By New Times
By Derek Askey
By Mark Deming
By Serene Dominic
By Jason Keil
By Robrt L. Pela and Amy Silverman
By Jeff Moses
By Serene Dominic
The same holds true for MegaRan's thoughts on the current generation of slick, hyper-realistic video games. He doesn't have as much time to devote to his passion and looks for video games that grab his attention immediately.
"Nowadays it has to have an interesting story," he says. "It's not 'run from left to right ,solve a puzzle.' Graphics are a good thing, but it needs the perfect combination with storyline. It has to be a great story, because if I give a game 30 minutes . . . I have so many games I've started, but I'm busy and can't make time for things, and if it doesn't blow me away in the first couple of seconds, then I don't know. I have so many games that just haven't been played more than 30 minutes."
It's not all hopeless for kids these days, though, and MegaRan has come across games he believes have been built to last. "Two games that I can think of in the past five years that have grabbed me are BioShock and Uncharted. They're some of the greatest gaming experiences, like Final Fantasy VII and Metal Gear Solid — the time I put in, the emotional connection, has got to be there. But I like to pull out some of the old games too, like RC ProAm or Castlevania to maintain a little bit of gamer cred. Mega Man is one of my favorites. But I can't beat Mega Man anymore. Today's games don't necessarily foster that type of skill set, timing and precision, and I think I've lost that skill."
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MegaRan still thinks highly of the kids he taught, and he misses that environment but now draws motivation from performing in front of live crowds. He knows he made the right decision to power down as a teacher and go full force into his rap career. "I'd never quit a job before, and my mother still won't understand," he says. "Y'know, I went to school for teaching, I went into debt for this. I'm still paying back student loans. It kinda hurts me, and it hurts her.
"I was afraid, but once I turned in my resignation, I got an e-mail a month later about going on tour. I got an invitation to play shows in London for two weeks. And I knew it was the right decision."
And while his mom may bemoan his career choice, MegaRan's not doing too bad. So while days in front of a video game may seem like a parent's nightmare, cautionary tales can turn out all right in the end. Plus, says MegaRan, "I spent every day around seventh- and eighth-graders. I know what they talk about. It could be a lot worse than playing video games."