How gaming taught me frugality

tl;dr – In going after every coin in the game, I learned to work hard to earn something in exchange for something I need.

There was a Spongebob Squarepants marathon playing on Nickelodeon the other night, and around the third hour in, I mindlessly wondered which character in the show reflected me the most. Without thinking, I immediately thought of my two favorite characters: Squidward and Mr. Krabs.

I think fundamentally that’s who I am, a frustrated introvert who listens to NPR and likes money. But upon realizing this cold, hard truth, I began thinking how my money-hogging mentality was developed in the first place.

And instinctively my first memory went to playing Super Mario Land on the original Game Boy. Unlike everyone around me at the time, I didn’t have a NES or Duck Hunt when I was a kid. I remember not even understanding the concept of Super Mario Land, since the only other video game experience I ever had was Tetris. “The man jumps? What’s so special about that?” It wasn’t until my brother called me a dumbass out of frustration and told me to go right did I finally understand the point of the game: to get to the end of the stage, on the right.

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When not to read videogame reviews

tl;dr – Despite how videogame reviews help consumers decide which game to buy, sometimes they tell you too much and will end up ruining your appetite.

I was originally going to title this post, My Love/Hate Relationship with Videogame Reviews. But as I’m writing this I realize that’s not really the message I’m trying to get across.

To say I grew up reading videogame reviews would be an understatement. From GamePro to EGM, from readers’ artworks to the game genie codes at the back, I was always that kid in the magazine section of Safeway for hours on end.

And when I was a kid, armed only with the original Game Boy when many of my friends had already moved up to the Super Nintendo, I relied on videogame reviews to know which game to get next while calculating how many more weeks of chores I’d have to put up with until I could afford Metroid II. While my rich friends were playing and boasting Super Metroid in full 16-bit SNES glory, I confided in the reviews to take me to the promise land: “Four more weeks of limescale scrubbing and I’ll be able to reunite with Samus Aran and her four shades of gray.”


I mean, just look at that space suit…
Image from Wikipedia.

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Why I heart gaming

tl;dr – The reason why I love gaming isn’t really about games but the fact that it brings people together + crosses boundaries.

I guess it’s only fair to start my first post here on something I’ve always felt very passionate about — videogames. Every time I read a story on why people love videogames on the information superhighway Internet, they would usually mention how the NES during their childhood pretty much singlehandedly changed their lives. From Mario to Zelda to Metroid, there’s always one hero or heroine (surprised!) that seem to define their childhood.

Well, I guess I was a late bloomer.
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