ET LUDOS INCIPERE/CANTO#4

It was something I didn’t anticipate in the slightest. It wasn’t planned, provoked, or even particularly inspired. It’s funny cause it turned out to be something that has changed the course of my life, vastly for the better, and I had no idea it would be happening. See, for most of my life, if it wasn’t music related I didn’t really give a shit. Music was my life, my everything, and if I wasn’t listening to it I was playing it, promoting it, writing it, whatever the case was. If you couldn’t tell me your top 5 favorite albums off the top of your head I didn’t want to fucking KNOW you. Music & I also have a very dysfunctional relationship, cause I was never a “jam with your buddies” kind of musician. I was a “bleeding for it from the inside” kind of musician, and when the music was good…my life was usually very, very bad. Then, it turned out that the more good things I got in my life, the less I needed to bleed from anything, and my main creative outlet sort of up and left the building. I still have a nice guitar rig, a lovely nearly-new acoustic, and I will always be a musician in some capacity- I’ve just stopped the bleeding I guess. Music was my escape from bullying, a shitty hometown, an absentee father, and it will always flow through these veins- but it’s kinda nice to sit back and let Matt Skiba do the bleeding for me for once.

The thing is though, a person like me NEEDS creativity, and we tend to find it in unexpected places when we end up without it for a while. Case in point: it’s summer 2017 and we’re about to have kiddo number two. My wife & I haven’t been on social media for almost 3 years (I’m back because I have to be, and it’s not TECHNICALLY “me” cause it’s TGG, so shhh.) but I happened to stumble onto a Tweet about this SNES Classic thing coming out soon. I was a pretty big gamer as a kid, pouring hours into stuff like ActRaiser, Final Fantasy II, Super Metroid, etc. but once a guitar hit these hands that was pretty much all she wrote. I had a console here and there but for the most part it was all about the music, man. Now, Nintendo was gracing the world with this box that contained my adolescence and two controllers and I absolutely HAD to have one. I stalked the darkest reaches of the internet every fucking day until one of those days…voila…the Wal-Mart a few miles from my house had a batch coming in. So there’s me, at midnight on a Tuesday, standing in the middle of a Wal-Mart like a kid waiting to sit on Santa’s lap, and I got one. I fucking got one and it was AWESOME. All was right with the world (like Ralphie getting his Red Rider carbine action 200-shot range model air rifle in A Christmas Story awesome) but it wouldn’t last long. Why? Around the same time my wife and I learned about a little thing called the Nintendo Switch, which had been impossible to get around Atlanta since it launched and we talked about trying to get one. We were about to be balls deep in diapers, poops, peepees, and god-damn-mother-fucking sleep deprivation again so why not have some in-house entertainment and restoke those childhood fires of electronic wonderment! So, my massively pregnant wife called every big box retail store within 40 square miles and, long story short, brought us home a Switch. Queue massive revelation- it’s awesome. It is handheld, it goes wherever I go, and it is instantly my favorite console of all time. This 30-something married father of almost two had instantly become enraptured with gaming again, and especially so with the ultra-vibrant indie gaming scene that the Switch has nurtured so well. I went all in, so much so that we had to buy another one for my wife cause you would have to pry mine from my cold, dead ass hands to get it away from me. I had stumbled upon a passion I had NO idea I would stumble onto, and it has been an amazing part of my life ever since.

I’ve always wanted to be a writer, and once I started getting somewhat involved with the gaming community what I REALLY wanted to do was find a way to make my living doing something in that world. The music thing never quite worked out, probably because I was a little too good at the chemical enhancement part of the gig, but nonetheless THIS felt like something that was attainable. Sure, I’d been a filthy lapsed gamer most of my adult life, but I dove back in head first and I know my shit. I have pretty good taste and people seem to respect my opinions. But it’s hard to break into it, I’ve tried metric ton of times to talks sites into letting me do an article, a review, etc. and I must go straight to the “Deleted Items” cause I’ve gotten exactly jack SHIT out of that. Why am I telling you all this right now? Cause I have decided to say SCREW IT, and I’m gonna do it myself. Fuck knocking on doors, I’m kicking them in dammit. The Ghost Generation is going to serve as my own personal “Entertainment 720” and I’m gonna do it all, baby. Starting in a couple days I’m going to be doing regular game reviews for Nintendo Switch and as soon as I finish this post I’m going to get back into the first game I’m doing an official review for. The super-rad devs at 7Levels were cool enough to provide me with a review code for their soon-to-be released action/platformer Jet Kave Adventure (I helped them identify & fix a bunch of issues with their previous game Castle Of Heart and they wanted me to be one of the first to give this one a shot) and over the course of the next few days I’ll be putting my frankly-fucking-shameful backlog aside to play through the game so I can get a review up as soon as embargo lifts. I’m excited beyond words, cause this is something I am extremely passionate about and it’s taking The Ghost Generation in a direction that I’m really proud of. The 10 year-old version of me, eagerly reading through the reviews in the back of GamePro Magazine would flip his shit right now if he knew this would be the path 38 year old me would go down. Gaming has brought me such immense joy, but it’s also not the whole piece of the puzzle, cause I still need to be CREATING things myself. Which is why I started this thing in the first place, so you’re going to see The Ghost Generation being about my personal blog posts, regular review posts, and hopefully (once I get enough traction) a podcast and an eStore. That logo is just too darn rad to NOT be on clothing- you’ll see. 🙂

I know there are thousands of people doing the same thing, but I also know that I am the only me that there is. I have a passion, I have dreams & goals, and MY voice deserves to be heard just like anyone else’s. Your’s does too, and I hope you all can find something here that resonates with you, whether it’s my gaming stuff or my personal stuff, I think my voice can fit in with a lot of YOUR voices and maybe we can build a cool little community around this thing. So, stick around, subscribe please and thank you, and reach out- let me know how I’m doing, let me know what’s working and what’s not, cause this is for you too. Established bloggers/reviewers? I’m ALWAYS down to learn more about my craft and I’ll happily accept any mentoring you care to offer. Indie game devs looking for an honest & well-written review for your next Switch release? I’m SO your guy, so let’s talk. This thing is new, and it might not seem like much now but with a little help, and a little luck, I may just be able to do something special. For now, back to the task at hand! I figured since I’m slowly building a teensy handful of followers I should explain a little more about why I’m doing all this gaming-related stuff all of a “sudden”. Thanks for playing along, and I just want to say one more thing: I’m my own worst enemy, and every step of this journey I have to fight through that fucking internal dialogue, the venomous voice telling me “you can’t do it”, or “why you?”, “you’ll just fail” but I keep going. This world will try to keep you chained to the bottom of the ladder, and sometimes even your own damn self will do the same, but I’m taking it back. It may flame out, maybe nobody WILL care- but at least I did something. We can ALL DO SOMETHING. We have so much more strength than we realize and we deserve to live our dreams-whatever in the wild blue fuck they might be. Don’t let your shitty brain-speak or other people dictate your story- write your own, and take a big god damn pair of bolt cutters to that chain and climb whatever ladder you want to.

“Tell me, why’d I wait so long, to break these chains around me?”- A Wilhelm Scream/”Boat Builders”

www.awilhelmscream.com – Some of the best punk rock you’ll ever hear.

www.7lvls.com – Passionate and all-around rad indie game devs based in sunny Poland.

AJH

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