I believe it was sometime in the spring of 1997 when a very good friend of mine and his wife went on a trip to New Zealand. They had not too long before bought a house and needed someone to keep an eye on both it and their dog while they’d be away. At the time, I was still young, single, and without much in the way of responsibility, so when asked if I would house sit for them, the answer was an easy yes.
Of course, at the time, said very good friend and I worked together, and tended to hang out even when not working. In other words, 60% of my social life was going to be on the other side of the globe for almost two weeks, leaving me with little to do with myself. I mean, Josie, the dog in question, never really was much into playing fetch with me, and there’s only so many times you can throw a ball while a dog stares back at you like, “how am I going to chew on that now, asshole?”
I therefore needed to find some form of entertainment to keep me busy for a couple of weeks. And remember, this was the Ancient Times. The internet was a fledgling thing made up of dial-up beeps, news groups, and “You’ve got mail”. Anyway who had a cell phone was able to use it for—wait for it—pretty much nothing but making phone calls.
So just before taking up temporary residence, I stopped at Best Buy—yes by physically entering the store (gross!)—in search of something to fill my evenings, lest poor judgement and beer consumption fill them for me. While I was there, a recently released game caught my eye. It wasn’t cheap, and I wasn’t sure I want to drop the money on it, but Final Fantasy VII and it’s promised hours and hours of content swayed me into the impulse purchase.
And now, here I am, 23 years later and once again needing something to fill the evenings as we all count the days of our collective hiding out, with either memes, posts, or else chalk marks on the wall like some kind of dissident being held in the Tower for crimes against the king. The years between now and 1997 may have brought me many more responsibilities and lots of new ways to occupy my time, but they haven’t much changed my love of a good RPG and my tendency towards the occasionally impulsive video game purchase. So when I realized last week that Square Enix had released a remake of Final Fantasy VII just in time for Stay at Home Spring 2020, my decision making got real easy. I did a little impulse shopping via the phone I’ve got now, which, by the way, does a lot more than just make phone calls.
When planning out the first few hours of time with my new (old) game this evening, I obviously wanted to wear the right socks. Unfortunately, most of my video game specific stuff got packaged up for charity. For some reason, though, I like to think of this pair as being particularly “digital” in theme. Probably because they look like they’re covered in Death Star control panels, I guess. Whatever the reason, I’m glad to have them today, as I proverbially lift that big ass sword and embark on a quest to save “Gaia”, the world of Final Fantasy VII Remake.
If you don’t hear from me for a few weeks, at least you’ll know where I’ll be.