Greetings good people of the ECA forums
I suppose introductions are in order. Naturally my screen name is not my real name, but since most people know me by it feel free to refer to me as just 'Shin' as it's a nickname that's stuck with me since I first used the name for a character on roleplaying forums in high school.
Anyways, getting to the meat of it, I'm 22 years old, 23 in april. I graduated from Coe College with a bachelor's degree, dual majoring in Creative Writing and English (originally I was going to dual major in creative writing and mathematics, but then my advisor pointed out to graduate in 4 years I would have needed to take classes alongside their prerequisits at the same time). So, as my major choice suggests, I really enjoy writing, but most of all, I enjoy writing stories, stories like the ones I heard growing up. I don't mean kiddy stories, I mean the good old fashion tales of good versus evil, where a hero rises above challenges and difficulties and manages to save the day. Stories that inspire us to grow and become a better person as we face our own challenges in life.
I was inspired by video games most of all I guess I have to say. In particular, The Legend of Zelda, Ocarina of Time helped me get over my fear of the dark. I really identified with our favorite hero in green since I was a loner kid, mostly due to the fact that I was 'the weird guy' who often got made fun of for being such an oddball personality. I usually had only one good friend each year of gradeschool, who for several years in a row I would lose at the end of the year because they either moved away, transfered to another school, etc etc. I also was afraid of the dark, because I had an active imagination, and the thing that scared me even more than the terrible monsters my mind would come up with was the idea that the dark hid something even worse than my childish fantasies could ever come up with. And trust me, when you're a kid late at night you come up with some scary stuff. So one day my parents buy me and my elder brother an N64, and there's this game. In the game, there's this kid, not really well accepted by the other children, has terrible nightmares that scare him, and when something really fantastic seems to happen to him, it leads to him being asked to go venture into the darkest, scariest place in the whole forest.
Here I was, knowing it was a game, but at the same time I thought 'to the character, this isn't just a video game, this really is happening'. Child Link at the time wasn't much older than me, and here he was being asked to venture into the darkness, not just imagining terrible monsters in the dark, but being outright told by the person that's supposed to protect him that the monsters are in fact real. And what does the child do? He picks up a sword and a sheild, and steps into the darkness, regardless of what may be waiting for him there. I had no knowledge of anything about the triforce and the fact that this kid would come to possess the triforce of courage at the time, but that single act of entering the first dungeon of the game, at his age, spoke volumes to me back then.
Needless to say I haven't been afraid of the dark in a very, very long time, but that game still impacted me a great deal. To this day, Link represents to me the characteristics that make a good hero. Someone who regardless of what they do or do not know, regardless of fear, is willing to do the right thing, even if it puts themself at personal risk. Someone who when the rest of the world seems to be going dark, is willing to be the last bit of light. To this day, I can still look back on the old Legend of Zelda game, right alongside the newest, and feel inspiration from that kind of heroism. It makes me want to be a better person, to challenge myself, to face any wall in my way and not just overcome it, but thrive. Video games have impacted me deeply in more ways than I can count.
So, when it comes down to it, I'm at a crossroads in life right now. I graduated about 3/4ths of a year ago, and recently a serious relationship of the past 5 and a half years broke it off with me about a month and two weeks ago. Won't get into that, but my point is now I'm left with the question "what do I wanna do with my life?". The first thing that comes to mind is figuring out where I want to go, and what kind of career I want to have.
I chose to go into writing because I want to make the same sort of heroes that inspired me for everyone else. I want to be the one that can make a hero that I could proudly tell my future grandkids about. And since my ideal hero inspired me through video games, and I still to this day get so much inspiration and rush from loading up each save file I have under my belt (and trust me, I'm on my 4th internal memory card for Playstation 2 games alone on my old PS3, I like to call it PSFat), I want my career to take the path of video games.
Now I read the tips about first time posters, and I know better than to just ask 'how do I break into the industry' without doing any research. So I did, and what I've found is kind of odd, a lot of advice for people who want to write for games is to start out writing game reviews for published magazines, start small and work your way up. But when I decided to research how to start writing for game journalism, most of the stuff that I got was that it was difficult to get into in the first place since not many publishers are willing to pay you for it.
Bottom line, the advice I got was that to get into the industry, you need to first try and make connections, find people who are in the industry, and get to know them, connections make opportunities. So, that's why I'm here. I want my career to be involved with video games, and I'm not afraid to work my way up from the bottom. I just want someone to give me a chance to start.
In the meantime, life's kind of an open road for me. I can go anywhere I want, but I don't know where I want to go, so hopefully somewhere along the way of this, I can find out where the best opportunities for me to make connections lie.
It's wonderful to be here, and thank each of you for your time!