“You can check out this interview in its original form and others at AVID Gamers!”
Today, our own co-author The Timely Mage interviews The Well-Red Mage.
AVID Gamer Spotlight
Moses Norton: Classics Gamer
The Well-Red Mage
“With answers long enough to belong in the
Norton Literature Collection, the adept author Moses shares some of his experiences
in gaming and how they nurtured his love for storytelling. Join me as we explore the mildly psychotic (his words, not mine!) mind of our fellow AVID Gamer:
How long have you been a gamer?”
“I’ve been a gamer since someone gave me an NES when I was 6 or so,
which puts me back some years.”
“Cool. So how has gaming impacted you over the past 20 odd years?”
“Gaming influenced me to get into music and teach myself to play the piano. I remember hearing Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” for the first time–it was as a track on Earthworm Jim 2–and I loved it so much I recorded it off the tv onto a cassette tape. It was one of the first songs I learned to play on the ivories. Also, gaming has played a large part in my interest in storytelling and I’ve always been drawn to games that are compelling stories, even those that suffered from a lack of graphics back in the day. Now as a writer, I can feel bits and bits of old threads of storylines in the back of my mind like the whispers of ghosts. Also, it’s been a great experience to re-live some of these stories with my wife since we’ve been married and watch her undergo the emotions that I remembered myself. ”
“That’s awesome. I can definitely relate.
What are some of the most compelling games you’ve played?”
“Haha, well there’s a few categories: Games that made me weep (FFVII of course, FFX, Kingdom Hearts, Breath of Fire II, Ni no Kuni), Games that left me speechless (Shadow of the Colossus, Ico, Link’s Awakening, Metal Gear Solid series, Super Mario Galaxy, Journey, Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, FF Tactics, FFVI, Wind Waker, Arkham Asylum, Mega Man Legends) and games that are timeless and always compelled me to come back to again and again (Mega Man IV, Earthworm Jim, Super Mario World, Yoshi’s Island, Katamari Damacy, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Mario 64, Super Mario Bros. 3, Maniac Mansion, Mega Man X, StarCraft, Sim City 2000 and Zombies Ate My Neighbors hahahaha). Obviously, I think the SNES was the greatest system ever made. In one way or another, these are the compelling ones.”
“Zombies Ate My Neighbors! Yes!
Such a wide array of games represented.
Truly a sign of someone who appreciates the art.
“Oh gosh, I feel like it’s a limited array because there’s some areas I never touch, like I stay away from really new, popular “franchisey” games, FPS’s and racing games.”
“Can you share one or more of your most memorable
gaming moments you’ve experienced?”
“I can’t pick just one, so here’s four: (hahaha sorry!!!) one when I was single, one when I was married, one that was the most frustrating, and one that made me ragequit:
When I was single and in high school, I remember planning to dedicate my entire summer to plowing through Chrono Trigger and unlocking every ending and maxing out the game. I covered my window with blankets, inadvertently creating a sauna in midsummer Hawaii, but that was one of the best summers ever with the most respected rpg of all time.
When I was married, my wife and I played through Final Fantasy X HD and I had to pause the game and hold her because she couldn’t stop crying on the scene when Yuna is with Tidus and she breaks down because she can’t go on, knowing she’s going to die, and Tidus is oblivious. That’s the scene that got me, too.
The one that was the most frustrating was playing Zelda: Link’s Awakening on the original Gameboy and struggling for weeks to find every last one of those blankety-blank seashells. I dug everywhere and scoured that island. And got a stupid piece of heart for all my trouble. Worst sidequest ever.
And finally, the one that made me ragequit was when I was playing through FFVI for the first time. It’s been three times now, but that first time I was at the final savepoint before the last boss, Kefka, and I had done almost everything in the game. I was ready. I got up to go get a drink and tripped over the cord on the controller (glad they make ’em cordless now) which caused an avalanche of SNES parts and properties and reset my game. When I turned it back on… the save had deleted off of the cartridge. Something like 70 hours of gameplay gone. I raged, but also I quit, well because I had to. The game quit on me.”
“Powerful stuff. Thanks for sharing.
There’s nothing that makes your stomach sink quite like seeing that you can only select New Game instead of Continue when you boot up a game after hours of play time. Is there anything about your gaming habits that people might be surprised to learn?”
“I don’t play casually. I like to binge play. Wow, that sounds unhealthy and mildly psychotic. That means I must be a completionist/perfectionist when it comes to a game, even though I don’t act like that for anything else in life, really. I can’t just sit down to play any old game. I have to plan out in my mind how long it will take to beat, to platinum, to get to new game+, to get every item, etc. Therefore, most games don’t hold that much enjoyment for me. Maybe that’s why I stick to replaying old games a lot instead of experiencing new releases.”
“Lastly, if you could impart one piece of advice to fellow gamers what would it be?”
“I think the best word of wisdom is ‘It’s just a game’ and everything that entails. What that means for me is there’s a whole wealth of experiences and things to be enjoyed in the gaming world, and shared with others, but the games aren’t real life, they’re part of life and you can learn a lot about life through the way another human being tells a story through a game. But when it comes down to a hundred-hour grind for a chestplate in that new MMO? Maybe there’s better things to do or better games to find. I think good games, like good literature or films or poetry, should cause you to reflect upon reality rather than totally take your mind away from it.”
“Well said, friend. Thank you.”