The Birth of a Gamer


I wish to share a very personal story with all of you.  This is the story of how I became a gamer and I write it because I want you my friends to know how gaming came to be with me.

The year was 1987, I was a young child of five and we didn't have a great deal of money.  I don't know how my mother convinced my father to buy a Nintendo in the first place, but she did.

Her favourite game was "The Legend of Zelda." The first installment in Miyamoto's dynasty of the Zelda universe.  My mother was in love with the game.  Despite being so young, I can clearly recall the time my mom spent at the NES.  She had her pencil and graph paper out, carefully marking every hidden item in the game.  Each and every bush, rock, wall or secret place in the game that you could burn, bomb, push or play a recorder at, that woman had it marked (on the 1st and 2nd quest). Then she helped me through it. It was another one of our reading bonding exercises.  She'd help me read the clues and the speech boxes and give me gentle nudges in the directions of the clues. I fell in love with gaming.  It was even better since my mother had such a direct impact in my life as a gamer.


My last memory of my mother was the night before she died. I was sixteen years old, it was a Sunday night over the summer.  We were playing the original Diablo over battlenet.  I had introduced her to "hacked" characters and showing her that you could PlayerKill with these. She was laughing herself in tears telling me how horrible I was as she controlled the mouse to kill unsuspecting players as I trolled them over chat.  I'd never seen my mother laugh so hard. Nor had I remembered having so much fun playing a video game before in my life.


I'm all grown up now and I'll never forget where I got my start as a gamer.  My mother's influence in my gaming origins will never be forgotten.  Legend of Zelda had such an impact on my life and my memories of my mother that I had forever etched the tribute of the game that first tied me to gaming on my right forearm.

In closing, I had the most awesome mom ever. <3

Gaming for Charity take two!

  It’s very early to announce this, but I wanted to get this up.  As you remember from last year, I participated in Sarcastic Gamer‘s Extra Life charity. It’s a 24 hour gaming marathon to raise money for children’s cancer research.  I want to thank last year’s sponsors heavily and everyone who supported me last year during the 24-hour run through!

 I had an absolute blast last year and while I was working at I helped promote the gamers who took part in the charity marathon and participated with them.  Together we raised nearly $20,000 for Extra Life.

I wanted to take a moment to highlight two of my favourite moments from last year.  I broadcasted the entire event and these two video clips come from hour 23, when I was totally starting to lose steam and getting very sleepy and everything devolved into “That’s what she said” jokes and sex humour.

This year I’ll be doing it again and you can help me!  I’ll be joining up with team WNOHGB with my good friend @otaking to try to raise money for the Children’s Hospital & Research Center of Oakland, CA.  I have a personal goal of $1,000 this year, but I know that with your help, we can do this together!  I’m also dedicating my participation in this year’s event to my friend Drew Olanoff who has been kicking Cancer’s Ass and has gotten thousands to #blamecancer in the hopes to raise awareness and funding to cancer research. I’ve always adored Drew and he’s been an inspiration to me both as a Community Manager and a person. 

Now, the question remains. How can you help? Below is a clip of my donation page, you can choose to sponsor me as I play for 24 hours straight on October 16th 2010, spread the word to your friends or sign up with me!  Join me and team WNOHGB and help raise money for cancer research!  Together we can help kick cancer’s ass! If you have any questions don’t hesitate to shoot me an email or contact me on twitter: @tia_marie, I’ll be happy to answer your questions!

Clipped from: by


Review: Chaos Rings

Clipped from: by

You don't typically see a lot of iPhone reviews here on SFX-360, but when I saw that there was a Square Enix game on the app store with the largest price tag I've seen on a game, I knew I had to pull it apart! Chaos Rings, which is presently in the iTunes App store for the beefy price of $12.99. Holy-shit-thats-expensive! 

Why would anyone pay such a hefty price of a stupid iPhone game?  Well let me tell you it this way.  This game is what we have all be wanting from a turn based RPG in such a long time.  Square Enix teased us with Final Fantasy XIII.  They gave us the Active Time Battles back and the elements of the turn based RPG… but it was just lacking.  

It's not fair to compare Chaos Rings for iPhone to a epic multi-disc game like Final Fantasy XIII released for the console.  However, I will say that it was highly comparable to a Final Fantasy game released for the PS2. First, let's delve into the story before we start talking about the nuances of the actual game play.

The story revolves around a tournament where combatants fight for their lives: the Ark Arena. Upon choosing a pair of characters, one male and one female, you will then have to fight against the other pairs. Each pair has their own story, and the truth behind the Ark Arena will not be revealed until each story is completed.

From via

  The game starts out allowing you to pick between to pairs of characters: Eluca and Zhamo or Escher and Musiea.  There are other pairs that you can play as once you unlock them: Garrick and Alto, Olgar and Vahti and Ayuta and Mana.  The characters were designed by none other than Yusuke Naora, the art director for popular Final Fantasy titles such as: Final Fantasy VII, VIII and X.  

It doesn't have a Final Fantasy tag to it, but I honestly believe that this game should be a Final Fantasy title.  It is simply beautiful, music and storyline.  

It's completely turn based and you have the option of fighting as a pair or individually.  Through your battles you are able to collect "genes" of various types of creatures that you have defeated and you can equip their genes and as you fight more of that type you unlock skills specific to that creature type.

There are some quirks about the game that make it a bit too easy.  After every battle your HP is fully healed up and for the most part, I found that if you simply used the "pair" option for battle every time you smash through people. The boss fights though, can be a bit tricky.  All in all, the graphics and music were incredible for the iPhone, the controls didn't suck!  Seriously, this surprised me the most. The turn-based battles were certainly a gift from the JRPG elder gods and I found myself not angry that I spent so much on an iPhone game.

Seriously, if you are a lover of the old PS2 era Final Fantasy games, buy this game for your iPhone or iPod touch.  You won't regret it and you'll be happy you took my advice.  Now, look below at all the lovely screen shots I took from the game play.  

If you've played this game, let me know what you think! Shoot me a message on twitter: @tia_marie

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