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Ok, so here's an odd thing about me. Despite being born in 1980, I did not have a video game console growing up. Never played Nintendo or Sega or anything. I enjoyed watching other people play video games or computer games, but I was never good at them myself, mostly due to a severe lack of practice and an unwillingness to be whumped repeatedly by anyone I knew that had video games (barring a few Duke Nukem and Heretic deathmatches between my dad, sister, and I on my dad's office network after hours. I usually lost, badly).

So I never learned how to play until I was in college, my senior year. 2003. The game I cut my teeth on was Super Smash Bros. Melee for Gamecube. This is essentially all the Nintendo characters in a single third-person brawl on sets from any number of the games they've put out. So you could play Mario versus Link on a level of Metroid. And it can be done as a four-player melee. Needless to say, that's a really freaking steep learning curve for a virtual video game virgin, but as all my roommates played, I learned (though many diligent hours of dedicated practice on solo runs), and it was a blast.

Even now I only own four video games (Smash Bros., SSX 3, Mario Kart Double Dash, and Kirby Airride), and have no real desire to go find more. And I'm still using a Gamecube. Yes, I'm dreadfully behind the times. Shut up.

So the four games I know, I know really damn well. One of them is a game called SSX3, which is a snowboarding game. You race down a course or do tricks, gain points and money, improve your character, buy stuff, and do various challenges. Each of the 9 or so characters is unique and fun, and they all have a distinct style and say a wide variety of things. Heck, you could write fanfic about that game. (Which I've actually considered doing.)

But I don't play SSX3 that often. As a matter of fact, I probably hadn't played it in almost a year before I busted it out last week for some fun. So I was suitably surprised when I had a very detailed dream about it.

In SSX3, there are three levels of play, each one harder than the last. You have Peak 1, 2, and 3. That's it. Once you conquer Peak 3 and have done all the challenges, that's basically the game. But in my dream, suddenly I realize there's another level! I can use the prize money I've won from the first three Peaks to buy some snowmobiles (lolwut? This is a snowboarding game) and then I'm transported to South Africa (it's known for it's skiing, right? Wtf, brain?) to compete for the gold. I'm playing the character Zoe Payne, and the very first qualifying race is inside a hotel. The original game is kinda bonkers, and one race does take place on the city streets, but in my dream I have Zoe flying down the slopes, which are actually the snow-covered stairs of the hotel, doing more falling than actual boarding, because it's so steep. She's basically sliding a little bit and then hopping the railing and falling down to another level over and over again. And people are coming out of their rooms on every other landing, so she has to dodge them as she boards.

When she finally gets to the finish line (in the hotel lobby, which is covered in snow, natch) she's roundly cheered by several others of the SSX crew who also finished. But it wasn't all of them, because the race was really dangerous and some racers didn't make it. Some really big-shot Japanese racer named Nikodashi was supposed to be the big frontrunner, but he got hurt, and everyone was really impressed that Zoe finished and qualified, even though they were all still her rivals. And BTW, there is no character named Nikodashi in the SSX3 game.

Uh... sure thing, brain. What are you on and why aren't you sharing?

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Timothy
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