Back to School

My family had a ritual when I was growing up. If we were watching TV and a back to school commercial came on any time before August 15th or so, my sister, my mother, or me would rush to change the channel while my father cackled like a madman at the inevitability of our fate. Summer would end, sooner than we could have thought or hoped, and we’d all be forced to ride the bus to school while my father waved from the sidewalk before hopping in his car, gleeful with the knowledge we were suffering alongside him in our own way.

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I’m Playing Final Fantasy XIV – Part Two

“Old Audidididididididi oooooooo happy birthday, sir!”

The old refrain slid its way into my dusty Facebook messenger app. It had been years since I went by my old screename “Audio,” a name that’s almost as inspired as my lily white sword boy Dagda.

You see, back in the day, when I was older and wiser and knew that striding into a group of strangers and asking to be a part of their organization is not the way to make friends, I found a clan in a Half Life 1 mod-turned-full-game called Day of Defeat. The WWII shooter was bundled when I registered an old copy of Half Life to Steam, and since I was bored and at the time only received new games on my birthday or Christmas (a six month drought in any direction), I decided to check it out. It clicked with me pretty much right away.

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I’m Playing Final Fantasy XIV – Part One

I hate character creation. Tweaking cheekbones, pursing lips, finding the perfect eyebrow shade – I know people who absolutely eat this stuff up, but I can’t really bring myself to care about a mug I’m going to slap a hard-helm on and never look upon again anyway.

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I’m Playing Final Fantasy XIV – Preamble

“I want in.”

I was twelve years old and experiencing online gaming for the first time. Someone had given me Halo: Combat Evolved for the PC, and since I didn’t have an Xbox, I had no one to play online with. Thirsting for the comradeship and totally epic stories shared around sticky cafeteria lunch tables, I wanted my own community to get to know. Digital friends. A guild. A clan.

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