Sunday, October 24, 2004

Growing Up

It's a strange birthday so far. I woke up, skipped the video games to do some work on an RPG project, and now I'm thinking about aging. I actually have a signed contract for this RPG, so if they like it, it's the first paying gig I have for writing a game - and, incidentally, the first paying gig for writing something fictional. Not too shabby. I'll accept that as a birthday present of sorts.

I don't usually like to celebrate my birthday, but Liz threw a surprise party for me last night, and all of my friends came out, and it was a really good time. We just kind of played games and ate snacks, and it was one of those great, "wow, these folks care about me" moments. Not to sound too mushy, but those really are the best kinds of presents - just having your friends around and having a good time.

Today I've got about four thousand more words to write on the game, a not-too-ambitious goal I hope, and I'd like to finalize a book proposal so I can turn that in tomorrow (I try not to talk about those kinds of things too specifically until I know for sure whether it happens or not, so pardon my superstitious dancing around the subject matter). And I'm gonna play some more Vice City, because San Andreas bows on Tuesday and my free time for things other than video gaming will come to a screeching halt soon after.

Speaking of video games, I picked up Midway Arcade Treasures 2 the other day, largely because it contains the only "true" 'port of the arcade classic Mortal Kombat II. I wasted many hours and many quarters playing MKII as a youth; it was one of the first games I can remember that had little secret fiddly-bits that my friends and I raced to discover (Fatalities, Friendships, etc.) I remember it being a fun fighting game, one that we would go after school to play at the ISU Student Center, or down at the arcade in the mall. The console 'ports, although acceptable, never managed to capture the fun of the original, so I was pretty stoked to try the "true 'port" on Midway Arcade Treasures 2.

They say you can't go home, and you're right. I have no doubt that it is a very accurate 'port, everything I remember is there, but the years have built the game up in my mind so much that playing it again is goddamned depressing. I've been corresponding with Ken over email, one of my friends from back in Illinois and one of the guys who used to play MKII with me, and talking to him and catching up has been a much better experience than loading that game and walking down memory lane.

I could do one of those "ever forward" touchy-feely conclusions here, but I don't think I will, because it's not like I've learned a lesson or anything. It's just a little sad that memory whitewashes things so well.


Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Jason!

I must admit to having the exact same experience. Some one gave me that Midway compilation for my birthday earlier this month. It was very depressing playing MK2. It was also depressing seeing that it has been 11 years already since the game came out.


Liz said...

No touchy-feely! I'm disappointed! Well, I'm just glad you had a good time; that and it's nice to know that my insticts about you have trumped your ba-humbugness again! Now for my next feat, to add christmas to your religion (I have a feeling I'm going to need to rely on my l337 cooking skills for this one).... ;)

Anonymous said...

ALL of your friends? I'm wounded! :-) Seriously, I'm sorry I missed your celebration. It's hard to believe I met you when you were 19...