Sometimes I sit and think late at night, with the thoughts swirling through my head on a consistent basis about what’s going on in my life. The positives and the negatives, the Yin and the Yang. If I’m making the right decisions on how I’m moving forward with my life; likewise the inevitable fork in the road with the decision that is going to be a life changer.
This is my first true post to the website, since my welcome post when Ud1eByGaming first became active after hibernation for a few years. It’s become a part of me. It’s become a part of who I am and who I associate myself with. This group of friends has had it’s ups and downs, members have come and gone, but the core group has stuck out through the hard times. I’m the new kid on the block, and it’s plain to see that Ud1eBy is a force to be reckoned with. The foundation is built on eight years worth of friendships beginning back to the days of the Xbox 360 and the Gears of War franchise. Ud1eBy has big plans, and I don’t think you’re all ready for what is going to be heading your way in the future.
I do apologize as this is going to be a longer article, as I’m sitting here typing this preface running through my memories of a gamer and where it has lead me to today, as a person and a gamer. It’s okay to ramble on here and there, especially about video games. In the twenty-five years that I’ve been on this planet, I’ve played a lot of games. While our parents were yelling at us to go outside and do something with ourselves, our generation was forming some of the strongest bonds we will ever form in our lives.
Born in 1990, right in the BOOM of the video game era. My parents grew up playing Atari, thinking Pong was the most amazing game they’d ever seen. The first video game system I ever truly remember playing was my Sega Genesis. I loved that damn thing. Sonic the Hedgehog was by far my most favorite game. I remember sitting down in my room in my parents small two bedroom apartment, turning on my analog television; with the 70’s style carpet giving my legs weird patterns after pressing into my skin for hours at a time and just playing. Again, and again, and again. I played that game forever. I’m pretty sure I beat that game four times, minimum. I was amazed at the things I was in control of. Five, six years old beating video games. My parents got me Sonic 2 and Sonic Pinball within that next year. Sonic 2 was amazing, but what truly captured my heart and began my addiction to video gaming was Sonic Pinball. (Side note- I’m not a picture guy. My apologies.) Addicted is the gentle word for what I was. I couldn’t beat that game if I tried. Over and over again. OVER AND OVER AGAIN. I couldn’t do it. I would always get stuck on the third tier with the slime and I would get too nervous and fail, miserably.
Disney movies were my favorite growing up. Growing up in the 90’s, who didn’t like Disney movies? The Lion King, Aladdin, just to name a few. But those two movies above, caused rifts between my father and I. Aladdin had just come out for Super Nintendo, and I can’t remember if this was prior to my Sega or not; I’m pretty sure it was. The final level in Aladdin, where you had to ride Magic Carpet through all the lava to escape from Jaffar was my favorite. My father, for the life of him, couldn’t beat that level. To this day, he can’t beat it. He’s getting old anyway, he’d probably love if I shared that memory with him. Sitting at my uncles, with him and myself sitting on the floor (also his jaw) as I beat that level before he did. It created a bond with my father that I’ll never forget, and cherish for the rest of my life.
The Beginning sparked my love for video games, and the instant gratification of being victorious and wanting more. Playing different games and not knowing what could come next. If I only knew what I know now where video games would be, I wouldn’t believe it.
THE TEENAGE YEARS:
We all hit that pre-teen stage. Where we’re in sixth and seventh grade, and we dyed the tips of our hair blonde like we were in N’Sync and wore Old Navy clothes with Levi Jeans, thinking we were the coolest. Take that image, and you have me in my sixth grade school picture. Thanks Mom and Dad. Back to the topic at hand. I remember when my parents bought me my first PlayStation. It was by far the most amazing thing I had ever seen in my entire life. My father and I use to run Gran Turismo like we actually owned the cars. Who remembers the endurance races? I do. Every Saturday afternoon after the Ohio State football game, Dad and I would switch off every 150 laps of those races. Then play Rock, Paper, Scissors on who got to run the car we won first in the next race. This is also where my love for the Resident Evil series was born. I played through the first one without any issues, but the second one scared the living hell out of me. I would curl up on the couch with a blanket watching Dad beat that game like it was his job. I could only get to the part where Leon injures his arm, and I just couldn’t do it anymore. The nightmares man…
PlayStation 2 was my last PlayStation console prior to switching over to Xbox (I sincerely apologize PlayStation fans, I’m an Xbox guy). When online capabilities began coming around I was instantly on-board. I remember putting in Madden and watching myself connect with my DIAL-UP INTERNET. Listening to what sounded like a fax machine having a stroke trying to connect. I joined my first clan playing SOCOM: U.S. Navy Seals. The Clan was called TRAIN. I was SPIKER-TRAIN. (Side Note: I was born with a full head of hair, my parents nick-named me Spiker in the hospital.) I loved it, the game was beautiful, graphics were awesome and the gameplay was smooth. Damn, I miss that game. When the teamwork aspect of gameplay came into the picture. I couldn’t pull myself away, I was a sucker and it was blatantly obvious. I played that until Halo for the Xbox came out, and it was on.
HIGH SCHOOL TO CURRENT:
My freshman year of high school is where things really began to pick up trying to make a presence of myself in the video game world. My small close-knit group of friends met up one night after work and decided to create a clan. We became the Golden Dynasty the day after Halo 2 came out. Countless hours trying to level. Playing Skirmish, BTB (Big Team Battle), and Slayer. Watching our levels go up, and with every new level you saw the little design change to different colors and shapes. Building our own maps. We had this one game called Demolition Derby. Where you would take all of the Warthogs on Waterworks and run them down the middle and try to knock each other down into the cavern below. Memories, again and again. Countless. I fell in love with my clan. MLG was life. An undying bond that will always be within me. I’m still in touch with the majority of Golden Dynasty and always will be. We’re grown up. Some of the members have children now, full time jobs and college diplomas. The Halo series ate up most of my high school career.
If you know these three words, I don’t even have to write a paragraph about it. You’ll already know the life story as you lived the exact same one I lived. WORLD OF WARCRAFT. Played since Vanilla, still play to this day. Love that game.
I’m twenty five years old. That’s young by all means. But this is the year that I’ve really taken everything I’ve done as a person so far and evaluated it. The decisions I’ve made and the roads I’ve gone down. This is my favorite one. A hobby I’ll take to my grave and friendships that’ll last a life-time.
But as I get older, I’m finding it harder to be able to immerse myself in this life. The balance between real life and video games is becoming more and more difficult. For those of you that are in my shoes as well, keep going. Find that balance and don’t let your love of video games disappear. It’s a beautiful thing and always will be. The gaming community can be pretty sour at times, but it’s a family. We will always have each other’s backs and nobody will tell us different. We are innovators, creators and demonstrators.
Our generation is the generation that’s going to take gaming to the next level. We are going to create games that our kids will play and be astonished at what they see. We will bond with our children and relatives and show them what it’s like to lose yourself in imagination. To show them they can create worlds and bring it to life. Show them friendship and teamwork.
Ud1eByGaming is going to be on the front lines of next generation video games. I promise you that. We will entertain and educate. Through trial and error, the good times and bad, we will grow and succeed to be one of the most known on a global scale.
We hope you follow us in what will be an adventure of a life time.
Gaming is Love, Gaming is Life.