Schooled: Video games gave me my career


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[Believe it or not, I’m actually a full-time student myself. After growing old and lazy over the course of many years, I decided it was time for a change. Honestly, it was the smartest decision I’ve made in a long time. In a strange twist of fate, I found myself promoted to a position where I could write for Destructoid shortly after that too! It was almost like the universe was rewarding me for making the right choice haha…. Needless to say, I can relate to Absolutefreak’s words here on a somewhat personal level. Also, we’re both bald, so he’s got that going for him too!

In other news, it’s still not too late to take a stab atthis month’s Bloggers Wanted prompt.There’s more than a week left before you’ve officially disappointed me, so get to it! – Kevin]

As you’re most likely already aware, video games are a fantastic way to relax, spend some time with friends, or scratch that competitive itch you might have. Games have done all this for me, but they’ve indirectly given me a far greater gift: the ability to make a living. Using computers to play games led me to getting deeper involved with them, and now I work in the IT field today.

It all truly began when I was around seven years old. At that point, I had been into games for years with the Atari 2600 we had and had played some NES at my neighbor’s house. One day my dad brought home a Commodore 64 and a Ghostbusters game for it. I learned the process of loading and running software and played this and several other games that I got a hold of. (Bonus points to anyone who has heard of Skate Rock or Corom!) All in all, it was an incredibly basic introduction to computers, but it got me interested.

The real hardcore gaming machine.

My next exposure to computers came when my dad purchased an x286 PC, with a whopping 64KB of RAM and a 12Mhz processor. It ran DOS as its operating system, and I taught myself how to use it in order to get around and play games on it. To this day, I still have a fondness for command line interfaces. It was totally worth it to put in a little extra effort to get to my gaming. I was getting all sorts of experiences that I couldn’t get on my NES. Many happy hours were spent on that dinosaur of a computer, playing stuff like SimCity, Wasteland, and the Dungeons & Dragons Gold Box games.

I get all warm and fuzzy seeing screens like this.

I moved onto what most would consider to be more “modern” computers when my best friend’s family bought a new PC running Windows 95. Every weekend, we’d now be up until 4:00 AM messing around with the OS and playing games like Warcraft II and Command & Conquer. I had to get my fix at his house because my parents wouldn’t upgrade our old computer since my dad didn’t use it for much (ironically he later became a network administrator). I’m glad his parents didn’t know much about computers because I sure wouldn’t want one of my kid’s friends messing around with my system for hours on end!

My love for PCs really took off when I saved up enough to purchase one of my own at 17. It had an AMD K2 processor (to save money vs a comparable Pentium II) and was running Windows 98. I finally had a system that I had free reign to mess around with. This was also the period where the internet was starting to take off, so this was a game changer in more ways than one. Since we were using a 28.8 modem, I tied up the phone line for a significant portion of the time I was at home. Especially once StarCraft released.

I graduated high school in 1999 and began a short stint in college before dropping out and switching to a tech school. I finished up with an associate’s degree in 2002, but I was unsuccessful in breaking into the IT industry. For the next several years, my PC gaming was mostly limited to the MMOs Final Fantasy XI and World of Warcraft. Most of my gaming was done on consoles during this period. I owned a mid level PC running XP early in the decade but started getting back into the swing of things in 2006 when I bought a pretty jazzed up Alienware.

How to blow a ton of money when your girlfriend dumps you.

I finally built a PC of my own a few years ago when I went back to school to get my bachelor’s degree. It was the greatest feeling when it booted up for the very first time after an enjoyable evening of assembling it! I finished up college at the beginning of 2016, and I have been loving my career since. Thank you, video games, for being the reason I started learning about computers in the first place. Now my biggest problem is having enough time to play them!