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How Video Games shaped my Life and Future Career

I've been ignoring the wonderful world of the Cblogs.  Mostly because I've been too busy and lazy to actually type anything over here.  I've become increasingly more active with the start of the Destructoid Pokemon Community.  But I wanted to take a few minutes to tell all of you a little bit about myself, and possibly talk about what I plan to use the Cblogs for.

To start off with, I grew up in a small town that I still live in to this day.  I am currently going to school at a nearby College for Vocal Music Education.  I plan to tell a bunch of high schoolers how to make pretty noises with their voices.  I obviously sing, but I started my journey into music through the trumpet, and then the guitar.  I dropped the trumpet like a bad habit as soon as I found the guitar.  The guitar was "cool" to middle school me.

Let's get into why I'm here though.  Video games.  It's why I'm here, it's why you are here, and it's how you stumbled upon my small pile of words.  My first experience with video games was with the Super Nintendo.  I don't remember us buying it, I just remember it being there and playing it whenever my parents brought it out.  We only had two games; Super Mario World and Donkey Kong Country.  I played a lot of those games, taking turns with my Mom and Dad.  As time went on, my parents went their separate ways and got divorced.  I then went to live with my Dad several hours away from my Mother.  I still live with my Dad to this day while I continue my education.

Two things were incredibly influential to me in my love of video games, and music.  The first was Pokemon.

The first game system that I had for myself was the GameBoy Advance.  It was the original one.  Without a backlit screen.  I had to use a clamp-on light to see my games.  The first game I had on my new GBA?  Pokemon Silver.  That's right Silver.  Ruby and Sapphire weren't even close to being released yet.

Pokemon Silver and later Pokemon Blue served me for hours upon hours.  Since it took several hours to visit my Mom, Pokemon filled the gap in-between.  I would play the games from start to finish, restart, then do it all again.  I played it in the car, at home, any events that I was carted around to, and even the hospital when my grandmother was sick.  I remember that because I beat Pokemon Blue while I was in the lobby.

One of the most memorable parts of my childhood was in the form of a surprise gift from my Dad.  We had just switched cars with my Mom and were about to head home, when my Dad pulled out two large looking objects; Pokemon Ruby and Pokemon Sapphire.  It wasn't just the games either.  Both of the games had pack in strategy guides.  My little brother and I were beaming with excitement.  I remember starting the game, trying to hear the music through the small speakers, and holding onto the clamp-on light so I could see what was happening.  I once again spent hours playing Pokemon Ruby over and over again, even switching games with my little brother so I could play Sapphire.  To this day I know those games like the back of my hand.  Pokemon wasn't just part of my childhood.  It was my childhood.  

But childhood fades, and I soon found myself ridiculed for liking Pokemon.  Eager to fit into tweenage life, I made a terrible decision.  I sold my Pokemon games.  All of them.  Pokemon Blue, Silver, Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, FireRed, LeafGreen, etc.  All of them.  You'll never guess what I bought with the money.

Just as Pokemon consumed my childhood life, Guitar Hero consumed my awkward years in middle school and high school.  I had already been playing guitar for a year when I found guitar hero.  It was set up a a demo at a truck stop.  The first song I played was "You Really Got Me" by Van Halen.  I loved it.  So after selling my GBA and all of my games, I purchased Guitar Hero II.

I played through all of it, slowly getting better and better, and trading the guitar with friends.  It didn't get old, and it surprisingly helped me continue working on my real guitar playing.  Guitar Hero showed me songs that I wouldn't otherwise know, and after playing them on the game I would try to learn them on the real guitar.  

I kept playing, Guitar Hero and the guitar, and excelled at both, playing impressive passages on the guitar and Expert level on Guitar Hero.  But I didn't expect what came next.

Rock Band.  The game that introduced me to the 7th Generation of gaming consoles.  I didn't have a PS3 or 360 when Rock Band was announced, but I knew that as soon as I saw the game that I had to have it.  Guitar Hero with DRUMS? And SINGING?  You could have a whole band in your living room!  It was so exciting.  So Christmas that year I got an Xbox 360 along with Rock Band.

The amount of money and time that I sunk into this game could have bought me a guitar.  But I kept playing and purchasing all the same.  Rock Band's approach to DLC was revolutionary.  It was like iTunes for a music game.  I believe that I purchased over 200 songs.  Which was a lot of money.  It's a good thing that my Xbox got the Red Ring of Death, otherwise I probably would have kept throwing every bit of money I had at the game, but I do owe Rock Band and Harmonix one thing.  My singing.

For some reason, I was the only person who had the cojones to sing when we played Rock Band, and because of that I was stuck singing almost all of the time.  Something crazy happened though.  I started to enjoy it.  I grew accustomed to my voice, and it developed.  I grew confidence, which was astounding since I was incredibly afraid of performance related things beforehand.  I sang so much and was beginning to get compliments, and I found friends to make real music with and I even led a group in church for a while.  It was Rock Band, but for real, and thanks to that game, I became a better musician for it.

People started to notice my voice, including my high school choir director.  She encouraged me to join Choir, and I did.  After two years of Choir, I decided that was what I wanted to do with my life.  Music was going to be a part of my life.  

I am currently in my second year as a Vocal Education Major, and I am still learning and growing.  I give a lot of credit to Guitar Hero and Rock Band for my love of music and my abilities, and rightfully so.  Guitar Hero showed me how awesome the guitar was, and Rock Band showed me how much fun it is to sing.  Video games showed me my way of life guys.  

If any of you want to see the fruit of my labor, then I will direct you to a song I wrote to win a contest right here on Destructoid.  (I won by the way)

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About Agidyne64one of us since 10:54 PM on 02.11.2013

I'm Agidyne64. My username reflects my love of Shin Megami Tensei and one of the game consoles that I grew up with.

I'm a musician that plays guitar and is studying vocal music education. I am currently learning piano as well. When I am not banging my head against piano keys, I am talking or playing video games, because they keep me sane in my increasingly hectic college life.

I am the overseer of the Destructoid Pokemon Group. Head over to my blog to connect with other Destructoid users during your Pokemon adventure.