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LONG BLOG

Monthly Musings: Runs In The Family

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But every now and again, the stars will align and my family will, by hook or by crook, find themselves sitting in front of a computer screen or a console and actually enjoying themselves. I wrote about Myst recently, which is one of my first memories of sharing a game with my family even though, for once, I was the one watching (an eight-year old's advice is not much heeded on Myst Island) and they were the ones working things out and making progress. A few years after that I received an N64 for my birthday (apparently there's some video up on YouTube depicting the moment – I must have been a wee bit too excited to notice the camera*) and Mario Kart 64. Seeing as how a birthday is the one time I can command family members to sit down and play some videogames with me, plus how the game is question is at its best with four players anyway, I got everyone huddled around the N64 and the rest of the night was devoted to arguments over whether shortcuts were fair and being abusive towards whomever had the temerity to get a lightning bolt as the rest of the family approached that infamous jump on Wario Stadium. We had a great time, but I didn't think much of it until my mum saw me playing a few days later and asked if she could join in. Needless to say, this became a habit and soon she was as addicted, if not moreso, than I was – her record time on Moo Moo Farm was a point of great pride for her, at least until my uncle paid a rare visit and beat it on his first go. It was a long time before she welcomed him back to our house again. Once the Mario Kart drug had worn off, she returned to her previous stance on the matter that I spent far too much time playing games when I could be outside, foraging or something, but recently she's taken quite a liking to Wii Bowling (and even had a brief turn on Modern Warfare: Reflex Edition, until an in-built sense of decorum made her aware of how unseemly it was for a lady to get excited over calling in an air-strike) and usually asks why I didn't bring the Wii home everytime I return from university. Well, they say you never truly quit.

This hasn't been the most original interpretation of a MM topic, but it's a welcome opportunity to be able to recall the occasions when family and gaming have collided, usually to happy or hilarious results. As enjoyable as it is to share battles over the internet, with friends, or even talking about my experiences to similar-minded people on a community site such as this one, it's often only in retrospect that we realise how special those moments when we can share our hobby with those closest to us is.

*I'm not really the N64 kid.
**However, I own all on Wario Stadium. Want to know who got that lightning bolt? Cackle!

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About Xander Markhamone of us since 3:08 PM on 02.07.2010

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I'm a 26-year old English writer, formerly known on the CBlogs as Xandaça. I've been an avid gamer since I was a wee lad, gripping a NES controller in my hands and comprehensively failing to get past those infuriating Hammer Bros on Level 8-3 of Super Mario Bros. I've stuck with Nintendo since then (not for any animosity towards the other console makers of course - Nintendo just make games I enjoy and have grown up with), apart from a brief sojourn with a Sony PlayStation, several woeful attempts to play Half-Life 2 using a laptop touchpad and sporadically wrangling a turn on my sister's beloved Sega Saturn.

In addition to burping out the occasional novel, I'm a passionate critic, writing reviews and articles of films, book and games for my school magazine and university newspaper, for which I created and edited its film section. In addition to starting up my own blog, covering television, games and movies, I am also a writer for Destructoid's cine-geek sister Flixist. While primarily a film geek, the evolution of the games industry over the course of its short lifetime has fascinated me and provided vast quantities of content for some incendiary pieces of work - perhaps a few more might spring up on here?

My Favourite Games of All Time (because who doesn't love having a few Of All Time lists?) are GoldenEye 007 (which I still play through at least once a year to remind me of its glories), Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, Gunstar Heroes, Super Mario Bros 3 (I don't know who told Shigsy Miyamoto-san that raccoons could fly, but I'll love them forever) and No More Heroes.

I hope you find great enjoyment in my many scribings, and please keep an eye out for upcoming news on my novel(s) and do pay a visit to my blog sometime. And yes, the Dtoid community's 'no copy and paste' rule will be fully respected!

Good gaming, everyone!