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Donkey Kong’s side of the story

September 10, 2014 Leave a comment

Growing up, Donkey Kong was always the villain.

He captured the damsel in the original Donkey Kong and he did the same in subsequent arcarde sequels. I grew up learning to despise that great gorilla.

Now Children see Donkey Kong as a hero and a protagonist in his own game, but do they know his dark past?

My son actually took a picture with Donkey Kong at the San Diego Zoo when Nintendo was promoting Donkey Kong Country:Freeze last summer. Since then, my son has been expose to a Donkey Kong who stars in his own game and is also one of the characters one can choose for Mario Kart 8. My daughter, at first, was hesitant towards Donkey Kong; she refused to take a photo opportunity with him. Probably espoused to the idea that great big gorillas cannot be trusted. She also didn’t like the idea that Donkey Kong was joining playtime with my son’s Happy Meal toys.

My son isn't playing Mario Kart yet, but he is practicing.

My son isn’t playing Mario Kart yet, but he is practicing.

But to my son, he wouldn’t have anyone but Donkey Kong or even Bowser to chauffeur his chariot in playtime.

Interesting times we live in.

It made me think of how Donkey Kong would have his side of the story explained:

 

Donkey Kong Poem

Grew up isolated and harassed,

some may say even despised,

But no one ever had bothered,

to view the story through my eyes,

 

I chucked red barrels down construction site,

Employed fiery blazes to assist me,

Why was the plumber the hero? It’s all quite trite,

He’d spend his days locked up a dream,

chasing turtles and coins,

but never paying attention to she,

her days spent with someone so shallow,

he’s go down the piping,

to find coinage for extra lives,
but was he really living?

or was he chasing a pipe dream?

Collecting these coins and ignoring his queen,

or princess or life for that matter,

Now I sit on my throne of bananas and pride,

vision not obfuscated by grandeur,

my eyes opened wide.

 

I know what’s important,

I too have dreams,

And don’t look down at me,

because sometimes things are not what they seem.

 

I’d just thought that I’d write that,

“Donkey Kong is not mean.”

 

 

Stress and video games

July 28, 2014 Leave a comment

Games are supposed to be an escape, like delving into a good book or enjoying a movie with family and friends. But then…life happens and you cannot find the time to fit in some personal time. That is when stress begins to surmount and one is left trudging along your day carrying feelings of angst. The truth is that everyone deals with stress in some form or fashion. I have to remind myself that life happens and you need to shift priorities. I am, after all, the beleaguered gamer.

Currently one of my favorite games is Pikmin 3 on the Wii U. I love to get lost in the world where giant bugs rule and you have your own tiny creatures under your control to navigate the turmoil that occurs in a garden.

One bug really that caught my attention is the Calcified Crushblat and I just couldn’t help but feel sorry for it. This was my bug…the bug that was I was meant to see in this stress-filled world. A bug with a crustacean-like shell that only your Rock Pikmin can break. Each hit, lessens the protective shell’s strengths and little by little, pieces begin to fall and the bug is left exposed. This is when your other Pikmin can land on the creature in all it’s naked glory and beat him down one by one.

This, my friend, is stress!

 

Stress on the Calcified Crushblat will cause deterioration of it's protective shell.

Stress on the Calcified Crushblat will cause deterioration of it’s protective shell.

This bug is the amalgamation of stress breaking us down. a living symbol of how life can chip at your cozy protective shell and how only those big problems, that are like the Rock Pikmin, can penetrate. However, after a few hard blows from those “big” issues, then you go down and the little stuff gets you.

It’s a hard world my friends and all I can say is that you should create some recipe to battle stress. Mine consists of exercise and a steady diet of Pikmin problem solving sessions, but everyone has those days when your shell has been exposed and you need to recoup quickly. That is when you should remember the Ode to the Calcified Crushblat

 

Oh Calcified Crushblat,

How docile you seem, sleeping in your harden shell of solitude,

quick to crush when approached,

quick to lose a shell on reproach,

Hammered by life,

Striving for security,

But little colorful problems start chipping away,

Retreat Calcified Crushblat for you’re no match!

Go back to a safer habitat where you can regroup,

your thoughts, your sense of security and that shell too.

I didn’t mean to be rude and intrude,

but you got in my way during this mess,

<signed>

your friend…

Stress

Boss Battles Bonifide Baddness

July 21, 2014 1 comment

Video games have always glorified boss battles. You solve a puzzle only to meet a monstrous beast overseeing the dungeon’s priceless treasures or you finish the side-scrolling level only to confront a large headed warrior trying to head-butt you to death! (Kid-Niki)

However how does this translate in real life? Work is vital as part of one’s own self-identification so we all take our job seriously and it has a huge impact on our state of happiness and other facets of our lives. You might not like your boss, but you never act out against them or talk back in fear that you’ll lose your livelihood.

However what if a boss truly pushes your buttons and makes it a point to be the villain? Well then to that I say one should adorn a hero’s cap or some type of hypothetical battle garb and prepare for an office boss battle.

I recently fought a boss and ultimately won as that individual is no longer employee in our organization. In my mind that is the mental equivalent to clearing the dungeon. It wasn’t completely my doing, but I didn’t sit back either.

 

Here my the story in prose fashion:

Battling the bad boss.

In my dungeon of mazes of cubicles and copiers,

I armed myself with notes and time,

Building my plot to overtake the boss,

He blames me for issues that are not my own,

I expose blatant problems and take jabs at his throne,

Unsteady his confidence waivers and soon he learns that my will is strong,

I stay late and work hard,

How could I be to blame?

Meanwhile his team falls apart,

No longer will he reign.

I battled my boss,

It was not a pretty task,

I stood up for myself in the open,

No mask,

Bosses seem big and bosses seem bright,

But in the end it’s their leadership that gives them a fight,

The hero overcomes all of this and navigates the maze of office politics,

Break it down and build that place back up with new management brick by brick.

 

Fellow heroes! What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and in the end. I didn’t gain a raise but I gained confidence knowing that I fought for what is right. Link gaining hearts after defeating a dungeon boss is a metaphor for when one tackles one of life’s challenges to gain strength. In this particular office battle, I didn’t get a new heart to help my health meter, but I did gain more confidence when going into the next real world dangerous dungeon in the office setting.

Gaming Dad


Sharpen the pen!

Sharpen the pen!

This blog is a dusty derelict, but it can be resurrected,

My Twitter timeline is diminishing on frequencies of tweets,

Gaming time has been reduced to the late night hours,

Limited to when the family is asleep and with headphones on,

The gaming dad is a rare combination,

almost an oxymoron,

Games can take hours,

so can TV,

I just have to choose wisely,

I spend my free time gaming.

 

 

There is a little known fact that when you become a parent, your life changes forever. It’s probably the biggest change that I have ever had to experience, however it’s also the most rewarding. Having one child was fairly routine and my wife and I can rely on each others support, but having two kids now meant that both of you will be occupied with one child each.  Gone are the days where you can say, “You go ahead and take a nap, I’ll take care of the baby.”

When you have two children, now it’s “Don’t take long, I don’t know how long I can last with two babies.” However, now my son is almost two-years old and things are getting easier as far as being capable to watch both my three-year old daughter and two-year old son at the same time.

Hence, why the blogging has recommenced.

Initially, gaming as a dad for me meant handheld gaming. I have become one with my 3DS. I played a lot of Fire Emblem then I moved onto Animal Crossings:New Leaf to manage my town on a daily basis. I would shut the door of my office and I’d pull some weeds, sell some apples and then make nice with the townsfolk.

We’ll that is just a teaser of the things to hear about. until then…

Carpe Diem

Gamer Radio

Categories: Gamer Life

Tale of a new Gamer Dad: Sleeping Dungeon

April 6, 2012 Leave a comment

There will be many trials when you’re a new parent.

Other parents will give advice but when it all comes down to it, you have to experience everything yourself.  There is no equation on how to be a perfect parent.  Each circumstance will be unique. One cannot tell someone what being a parent is like.  It’s like Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, one must travel up and see the light themselves to understand.

If parenting was like gaming, then it would be like a massive Role Playing Game where you battle the world and all that is evil and hope to teach your child to live right.  But before you can begin to do that, your child relies on you 100% of the first few years of her life and this will be the hardest training exercise ever.  Man has persevered through the centuries while the weaker animals have become extinct because of our ability to endure the first few months of parenthood.

My daughter is going to be one year. Our second child is on the way in August.  Things will only get more complicated.  In the first year of my daughter’s life, I learned that changing diapers is not as difficult as I anticipated.  The sleeplessness is something I could never have imagined.

This blog was started out under the pretense that I am a lifelong gamer and as one grows older responsibilities mount and it’s harder to find time to game.  Never has this been more true then with fatherhood.  Fatherhood is a treasure and I enjoy my weekend mornings with my daughter under the shade of the trees at the park, far away from my gaming devices.  I cannot help to feel most alive during these moments.  There is nothing I would rather do than spend time with my daughter, but let’s also be realistic, babies do sleep and nap and these are the times when people start to get back to their hobbies.  The first few months are impossible as you are dedicating all your time to late night feedings, but then your baby starts to sleep through the night and sit up on her own. This gives you chance to pursue some of those things you did before you became a parent.

I love reading books, playing guitar, writing, and gaming.  I pretty much stuck to these few items.  I gave up gaming until dawn, playing baseball on Sundays, and the luxury of sleeping in until mid-day like I assume Link would do if he wasn’t saving Hyrule.

So if there was a Parenthood RPG, your first task would be to build your character and acquire energy, stamina and special powers like “story-telling” or a “comforting and a sleep inducing voice.”  Once the baby arrives, the parents are drained from these powers, but those who persevere and see the beauty that is their child growing up quickly before their very eyes, start to use these parenting abilities, but it’s a never ending struggle.

I’ve been playing Zelda:Skyward Sword lately and my favorite character has to be the man who is married to the lady who sells potions and has his newborn on his back in an ergo carrier.  If you visit him at night he also has the daunting task of putting his fussy baby to sleep.  I knew I had to help him.  Me and him are brother in arms, (Arms that rock babies to sleep).  We both come from the same army of dads who have to endure the late night rocking of the sleepless baby.

Zelda Dad

Out of the bunch of mini-games available Wii Party, there is one game where you rock a baby and if you don’t keep a rhythm, your baby will not sleep.  Unfortunately it is not that simple.  This is how my baby rocking experience goes when the parent steps into the Baby Rocking Dungeon, don’t bother searching for a map or key, it’s you against the boss, the “Sleepy baby that refuses to sleep!”

I walk into the room and she is turning. Her body is twisted and contorted.

Her eyes are closed but her cries are increasing in volume.

I stare at her and hope that perhaps she’ll feel comfort in the fact I am now awake with her,

She cries and begins stretching out arms,

I pick her up and she instantly quiets down and closes her eyes.

Her body relaxes and I look at the clock to mark the time.

I tell myself, “give her five minutes of the rocking motion and then set her down gently.”

I rock her back and forward, I walk about the room in a random pattern to simulate perhaps a car-ride which has proven to induce sleep,

She moves herself from her head on my shoulder to the reclined position and is now cradled in my arms, which facilitates putting her down,

I lift her up ever so slightly so she clears her cradle, she opens her eyes sightly as she senses a shift in her gravitational pull.

As I begin her slow decent towards the mattress, she arches her back and lets out a scream!

A heart goes down on my health meter to indicate I’ve been beaten,

I pick her up and mark the time so I can decide when to set her down again.  The Cycle continues until finally the baby is breathing heavily and both her arms are heavy.  This means you’ve solved the puzzle on how to get her to sleep.  You set her down.

She lets out a little peep and slowly turns over and sleeps through the next 6 hours.

Warning: If you attempt to set her down too early, there is a chance she will completely wake up and then you’ll have to be up another hour or so instead of enjoying the sleep reward.

Good Luck Gamer Parents!

On the road of Life- Mario Kart Analogy

January 17, 2012 Leave a comment

Assured of certain certainties,
The conscience of a blackened street
Impatient to assume the world.

-T.S Eliot

Toad on a shelf

Up above my book shelf, sits Toad overlooking my path in writing

Mario Kart is one of my favorite games of all time.  You can play with gamers of all levels.  The items the racers obtain can move someone from last place to first, even on the final lap.  When I was younger and I played the game, I would quit (or RAGE quit) whenever I faltered on the first lap.

Hit a Goomba strolling the track?  Quit.
Jumped into a ravine and the Lakitu is pulling me out with his smug faced cloud?  Quit
Tried to start off with a boost, but instead the engine chokes?  Quit.

But you have to learn patience.  You have to keep faith in your skill and make sure you persevere.  Then I thought this is sort of like life.

So this poem came to mind…

On the Road to Life (On a Mario Kart):

You tackle life in strides as if one rides,

a unique Kart that adds character to their soul,

The goal to finish on top, or somewhere above middle,

Unraveling riddles in a bright pixelated box. Stay sharp as a fox,

Sometimes life’s turns are harsh and you fall down,

Sad as some may smile upon your momentary failed path,

but soon enough you pass them back up, “do we dare laugh?”

like a Toad can turn a prince, or Princess in this case.

All is Peachy!

You have to keep your head held high in this magnificent race.