Many people only get one chance at an introduction.
Coming into a job, a new school, or in life in general, we have to start a conversation that begins with, “Hi, I’m (insert generic name here)”. I typically just start it by being a bit standoffish before being both crazy and serious all at one instance. But today, I get a bit of a second chance to introduce myself to the world.
Getting the chance to introduce myself once again gives me the chance to let everyone know just what I am about or rather what I’ve been and what I would like to be. So without any further exposition, here we go.
Before I press on, though, I wanted to say I was given this chance for reintroduction by my friends over at Phoenix Overdrive Nation (PON for short). They offered me the chance to act as their writer on things like thought pieces and maybe news and reviews in the future. From Time To Time, if not from now on, my posts will be under the PON banner, I will represent a portion of them, so my cussing might deminish and I might find myself a bit more freeform/relaxed. Many Thanks to the crew over there for the opportunity, and if you already don’t know their information (facebook etc) I’ll leave links at the bottom).
My name is Justin, I’ve also been called a handful of other names, like Jay, Shaggy, Torch, Shinigami711, ProdigiousJ, and as of recently Reedicus Rex. Granted, saying all those names in a greeting to anyone in person, I’d get more laughs or cocked eyebrows than I might get to those reading it. I get funny enough looks now at work by going along with an inside joke that my name is “Just Steve”, so I can imagine how hard it is to swallow all the other names.
I’ve been playing games since I was about 5 years old, the first consoles I remember having were a Sega Genesis, NES, and the original Gameboy which was followed not long after the SNES. My fondest memories with my sister (which unfortunately were limited as is) were playing Sonic Adventure 2, getting to the water level, which the drowning sound both haunts my nightmares and serves as a good alarm sound to get me up. We took turns but I can’t remember if we ever got past it, yet it was a great bonding moment for what would have become one of the only memories we made together. Divorce separated us at an early age, where I ended up living with my Dad and her with my mother.
On my Dad’s side of the family, money seemed to be used as a substitute for love, so I was constantly getting all the games and consoles I wanted for birthdays and Christmases. Most my time was spent with either a controller or mouse in hand, pushing my through level after level, getting engrossed in fantastic stories and characters, while quietly avoiding my life as much as I could. I was alone 80% of the time. My grandparents acted more like parents, may they rest in peace, and my dad always worked. My mom would be left out of the picture until I turned 18. The only thing that shaped my mind for the world I faced where video game characters like Jak and Daxter, Solid Snake, and good ol’ Mario “Jumpman” Mario.
While it sounds horribly sad, being led to video games as a means to escape my lonely life, it honestly was one of the best things that could have ever happened to me. Video games helped me make many of the friends who I know today, it also helped me construct a very deep and enriching moral compass, in more ways than I would have if they honestly they hadn’t been there.
Would I say my life was imperfect? Fuck yeah I would, but perfect doesn’t exist. My life created this sailor mouthed, game playing, blog writing, best damn pun man on the planet person who is writing this at this very moment. I can’t have asked for more.
My humor gets labeled as Dad Jokes, but my pun game is strong, and it can be safe to say many a video game session created. The joysticks to my soul with every single pun I can come up with, hell, the other night I started thinking up a pun only show talking about how something deeply impacted me. The entire run of the show… puns only. And it sounded so damn good that I kind of want it to be a thing.
Video games have opened my eyes to the world of wonder, the keen interest to examine the world for every single detail came from playing games like Uncharted, looking for treasures. Games like Final Fantasy taught me that patience and hard work can help you take on any challenge you may face because all the hours of grinding it took to get me comfortable moving on in early levels.
I have always wanted to bring people together under the banner of video games and the joy it inspires. Many years I wanted to be a video game designer, which was put down by someone in my family (really fucked up my mindset for a while…) but I always wrote about video games, reviews, previews, news, I’ve been doing that since I was in high school. I would print out and pass copies to all my friends and anyone else who would have wanted to read what I wrote. I also wanted to open a video game shop, but as the years went on, I realized that the market for a fully functioning store with everything for everyone, would fall apart quickly. Gamestop cornered the market and has managed to make it stick, so my idea for that still sits on the back burner.
But one thing I got from all the paths I’ve taken with video games is a slogan, I wished I could work in somehow. It is simple, it is easy to remember, but it’s meaning is powerful.
“Connecting Gamers, One Console At A Time”
Maybe there is still hope I can get that reworked for these blogs and maybe with Phoenix Overdrive, I might be able to achieve the goal.
Thanks again to Phoenix Overdrive for welcoming me aboard as a writer. I have known these guys for quite a while but finally I get to work with some very dedicated folks. Look ahead for more posts under their name.
Follow me at @ReedicusRex on Twitter
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You can also find Phoenix Overdrive at their Facebook here
As well as on Twitter @phx_overdrive