My name is Nathan Garrett, I am currently 26 and from the small town of London, Ohio.
Growing up, I was always interested in two things:
- Video Games
I was the shy, quiet kid in school and at home. I was stuck between apposing interests and never seemed to fit in. So, I spent my time alone, enveloped in video games. Dreaming, drawing, and reading everything I could about the industry. As I grew up, I found some solace in either running outside or weightlifting in my parents' basement, but this mainly served as my small attempt to counter my gaming addiction.
I love games so much that eventually I went to college to double major in computer programmer and digital art. I always wanted to be able to create my own video game, and as a first-generation college student, it was entirely up to me to figure out how to make my vision a reality. In love with the industry, I thought I was on the perfect track.
However, these majors didn't feel right. I was pretty good at both, but neither seemed to truly make me happy. I felt like they were missing something, and I held fitness in the back of my mind as a 'Plan B.'
As the semesters passed by, I began to realize that these weren't the majors for me. There was one specific class that I enjoyed, Game Design 101. We play tested new games, created a board game from scratch, designed a layout for an old arcade shooter, and I even spent some time in the motion capture studio giving presentations. I realized that I didn't necessarily want to code or draw, I wanted to create. I wanted to be a game designer.
A game designer is the visionary behind the game. They're someone who creates the storyline, characters, dialogue, rules, environments, interface, challenges, rewards, and all the other components that make a game. They don't necessarily create these things in a hands-on way, rather they lead the project by directing the focus of what should be made. Sadly, my university didn't have a major for that.
Then a few semesters into college, my life was entering a major crossroads. I didn't enjoy my majors and was stuck unable to do what I eventually realized I wanted to do. I was also moving off campus, transitioning from a relationship, and had a health issue that caused a surgery. The surgery made me unable to work, unable to exercise, and unable to attend college. I lost a very unhealthy amount of weight and was kicked out of my scholarship program. By the end of surgery, I was barely 100 pounds.
I had a lot of time on my hands and not very many things that I could physically do. Luckily, BF1, Rocket League, Fortnite, and Titanfall 2 were there to keep my attention. But deep down, I was absolutely miserable with my life.
I was in a New Game State.
The purpose of any video game is to enjoy it, right? You don't play what you don't enjoy. But what if you don't enjoy what you're playing and you literally can't quit the game? Like, it's impossible to quit. What if it's the only game you have and you are forced to play it... every... single... day? Rage quit and immediately restart all over again, only to prolong the same experience for your future self. Or worse, what if this is your last life in the game and afterwards is nothingness? A very bleak perspective, but only if the game is unenjoyable.
Which leads you to the last possible scenario...
Would you rather learn to enjoy the only game you have, or stare endlessly into a dark expanse for a timeless eternity? Which one is more boring? Wouldn't you want the game to be the best of experiences? How can the game be more fun? What don't you enjoy? What would make the best storyline?
I spent many years playing RPGs and FPSs, but what did I actually have to show for it? I spent many years running and dabbling in weight-lifting, but all that had been suddenly stripped away. I spent my whole life working towards a college degree only to find that I had chosen the wrong path. I was utterly depressed and extremely unhappy with basically every area of my life from a spiritual-quantum level to a Universal-macro level.
So I asked myself...
If life was a video game,
Who would I be?
What would I do?
Like most kids growing up in the 90s, Arnold Schwarzenegger was my idol. I knew absolutely nothing about the sport of bodybuilding, but I knew that Arnold was a huge success. He was famous, rich, good looking, loved by all, a governor, an underdog, an actor, and seemed to have the absolute perfect life. I should add that Stallone and the Rock are my secondary idols and all three of these men have played somewhat of an important role in my childhood.
Leading up to this point in my life, I struggled with which character I should play as... The bodybuilder or the gamer. I was labeled as the gamer growing up, and it wasn't until college that I actually had freedom to play around with myself image. It was then when I decided, I was going to embrace both halves of me.
If you would like to know more about me, check out my YouTube channel!