Hey, everyone! My name is division-ten (well, actually, it's Shalomet, but I'm not going to split hairs). Thanks to Dyram, the Emerald Blade, I now know how to post to TAY Classic, so I'd like to share some of my experiences in gaming (and general geekdom) as a blind albino.
I'll start today's vignette where all my future stories stem forth- at 10 years old. While I was basically brought up in closet nerd-dom (re: one of my dad's earliest gifts to my mom was a stuffed Tribble), it wasn't until late elementary when Pokemon was in full swing that I dove headlong into being the proud geek I am today.
The start of it all is that my eye doctor told me I needed to start playing video games. This irritated my parents greatly- we were "not a gaming household". Even when my brother got a brick Gameboy in 1990 as a birthday gift from my grandfather, it gathered dust under his bed because "gaming was a waste of time".
The face of eeeeevil, right there, folks.
Naturally, my parents didn't approve of either of us playing games, and if my eye doctor hadn't suggested it, I'm not sure who I'd be today. At the very least, I'd be twice as blind than I am now (gaming did not improve my eyes directly, but it did force me to focus and track, seriously improving my overall eyesight- but that's for another post).
The cool story for today is what came after this diagnosis. Considering I'd been prescribed 250 CC's of Breakout and Super Mario Land, my mother took me to the pharmacist after my checkup. And by "pharmacist", I mean the local Game Stop.
While my eye doctor suggested playing a Game Boy, he did note the font as-is would not be legible to me. Mom took me into the store planning on getting a reading game (i.e. Pokemon, or something with text) and a reflexes game (Tetris, Breakout, etc.) and one of those ye olde magnifying clip-ons for my brother's grey brick that had been gathering dust.
The best prescriptions come in jewel cases.
Except, the classic brick-of-a-machine was now basically out of print. The Game Boy Pocket had been released a little over a year ago, and Game Stop was no longer selling magnifiers for the classic Game Boys, just the new slimmer ones. And, for my mom, having to buy a new system for me would be excuse enough not to buy anything at all.
But the Game Stop manager was having none of that nonsense. When he found out why we were there, he unplugged a cherry-red display Pocket from the wall and handed it to me. "Just pay for the magnifier", he added. Since it was a display model, I had to tape the batteries in place (those things use wall chargers), and it had a battery life of ~45 minutes per pair of AAA's, but it was mine.
I salute you, random Game Stop employees. You are underpaid, overworked, and pressured to make preorders and Powerup signups. But, to this day, anyone who bashes Game Stop can have a word with my video game collection.