Those Which Define You

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As a a gamer, not very surprising, I have made a lot of connections from real life to video games. Many times its comparing walking single file with a bunch of friends to RPGs or completing tasks at work to objectives lists in FPS games. I often times overlook how video games have affected my perspective on life and have shaped me as a person. There are games which we’ve played that influence and ultimately may define our personalities, here are the top 3 games which have helped shape me as a person.

The Legend of Zelda series has always inspired two aspects of my life. The sense of adventure and the idea of being a hero. Link starts from small beginnings in his journeys, whether it be Link to the Past or Skyward Sword, you always begin your journey equipped with your standard sword and shield combo. From there you start your adventure and explore a new yet familiar world, finding new gear to explore and expand your journey. This sense of adventure and exploration influenced how I just thought about life. Of course there are many games which have players explore through amazing worlds, but as far as Legend of Zelda goes, it was my first. Every new installment of the game is laced with just enough nostalgia and bring the right amount of new adventure which revives the adventurous spirit it brought about when I was young.

The Street Fighter series instilled a sense of competition, fair play and hard work in my life. It may seem weird, to say that a fighting game can inspire these qualities in a person, but when you really think about it this is much like sports. A popular eSport in itself, fighting games has had its champions and is just as competitive as any other sports. Growing up, I had always wanted to be better than my cousin who would dominate the family parties in each iteration of Street Fighter on the SNES. I would practice and fight the computer, my cousins, my friends and just about anyone standing at a Street Fighter 2 machine to become better, faster and have a bigger combo streak. Along the way I had met various forms of trickery, from elbow nudging, hand smacking and other ways to attempt to get my fingers away from the buttons. Learning that the best victories are earned through fair play and great battles. Then one day I finally defeated my cousin, Ryu vs. Akuma, all of our cousins, there were like 15 of us, watching as we threw jab after jab, hadoukens flying through the air and shoryukens echoing through out the halls of my home during this family party until there was a victor. Through all the hard work and the challenge of competition I raised my 8 year old hands in the air as we,all the younger cousins, cheered my first win against our older cousin. Seriously, dude was good. He could beat most of us with one hand… literally.

TS: Tetris showed me that freaking out during times of stress only leads to failure and that you could either go with the flow or plan ahead for a greater pay off. Everyone knows Tetris, the pieces are as iconic as Mario’s moustache. From the casual gamer to the hardest of the hardcore gamers, we’ve all enjoyed an iteration of Tetris at one time or another. While playing Tetris can start off fun and fancy free, a mistake here or there is easy to recover from and no big deal. Then it happens, you’ve been too care free with your mistakes, or you’ve built yourself up with a one block sliver to unleash the straight piece’s righteous fury and you blocked it off. That moment is when panic can strike and cause you to lose the game, especially in a versus match on Tetris. Which is when I learned to keep my cool and just work my way through it. Keeping calm in those situations stops the production of adrenaline, which decreases blood flow to the brain and causes one’s ability to think to falter. I began focusing that energy calmly into solutions within the situation given. Although I still got pissed if I lost.

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