So in the last two weeks I have had some new games come into my life, two of them have been well, amazing. Now if you know me it goes without saying I love sports games and so this time of year is like my Christmas, Birthday, 4th of July, and honeymoon all rolled into one fantastic couple of weeks. NCAA, Madden, Hockey, and Hoops all come out within a few months of each other and give me hours upon hours of limitless joy. Now as I said in my last blog my local GameStop, with its amazing employees have made my life so much better. This store gives me the experience I am looking for when I buy games. I know some of you just want to buy a game online and play but for me, the experience is part of what makes it great. They tell me about games that I would have never even thought about playing and for the most part have turned out to be great (except one…WHY!!!!). I love going to that store and just walking around, talking about games, and goofing off. On Sunday I played in an impromptu tournament for Battlefield three that the employees did as they were testing a system that had been turned in recently for credit (They have to make sure it works right? Seems to me they were just being responsible) So I jumped on the sticks and after a crushing loss and two hours went by, I was so happy with the experience I had in my store as one of the regulars. This is what shopping for video games should be like, a store where you can go in and just chill out, talk games, and well play a little as well. Back on topic. (slaps ADD in the face and says, “NO, stay on point!!!)) 

            So my store is great and I trust them, except for one of them who told me to buy a certain game not to be mentioned again!! (WHY KEVIN!! WHYYYYYY!!!!)  But I love my store still and when they told me about this game called Diablo I trusted them and bought it. Now I have never played a Diablo game, never really researched them at all, or even really remember hearing about it. The only reason I knew there had to be more of them was because the game is titled Diablo Three. So when they told me about this game I came in with no idea on what I was about to experience.

            As soon as I put this game in, I feel in love. The first cut scene alone is worthy of a movie. I seriously, 100%, no ifs ands or buts about it, love this game. Love it! I love playing it. I have this massive barbarian who is wielding a shield and sickle. I basically am the offspring of Conan the Barbarian and the Grim Reaper! How awesome is that. I destroy demons in dungeons like a child kicking imaginary beasts and they fall at my sickle as if it was cutting through butter. I literally can’t get enough of this game. Sadly, this is my problem. I haven’t touched madden in a week.

            What is going on in this world that my favorite game and I aren’t even spending time together I mean seriously? I feel like I'm losing myself. What next, I start routing for another team then my beloved Chicago Bears. I start wearing dress pants instead of basketball shorts, or I get rid of the Goatee that has been my trade mark since 7th grade! But Diablo has become one of those games I can’t put down. I just want to finish it, know what happens, save the world. The characters are fantastic and I don’t have to worry about them being in the newspaper using drugs or acting a fool. (It’s sad when the NFL players trending is about murder and drugs instead of football).

            I am learning that even an older gamer like myself matures (mid to late 20’s) tastes change. I own every game of madden ever made. From the PC- to the XBOX one’s pre-ordered madden 25. I have spent countless hours online, broken every career record they have, and have taken a player from High School to the hall of fame. I love this game but right now, Diablo is the game I would rather be playing. I can’t put it down. My wife and I played for almost 2 hours last night charging through basements in search of loot. My wife is a pretty experienced Madden player as well and over the years she has helped me countless times when I have had to run to the bathroom and she takes over for me in a ranked online game. (Still undefeated when she takes over) But last night, we laughed together as we crush demons and smashed walking skeletons, watching them scatter and break from our might.

So my main point is that utter shock that this game I knew nothing about is taking away from a game that I have loved for so long. I guess that is the best part about getting older as a gamer and generally in life.  You notice that things like Sushi, used to be gross uncooked fish, are now a delicious piece of rice and fish that you can’t get enough of. As a gamer I came here as an infant gamer who’s greatest moment in gaming was being allowed to save draft classes from NCAA football and upload them to your Madden franchise (sad but true). Now I would consider myself at least a baby that is crawling, a little (I hope).


            The biggest realization for me as a gamer is that you aren’t what you once thought you were. You don’t stay the same. You grow, you adapt. You stop looking at just the graphics and start caring about the story and the characters that build that story. I never thought I would be writing blogs on GIO or writing a piece every month reviewing recently released games for parents of high school aged kids. All this happened because one day I was ordering something from and my ADD got a hold of me and I ended up on the Game Informer web page. As I sit here typing this while my students take a test I am filled with a child like wonder, just as they are searching their minds for answers, I am wondering about my future. In 5 years where do I see myself, where do I see gaming, and what games do I see myself loving. With so many what ifs there is one thing for certain, I will be playing Diablo 3 tonight and maybe some madden…