Memories and games

My first memories of playing games were with my cousins. They were older than me and everything they did was new and cool. Whether it was pigeon racing or betting on basketball. We would go to their house on weekends and spend entire days enjoying card games, board games, and video games — all of which were given to them by their father, my uncle, who was working abroad.

Their house was small, tiny, they're far from rich. Close to poor was how I had always thought of them. But their home was crammed with imported branded toys.

Sometimes I play with them and sometimes I watch them play, because the game's either too complicated or, when it comes to video games, too scary for me. Yes I get scared during boss fights with all those evil-looking characters and haunting background music.

We rarely see each other now and my interest in games has tempered. At times I must admit to suppressing it. I'm well aware that games, especially video games are designed to be addictive. And I have actually deleted all the gaming apps on my phone because once I open them, there's no closing it. 2048 kept me awake for weeks.

Recently I discovered Random Levels, a gaming podcast that brings back all the things I loved about, well, games — problem solving, making friends, forgetting about the world while learning about it at the same time.

It's created by one of my friends, Ren Alcantara in the month that I started my own podcast. He's hosting the show with his wife (who's also a gamer) and two other friends. In each episode they select a topic and discuss how it's represented in video and board games. At first I thought I'd feel alienated because of my level of gaming knowledge, but instead it felt like I was eavesdropping on a really fun and informative conversation. I felt like I was back to watching my older cousins beat the boss, while I sit back, relax and learn.

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Of course I grabbed the chance to interview my fellow-podcaster friend. Here's how our conversation went.

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