This is part 2 of the Geek Series.
Living in a village where most of your neighbors/playmates are well-off could be pretty sad for a kid like Engel.
While his dad was an Overseas Filipino Worker, his parents didn't really have the budget to afford for him toys that are pricey. Yes, he could get away with the small action figures from time to time, but for video game consoles, that was a wish that was never granted. In fact, it was never even considered by his parents. Even after several attempted tantrum outbursts, it didn't work.
When Engel was about 5 years old, there was only one house with an Atari entertainment system. Unfortunately, the kids who owned those games weren't in his age bracket so he was never allowed to play any of the games. He wasn't even allowed to touch those games. He'd often just look while the kids play Pacman and Battle Ships. And more often than not, at night he would go home crying because he was scolded by their neighbor because he touched the joystick.
Two years later, a couple of neighbors finally bought a Nintendo Entertinment System and that hundred games in one family computer system. Fortunately, the kids were younger than Engel so he'd often pick on them so that he could play those games. Alot of different emotions came rushing through the young writer as he plays Super Mario, Adventure Island, Twin Bee, Circus Charlie, Duck Hunt, The '88 Olympics Game and all those old-school video games his neighbors had. He'd often sleepover his neighbor's house on the weekends so he could finish Level 1-2 of Super Mario 3.
If kids could be mean, there are some who could be really manipulative. They use their consoles as a bargaining chip so you could be "bati" with them, when you decide they're not fun to play with. They'd often crank their television sets to full volume while playing Contra until you come knocking on their door to beg for forgiveness. Children back then were cruel.
There was one time Engel's tantrums worked on his dad. Fifth grade, his father went home when the clan's patriarch died, and of course being the only one then who worked abroad in the family, Engel's father was obligated to shoulder a fraction of the overall expenses for the burial. Anyway, while in Duty Free, the son saw that Game Boys and Game Gears were sold for discounted prices, so the young Engel did not leave the stall until what he wanted was given. The parents were bargaining for a different toy instead, but Engel had enough of never having a video game device.
The moment he laid his hands on that black shiny colored handheld device, he told himself, never again. Seven months later, Geary (the name of his Game Gear) broke down and was never fixed again.
For his high school graduation gift, he asked all his relatives to pitch in so he can buy the original Sony Playstation console. And he did. At that time, Engel got so excited about the console he forgot that he had to attend the graduation ball at some posh hotel in Manila that evening. He was only reminded when his mom told him his cousin was already dressed to go to the party.
That was the time he was introduced to Role Playing Games like Final Fantasy, Chrono Cross, Suikoden and Parasite Eve. This was where most of his 'baon' would go to. A pirated copy of Resident Evil 1-3, Metal Gear Solid and Parappa the Rapper. He even bought himself the dance mat for Dance Dance Revolution.
His PS stayed with him for four years before passing it on to his cousins because he had to finally upgrade his console.
December of 2002. Last semester before he graduates. He already knows that he'll be graduating. And better news was that he was part of the Dean's Honors List that year so he demanded an upgrade. He asked his favorite Aunt if she could give him a few more pesos so he can finally buy a PS2 for Christmas. He actually had options back then, it's either that or a trip to Singapore. Seeing as if he chooses the trip, he'd have to work on processing a passport, he opted for the video game console.
While Engel's still not a seasoned gamer, he improved his gaming skills with this device. He learned to like shooting games more. He got addicted playing Resident Evil 4, Metal Gear Snake Eater, Dragon Quest, NBA Live and the rest of the Final Fantasy games. The graphics was much better, voiceovers are now possible, and the games are just much more awesome. He'd sometimes play these with his friends, but most of the time he plays games by himself.
2007 when he resigned from his company, he decided to sell the beloved console because he didn't have allowance anymore. He was out of work for four months.
2 XBOX 360'S
The first one, he bought September of '07. That was where his backpay from his previous company went to. He's been itching to buy one since he found out about the console. This was cheaper than the PS3 and looks slicker. The games also looked cooler and everything about Microsoft's console's just awesome.
During the summer of 08, Engel found himself jobless again. And this was his companion throughout that period. He'd play day and night video games like Grand Theft Auto IV, Elder Scrolls IV, Gears of War, Halo 3 and just about every pirated version of all the cool games released at that time. One time he was even complained to by his neighbors for playing war games at 2 in the morning (he had to crank his speakers to max volume when he plays his games). Unfortunately, after nine months of loyal service, the console died (3RLs). It almost got fixed, but a week later, the console died again.
So for his birthday this year, Engel bought another XBox. This is much better, because now he has two controllers, more games and a big screen tv. But he's taking good care of this one this time. He doesn't play alot anymore (well because he has work now), his hours of playtime isn't as unforgiving as before. He doesn't want what happens with his first console to happen to this one again.
But it does get tiresome playing videogames sometimes. Specially if you're playing games alone.
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