Inspired by all of the stories and memories from the SC20 stream. This is my story with Starcraft.
Missed in this video: My very first live e-sports event, my first barcraft, my experience casting Starcraft for the ISTL so many other memories.
I remember the very first time I ever played Starcraft. A friend had brought a demo version which contained a 4 mission campaign to the middle school computer lab. For some reason, the teacher let us install it and play it on the computers since we already knew more than the embarassingly basic things like: setting up an email account, that she was trying to teach us as 5th graders in our 90's computer class.
It blew my mind! I've always been a sci-fi nerd, and to be able to take control of a group of space humans fighting for their lives vs a ravenous insect like alien race was pure bliss to me. Fun fact: starcraft was the first game I ever played that displayed blood in it. I was always a Street Fighter kid so I never picked up Mortal Kombat, and Doom was strictly forbidden by my parents at that age. It was a basic 4 mission campaign and it was single player only, but it was something epic when you compare it to doing boring computer classwork in 5th grade.
Fast forward, the game finally launches, and I'm unable to get it at first because it was too expensive for my parents to get it for me. But I finally am able to get my hands on it, and at first it's just the campaign and vs AI since 56k modem internet is awful to try and play multiplayer, but my friends had my back because there was always LAN.
I remember my very first LAN experience. We took over the GCC (Glendale Community College) English computer lab with spawned copies of Starcraft based on a memorized CD key and a burned copy of Brood War, and we played 8 person FFA with members of my Boy Scout Troop and my 8 year old younger brother (more on him later.)
I remember the backstabbing, the no rush policies, the getting my power chord yanked because I violated those policies. Starcraft was a completely different sort of game than anything I had played up until then and the effect it had on us young men was truly unique among probably any of the video games we've played since.
Fast forward again. It's 2010, we've been playing Starcraft off and on for years! Other games have come and gone, games like Counter-Strike, World of Warcraft, Smash Brothers but Starcraft was the "oldie but goodie" that we always ended up going back to and talking the most shit for.
Along comes Starcraft 2, and it came at the perfect time in my life, I poured my heart and soul into it, in a way that I never did with with original. I played online for hours! 1v1, something I never did when I was a kid playing on 56k.
Through SC2, I discovered GSL, pro-esports, TeamLiquid, Tastetosis and Day9 the entire community as a whole. I couldn't believe that so many people around the world were as fanatical about the game as I was, that what I considered a hobby for 12 years had become a CAREER for people while I was slugging through college, it blew my mind and yet it made me feel like I actually belonged to a community that I never knew existed.
I remember my first visit to MLG Anaheim, cheering for the Korean GSL pros that the crowd didn't even know the names of, meeting the pros and the casters, meeting other players that I had probably played online for the very first time and seeing how friendly and even shy they were.
While all of the time I was playing, something occurred though that I didn't expect. My younger brother emerged as a Zerg player that was WAY better than not just me, but all of my friends, so good that he actually started hitting Grandmaster's on ladder and he was being scouted by emerging teams.
Not being able to keep up with him, I did what I could to support him as a coach and an analyst and through that I discovered that I could actually be a decent shoutcaster! I tried my hand at it at a local event and got a lot of great feedback, so I decided to try and pursue it further with a youtube channel that I still have and use to this day for the video above.
I learned so much though my passion for Starcraft that I never would have without it, I learned how to type, I learned how to video edit and use Youtube (although I'm still bad at it) but mostly, I learned an important life lesson best summed up by the great words of Dan "Artosis" Stemkoski: "I don't get people who judge other people by what they do for fun."
I learned to embrace my inner nerd, to never be afraid of who I am or what I like, and I learned that no matter what, there are always going to be others out there who share what you love and are not afraid to show it.
So here I am 20 years later, not afraid to share just how much what should be a simple video game has affected my life, and how thankful I am to everyone I have met along the way that has made that happen.
Cheers Starcraft! Happy 20 year anniversary! And here is to 20 more!