Uncovering the Mind’s Time Capsule in 2020 with Linwood Storm

Part of what I’ve been referring to as my “spiritual journey and awakening” involves rediscovering pieces that I consider being artifacts from memories that have been stored in the back of my mind. I speak on what I find nostalgic to me quite often, however, it’s rare that I make an attempt to discuss or showcase little obsessions that require triggers in order to reveal a clarity of context and form a bridge to present beliefs, habits, or passions.

A good example would be how I became a video game programmer during my teenage years. While being a gamer ever since the age of eight after having a Super Nintendo [Click to find out my first ever video game] placed in the house definitely contributed to my desire for crafting my own virtual worlds, I would also play a lot of Flash games from independent creators. So much so that I spent an entire afternoon searching for those that I remember, and downloading any available in the event that they became lost to the internet. ‘Etherena Beta’, ‘Capoeira Fighter’, ‘Pencak Silat 2.1’, the ‘Xiao Xiao’ series, ‘Cowboy Duel’/’Gun Blood’, and ‘Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over’ (on the movie’s defunct website), just to name a few. Of course, this is on top of classics based on shows from Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, and Nickelodeon. (I also still have a couple of ‘X-Men Evolution’ discs that were given out as toys from Burger King) I’m not aware of how the scene is now, but I am thankful that the indie game industry has been booming recently. Without progression from its humble beginnings, there’s a good chance that I would have never met Gold Will (of the ‘Black Medium’ and ‘Cosmic Source’ podcasts) through the forums of the British software development company ‘YoYo Games’, which is responsible for the tool ‘Game Make Studio’ that I used to design small titles prior to founding GameCargo.

My next example is the love of knowledge from reading books. While I would never call myself an illustrator and prefer commissioning artwork from professionals that I collaborate with, I did aspire to be one and would study out of how-to books for beginners like ‘Manga Mania: How to Draw Japanese Comics’, ‘How To Draw Comics The Marvel Way’, ‘The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Creating a Graphic Novel’ and ‘Cartoon Cool How to Draw the New Retro Characters of Today’s Cartoons’. Although I prefer American and French comic books overall, certain styles of Japanese Manga did serve as a slight influence in terms of portraying fast-paced action sequences. One of my favorite series that I drew from was ‘Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo’. Unfortunately, there is another title that escapes my memory, yet I recall fondly before it was given to one of the neighborhood kids behind my back. It was a B/W lighthearted tale about a Black middle-schooler(?) who is abducted into an intergalactic space force and becomes of a member after being put through training. I only had the first volume and there might just only be one because the publisher couldn’t have been that well-known yet. Especially during an age where social media was still relatively new. Regardless, it inspired me to feel comfortable enough with having a person-of-color as a protagonist, so I do understand the need for diversity when the intentions behind it are genuine enough not to be mistaken for a brand in this era of capitalism.

Being a filmmaker has always been my future and I would make short episodes using LEGOS (Who didn’t?) and a webcam, back when stop-motion was more appreciated as a fascinating technique of animation. I later moved on to using puppets and still have an interest in producing a feature-length product based around them as characters. My ambitions were a bit bigger, even though I now see myself as more of a Guerrilla No-Budget director because it forces me to take more artistic risks. A Microsoft Windows game that I used to cut clips into Machinima videos with is unironically named ‘The Movies’, from Lionhead Studios. I still praise it for being technology that allows players the ability to output combined scenes with player-created “actors and actresses”, along with the option to input voice-over files to synch with character dialogue. It’s a shame that there hasn’t been a follow-up since the year 2006, because with the state of our current pandemic (COVID-19) affecting the movie industry, user-friendly hardware that could generate realistic CGI flicks could perhaps be very beneficial. YouTube has already proven that viewers will watch almost anything if the commentary is engaging. With enough developers constantly adding features that extend the capability of shots and the movement of pictures, it makes no sense not to further the legacy of ‘The Movies’.

Moving on, my background as a wordsmith encompasses many areas, and my time as a dedicated-lyricist was one of them. I’m still sorting through which notebooks full of rhymes to keep for the purpose of transferring them and those that are outdated, however, however, being a member of the older Soundclick.com in 2011 boards was a hoot. For anyone that remembers, there were sub-forums that were for battling via text and on wax. I mainly participated in the latter, and while I cannot say that I was the best due to still finding my style as an artist (Not only could I not catch a beat to save my life, but I was still struggling with a speech impediment), verbal combat was a stress-reliever and a fun writing exercise, whether on or off-line. Being criticized heavily by peers helped me improve and I became more secure with projecting my vocals and being comfortable with flowing schemes that I constructed instead of awkwardly sounding as if I’m cramming too many words in one line. Nevertheless, the most important takeaway is that I stuck with the facet as a writer and can confidently display my prowess today.

Last, but not least, is my love for taking apart and building things. As a child, I had this robot scorpion kit that I tried putting together myself and cut a bunch of my fingers on the copper. At the time, I did not know how sharp it was, and surprisingly, did not feel any pain until someone had pointed out that my hands had blood on it. Eventually, I did complete the project. Being a regular MacGyver or preferably Michael Westen, I once built a grappling device out of an old-school nerf gun, shoestring, and hook then tried to scale the family’s house in North Carolina. It was a bust but had potential if I chose to focus on modifying the material. I took joy in developing baking soda crystals and I’ve always been somewhat competent with fixing a laptop. It’s easier these days with the abundance of forums and search engines, so I don’t rely on books quite as much.

While I could dive into less-cheerful correlations such as why I don’t look back while I’m running due to being read tales from ‘My Book of Bible Stories’ during the failed indoctrination process of being born into the Jehovah’s Witness faith, or perverted reminiscences, I will say some of those for topics that require input related them. For now, I’m just logging fragments that occur by keeping my brain activity healthy, and my “spirit connected to the universe”.