Last week, we announced the beginning of a new column called GamerTell Talks. We want people to share their video game experiences and get passionate about their past-time. Which brings us to our first installment. Anthony Geraci is here to tell us about the life and times of Pablo Stacio.
So I’d like to share the story of Pablo Stacio with you, which begins in the summer of 1998. I worked all summer long to save enough money to purchase a PlayStation. With only a month left of summer vacation it was clear to me that I wouldn’t have time to save enough for a new one, so I purchased a used one off my friend’s cousin. This was my first purchase over $100, so I decided that my PlayStation needed a name…thus, Pablo Stacio was born.
Pablo worked just fine for a few weeks before he started showing signs of weakness. The first memories I made with him were with the only game that came with him, Resident Evil. I played this game for the first time outside my friend’s house in a camper in the middle of the night next to the woods…what a great idea that was! I’ve never been that afraid in my entire life. After surviving a near heart attack in the zombie dog hallway and making it to the courtyard section of the game I shelved it and didn’t touch it for a few weeks because I was too scared.
One glorious day a few weeks later I was able to get my hands on a used copy of the game I originally purchased Pablo for: Final Fantasy VII. It was at about this time that Pablo’s condition worsened. His vision was faltering and the only way he could read discs anymore was to place him upside down. I spent every possible waking moment making my way through that epic game. I’ll admit that I used the Versus strategy guide to help me on my quest. I wasn’t accustomed to such large RPGs back then. I borrowed this guide from my cousin and upon reaching The City of the Ancients I noticed that two pages were missing. I didn’t think much about it and continued on. I’ll always remember that day as the first time a video game made me cry. I’m glad my cousin held onto those pages so the plot couldn’t be given away. After saving the game at the disc change point I set FFVII aside for a few days because I was too sad.
The next summer I was forced to pack Pablo up and move from WA to VA. The next year of school was very tough for me but my buddy Pablo had my back. We conquered all the races in Gran Turismo, finished every floor of the Chrysler Building in Parasite Eve, and stopped the compression of time to save everything important to us in Final Fantasy VIII. Even though I was in a new part of America I was not alone. Pablo helped me make it through the rough times and I couldn’t have been more grateful.
By the mid-point of that school year, February 2000, I had made a couple friends and one of those ended up being my best friend for years to come. The first game we played together was Gran Turismo 2. We spend a plethora of time on the endurance races until we finally completed them all. I still have beef with the Laguna Seca Raceway. Overall we had a great time and I discovered, Garbage, the first band I really enjoyed and eventually got to see as my first concert 2 years later. We had a great time gaming and we couldn’t have been happier.
I went on a trip back to WA in the summer of 2000 and I brought Pablo with me. It was during this vacation that I played the Legend of Dragoon. My cousins and I also played Bomberman Party Edition, WWF Smackdown!, and Tekken Tag Tournament.
WhenI returned home Pablo’s ability to read discs came to an end. Soon thereafter he couldn’t even get past the PS Logo screen. So with a heavy heart I had to replace him. I did so but not before placing him in his original box and burying him in my front yard. This concludes the story of Pablo Stacio, the PlayStation that provided me with my first true love of video games. I will never forget the scary, sad, grateful, and happy times those great games elicited from me and I couldn’t have experienced it without Pablo’s help.
Anthony Geraci is 28 and lives in Smithfield, Virginia. He is a former Army Paratrooper and two time combat veteran who works as a Network Security Specialist for the government. He has been playing games since he was 5 years old. His favorite series are: Metal Gear Solid, Resident Evil, Final Fantasy, Tomb Raider, Legend of Zelda, and now Persona. He one day hopes to work on something related to video games, like writing or something web based. He says, “No matter how hard I try to categorize video games as a hobby the harder they show me they’re more important than that.”
For his contribution, Anthony has received a copy of Anodyne. If you’d like to contribute a piece to GamerTell Talks, please email Jeremy Hill and myself at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Tell us about your happiest moments or saddest defeats. Provide insights into your favorite games. Do a critical analysis of a series. You want to talk, we want to listen. Our next featured GamerTell Talks writer will receive a copy of Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery (Windows)!