My Gaming Nostalgia

Ever really think about what it was in your life that really shaped you into the gamer that you are today? Can you remember the moment? I was recently asked these questions, and it really got me thinking.

I have to admit that it’s very difficult for me to remember one specific instance that really shaped me into the gamer that I am today. If I had to choose, there are two periods of my life that stand out.

First let me say that I’ve played video games since before I can remember, and before that I was an infant lying on the floor watching my older brother play them. (Trust me, there are home videos.) You might think that this makes it hard for me to pinpoint a time that changed me as a gamer, but it really isn’t. You see, I was always Player 2 early on. My parents decided video games were my brother’s thing. He received the systems and games as gifts, and since they were his I was only allowed to play when he wanted me to.

A big turning point for me as a gamer was when I received a Gameboy Color and Pokémon Blue for Christmas. I didn’t realize until much later that the Gameboy was my first game system, and that Pokémon was my first truly solo gaming experience. Of course, I didn’t know this at the time. I was too engrossed with actually playing Pokémon. There is even a picture of me at about seven years old curled in my dad’s old grey lounger with my head hung over my new Gameboy. I’m sure my family didn’t get to visit much with me during the time I spent adventuring through Pokémon.

Everyone might be surprised that the most influential moment of my early gaming life was a time that I wasn’t even playing the game 90% of the time. I was watching my brother play through a specific game, and he would let me play the mini-games or do miscellaneous things in the game but never the story. That game was Final Fantasy VII.  I’ll never forget the summer that he got that game. I don’t even think that we really knew how popular the game was, but we literally spent the entire summer playing it. I say we because I was so engrossed by it. The story, the graphics, the gameplay; I always wanted to play, but I settled for the mostly watching. I couldn’t get enough.

This was the summer that we snacked instead of really eating. My diet consisted of nachos, Pizza Rolls, Bagel Bites, and delicious popsicles. I can honestly say that this was when we starting choosing what we now call gamer food. That is, the food that is chosen for ease and convenience. I’m also pretty sure we never changed out of our pajama’s either.

I digress. Final Fantasy VII wasn’t the first in the Final Fantasy series that I had seen, but it was the first that I got to experience more. It was the game that got me hooked on the series, and since I’ve become quite an avid fan. That game, easy snacks, and comfy clothes made up a summer that shaped me the most as a gamer. I found my niche and my passion within the gaming world, and I haven’t turned back since.

It’s nice to look back on those moments, and it was even nicer to share them with everyone. It really makes you think about the things that make you feel nostalgic. I can’t take the credit though. A representative from a company called Man Crates sent me a request to see if I was interested in writing about those key ingredients that shaped me as a gamer.

For those of you that don’t know what Man Crates are, you should — Shame on you. Haha, I’m just kidding. They’re essentially crates that contain a bundle of quality goods for any man in your life. I’m not talking about cheap colognes, ties, socks, and boxers. They also have a new offering where they cover a gift card in concrete to be smashed open by your man — No, I’m not kidding. This company really represents Go Big or Go Home, in my opinion.

Did I mention that all the macho goods come in a wooden crate? Yes, you have to use a crowbar to get these bad boys open. I feel like that’s a manly gift in itself. Give him a wooden crate, a crow bar, and watch as he gets to show off his strength by opening it.

So if that sounds like something you would gift to someone, click their logo below!

 

Man Crates Store

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Geeky Crafts: Perler Beads

All of you know by now that I’m a geek. What you may not be aware of is that I also love to make things!

Yay, crafting!

I do a lot of painting, some sketching, Perler Bead sprites, and I’m learning to crochet. If you followed me when I wrote on Geeky ‘n Girly, you may recall my post stating that I was going to be doing Perler Beads. I even went as far as to create an Etsy for it and try to sell them. Well, that didn’t go so well but that didn’t stop me from selling them locally and just making them for fun.

Most geeks/nerds are familiar with Perler Beads. If you aren’t, they’re basically beads that you put together into a pattern on a pegboard and then you melt them together to make images.

For geeks, perlers are the perfect recreation of the old school video game sprites that we love! In truth, it has become so popular that there are perler patterns for just about anything is available. Simply google perler bead patterns or hit up Pinterest. Trust me, my perler patterns have their very own board on Pinterest.

Perlers are a lot of fun and can be easy or highly complicated. I tend to prefer the simpler sprites that are nostagic for me, but I’ve also made some of the more cutesy types.

What to Buy:

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Most of these items can be found at Hobby Lobby/Michaels and you’re local Walmart.

Beads – These can be sorted or mixed. I recommend both since it gives you a variety. Then when you figure out which colors you really want to use, you can go back for the individual packs.

Peg Boards – Definitely buy the ones you can interlink in case you want to go big with your creations.

Wax Papers – This is a must. Don’t apply heat directly to the beads or you’ll have a mess.

Masking Tape – The thicker, the better! This is used to remove your completed sprite from the peg boards.

Clothes Iron– You’ll need one if you don’t have one to melt the beads.

Toothpicks – Or something similar to puncture holes in the masking tape to prevent air bubbles.*

How To – Steps:

  1. Look up a pattern or make it up! Again, you can find patterns online by googling or using Pinterest.
  2. Place beads on the pegboard in the pattern.
  3. Apply masking tape to the completed pattern so that it covers every bead.
  4. Take something flat like a credit card and press the tape against the beads to assure they stick.
  5. Use a toothpick or pen to puncture a few of the beads’ holes.
  6. Life the tape with beads stuck off of the peg boards.
  7. Set the pattern with the beads facing down.
  8. Take your peg board and line the pegs with the holes you’ve already made. Press down until the pegs puncture the rest of the beads’ holes.
  9. Flip the pattern over with beads facing up.
  10. Cover with wax paper.
  11. Apply iron in circular motions using an even amount of pressure until beads appear wet through the paper.
  12. When beads are melted, leave wax paper and set something flat and heavy on top so that the sprite doesn’t warp while cooling. A thick book or two will work.
  13. Wait 10-15 minutes before removing the heavy item, wax paper, and tape.
  14. Done!

Tips for Beginners:

  • Turn on your iron while you’re putting your pattern together. It helps to save time.
  • Don’t iron the beaded pattern while it sits on the plastic peg boards. The heat will warp the boards!
  • *Be sure to puncture holes through the tape to allow air to escape. If not, you’ll create air pockets that will cause the holes to enlarge when you melt the beads.
  • To get rid of all holes and create a flat sprite, use extra but even pressure when ironing until you see the beads melt together completely into tiny squares. Don’t iron for too long or you’ll seriously flatten them out!
  • Don’t use wax paper that’s been folded, or if you do, don’t put the creases on top of the beads. When you iron them, you’ll actually iron on the crease which will create an indentation on your sprite!
  • Have Patience! Perler Beads require a good amount of time and patience depending on what you’re trying to make. There will be times that you bump it, knock it, and otherwise mess it up. The good news is that it can be fixed!

If you’re a picture or video person as far as instructions go, there are many websites and videos to be found on how to make Perler Bead sprites.

The only thing I recommend is to pay attention to the tips above. They were hard learned lessons!

Now for the fun part! Below are some of the sprites that I’ve made so far.

Happy Perlering!

cho-g1

Out with the Old & In with the New

I’m very happy to announce that I will be moving to Austin, TX at the end of May!

To be honest, it’s really got me thinking about fresh starts and new beginnings. I think that moving to a new city can really help you redefine your lifestyle, especially if that city’s culture is different (in a good way) than your current one. Austin is just that.

  • Austin’s general population is younger. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many people my age before!
  • It’s a very green city, and puts a lot of effort into environmental awareness, Lovely parks and lakes everywhere.
  • It has a no-kill policy which means a lot to me as an animal lover.
  • Austin is very health and fitness oriented. It is very rare to see an out of shape Austinite.
  • It’s culturally diverse and rich with people from all over the world living there and influencing it.
  • Live Music Capital of the United States. Need I say more? The arts are strong there!

The list could go on and on, but those are the main reasons I am attracted to it. I’m an animal, nature, and arts loving person who wants to bring more fitness into her life. Was this city made for me?

To be fair, I won’t actually be living IN Austin, but just north of it in the Pflugerville, TX or Round Rock, TX areas. My boyfriend likes to point out that they are their own cities, but I feel as though the three cities bleed right into each other. This is especially true when its comes to the general lifestyle. Not to mention they’re only like 20 minutes apart. I mean, I can drive the highway for 20 minutes in San Antonio and still be in San Antonio. C’mon now!

I digress.

On the more geeky spectrum of things, I am just itching to explore the geek culture in Austin. A lot of people will yell, “Hipsters!” when they talk about Austin, but I have this feeling that I will feel more at home among a bigger geek society there. I know for sure that it hosts more geek conventions than San Antonio. That’s always a positive sign, right?

Of course, as I explore and discover the geek culture in Austin, I will be letting you all know how it is! Although I’m sure I will be posting before July, there is a particular event I am so damn excited to go to.

That is..

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Did your eyes just bug out as big as mine did when I discovered this? Yeah, I’m sure they did.

Being that I haven’t bought into the current newer consoles of the last few years, I set my sights to the past. You just can’t go wrong with the classics. In fact, I miss them! Video games are evolving in a way that I’m not particularly fond of. Well, minus MMORPG’s which I almost always love. FFXIV: ARR specifically. ❤

I will be attending this amaze-balls Classic Game Fest, and I will be overloading my phone with tons of pictures to show everyone. Luckily it will be at the end of our first month in Austin and I’ll let it dangle in front of my eyes like a treat the next two months to help push me through what I’m sure will be a stressful transition.

So let me ask everyone something even though it’s not January and we didn’t just celebrate New Years. What changes are you bringing into your life for the positive? Anything big? Not so big? Hey, nothing’s better than baby-steps actually.

Let me know!

cho-g1