Some of us have had GO-centric hobbies longer than others. But there was always a reason that got us started. Whether it was an event, an object, or a person, we all have that something.
Knowing the reasons that got other people who share similar interests into their hobbies is always interesting. Sometimes similarities emerge, other times you might see something surprising or unique and interesting. Thus, the staff of Pop GO answers the following topic:
What sparked your pursuit of GO-centric hobbies?
Proceed below to read our reasons!
sjakim: Although I’m not sure where to pinpoint the origins of my GO-centric hobbies, I do know that I was exposed to the original Dragon Ball series when I was a little kid. My mom used to rent videos and show them to me as I grew up and the image of little Goku forever etched itself as I aged.
As much as I can credit Dragon Ball for getting me started, the snowball effect definitely had its course in the glorious 90’s when kid shows and video games blossomed. The advent of Pokémon, Toonami, Nickelodeon shows like Doug and Rugrats, and various television series that got me glued to the screen by the hours; likewise for video games, the exposure to Mario games, Pokémon again, and the deep storylines of the Final Fantasy series got me engaged behind a controller for long periods of time.
Obviously over the years, my tastes have changed and I now even prefer the original at times, sourcing out to Japanese versions to appreciate where my hobbies come from. But I guess in the end, it was all about Son Goku and his search for the seven mystical Dragon Balls, and the adventures he had, the fights he won and lost, and the growing up that he did as I did. [via]
cieru-: My GO-centric hobbies started about 3 years ago during the summer before my first year of high school. While I did play video games even before that time, I wasn’t an avid gamer, so I couldn’t consider gaming as a hobby. My hobby of watching anime series was sparked by the series Black Cat during that boring summer day of 2008. I was basically lying on my parents’ bed flipping through the channels bored out of my mind. I’ve heard of the channel Animax but I never bothered to check it out, so I decided to check on it. That’s when I saw the anime Black Cat.
Black Cat is what opened me to the world of anime. It had a plot that basically intrigued me to just continue watching. This intrigue led me to continue watching other series that Animax had to offer at that time. Before I knew it, I was bitten by the bug. I’d complain to my parents when I missed a scene in an episode because I had to do a quick errand. I’d stay up late just to catch a certain episode. I knew by then that anime would be an important thing in my life.
To this day, what keeps me going in watching anime series is the thrill of seeing something new. While there are the occasional series sequels and OVAs that never made sense, I watch to see more- to widen my anime bank. I watch to compare different series in terms of animation, plot, characterization, etc. Along with comparing, I also find similarities between series (giving me the knack to spot tropes and stereotypes). I’m thankful for taking a chance by checking out Animax that one summer day. It has made all the difference in my past 3 years.
mangarecommendations: Without knowing it, I have been watching anime since I was very young. It started with Pokémon then Digimon. By the time I was in middle school I was watching anime like Tenchi Muyo and Rave Master. But the anime that started it all was Naruto. It is around this point that I learned what anime vaguely was. I remember enjoying Naruto so much that I simply couldn’t wait an entire week to see what happened next. That led me to finding Naruto on YouTube. There I watched the episodes that were translated from Japanese.
When I reached all that YouTube had to offer I read the comments on the latest Naruto episode. There someone mentioned the term “manga”. It caught my interest and I researched what it meant. My love for manga blossomed from that point on. Also, the first manga hosting site I used was MSN Journals. I am just that old school.
pixandwords: My hands and wallet are usually tied and spent in the various pools of geek/otaku fun. But my major GO-centric hobby are fighting games. And like many, my path started with Street Fighter II.
My parents once took me out to this Target, which was a big deal to a six or seven-year-old who had known nothing but Walmart. Target seemed so high class in comparison at the time, and the fact that they had a Street Fighter II arcade cabinet only cemented the fact. This wasn’t the first time I played video games mind you. I had previous encounters with some of my friends’ NES and Sega Master System games. But it was the first to have such a huge impact on me. After much begging, my dad finally gave me some change to play the game. He tried to talk me into choosing Guile, since he was in the military and had crazy hair, but instead I chose Dhalsim. Keeping enemies away from me with his strechy limbs seemed like a good idea. My first and only opponent, Blanka, scared the hell out of me. Every time he jumped on my Yoga Master and preceeded to bite me repeatedly, I’d mash on the buttons helplessly screaming for him to stop. The encounter was brief, but the fangs were already set.
Since then, I was attracted to anything that had to do with badass characters, fireballs, and martial arts. I wish I could pinpoint why Street Fighter II opened the GO-centric world for me. I like to think that becuase it was so different and genuine at the time, I became addicted to finding that same spark through other means. I know that every time I watch some new anime, or read a new comic, I ask myself if it gives me that same “Whoa this is different and cool” feeling I got from that game. [via]
allenaoki: Put me down for Street Fighter II, as well.
My geek hobbies aren’t as prominent as most here (at least not lately) due to lack of time. I went through collecting phases during my adolescence: toys, cards, pogs, marbles, etc. Now it’s relegated to a lot of film, television and anime watching, with the occasional gaming on the side. The difference now being that my wallet doesn’t suffer as much, which is why I don’t really consider these as major hobbies. Back in the day, though, I was a pretty big gamer.
Just like most kids growing up, playing video games was the perfect past time — I owned pretty much all the consoles. It wasn’t until I discovered Street Fighter II at my local laundry mat that I considered myself a true gamer — true in a sense that it cultivated my competitive juices. I mean, I probably was always competitive as a kid. I liked winning and beating people, but who didn’t? Beating my little brother and his game scores on NES was one thing. Beating complete strangers on an arcade machine and having to pay to do it, was an entirely different beast.
Growing up in the arcade era, it wasn’t like paying a quarter to play games was foreign to me. There was just something about the mano y mano aura permeating within fighting games that appealed to me, and seeing as Street Fighter II was my first real introduction to fighting games, it was a natural fit. And while I loved the characters, their individual moves, the different stages each had and the background music that accompanied them, it became less about the actual game I was playing, and more about being the best at it. My reasoning for being the best was a bit simple-minded back then because I had no comprehension of what it meant to “master” a game, so to me, being the best at a game meant surviving on only one quarter per session. That was my goal: Play a fighting game until I get to the point where I’m able to withstand all challengers and leave the arcade only spending a single quarter, then move on to the next game. Imagine being a kid coming to the arcade with your allowance of, let’s say $5, and beating dudes much older than you who are dropping $5-$10 worth of quarters because they want to kick this little kid’s ass but can’t. Very exhilarating. Whether it was SFII, Mortal Kombat, Tekken, Killer Instinct, Primal Rage, etc., my goal was the same: Spend one quarter.
Eventually, fighting games ended up making their way to consoles and that particular phase fizzled, while an entirely different phase blossomed and has stuck with me since then: RPGs. But I always credit Street Fighter II as the main reason responsible for my gaming addiction.
pewpewreviews: I have a bit of a different experience that would cause me to grow up hand-in-hand with my favorite hobby. I grew up like most people with an NES and SNES. Mario, Mega Man, Link, Kirby, and Samus were my best gaming pals. That is, until the Playstation rolled around…
At age 10, barely old enough to know what would stick with me in life, I had kept reading about the next big game: Metal Gear Solid. I hadn’t had much experience with any of the original Metal Gear titles but a demo disc included with Playstation Magazine told me that this game was very special. I just didn’t know how special it would end up being.
I ended up getting Metal Gear Solid at launch for Christmas and got immediately hooked. The universe sucked me in with the tale of Snake and his insane older brother attempting a little world domination. Snake’s cool demeanor in spite of all the wacky boss characters, such as Vulcan Raven, Sniper Wolf, Revolver Ocelot and the unforgettable Psycho Mantis, made me realize how deeply flawed people’s personalities can be. MGS’ exhilarating action was far superior to any movie I had seen. The amazing art and environments mixed with the brilliant voice acting made me believe in the universe. Most importantly, it made me realize that gaming had more potential than people could even understand.
m-paoword: Well with film, I was always interested in it as a kid. What really sparked my love for film can only be the original STAR WARS. It really did take me to a galaxy far, far away and I haven’t looked back since. The ability that films have to take audiences to times and places outside of the here and now has always been its most appealing aspect for me. The ability to tell a variety of stories in different settings and characters felt limitless in their combinations and left me with a desire to contribute.
It wasn’t until my bike/car collision in 09’ that I really took film more seriously. Being left with a handicap that is my still-healing broken left leg, I had more time on my hands to focus on other aspects of my writing since I was pretty much reduced to being on a computer. Having that time to focus on it allowed me to expand my skills as a writer and to continually change and improve as I’ve always loved telling stories. Storytelling has always been an important thing to me, especially with history, which was a field I was looking into for a career before settling on film instead. The ability to tell a story and connect it with a large audience is the gratification I find in film and why I pursued it as a hobby, and now a career.
That is what led me to Population GO and me writing this piece. Hopefully you all weren’t too bored with this and may the force be with you.
ryley-stbatman: My GO-centric hobbies would of course include reading and collecting comics and manga. My interest in comics sparked when I was still very young, around two, when I watched the Tim Burton Batman movies. From that point on I was buying (or rather, having my parents buy) all kinds of Batman action figures. Soon after that I was introduced to Spider-Man from the animated series that aired on Fox in the early to mid 90’s. From then it just snowballed into what it is today. Interest in the cartoons led me to want to read the comics, and then as soon as I was making my own money I started buying everything and anything I was interested in.
As for manga, I started with watching Dragon Ball Z, and then other Toonami shows back in elementary and middle school. Then the summer before 8th grade my grandfather bought me my first Shonen Jump magazine. I started reading the manga included in there, and then I started getting interested in the medium, and here I am now with 800+ volumes in my library.
sjhawkins: My venturing into comics was far from intentional. My mum bought me a copy of a Panini UK’s Marvel reprint title, Marvel Heroes Reborn #8 as a gift. The comic itself reprinted a Fantastic Four and Iron Man story from Marvel’s Heroes Reborn event, and little me, aged around 7 or 8 found myself hooked. I begged her to get me the next issue, and soon I found myself subscribed to the comic.
Sadly, MHR got cancelled and I almost fell out of reading comics. A year after MHR’s cancellation, however, by chance I spotted a new Panini comic on the shelf – Avengers United #1. I jumped at the chance to read about Earth’s Mightiest Heroes once more – Captain America! Iron Man! Thor! All together in one comic? I was in heaven. These amazing characters, who were just so utterly fantastic and living in a wonderful fantasy world, were just so appealing I couldn’t resist.
The appeal of comics and more specifically, superhero comics has just grown to me over the years. When I was younger, it was just cool to see these amazing characters in action and battling a variety of threats – whether saving an individual, the day or even the entire universe. That’s something that still appeals to me – some of the concepts are truly wonderful.
I mean, where else can you read about a man granted a ring which harnesses the emerald energy of willpower, who is but one individual in an intergalactic peace corps, preserving peace and order throughout the universe?
Perhaps just as important as the stories themselves, is the journey. I’ve read comics for about as long as I can remember, and I feel heavily invested in these characters. I’ve seen them mature and grow over the years, with some of ‘my’ heroes going through some real hard times. When my heroes succeed, I feel joy. When they are in danger, I’m concerned. When they fall, I feel sorrow.
And that’s something that I haven’t found anywhere else. [via]
There you have it. We hope you enjoyed some of our reasons for pursuing our GO hobbies!
What about our readers out there? What was the main reason that made you pursue your current hobby? Please share!