Oh MYYY, how two of my worlds collide! You may not know, but originally when I started my first blog on the internet back in 2008 it had nothing to do with travel, stories from the Road, or my life. It was all about video games, which was a popular way to get a lot of foot traffic on a website back then. Does anyone remember BS Angel before she went to work for Microsoft? I loved her blog so much back in the day! Oh how I miss those days sometimes. Back when the worst I was doing when parents were out of town was running over to my friends house with my original xbox and a whole lot of footage of cable to setup a LAN party with 6+ groups all in different rooms of the house to play the original multiplayer halo or halo 2 scenarios. Those were the days before there was xbox live and you had the ability to play with people from around the world. We were just barely the pre-group before xbox live came out and our minds were blown.

It’s also when I started on Steam and the infamous counterstrike, what became the orange box to include half life, and one of the best most britishly sarcastic puzzle games around: Portal. THE CAKE IS A LIE! Now Coutnerstrike had A LOT of hackers back in the day and it was like a rouge scene of terrorists and swat teams, with people camping and running around with AK-47s. Now, when I see tournaments on ESPN, I usually always watch, just for the nostalgia, as well as the excitement. That gaming life followed me to college where you could find me donating plasma 2 times a week for $20 bills to buy an Xbox 360 and a pre-ordered copy of Halo 3.

After college, when I joined the Navy, I basically went cold turkey. My gaming days were over, replaced with 17 hour long days and 7 month deployments. Sometimes, when we were underway, my division and I would play Call of Duty zombies late at night in the Auxiliary shop. That was actually A LOT of fun albeit a loss of what precious little sleep we had. Those last few days of gaming fizzled out around 2013.

Fastforward to 2021 and I have fallen back into gaming with a vengeance. All because of Oculus Quest 2 and virtual reality. On the day less than a month ago, I had no idea it was coming for me like a steam train. I had just finished up a bunch of paperwork for my next job in Pittsburgh and I was stopping over to see a friend Emily, who was having getting cupboards installed in her new house.

We were just having lunch and chatting, but her friend from NY and his fiancé were the cupboard installers and we all got to talking. Needless to say VR came up and it’s capabilities. Since I was set to be spending quite a bit of time in quarantine over the next month, I checked the prices, saw how ridiculously low they were for an oculus quest 2, and bought one on the spot with a few upgrades. There was a whirlwind of activity and I received the package just 2 days before I was set to fly to Virginia.

I have been blown away how the space has evolved in the past 10ish years. I am playing puzzle games as a being behind a Mouse in the game Moss, spending wayyyyyy too much time in Population One (a squad multiplayer game) in VR meeting people from all around the world, and sitting around tables playing virtual Settler’s of Catan with people from around the world. Don’t even get me started on VR chat. Shit… the things that were happening in Ready Player One are already here and I was completely oblivious.

Which is also why, when I started researching the cryptocurrency Phantasma, I knew I was destined to become a SOULdier. It is the link between all the worlds: My past life in gaming on STEAM, VR, and NFT’s. I bought a game on STEAM today called The Gardens Between, which is also a puzzle game where some of the achievements are NFT’s! Originally $20 it was only $5 with some sale that was going on.

Now, I have to say and will talk more in depth in another post because CRYPTO has been driving me crazy lately. Buying in to a new coin is not always as easy as it seems, which I will go into more depth about, but I am very excited to have bridged the gaming world, NFT’s. and cryptocurrency. It feels new and at the forefront of what is happening in both spaces today. Phantasma was the project for me that lets me support both gaming and NFTs without buying them on auction outright and I am very excited to see what is coming on all fronts.

It feels good to be back baby!