Games and Geekery is the gaming blog of Victor “Stillwater” Barreiro Jr., and it features general experiences and posts regarding the games that have captured the hearts and minds of millions around the world.
Blogger from the Philippines, and is proud, though somewhat frustrated by it (No actual support for games, rampant piracy in country, etc.).
Former editor and writer for a little-known video game news website.
Currently a columnist working on MMORPG.com’s Devil’s Advocate column.
Once an Support Representative for one of the big gaming console companies.
Owns a personal journal on Livejournal, but won’t link to it, even if there are rarely any locked entries on it.
Loves writing, even if he doesn’t do it as often as every day.
Is learning to become a teacher.
Would like to establish a videogame appreciation club and blog, someday, perhaps made of his own students.
Knows his mom will never see this, but loves her very much anyway.
I wasn’t always a gamer, in fact, for the longest time I wanted nothing more than to be a paleontologist. You know how kids leave grownups in the dust when it comes to remembering dinosaur names? Well, multiply that by an order of magnitude and you had me. So while other kids were playing their Nintendos or Ataris I was in the library, hounded by an insatiable appetite for prehistoric knowledge. Now, it’s not as though I completely avoided gaming, I would play games whenever I went over to my friends’ houses, I just didn’t have a system to call my own.
All that changed with the Sega Saturn and Nights Into Dreams. I begged my mom to get that console for me and sure enough, come Christmas, I had my very own gaming platform with which to wile away the hours. Yet it wasn’t until the release of Final Fantasy VII that I abandoned all thoughts of terrible lizards.
When I first watched that starry expanse whirl about the TV screen, fading into that ethereal light which illuminated a collection of jagged polys, I was utterly entranced. I had only rented the game and system but I soon knew that this was where it was at. It wasn’t long before I had traded in my Saturn for a shiny (matte), new Playstation and gaming nirvana.
Needless to say my obsession with gaming didn’t end there, nor did my love for Final Fantasy (I have since played and beaten every major Final Fantasy and own multiple versions of each). But it wasn’t until we got a new computer along with a copy of Baldur’s Gate 2: Shadows of Amn that I knew I would bow before the altar of the gods of gaming for all eternity.
I spent hundreds of hours exploring every inch of that epic experience. That it used the AD&D 2nd Edition rule set only sweetened the pot. Now I didn’t simply wish to play games, I knew I was destined to make them. Yet it would be some time before I began working towards that end.
In the meantime I played any RPG I could get my hands on. I had my first brush with an MMO in the form of Ultima Online: Renaissance, though I was not able to play for long thanks to the monthly subscription. It wasn’t long after that I plunged headfirst into Everquest, though that too was short lived. Still, I saw something special in MMOs so I knew one day I would find the right one.
Then World of Warcraft came along and I was… underwhelmed. Now, there wasn’t anything wrong with the game at its core, I just didn’t care for the setting, despite very much enjoying the old RTS Warcrafts. It wouldn’t be long after my brush with WoW that I would encounter LotRO however, yet it would be two years after that initial dalliance that I would finally find my home in Middle-Earth.
It was also during this time that I had taken up a serious interest in computer sciences and had enrolled at the Art Institute in a game design course. This program focused mainly on the art side of things so it wasn’t long until I moved over to the programming, uh, program where I hit my stride. Since graduating I have had a short stint at a startup studio that has since collapsed and the resulting bad taste in my mouth has rather soured me on the industry.
Still, I haven’t given up, and while I now write for this site I am currently working on my own indie game with a friend. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll even be confident enough to write about it on this very site.