Thursday, September 27, 2007

Some Assembly Required

Welcome, dear readers, to the first bi-weekly posting of the Ikea Gamer blog. So what is an Ikea Gamer? The Ikea mentality is minimalistic for the sake of function and ease of use. You have an objective, what is the easiest way to get there with the least amount of cost to you? If you ask any student trying to furnish their dorm or rented rooms, they would undoubtedly tell you they are going to "Ikea the place". Such is the mentality of an Ikea Gamer. Some of us in this world were born to play. Be it sports, games, cards, toys, or instruments, these people were all meant to play. Some of these people are able to make a career out of it, pro-sports, pro-card sharks, game journalists, etc. But the majority of us are left with playing football with our friends on the second Saturday of each month for 2 hours, then hitting the bar before going home to clean the toilets and mow the lawn. For those of us in the latter scenario, I sympathize. I'm not a sports nut, I watch hockey time to time, cheer on my team, and even make it to a few home games during the season. I watch tennis on and off, and I play squash twice a week with my friend. But when it comes to video games, that's a whole different story. You see, my childhood was devoid of video games until my family immigrated to Canada when I was 8 years old. As a part of the bribe to lure their son to a foreign country and leave his childhood friends, my parents promised me a 8bit Nintendo Fami-Com system complete with a Disk Drive and 66 games. What they didn't tell me was that the system would require a power converter that wouldn't be available until 6 months after we arrived, and that 80% of the 66 games were going to be in Japanese. Myself being Chinese, this was, of course, unacceptable. But what is an 8 year old to do be accept that he is now in a foreign country, and he was the only black haired Chinese boy in his grade 3 class? So I did what most 8 year old at that time would do - play outside! This outdoors activities stage in my life lasted all the way into first year university when I was able to get a job and start to afford some luxuries in my life. At this time, I was already dating my wife so my minimum wage salary was divided into such: 50% tuition, 30% dates, 10% bills, 5% food, 5% entertainment. With that 5% budget to work with, I was once again deprived of any form of games short of a few rounds of arcade street fighter at the local Mac's (at $0.25, I could only play Street Fighter 2 and not the fancy new Capcom VS series, which required a significantly larger sum of $1.00). This trend continued well into my university education. I was finally able to afford my first real gaming system in my 3rd year of university. The Sony Playstation was the chosen system. At that time, many games had already been released and the hints of a Playstation 2 was already on the horizon. I realized I had a lot of catching up to do - but with work, school, and my girlfriend, I could barely spend time with my friends, let alone play video games. Sadly, this situation continues into today. What I hope to convey in this blog, is to share some of my views, as a married gamer about to turn 30, and perhaps release some of the stress of trying to balance a well rounded life at work and at home with a level 25 Blood Elf Warlock. Until the next post, have fun, enjoy the sunshine, and don't forget to multi-task!

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