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Aaron Waite Aaron Waite
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Extra Life

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Author's Note: Just a bit of a heads-up, this article has barely anything to do with gaming, so if you've come for my normal brand of gibberish, you may be slightly disappointed. However, if you'd like to read a slightly different brand of gibberish, come on in.

My brain hasn't been functioning lately.

I don't mean the 'forgot to put the toilet seat down' or 'I forgot where I parked my car' style of brain fart, I'm talking full-on, blank stare, lose-track-of-entire-days kind of mental obstruction. The kind of life-changing thing that makes you take stock of everything in your life and try to find some way of understanding how much bigger this event is than anything else your pitiful before-life has ever conjured.

I was honestly just looking forward to beta-testing 'The Elder Scrolls Online' that night. I thought that the highlight of my night was going to be mucking about a bug-riddled version of Tamriel with about 15,000 other people. Nothing life-changing, just something kinda nifty, around the same level of awesome as finding 10 bucks on the ground.

Instead of cleaving mudcrabs in twain, I found myself sitting on my kitchen floor holding not one, but two positive pregnancy tests (my wife likes to be very, very sure about things). There was no doubt about it: I was gonna be a dad.

In my shell-shocked state, I wandered to Dunkin' Donuts to gather an obscene amount of caffeine in a sad little attempt to bring my mind back around to a state where I could at least remember how to brush my teeth without reading an instruction manual. But no matter how much of my sun-hot hazelnut coffee I forced on to my sensitive little tongue, I could not snap out of it. I was gonna be a dad. Dad, dad, dad, dad, dad, DAD. I was now responsible for another life. I was now responsible for the physical care and mental well-being of another being. A tiny, eraser-sized life at that point, but a life nonetheless.

In all honesty, I haven't even really recovered yet. I'm still reeling from this news. If you've read my ramblings before, you know how happy I get over stupid things, like 'Super Street Fighter IV' matches and leveling systems and modding, so right about now, it feels like my happiness meter is broken from overload.

So here I sit writing this article, playing 'Metroid Prime' once again and wondering if my kid's going to even like gaming. Are they going to be anything like me in terms of nerdiness? Will gaming still be awesome like it was in the early NES and SNES era when they start playing? Will it still hold that innocence that 'Mega Man' and 'Super Mario Bros.' had or will the modern 'Annual Brown Shooter' and 'Gore Shooty Your Mom Won't Like This' steal that from them?

I guess it's just weird to sit here and think about someone else starting their journey into life, and how my faults and strengths are going to affect their development. This teeny little ginger (my wife and I are both redheads, the poor child doesn't have a chance) is depending on me to teach them how to walk, talk and interact with people.

It's all very much for a guy whose biggest concern less than a few years ago was if his piece of gear was going to drop when he went into a raid in 'World of Warcraft.' Kind of puts everything into perspective.

But either way, I can't help but hope that my child can see the magic and wonder that games have brought me, that they could find the same spark of creativity by wandering through these worlds that others have created.

They're still starting out on the NES, though. There's no two ways about it.

Aaron Waite does speedruns and casual gaming on occasion at twitch.tv/returntheflag.

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