I have recently watched the very first episode of "Duck Tales" on Netflix. I'm going to tell you how it's one of the greatest things that have happened to me in years. Please also consider this blog a very elaborate way of introducing myself. But first, I'll need to drop some history on you.
In the beginning, back in 1945...
I come from Poland, which had the misfortune of being invaded by Germany in 1939. Bummer, I know. After having the Red Army plowing through Poland on their way from point A to B near the end of the war, when the dust settled, they announced "I herd u liek kommunizms", so we ended up on the wrong side of the Iron Curtain™. Amongst many side effects (which included the 80s being the complete opposite of Miami Vice) was the fact that copyright laws didn't exist and neither did legit video game consoles. If you had an uncle in Western Germany that visited you one Christmas, then you might have ended up with an actual NES. If not, your best bet was a counterfeit 2600 with a few preloaded games. After Roger Waters single-handedly tore down the wall between the Soviet Union and the rest of the world, we got a freshly baked loaf of Democracy™ in 1989. It still took us 5 more years to have some actual copyright laws, but during that time our console line-up was extended to include a Famicom clone called Pegasus, which I got soon after my 9th birthday.
I was disappointed there were no actual Terminators.
It was a curious device, as it had a Nintendo label on its box somewhere, and I firmly recall once buying the second controller and asking for "a controller for Nintendo" - and I got one for this particular Pegasus model. I had only two cartridges for it (which were in the 60-pin Famicom form factor): "168-in-1" - which had 30 or maybe 40 actual games (Duck Hunt, Contra (not Probotector), Mario Bros, Super Mario Bros, Hogan's Alley, Wild Gunman, Battle City, Tetris (the better one), Donkey Kong and some others) and the rest were variations on them (ie. SMB with super high jump, Contra with 99 lives, etc. - basically preloaded Game Genie codes), and Top Gun 2 (I never managed to land my plane). It was a damn neat machine, one of the extremely rare instances where I played something with my dad (Battle City to be exact), and since at that time home computers like Commodore 64 or Atari 800 were the most popular gaming devices, press coverage of consoles basically wasn't there. So, lacking teh interwebs and the genuine article, I had no idea there was a thing called The Legend Of Zelda, or Mega Man, or Superb Mario Brothers 3 (or 2, for that matter) until much, much later.
A few months after getting the Pegasus, I somehow talked my parents into getting an Amiga 500. This was my equivalent of many of your Nintendos/Super Nintendos and Sega Genesis...es (Genesi?) - this was my childhood "system". And boy, was it awesome.
Best computer of all time. OF ALL TIME.
With still no copyright laws in sight, I amassed a box full of floppy disks quickly, with such classics as Lemmings, Lemmings 2: The Tribes, Push-Over, Syndicate, Another World, Flashback, Deluxe Paint (I'd argue this is EA's best piece of software to date), Alien Breed, Sensible Soccer, Cannon Fodder, and many, many more.
Pictured: many, many more
It was also on the Amiga where I took my first steps in programming - one of the floppy disks with the OS came with a BASIC interpreter, and one of my friends kindly trusted me with backing up his copy of AMOS (which was Basic made by the bloke that went on to create Klik & Play and The Games Factory).
Five years later, I did one of the dumbest things in my life: I sold my Amiga. A few weeks after that, I got a PC for Christmas. My home computing experience got expanded with games like Doom, Doom II: Hell On Earth, Duke Nukem 3D, Blood (cough cough wink wink), The Secret Of Monkey Island, The Secret Of Monkey Island 2: Le Chuck's Revenge, Grim Fandango, Theme Hospital, Dungeon Keeper, Half-Life, Rainbow Six, Quake, Quake 2, Sin and the proverbial many, many more. It was at that time where the internet started to become a thing, albeit in the dial-up flavor, so my time on it was limited, phone bill astronomical, and the modem noises unforgettable. I was also experimenting a little with level making (Duke 3D, Blood, Quake, Quake 2) and advancing in programming (Pascal). I also never bothered to look up on classic gaming outside of what I knew on the internet. I was young and stupid like that.
My college years were also revolving around PC - learning new programming stuff (despite majoring in Sound And Picture Engineering™), playing PC games and remaining oblivious to a lot of gaming history. Then I started working.
Wee'd like to play
In 2008, I bought my first console for my own money - the then-often-talked-about Nintendo Wii. Then, through a combination of research, post-breakup free time increase and stumbling across AVGN (and in turn ScrewAttack), I started catching up. I learned about Mega Man, Zelda, SMB3 (and 2, for that matter), that my Pegasus was in fact a knockoff and Europe's Nintendo looked like the least appealing chocolate box with toast for cartridges, and I started buying old systems and games. Within 2 years from that, I ended up with ab NES, SNES (a US model which my friend gave to me), N64, GameCube, the aforementioned Wii, DS, DreamCast, PS2, XBox and XBox 360.
My collection, around March 2012.
I have also been using a lot more English due to engaging with the ScrewAttack community on the website and the twitters. It also started an avalanche of other sites and content creators I had no idea about - TGWTG, The Escapist, The Spoony Experiment, brentalfloss amongst others. I was entering an awesome world I didn't even scratch a surface of beforehand.
It was soon afterwards that they did an interview with one Jim Sterling - which lead me to The Electric Hydra (and as a result of my curiosity to Ye Olde Podtoid), Destructoid (which has been my go-to place for all things about them videoed games), HAWP and other such creations. I became aware of awesome Western inventions of Netflix, Hulu, Spotify and similar - which were unavailable in here (and still are). Heck, it wasn't until Autumn of 2010 that we officially got XBox Live in here (you'd be amazed how many XBoxes the Polish embassy in London has, if you catch my drift). It was also at that time I re-qualified myself into an iOS developer, something that I still do today.
We got ÆØÅ, you ain't got the ÆØÅ...
In early 2011, I moved to Warsaw. A year afterwards, I realized Poland is not the place for me. I don't like the people (I don't want to get into details here - I'll just say I don't like being around Polish people), I don't like the place, I don't like a lot about it. I realized I will never be happy as long as I live in Poland. I've tried applying to companies in Germany (Crytek was one of them), England and in Norway. In October, with help of my cousin who has been living in Norway for a few years and passed my resume along, I got hired in a small software company in Southern Norway. I moved right before the New Year's. I've got ÆØÅ now.
HOW DOES IT ALL RELATE TO DUCK TALES???
It was a few days ago, when after watching "Lethal Weapon" on Netflix and being suggested to watch "Duck Tales" (I'm not kidding) it hit me:
I did it. I'm no longer in Poland. I'm watching Netflix. There is no Polish person (that I know of) in my vicinity. I am not stressed. I'm watching Duck Tales.
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About tehTommyone of us since 5:08 PM on 03.04.2010
I'm a bloke living in Norway (formerly Poland) who loves programming, videoed games, music, and collecting stuff. Mostly enjoying myself on a 360, but I don't limit myself to one platform, franchise, genre or any set of rules - if it's enjoyable, I'd like some of that, please. I started gaming with 5 minutes of Kung-Fu Master on an arcade in 1990 and a Famiclone followed by an Amiga 500 two years later. I have a hard time pin-pointing any given favourite thing, so I'll just say that you can decide with a dice roll if it's Monkey Island, Monkey Island 2, Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2 Episode One or Half-Life 2 Episode Two that is my top 1 bestest game evar.