One morning, while getting ready for school, I was playing Super Mario World, wiggling my loose tooth with my tongue in a demonstration of unrivaled concentration. It was one of the Special Zone levels—“Way Cool” for those who are familiar—and I had died quite a few times at a particular jump. You have to dangle from a motorized rope that takes you through an infestation of black, fuzzy enemies with the grins of madmen to the safe platform on the other side of the abyss. I’d be doing great, my adrenaline building, and the growing sensation that this time was different would bubble up from my gut; I could make this jump!
And then I’d fall.
That black screen with Mario's face would pop up, the life counter would go down a notch, and the process would start again. Now, layer in the fact that I needed to beat this level before school and you have a veritable powder keg of tension. I was so frustrated that one particular time I actually jumped with Mario, knowing, as all 6 year olds do, that I was giving Mario the extra help he needed. Lo and behold as I landed on the blue carpet of my room, Mario landed onto the green and white platform. And, as though in a slow-motion ending to a 1990's action sequence, that loose tooth came flying out of my mouth; all before school started.
20+ later, I still have that tooth-losing level of passion and commitment in my pursuits. (as well as a die hard love of Super Mario World)
I am a gamer, an artist, and a game artist. I grew up in the beautiful city of Cincinnati, OH in a family and environment that fostered creative exploration and honest expression. I have spent the past few years creating works focusin