I'm an aspiring holder of a Communication Degree. Which means I'll write for tap water if you have some to spare. But yeah, video games.
It all started one boring day as an American child living in Turkey. I didn't know Turkish at the time, so Sega Genesis and MS-DOS quickly became my friends. I killed my fair share of pixelated demon-eye-mouth monsters on Doom while commanding Mech’s to take over factories and frantically evading PPC-fire from Mad Cats in Mech Commander. I raced with Sonic, blew shit up in Contra, and always played Gambit in any X-Men game I could get my hands on. Fast forward a few years—I learned Turkish, moved to Nebraska, and transitioned to the Play Station. By then, I had played so many of my brother-in-law’s RPG’s that I quickly realized what made the Play Station so awesome.
I developed a sweet-tooth for games with typically unheard-of titles like Final Fantasy 7 and The Legend of Dragoon, then moved onto more popular games, like Crock and Hogs of War. I honestly think I bonded with Xenogears more than any other game of that generation. We all have games we bond with—the ones that you can pick up and fall into heavy layers of nostalgia. The progression of the protagonists' failing grip on reality made for more juicy plot twists than in any game I had seen at that age. Unknown to players until fairly deep into the game, Fei moonlighted as one of the games primary antagonists, “Id.” A blood red and unstoppable manifestation of his split psyche, Id was fully equipped with a similarly stylized and unstoppable mech. In a faint attempt to kill him, your friends frantically launch their giant sand-submarine battleship to land on top of him, assuming like most things, he’d be turned into an electric pancake. So what does he do in response? He picks the damn thing up like a robotic Jedi-master and throws it back, all while your comrades are yelling a moment of “FUUUU.” I could go on about all the great games that came out around then, like Half Life, Metal Gear Solid, Front Mission 3, Legacy of Kain, Tomb Raider, Spyro, Crash Bandicoot, Siphon Filter, Parappa the Rapper, Silent fucking Hill, Tekken.. I <3 PS1.
When I finally managed to get a PS2, my friends had introduced me to Halo. The story didn’t do much for me, but I loved the co-op campaign. Like for many households, Halo quickly became the game of choice for parties and general tomfoolery instead of homework. I found random things to love about the series—the first with it’s introduction of an all-devouring semi-sentient race, the concept art behind the power armor designs, the soundtrack in Halo 2, and the fantastically fatal conclusion to Reach. But I digress, the age of PS2 was a glorious one for me; Zone of the Enders, MGS3, Final Fantasy 10, Shadow of the Colossus, Resident Evil 4, We <3 Katamari, Guitar Hero, Okami, feasibly the last good Devil May Cry, and surprisingly enough, the .hack//G.U. series. Though in the end, the PS2 only really gave me what I needed to realize how much I actually love the PC. What with its fantastical and infinitely fluid-er ways to aim in shooters, I quickly rediscovered the brilliance of keyboard + mouse based gaming. I made my own tower and started playing games like CS 1.6 / CSS, Half Life 2, innumerable mods for HL2, and any console port that I could possibly play on PC, amongst trillions of other games that I can’t be bothered to remember. Sure, I’ll play the occasional PS3 or 360 game with my friends, but none can stand against the power Llamar, the Gaming Rig of Fangly Doom!
So fast-forward to now times and you have a significantly taller and more confident version of my former self. Behind me are games like Homeworld (2), Darksiders, Deus Ex, World of Warcraft, Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II, Metro 2033, Mass Effect, every Battlefield game ever, Team Fortress, Assassin’s Creed, and countless more. Geeze, now that I think about it, I remember when Steam was absolute crap and so riddled with bugs that XFire was the way to in-game chat. And Sierra mattered. But over the years, I’ve rocked but one name, the same name I rock today: Thatamos. Find me—lets go poke people until they give up their shinies.