comedy
in that statement.
Well that’s all I have for now. To everybody that’s reading this Happy Valentine’s, be safe and what not.
1.- [b]I worked in a psychiatric hospital for almost two years:[/b] I'm a psychologist and for the first two years of my professional life I was tasked with preparing occupational
therapy for patients for patients of said hospital. I was in touch with some pretty interesting personalities and I
managed to come out with my sanity and some great experiences.
2.- I'm a writer For the past 4 years I've been doing some freelance work for local newspapers and magazines. I'm more
well known for writing about the psychosocial implications of hard rock.
3.- I probably think too hard about comic books I've been reading comic books since I was 8 (I'm 22 right now) and I keep wondering how they influenced my
life. I think that the Fantastic Four thought me the concept of family and that "Xavier's Dream" thought me to
be tolerant and respectful of my fellow man.
4.- I'm somewhat of a cliche I live in Guadalajara, México. I love Futbol (soccer) particularly Club Deportivo Guadalajara A.C. and I had
dinner at a taco stand last night.
5.- I can die happy I've seen my three favorite bands live. Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden.
6.- I'm a victim of medical stupidity 5 years ago I was diagnosed with an unusual form of epilepsy that was causing me a speech impediment.
around 6 months ago another doctor discovered that I was never epileptic. The first doctor I saw was an idiot
that misdiagnosed me.
I was wrongly medicated for 5 years and 18 years of suffering from an speech impediment went away with 3
months of speech therapy, this also means that my voice changed when I was 22 which is just weird.
7.- I'm Straight Edge Since I was medicated for so long I couldn't really drink or smoke. so I never really bothered and really have
no interest in it.
8.- I'm single That one is for the ladies.
9.- Love and Shadow "De amor y de sombra" (Of love and Shadow) by Isabel Allende is my favorite book ever. It's a paranormal,
political, historical love story.
10.- Apparently I'm a procrastinator. I just realized that it took me almost a year to write my first Destructoid C-blog.[b]
-This C-blog was written while listening to Bloody Kisses by Type O Negative which is the sexiest metal
- Xhumation. is the name of a series of X-men stories I started writing when I was in high school