Who am I? Jake aka Plaid: My Gaming Backstory

People never call me prettyboy on Xbox Live.  My full gamertag is prettyboyplaid and I actively encourage people to call me prettyboy when I first meet them.  But they usually resort to Plaid after a minute or two.  I don’t blame them, plaid is shorter than prettyboy and a bit less awkward.  But I am pretty I swear it.  What else am I?

I’m a gamer.  I feel like an old timer in the gaming universe.  I have been playing games since the original Nintendo Entertainment System, Duck Hunt and Super Mario Bros 2 were my favorite games when I was younger.  I also played an rather obscure game called StarTropics that I always ask for a retro gaming stores, but I have not been able to find it yet.

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Classic Yo-Yo Gameplay

I didn’t hit my gaming stride until the original Xbox and GameCube generation.  The GameCube was the first console that I purchased on launch day.  My mother waiting in line at the local Walmart early in the morning on November 18, 2001 and luckily picked up one of the few consoles they had.  I didn’t receive the console until Christmas of that year, but I was beyond thrilled to open that present.

The following Christmas I opened an Xbox from under the tree.  I subscribed to Xbox Live shortly there after.  My gamertag at the time was Lab Master.  I played a lot of Whacked!, probably too much… I later created a new account and changed my name to NetsShooter24.  I was briefly banned for using standbye in Halo 2 multiplayer and created EdibleDoc.  When the Xbox 360 released I changed my name to Fly Pro.  Then briefly changed it to TripleStripe before changing it back to Fly Pro.  Finally, around the release of Destiny on the Xbox One, I changed my gamertag to prettyboyplaid.

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The old blog that would become Spoon Deep

Now I might change it again to plaid or plaidjake or mcplaidjakepterodactyl.  I do wear a lot of plaid button up shirts from LL Bean.

During my early teens I really got into video games.  I didn’t have a lot of friends that played regularly like I do know.  But during my Call of Duty 2 years I played with SU BALLER, kickass91, and FlyGeneralLee aka dragon63, all of the other dragons were taken…

The three of us created a clan called Fly Productions.  I made some videos before YouTube was big, we ran a couple online tournaments in Call of Duty 2.  We had to enter them ourselves to fill out the field, and we lost anyway.  We even had a GameBattles and MajorLeagueGaming accounts.  I ran a small website that no one visited.

It was about that time that I reached world number 1 in Cloning Clyde for the Xbox 360 Arcade.  I remember playing the multiplayer in the game for a few hours shortly after the game was released.  It wasn’t long before I checked the leaderboard and found myself in the top 10.  I played that game for another couple hours, late into the night.  Repeatedly battling the same few guys over and over again, until I hit number 1.  I soon fell to number 3 and stayed in the top 10 for a few years.  (I have not checked the leaderboards recently.)  As you can imagine, not a lot of people were playing Cloning Clyde competitively.

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I have a screenshot of the leader board somewhere…

I was reading a lot of video game magazines too.  With subscriptions to Official Xbox Magazine, Nintendo Power, Electronic Gaming Monthly, Game Informer, and the occasional purchase of PC Gamer.  Some of my favorite journalists are still active in the industry, including Ryan McCaffrey and Dan Amrich.

Late May or early June was like Christmas with all of the gaming magazine’s covering E3.  Maybe someday I will get the chance to check out the pinnacle of the video game universe.

Did you watch G4?  I would leave college every weekend in order to watch G4 at my parents house.  Attack of the Show! with Kevin Pereira and Olivia Munn was one of my favorite shows.   Don’t forget about X-Play, and we all know that the original Ninja Warrior is infinitely better than American Ninja Warrior.

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Thanks for the memories!

I eventually started following gaming blogs and websites. My favorite place was the now defunct Joystiq.com, which I would check multiple times a day.  I also watched PachAttack and Bonus Round every week on GameTrailers.com  Today, I still read Kotaku, IGN, Polygon, and Glixel, to name a few.  I love learning more about the industry and the news and reviews on recent releases.  Geoff Keighley’s the Game Awards has a special place in my heart because of the work he has done for the industry.

If you have any interest I highly recommend reading Jason Schreier’s new book Blood, Sweat, and Pixels for a true behind the scenes look at how video games are made.

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I love playing all kinds of games.  I think I enjoy the industry surrounding games more than anything.  I hunger for any kind of inside scoop.  I could be playing games right now, but I would rather write about them.  Even though I love my Xbox, I bought a PlayStation 3 in order to experience all of the great games on that system.

I’ve tried my hand at many MMO’s games, including World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XI.  But I am constantly drawn to single player games.  The way that developers can tell a story and inspire emotion through gameplay keep me coming back.  My all time favorite game is The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.  My favorite part of the game was memorizing how to play all of the songs on the Ocarina.  I will never forget how to play Zelda’s Lullaby on a Nintendo 64 controller.

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Lately, I’ve been enjoying revisiting the original Resident Evil games.  Their mix of puzzles and atmosphere is almost unrivaled.  I also replayed Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, which is the epitome of BioWare storytelling.

Where will the industry go next?  I am excited to find out.  That is part of the reason I enjoy blogging about video games so much.  I’ve been playing and reading about games for so long, I finally feel like I have something to say.  Here is my attempt at joining the conversation.  Maybe we will do a podcast soon.

Who are you?  Tell me about your favorite game in the comments, or let me know something unique about your gaming backstory?  Do you think you could take me on in a match of Cloning Clyde?

Thanks for reading!

Jake

 

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