I have a common first name and an unfortunate last name. I’m Andrew Hickey. When I was three my sister babysat me using her newly acquired Gameboy and from then on I was hooked. I grew up reading EGM, Gamepro, Nintendo Power, Tips & Tricks and more. In junior high I remember telling my classmates I wanted to be a videogame journalist and then was quickly shunned. In college I started as journalism major and then let the hipster in me get the best. I switched over to English and creative writing. I fancied I could become the next Salinger. Reading a novel every other day I lost touch with videogames. After college sick of writing and discussing the influence of Joyce in post-modern literature, I decided to take a job teaching in Japan in Tochigi prefecture. To keep myself from getting bored living in a rural area I bought a PS3 and *BAM* the videogame fanatic in me was back. Recently I’ve wanted to write more about videogames. It seems like I may want to jump back onto my original track and try working as a journalist but I feel like a babe fresh out of the womb.
I’m going into my third year of living in Japan, and while I enjoy it thoroughly it still feels like a new experience. It could be a sort of disconnect from the culture or maybe it’s something else. Although some might think living in Japan would be awesome, it isn’t as cool as you might think. The videogame scene is appearing dried up. I rarely find myself anticipating the release of Japanese games, unless I were to grow an urge to play a pachinko game or dating simulator, cause then I would be excited for something almost every week.
Recently I’ve been trying to brainstorm a few things to write about, especially trying to focus on writing from the aspect of living in Japan, here and now. I’ve been mulling over the idea of writing about the state of the Japanese game center, which seems to be kind of dead at the moment, aside from a few games that appear to be experimenting with new technology and gimmicks. If anyone has any suggestions or encouragement let me know. I’m always happy for any.
Enter the obligatory lists of favorites:
Games: Earthbound, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, M.C. Kids, Day of the Tentacle, Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy VI, Gitaroo Man, Metal Gear Solid series, Bioshock, Rival Schools, Rez, Eternal Darkness, Super Metroid, The Simpsons Arcade Game, Tron, BurgerTime
Movies: Lost in Translation, Breathless, The Royal Tennenbaums, Brazil, Eraserhead, Spirited Away, Dawn of the Dead, Southland Tales, Hausu, The Happiness of the Katakuris, My Life as a Dog, Magnolia, Amelie, Tamala 2010 A Punk Cat in Space, Shortbus, Ed Wood
Music: Mogwai, Yo La Tengo, Animal Collective, Beach House, Owen Pallett, The National, Eluvium, Black Moth Super Rainbow, Boards of Canada, The National, The Books, Sleater Kinney, Beirut, Broken Social Scene, Sigur Ros, The Weeknd, Deerhunter, The American Analog Set, Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine, Pinback
Books: The Little Prince, One Hundred Years of Solitude, Nine Stories, The Crying of Lot 49, Mrs. Dalloway, The Savage Detectives, Ulysses, A Visit From the Goon Squad, Fortress of Solitude, The Sun Also Rises, As I Lay Dying, Eeeee Eee Eeee, White Noise, Ubik, Cat’s Cradle