Jordan Crank

// Virtuality
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Volume 01 Issue 10
July 21st, 2019

As a young kid, I grew up playing a lot of video games. I remember playing Tekken with my dad and making outrageous bets just so he would keep playing with me. I remember Super Mario Strikers and how good it felt to win. I remember Pokemon, Megaman, Mario Kart, and Sonic. I remember the amount of time I spent on those games making sure I accomplished everything from side-missions to main bosses. I spent so much time with games as a kid, that the one thing I remember is how happy they made me. Back then, it was more of a solo experience unless I was playing with someone right next to me. Times have definitely changed with online gaming.

As I got older, video games started to fade away. I gained more of a social life, did not have time to play during the week due to sports, and schoolwork was mounting up. The need to excel in both those areas outweighed my hobby. I would only be gifted with new games during the holidays. My taste in video games shifted more to the likes of Need for Speed, Dragon Ball Z, FIFA, 2K, and Kingdom Hearts. I was engulfed in the storytelling, movement, and graphics of these games. This was the time when games were becoming social and interactive so it was more fun and encapsulating to play. I would start playing before dinner time and before I knew it the sun would be rising. Looking back, my passion for video games was always there, but the thought to incorporate them into a career did not manifest until my junior year of college.

During my junior year, one of my friends introduced me to esports, specifically Call of Duty and the team OpTic Gaming. Esports literally means electronic sports. These are the games that are played competitively in either single or team player format. They have esports for games like Call of Duty, FIFA, League of Legends, Overwatch, and so on. Watching esports helped me realize how much I missed video games and how big they are now. With the expansion of technology and platform interconnectivity, video games are now a worldwide interactive experience. Just recently, I thought of this during my time in Vietnam.

While over there, I learned that internet accessibility is becoming more common with the use of smartphones and more technology being developed. I also learned that the major demographic in Vietnam are 16 to 35 year olds. When I heard this all I could think of was how this could potentially mean a new wave of gamers joining into the community, especially with the likes of huge games like Fortnite now. That potential growth was exciting to me and something that one day I can help to be a part of. If you think about it, almost everyone has had some sort of experience with video games, whether it be watching someone or playing yourself.. Video games can allow you to enter this different world and story, engulf you like never before, and satisfy that competitive nature in you while giving you the chance to win money for it or just bragging rights amongst your friends.

My discovery of this newfound world started with esports, moved to gaming videos on YouTube, and ended with streaming channels on Twitch. I saw how big this community and industry had gotten, and immediately knew I had to be a part of it. I never knew exactly what kind of industry I wanted to work in until that moment. To this day, video games are still expanding with the use of Virtual Reality and putting yourself in the experience. It is no longer you as a gamer in your own head, but you as a gamer as part of the game and whole experience. I also believe that video games can be an escape for some people. I always tell people the same way people read to immerse themselves in a new world, video games likewise take me to a different world. When I put on headphones and start playing, the world around me goes away for a moment in time as I am living the story. I play for both fun and stress relief. I am also very interested now in streaming and hope to get a proper stream set up in order to do it right. I want video games to always be a part of my life. I have now started to make sure I play a little bit every day. Even if to just take my focus off everything that is going on, I make sure to incorporate more video games in my life. That is what my relationship with video games through my life so far has been. While this love and passion is one reason why I want to go into these industries, it is not the sole reason.

My love for video games and esports has put no doubt in my mind that I want to work in these industries someday, but video games have also allowed me to keep some of my best friends to this day. I do not get to see my friends from high school or childhood all the time so because of that, video games have allowed me to connect with them more frequently. It creates a bond even though we are not together all the time. Video games create a bond between people. While it keeps me in connection with old friends, I have also made new ones that I met while playing and play with them now.

My Tunnel Vision.
Loving video games, allowing me to grow closer with my friends, and just being a part of the community are the reasons why I want to go into these industries. Without video games, I feel like a part of my life would be missing. I want to look back one day and say that I helped to build this community I have been a part of my whole life. I want to help build the community by being part of a company that creates games even if it is on the business side or having an esports team that helps to build awareness for esports. Or even build an esports itself. Either way, my goal is to help build the scene and the gaming community in whatever way I can. That is what I am aiming for in the future and that is what I am going to keep trying to do. I guess you could say I got Tunnel Vision.

Special Shoutout to my Family and Loved Ones

Update #1
January 7th, 2019

A Year In Review: Jordan Crank’s 2019

From my page in “Inside The Minds.,” you all saw my hopes and dreams and what drives me. Here’s a little update on what the past year of my life has entailed along with what I am doing now:

2019 has been a very good year to me. It started with me continuing grad school at Loyola University Maryland and finished with working a full time job at a great company. In between all that, I had the opportunity to visit Disney World in Florida and in January, experience a different culture in Vietnam in May. I also was able to take a small vacation to Chicago for my sisters birthday in July. Not to mention completing my 13th year of an annual missions trip in August. This year has been full of fun times and new experiences. A lot of it having to do with travel. This was the most I had traveled in one year by far. As the year progressed, I finished up my graduate degree in August of this year and was happy to be able to start a full time job not long after. As of right now, that job is going well and is helping me to learn new things and grow as a professional in the field I am in. It is in the construction industry (an industry I never thought I’d be in) and although it may seem like it has nothing to do with where I want to be in the future, I see it as a stepping stone and I believe that you can learn and apply different things from one situation to the next. So right now, that is what I am doing. I am trying to learn as much as I can and be the best employee I can be in my position as of now. For the future, I am trying to figure things out step by step and dip my toe in multiple different things. I am also trying to expand my horizons and start doing things that I believe will help me grow as a person and impact my life positively. I couldn’t have made it through this year without all the people I met along the way, all the people that have my back, and my family. This was a great year for me and I get to wrap it up with a great Christmas with my family and a best friend’s wedding on New Years. In short, its still the same dream and the same goal just one step at a time and this year was a step in the right direction.