I wish I was more of an interesting human being. How I wish I was a person with a vault of stories waiting to be told. But alas, I am a socially awkward introvert with only a miniscule amount of stories, experiences, and anecdotes to share. That may have been a reason why I decided to create Naturally Uncanny Reviews. So rather than retell stories which I’m sure are rather uninteresting, I have a chance to express myself in a different way. At first, it was through sketches, which allowed me to be a bit creative; although I’m sure they were unfunny. When NUReviews became an actual website, I learned that I’m able to express my opinions regarding the nerd culture that I am a part of. What surprised me was that I began to enjoy it. Until not too long ago, I would have said that writing is not an expressive medium I’m capable of using, due to my prior belief that there is a need to be articulate in order to write properly. But after writing more and more, I became comfortable with using writing as a means of expression. So now, I feel I’m able to share something I have wished to do for a while now. Even if no one reads this, I’m satisfied with the fact that I’m finally able to speak about an aspect of my life which I treasure dearly.
What I love about video games is that it is a medium of expression with multiple dimensions. A game can be as deep or shallow as the creator wishes it to be. It can be as simple as having two sticks bounce a square back and forth; Or as in depth as an escape from an underwater utopia while uncovering a conspiracy regarding its downfall. Either way, these games, along with thousands more, can provide an array of experiences.
In my life, video games have always been a constant. From my earliest memories of playing Ms. Pac-man and Arkanoid at a local deli, to this moment and beyond, video games have been there for me as my main source of entertainment. Throughout my life, I’ve played hundreds of games. However, until around the time that I was a teenager, they have been mostly solitary experiences. I went to a small private Catholic school in the neighboring town. In my graduating class, there were only 26 students. I did manage to make some friends there, but they live in towns that required getting a ride to. My father, who is a locksmith, did a lot of driving around, due to the business being focused on service calls. My mother, who is unable to drive, works at my father’s shop cutting keys and scheduling appointments. I spent just about every afternoon, Monday through Saturday, in the back of the shop, doing homework and then watching TV until closing time. When I was home, I was only allowed to play video games on weekends, for only about an hour. That’s why I played games mostly solo.
Again, the reason why I love video games is because they can be enjoyed in many different ways. Video games are capable of being great when they are played single player or with multiple people. On the few occasions I did manage to go over to a friend’s house, we’d spend most, if not all, of the time playing video games together. Playing video games together was how we bonded. Video games can ingrain a sense of companionship in people, which can be found in team based or cooperative games. They can also bring the spirit of competition, which I’m quite sure is the main appeal regarding multiplayer games. With my friends, we would play games like Raiden, NBA Jam, Battletoads & Double Dragon, Mario Kart 64, Mario Party, and so forth. But, of course, there was one game that stood out among the rest. A game that is capable of strengthening friendships and creating rivalries, which is even evident in the title of the game itself. That game is Super Smash Brothers.
In this multiple part editorial series, I will discuss how the series contributed in making my life bearable. I will go in detail about each game in the series in regards to how it affected my life; how Smash Bros 64 not only created lasting friendships, but allowed me to become part of a community with the same passion for the game as my own , how Melee brought out the competitive spirit in me, how waiting in anticipation for Brawl’s release would literally keep me up at night, and how I feel about the series as a whole. Ideally, by the end of this editorial series, you’ll see and understand how a video game can produce a variety experiences that can last a lifetime.