Saturday, March 12, 2011

Of Earthquakes and Video Games

Yesterday afternoon I was happily playing around with some new video game acquisitions I had made on my way home.

Little did I know that as I was doing so, a giant wall of water was racing towards the shores of Japan.

Then I turned on the TV and caught live coverage of the last moments of several towns - and their unfortunate inhabitants - as the wall of water moved mercilessly and relentlessly inland.
I put down and completely forgot about the games. Thoughts turned to friends and family up north - the things that matter.

Rest assured - me, my family and, as far as I can tell, my friends are all safe and sound. Kyushu is on the opposite end of Japan from this quake and the tsunami, when it did hit us, was weakened enough to no longer pose any threat to anyone.

All afternoon and all night I watched as the helmeted newscasters informed me of the un-ending list of death, destruction and human misery inflicted on the poor souls up north.
Waking up this morning, the waters have receded and the extent of the damage is becoming clear. Entire towns no longer exist. Hundreds of bodies are being pulled from the wreckage.

It is a sad day in this country.

Anyway, I thought I'd use my little blog here to remind all my fellow retro-game fans that the land which brought you the Famicom is going to need your help.
In the coming weeks and months those people up north who have lost everything are going to somehow have to put their lives back together, and that is going to be hard.

I'm going to go and commit myself here to donating my gaming budget for the next year to a charitable organization helping these people. I'm not sure what organization yet, as obviously it is too early to tell. But I'm putting that out there and you can hold me to it.

Admittedly, that isn't a lot of money as I'm a notoriously cheap gamer, but still, its something. I don't expect everyone to do this, but if we were all to at least devote the money we would spend on one video game to the cause, it would make a difference.


  1. I'm glad to read that you are all right, and my heart go out to those who are suffering greatly right now. I admire your character and likewise, I plan to send whatever charitable funds I can.

  2. Thanks for the kind comment, AK, it is much appreciated!

  3. I'm glad you are OK! There are tough times to come but with hope and strength people will overcome this.

  4. Thanks, Famicom Freak! I appreciate the thought!

  5. Im so sorry about this tragedy man, from mexico, i wish for the best outcome for the people who survided the dissaster, and the families of all the deceased.


  6. Thank you, Gatuca, I appreciate it! I hope for the best for all the survivors and victims as well!

    Nice Japanese by the way.

  7. I'm so glad to hear you and your family and friends are OK. As for your intention to donate money to help the people affected by this terrible disaster -- I think it's extremely admirable and I plan on following in your footsteps. Thanks for the idea, and for the post in general.

  8. I was actually at a Hard-Off in the suburbs of Western Tokyo when the quake hit. I was looking through the video game junk section when everything started shaking. I quickly exited with everyone else and waited for the aftershocks to finish before biking back home.

    I'm safe though, as is everyone else I know. Glad to see you're safe too.

    Because I have an old TV, and I can't understand the RF switch, I had the Famicom plugged in rather than the TV antenna. I switched it so I could watch the news, but it's far too depressing now, so I think I'll switch it back and fire up some Atlantis no Nazo.

  9. Bryan - thanks! And I'm sure the people up north will thank you too!

    Nate - glad to hear you are OK. The news is indeed depressing - nothing but bad stuff (although they did rescue 81 people off a boat that had been swept out to sea, so that was a bit of good news).

    Enjoy the Atlantis no Nazo - it is indeed a good game to play as a way of getting away from all of this awfulness.

  10. A horrible disaster.

    I'm glad that Japan is a very prepared country, and that minimized the impact of the disaster. However, it is still a huge and monstruous thing, and I hope you recover as quickly as possible. I'll help with what I can.

    You gave a fantastic example there with your generosity. I'm sure a lot of people will follow in your steps, so you can consider yourself a big help. Even if you gave little money.

  11. Thanks, wachinayn. You are correct, it is very lucky that this country is so well prepared for this type of disaster, otherwise it could have been much worse.

    Looks like we've just had an explosion at the Fukushima Number 1 nuclear plant though. This could get worse before it gets better....

  12. there's a possibility of a nuclear Meltdown, in fact one of the plants has partially metldown, if it goes completly, it could be a disaster but its not know of far it will reach to other countries.

    tough the 2 maps that have been circulating are mostly fake, the 1st one is definitvely fake, whiel the other is most likely fake.

  13. Yes, we are all anxiously watching the nuclear situation. Another explosion there this morning. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

  14. Hi again Sean. Strange question for you, but do you recommend donating to any organization in particular? We're going to donate through my husband's work -- which triples the size of the donation! No worries if you can't name someone -- I'll do some research if I have to. I just wanted to see if you would suggest someone in particular.

  15. Great, Bryan, thanks a lot! Your husband has a very generous employer.

    I've been telling family back home to donate to either the Red Cross or Doctors Without Borders. Both groups have a good track record with helping people in disasters and both are sending missions to the affected areas.

    Wherever you decide to donate, I'm sure it will go a long way to helping a lot of people!

  16. I have used several of this.

    It's very convenient, and the money goes directly to Red Cross.

  17. I am very sorry to see the devastation in Japan at the moment, we are all filled with amazement and sympathy over here. I can’t imagine what it must be like there at the moment. I hope you, your family and friends, and all the people of Japan are as well as possible, we are all thinking of you. Best wishes.

  18. Thanks, Sean! We'll be making a donation tonight to one of those organizations.

  19. Thanks for putting that up Wachinayn!

    Simon - thanks for the best wishes. We are fine so far and appreciate the sentiment!

    Bryan - Great! On behalf of the people in Tohoku - thank you!

  20. p.s. I don't really have a gaming budget (I don't buy games much these days) but I will make a donation on payday :)

  21. Thanks Simon, it is much appreciated!