Missed Opportunities- Things I Didn't Get To Do As A Gamer - mbellacio Blog - www.GameInformer.com
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Missed Opportunities- Things I Didn't Get To Do As A Gamer

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Life is short. You've heard that cliche so many times that it has probably lost it's meaning or importance for you. I know I've grown tired of hearing it, seeing it in movies, overhearing friends say it. ALRIGHT ALREADY!!! Life is short, not fair, I GET IT. But perhaps what irks me most about that statement is that as ridiculous and cliche as it's become, it is always painfully true.

I sat down once and figured out how much "life" most of us can look forward to based on a few things. Considering that you spend 6-8 hours a day sleeping, you can subtract that right away. Then, most of us who work for a living spend about 8 hours doing that. So already, out of a 24 hour day, 14-16 hours is already spent in a way that is mostly beyond your control. That leaves you 6-8 hours a day. That does not include time that you spend with personal hygiene, eating meals, commuting from one place to another, or even something as inane as watching your favorite tv show. If you factor all of that in, the actual time you have to yourself is more like 3-4 hours... PER DAY. That is 16% of your waking day. So if the average person lives to be 80, that same 16% leaves about 12 years that is totally and completely free for you to do as you please. It put things into perspective for me.

So why mention all of that? Well, because as I think back on my life, especially lately, I think of all the many things that I really wanted to do, or try, or was simply curious about, and I realize that for quite a few things, I'm not any closer to getting any of it done than I was then. Gamers often refer to their backlog of games, and I certainly can identify with that. But it has also dawned on me that MY personal backlog goes far beyond games. How much time is their to get it all done? Can I get it all done? These are all things I've wondered many, many times. So... for the sake of being proactive, I thought I'd blog about this, and put out my own little "bucket list" as a gamer. Maybe some of you will be able to identify.

Mastering Every Move and Combo for a Major Fighting Game

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As a teen growing up at a time when Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter were at their peak popularity, and SNK's Neo Geo was every gamer's wet dream, I was always in awe of the guys who were the legends of the arcades. I can remember watching some guy's playing Super Street Fighter 2 Hyper Edition, or Samurai Showdown, and... it was like they were from another world. Hands moving at blinding speed, performing special moves and combos as easily as if they were breathing. How long did they have to play to get that good? Were they born with that skill? I'd even heard of super elite players from various parts of asia that trained as rigorously at these games as any martial arts student. It was a beautiful thing to see, and I've always wanted to try and attain that level of skill if only at one game.

Travel to Japan

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How could you not want to see this in person?

 

 

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The Akihabara District should be like a mandatory holy pilgrimage for all gamers.

 

I won't ever give up on this one. It's one thing to see pictures or videos of Japan and it's gaming scene, or even the country itself. But I know in every fiber of my being that actually being there is probably something completely different. Japan is simply a no-brainer when it comes to an international travel wishlist. Americans have had a long fascination with the land of the rising sun, and with good reason. Home of the samurai, ninjas, sumo wrestlers, various styles of martial arts, sushi, lotus flowers, beautiful architecture, video gaming as we know it, manga, anime and so much more. Sometimes it seems as though Japan is in another universe. I've heard a few negative comments in recent years. Some friends have claimed that famous destinations like the Akihabara District are not as great as they once used to be. But no matter. Compared to Main Street USA, Japan would offer plenty of thrills for me.

Attend E3

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This one is a major challenge for me for quite a few reasons. First, if I had really had my way, I would've attended E3 back when consoles were making the transition from 16-bit to 32 and 64-bit, because to me, that was a magical time. But since that time has come and gone, I only have the present. That being said, my other big hurdle is that I don't work in the video game industry, and I'm not a journalist, so that automatically creates a very real barrier.

I don't really know much about E3 beyond the coverage I've seen in magazines, on tv, or on the internet. But I am completely fascinated by it as I'm sure many others are as well. I've always wondered how much of it is actually fun, or does it still feel like work for those doing coverage of the event. I've heard many industry journalists speak of their exhaustion after covering E3, but they have rarely specified why. I mean, c'mon guys!!! What's the scoop??? Is there good food? How much interaction is there? Do you get a lot of free swag? These are questions I need answered.

Attend PAX, San Diego Comic Con and the EVO Fighting Tournaments

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San Diego Comic Con

 

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EVO Fighting Tournament in progress

 

All of these events are open to the public, but are also increasingly difficult to get into due to their skyrocketing popularity. The EVO Tournaments in particular have left me especially intrigued after watching some LIVE coverage videos on YouTube. It occurred to me that EVO could be the equivalent of the Super Bowl or a Super Heavyweight Title Fight for gamers.

As for PAX and SDCC, well... the sheer energy at either one has just got to be electric. Especially SDCC. I mean, if you try and think of any major promotional event for any industry: The Cannes Film Festival, Sundance, CES, whatever. None of them seem to have the same good time vibe that SDCC carries. I could be wrong, but San Diego Comic Con looks like one big party to me.

Pre-Order and Purchase A Major New Console

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Believe it or not, in the 20 years plus that I've been gaming, I have never, ever done this. I have watched with amusement, envy and fascination as loyal gamers would wait hours on end outside of a Best Buy, Gamestop, Walmart, or wherever, in the hopes of taking home one of the very first units of a major console. I've seen people set up tents, sleeping bags, lawn chairs, or just huddle up together like some half human, half wolf clan. I think it's great. I love it. And what I think is great about it is that it's probably one of the last remaining pure, innocent, fun ways people gather together to share a common interest.

You know that feeling you get when you go to a Drive-In theater and just get a kick from watching all the people around you living, laughing, talking, having a good time? That's the kind of stuff I like. Moments that remind you that humans can still put aside their differences and share something special.

Join and Play A Warhammer 40K Tabletop Game

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It's just so fantastically nerdy and awesome. I miss going into shopping malls and seeing a bunch of guys sitting around playing Warhammer. Even Magic: The Gathering. And while I have had the privilege of playing the latter, I still would like to experience the former.

Visit Nintendo World in New York City

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Beautiful isn't it?

 

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Quick! Hide my wallet!!!

 

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Kinda helps you remember why you love Nintendo in the first place, doesn't it?


Do I even really need to explain this one??? It's NINTENDO people. The company that most of us grew up on. All hail the Big N!!!

CosPlay

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Really, the way I figure it, this is as close I'm ever going to get to reliving childhood. What could be more simple, goofy fun than getting elaborately dressed up as your favorite video game character with some fellow gamers and THEN going to a major event to flaunt your attire?

So... this is part of what I could think of until now. Ironically, now that I've actually typed this out and see it in front of me, it doesn't seem as intimidating as it once did. I guess the trick with a "to-do" list such as this, is to just get motivated and start planning. I'm curious how many of you out there have similar goals?? If the mood hits you, drop a reply and sound off!

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