Guest Post: Edge of the Coin by DylanWhite86

I’d like to welcome my newest guest writer here on linksaveszedla, DylanWhite86. He’s written up this thought-provoking article for your reading pleasure, so give him a big round of applause and read on, friends!

Edge of the Coin

Written by DylanWhite86

One of the most interesting parts in being a gamer is you will rarely meet your equal. Not equal in the rival sense, but meet someone who shares all your love, hate, likes and dislikes for individual games, or aspects of gaming as a whole. I’ve had best friends and girlfriends who like the exact opposite as me, and known people whom I can only describe as “despised” where our only common ground is a particular game.

I like to think I am a very unique breed of gamer because of that sense. My opinions always seem to differ from that of the norm, yet in the eyes of pretty much all, I am seen as a hardcore gamer. I am neither heads nor tails, I am the coin toss that lands on its edge. I took this idea and line from one of my favorite franchises, Legacy of Kain, a series that sadly will probably never see the light of day again. This series was what I see as my first step into what can be seen as a truly deep and complex storyline, and sad to say I think it’s a series that not many people have fully played nor fully appreciate.

I have been gaming since I was 5, when my family bought a NES for Christmas. I didn’t ask for it, I didn’t know it was coming, hell I don’t think I even knew what it was. Gaming was so different back in 1990, you didn’t see ads or reviews for games in the paper or on TV, you just went to the store, looked at a box and bought it. Simple. What was good, what was bad, it was uncommon for all my friends and family to know. We all just played what we wanted and we loved it, and when we shared it with others, and a lot of the time they didn’t feel like you did and wanted to play something else. I lost count of how many times I had to stop playing Tecmo World Wrestling to play Mario or Excitebike.

As the 90’s went on, I was pretty loyal to Nintendo. Only a few friends had a Sega Genesis as well as a NES/SNES, so my experience was always very limited with Sega, yet I always remember the games being so meh in comparison to what I liked. Pretty, but never held my interest. I loved my N64, yet I never had many games for it. 1080, Ocarina of Time and Harvest Moon 64 are the only ones I can even remember owning now. Yes, I never once in my whole life owned Goldeneye.

Near the end of 1998, I was at my friend’s house, watching his big brother play a franchise I knew of, but from everything I had seen in the past, I never felt the urge to play: Final Fantasy. They were in the process of getting a gold chocobo in FFVII. I had seen nothing else about this game, but it seemed to stick in my head going home. It never was the game itself, it was the vibe I got coming from the screen, the storyline didn’t matter, the gameplay didn’t matter, it was everything as a whole. A few weeks later, they were playing a different Final Fantasy, and this one changed me forever.

Final Fantasy VIII is my favorite game of all time. No exceptions, dead stop. It is seen by many as a bad follow-up to VII, too vastly different from previous entries, too much of a “love story” but to me it always was a living breathing world. Seeing the game being played, at just a random part with no context, made me go out and buy it as soon as I could. In a time of my life where I never felt comfortable with who I was, or what was going on, or even where I was going, I lived in that world as often as I could. It gave me a reason to wake up on days I preferred not to, made me smile and put happy thoughts in my mind before going to bed. I could lay on the couch for hours playing, leveling, exploring areas I had experienced 100 times already. To this day, I never mind doing grinding in games because of that, I zone out and will do it for hours (leveling grinding in Disgaea, or killing endless Tortoises in FFXIII for platinum ingots, to name a few).

I use VIII as an example in all of this, because even though it is such an important game to me, many others just see it as a boring experience they drop after a few hours of play. We are all very different in what we love and enjoy, and that doesn’t make anyone of us better than the other. Since VIII I have remained primarily a PlayStation gamer. I have now amassed well over 300 games for the varying systems, largest being PlayStation 3 which now stands at 170 discs and counting. And these games? Guarantee there are some that even their own developers would look at me and say “Christ, why the hell do you own that?” And in some cases, I am not sure, I just love being a collector, both (good and bad) games mean something to me now as I grow older.

In the future of these articles, I plan on giving my own perspective on things which I feel are different from the average gamer. Not to say I am right, that I am weird, that I am wrong, or anything like that, but that I just see it differently and in a way that no one else seems to see it. What gave me the idea to write all this down in the first place was the ending to Bioshock Infinite, and I will be starting there next time. So until then my friends…

“There is no good, there is no bad. Just perspective and opinion.” -Squall Leonhart, FFVIII

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