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(Re)Introduction + fuzzy memories of PAX - Destructoid

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Hey there Destructoid!
My name is Ryan, I'm 26, an on again off again game tester at Nintendo (Oh, contract work), and I've been living in Seattle since I was three. As many of you know, as someone who has been playing video games for most of their natural life, Seattle is a great town to be in.

I started out gaming on the NES my parents gave me when I was four or five, which is the same console I still spend most of my time on today (literally). I've owned or lived with people who have owned all of the current gen consoles and things, but I keep going back to my NES...which may or may not have anything to do with the fact that I went through three 360s in two years time, while the NES I've had for over twenty years still works like a charm (well, mostly.)

My taste in games has become more and more eclectic over the years. I think it might have started when I first played Incredible Crisis on the PS1. Since then, I've loved finding smaller, indie titles with intriguing ideas and quirky, nonsensical things like the Katamari Damacy series. I think this habit has started on a downward turn though, as I have found I also have a soft spot in my heart for lower quality games, in the same sense as my love for B movies. I really got a kick out of Jurassic: The Hunted and I love Earth Defense Force 2017, but...I have to make a confession.

I really like playing Lifeline.

It's terrible, I know.

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Hello (again) Destructoid!

I have a terrible confession to make. I haven't posted anything in over a year! It is terrible, I know. In the last year I went from living in a house with roommates and cable internet to a studio near downtown Seattle in Capitol Hill, with no internet. I figured since this is Seattle and the stereotypes are true - there are coffee shops EVERYWHERE - I would have no trouble finding wi-fi and staying connected to the comings and goings of the things I liked to follow online. Well...what happened was that I spent almost a full year away from the interwebs. I would bring my laptop to the library maybe once a month, download a couple of doujin shmups, and leave it at that.
Then, something magical happened. I'm sure a couple of you know about it.
So I went to PAX. For my first three-day weekend.



I met some amazing people.





And I went to a bunch of incredible community gatherings. By the end of the weekend I knew two things (and they were about the only two things by that point, I drank a lot): that Destructoid is the home to the greatest people on the internet and that I had to become a part of that once more.

With that in mind, I thought it would be best to hide my old blog posts and start from scratch. As PAX was my first introduction to the community IRL, I figure this should become my first introduction to those I met and those I didn't online.

As it says over on the sidebar, my name is Ryan, I'm 26, and I call the Pacific Northwest my home. I've been playing video games for longer than I can actually remember. My first gaming memories and my current experiences all revolve around the NES. My parents gave me one when I was but a young lad and it's been a part of my life ever since. I remember exploring the countryside of Hyrule with my dad, his handle was always "Davedad" and he showed me that there was a second quest before I found out you could just make your name "Zelda" and go straight to it. I remember the excitement my friends and I felt when we finally properly put in the Konami code and saw the ending of Contra for the first time. I remember the accomplishment we felt when we disabled all the underwater bombs in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, even though we never got much farther than that in the game.
I've been collecting NES games since I started playing them (at a little over 300 now, I think,) and while nothing can replace the excitement and memories I've had as a child, nothing can top the fun that can be found in those 8-bit cartridges. If I have friends over, there's a good chance we'll be trying to top high scores in Wild Gunman or Hogan's Alley or punching GEJIJ to jump to Level 99 on Super Bubble Bobble.

That's not to say I don't like newer things at all, but as someone who has been burned one too many times by the RRoD and as someone with not a lot of money coming in from working at Gamestop (PROTIP: Don't work there!) I don't invest in the stuff. I would rather track down some fantastic PS2 game for under twenty bucks (still trying to find a copy of The Red Star!) or add to my NES games than drop forty to sixty on some shiny new thing that, at this point, is starting to look way too much like all the other shiny new things out there. I guess you could say I'm a bit jaded, but if you work at Gamestop and that doesn't happen to you, let me know about what magic spells you use!



So as I said, I was at PAX last weekend and it was a blast! I had been to the very first year back when it was in Bellevue, and to one day a piece the two years prior, but this was my first time going all weekend. In some ways, I was prepared - I obsessed over sanitizing my hands, which worked out since all my friends but me got the conSARS - but I was not prepared for the awesome I experienced.
Friday, as you saw above, I met Dolphin Amazing McDolphinson himself! I honestly had to build up my courage to approach and say hello, because as a longtime fan of RetroforceGO! (and the winner of amazing question of the week treats on the NES episode!) I was a bit starstruck. But that all faded as he, Tactix, and I started talking and exploring the showfloor, because if you don't know, Chad Concelmo and Tactix are two of the nicest gentlemen on the planet. By the time I had to run off for a panel, I was convinced to make it my mission to get involved with Dtoid as much as possible over the course of the weekend. This was great, as it also meshed with my already established plans of hanging out with friends old and new and treating the weekend as it was: a three day long party designed by and for those who love video games.
At this point, I have to make another confession. I had some drinks. Quite a few drinks, in fact. Over the course of the weekend, I met a great number of nice people all over town, at the convention center and at the various Destructoid meetups, but I can hardly remember anyone's name! I'm already terrible enough with names when I'm sober, so with the lack of sleep and the excess of whiskey, there are a lot of blanks in my mind that I am embarrassed to admit!
I remember meeting Naia The Gamer and Zero Atma at the Whiskey Bar on Friday, as well as Diverse and Justice. Everyone there was super nice and a great introduction to my weekend! I remember running into Elsa and her husband (forgotten name #1! I'm sorry!) outside of Chapel on Saturday, where we talked about my friend Jake's strange toe shoes.
There I met Niero (man crush!) and so many other wonderful, blurry faces. All of whom I wish had informed me of how expensive drinks at Chapel are. I had never been down there before, but it was a great night and absolutely worth the dent in my wallet.

Okay, now here is the most embarrassing part. I went to Rock Bottom for the Sunday meetup and I decided to bring some video game treats to spread the love to all the fine folk I had met over the weekend. I had an NES with a zapper, Mario/Duck Hunt, and a copy of Bible Adventures to give to only the finest of the Destructoid crew and a copy of Emperor: Battle for Dune to give to the kwisatz haderach.
So this happened:



And this:


And when I woke up Monday morning in my bleary haze, I dug around in what was left of my brain and found I couldn't remember either of your names! I am so sorry! Please send me a message or something and remind me because you guys and every single person I met over the weekend are the best people around and I would hate to have to keep referring to everyone in stories as, "uhh...this rad dude."
To make matters worse from Sunday, I lost my wallet at the Rock Bottom for about an hour! Actually, it was probably more like five minutes, but it felt like forever. Thankfully, the Destructoid family kept a look out and the incredible Stella Wong even helped me take a look around for it!

Embarrassment aside, I had an absolutely wonderful weekend inside and out of PAX. I got to spend time with some friends I hadn't seen in a while, play some great games (Kirby is made of string!) and meet a glorious group of people. I've read before that the Destructoid community is a family, after this weekend I know why.




tl;dr Hi. I like NES games. I got drunk. I love you.
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