Hi. How ya doin? I see you clicked on the link to read a little bit about me, so either you are incredibly lost or bored out of your mind. Either way, WELCOME! Pull up a seat and I shall weave a tale of a boy who once played video games as a leisurely activity and later grew into a man who…well…continued to play games as a leisurely activity but may occasionally write about them too.
Once upon a time, there was a boy named Josh Miller who grew up on the mean streets of Gardner, Kansas. Despite what the film Wizard of Oz may have taught you, the people of Kansas do have cars and don’t exist in black and white. Josh grew up always having video games in his life.
The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was the first go-to system where he played his only owned video game cartridge: Super Mario Bros/Duck Hunt. Fortunately, there was a mom-and-pop rental store he would frequent once a week where he would try classic games such as The Simpsons: Bart vs. the Space Mutants, Town & Country Surf Designs: Wood & Water Rage, and Friday the 13th. Sometimes, he would sprinkle in a lesser known game like Super Mario Bros. 3 or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game.
The story didn’t end there! Later, he would receive a Sega Genesis with Decap Attack and Gaiares. While he fell in love with the former and couldn’t “git good” enough for the latter, the Genesis is where gaming started to cement itself in his life. How could it not with titles such as X-Men 2: Clone Wars, The Adventures of Batman & Robin, and the disputed (but correct version) of Disney’s Aladdin.
It wasn’t until an issue of Nintendo Power that Josh annoyed his parents to the point of them buying him a Super Nintendo (SNES). The games that pushed him to this point were features on Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, Harvest Moon, and what would become his favorite game of all time, Earthbound. Yes, it was late in the SNES life, but there was a lot of games to catch up on. It was here that the impressive library of titles molded him into a fan of Japanese role-playing games (JRPGs).
The Christmas of 1998 is where he became a member of the PlayStation Nation. A “Sony Pony” or “Sony Cronie” some may say. It was then he received his original PlayStation with WWF War Zone and the Bruce Willis starred Apocalypse. As much as he enjoyed those games, it was the demo disc that he played the most, especially the demo for Metal Gear Solid. Many many games were played, including his first ever day one purchase: WWF Attitude. A game in which he called a local game shop on a daily basis, trying to change his voice pretending to be different people, getting updates on its release.
Years pass and the boy grows. He goes to high school and obtains his first job. It was here that he used his first two weeks paycheck, prior to his car being stolen, to buy a PlayStation 2 with Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. It was also during this period his bouts with depression hit an all-time high. Suicidal thoughts would become a norm and a few times that led to actions that thankfully never succeeded. However, video games were one of the things that became a growing importance to him as they were a helpful and much-needed escape from reality.
Fast forward to 2006 and Josh jumps into the HD generation by purchasing the X-Box 360 with Gears of War. This would be followed up a few years later with the Nintendo Wii for the main reason of help connecting with his at-the-time girlfriend’s (now wife) family. This was helped with Wii Sports and Mario Kart Wii. When Josh and his girlfriend moved in together in the summer of 2009, he broke down and bought a PlayStation 3 (PS3) with Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots and Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. It wasn’t long before the X-Box took a backseat, the Wii was forgotten, and PlayStation took the reins of his main console again.
Then came the Wii U. As much as Josh enjoyed his time with it…its best to pretend like it never happened. Much like Nintendo is currently doing….
Our story comes to a close with the current gen consoles. Sony had convinced Josh with their support of the PS3 to go with the next iteration, and he hasn’t regretted it one bit. Even Nintendo improved on the Wii U idea, and although it has left a lot to be desired, the Nintendo Switch finds itself at home next to his PlayStation 4.
In his 32 years of being alive, Josh finds himself at a place in gaming he never thought he would be. It’s been a long journey from when he first put the NES Zapper point blank against his television screen and wondered why he wasn’t hitting the ducks to now teaching his 6-year old son the joys of video games.
Wait…handhelds? You think Josh never owned a handheld system before? Oh, dear reader, Josh suffered through the days of the dumpster fire that was Tiger Electronics, struggling to play the Game Boy using passing light posts on long trips…but thankfully bypassed the Virtual Boy.
Yes, Josh loves handheld video games as much as he loves console games. He realized at the time of becoming a parent a newfound love for portable gaming that had at one point disappeared, only to be reignited once again. Nintendo portables were mostly Pokemon machines, and later PlayStation Vita became his JRPG, Visual Novel, and indie machine.
So there you have it. In this written piece you have the origins of Josh Miller’s infatuation with video games to the current state of affairs where he may write about games once in a while for this site (or past ones – RIP VGU.tv, Arcane.tv; still kickin’ Toaster Chimp). Perhaps you will enjoy his writing, opinions, taste and more in future pieces. Until then…I bid you adieu.
Random Facts About Josh:
– His favorite movie of all time is Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
– His entry into comics was the Return of Superman arc. His favorite superhero has remained Superman to this day.
– His favorite band is Metallica. Even St. Anger didn’t change that.
– He loves horror movies. The original Halloween tops that list.
– Some notable game series he has never played – Castlevania, Animal Crossing, Star Fox and Diablo.
Top 10 Games of All Time (in no order):
2. Super Mario World
3. Final Fantasy VII
4. Portal 2
5. Metal Gear Solid
6. Parasite Eve
7. Pokemon Red/Blue
8. Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
9. Stardew Valley
10. Persona 4: Golden