I was never a social gamer in any sense of the word. Until about a year ago, gaming to me equaled me alone with a console, growing up with an older brother being the only exception. It's funny then that my streak of no gaming mojo was broken by playing with a friend. When all the TAY love posts started coming in, part of me was more negative than touched. But if I tried to put words to that conflicted feeling, I'd stumble miserably. All this is preamble to say that really, the one weekend that reminded me of my love for gaming was the push to say I'm in the same boat as you sappy bastards. This is me stooping to your level!

A year ago I never would have thought I'd end up on one of your couches, but on Saturday night I was there at four in the morning talking about Ocarina of Time in that way that almost every gamer who played it as a kid does. This was also after listening to music from the series that epitomizes my solitary gaming even more than Zelda: Final Fantasy. Just like being another person reminded me of how important LoZ is to me, the FF feelings came back while sitting next to a friend. It was pretty much like this:


The next day, I picked up a controller for the first time since March. The last stress of the past semester largely killed my energy for gaming and it bled into the summer. I felt guilty to myself and even to the point of thinking I didn't deserve to be hanging out with you all...lost my gamer badge or something. Even if it worked that way, I guess I got it back within a few minutes of playing again (in this case Super Mario Bros. U.). Damn, I missed that. We ended up playing a lot of things we have in common from our earlier gaming days, whether the actual games or new iterations. The music from Diddy Kong Racing immediately brought back a lot - mostly good things, but also that I really hated the hovercraft (sorry guys). My heresy gets worse. I'd never played Mario Kart before. Dyram lost to me exactly once, because his planned sabotage failed at the last second. We finished with Sonic 3. Protip: if you have sensory perception issues, avoid that game. Good god those special stages hurt.

I left Atlanta with a lot of things, mostly non concrete, but including this awesome keychain. I had it as a kid and it got lost in some move or another. Dyram's is better to have, though. Habboi, we figured out that Triforce dilemma. You can have power of course. Dyram takes wisdom, leaving me with courage. That wouldn't be possible without you guys. Before teaching the "Bolero of Fire," Sheik says about friendship that "through it, you'll know which way to go..." As most of you know, I'm leaving for China in a few days. Back when I was deciding whether to apply or not, it was in no small part encouragement from you that gave me a much needed boost. That's far from the first or last time you've helped me through something or other. I hope I can do the same.


Tl;dr thank you