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Many people have passions, and these are forged out of love, excitement, and unbridled enthusiasm.
For me, my passion is for the iconic character Mega Man! This character is the main protagonist in the Mega Man video game series, but he has also appeared in cartoons, comics, manga, and as collectibles.
Although not as popular as Mario or Link, Mega Man has a large and loyal following. Since 1987 (when the first Mega Man game was released in North America), the series has gone on to sell over 32 million copies.
Personally, I have been a life-long die hard Mega Man fanatic! I first became a fan when I played the early installments of the series as a young child. I still have very fond and vivid memories, sitting up in my room entranced and enthralled by the game.
The imaginative levels, bizarre enemies, stunning music, and overall vibrancy of the game made it a very captivating experience.
I also remember being extremely excited to go to the movie store and rent the subsequent sequels, or being eager to get up on Saturday mornings to watch the Mega Man cartoon. Additionally, I can recollect frantically jotting down the passwords as I advanced through the games or being in awe the first time I saw Mega Man X on the cover the new game, in his amazing new armor. I can even reminisce about playing in the backyard imagining I was Mega Man and pretending cans of soda were my E-tanks!
The fact that these early memories still stand out in my mind so vividly is a testament to how much happiness Mega Man has brought to me (and how significant it has been). This should come as little surprise as gaming (and the characters from games) has had similar impacts on so many others. Actor and film director Andy Serkis proclaimed that ''video gaming is a huge part of our culture... People are enthralled with video games in the same way as other people love the cinema or theatre.''
Television animation director, screenwriter, and voice actor Rich Moore stated, ''There's something for everyone in video games. It's not just a toy for a certain age group. It's steeped in the culture now.''
It has been said that people love video games because they do things they obviously can't do in real life. Mega Man allowed me to experience being a hero who continuously strives to over come impossible odds—and survive battles and situations that no human ever could!
As I grew up, my passion for Mega Man never faded. I still continued to play the games, both the newer and older releases, and loved much of the expanded universe as well. I recall once as a young adult organizing some Mega Man prints that I was going to hang up. My brother and his friend were visiting and his friend remarked, ''Your brother really is obsessed with Mega Man, eh!?''
''I can still recall the first time I saw Mega Man X''
My fond memories for the game and character are not exclusive to me being a child either. In the summer of 2005, I had just gone through a breakup and my life was in a bit of upheaval. Despite that, I can still remember playing the Mega Man: Anniversary Collection (that had just been released) throughout the summer and simply being happy. The remixed tracks in the game were stunning, and the whole thing just allowed me to have fun!
Later on, I ended up collecting a myriad of Mega Man figures, statues, and collectibles which have been displayed in a (dare I say) shrine. Collecting has been another way to indulge in my passion for the character. There is something very rewarding about having a tangible and physical representation of something you love.
The music from the Mega Man games has become iconic within the franchise, and among video game critics, and this certainly was not lost on me! I have many times gone on road trips or done house work to my mix of Mega Man remixes—getting lost in the amazing music. Music from the game is also featured as my ring and notification tones on my phone.
More recently, I launched my Mega Man Fan Realm Project across various social media networks. The objective of this project is to promote and celebrate the legacy (and the future) of this iconic character and franchise.
I have also involved my love for Mega Man with charity. Upon the release of Mega Man 11, I launched a free giveaway contest where I gave away several copies of the game. I also donated several Mega Man figures to a Christmas Toy Drive over the 2018 Holiday Season—and will be making this an annual tradition. Additionally, I used the Mega Man Fan Realm to help promote the Mega Man-athon event, which raises money for the Child's Play Charity (which donates toys and games for sick kids to children's hospitals worldwide). Aside from trying to raise awareness for the event and charity, I also made a donation myself.
Between running the project, collecting Mega Man items, and playing the games (and even watching the various shows)—Mega Man has become a full-time passion and endeavor for me.
My love for Mega Man embodies both current activities and nostalgia from being a child. This mixture of sentimentality with present fondness is what keeps this great passion in me, and I am grateful for it. This character and his universe, has brought me immense joy on countless occasions. Author and lecturer, Gretchen Rubin, who worked on The Happiness Project, professed, ''I spend a lot of time wondering, what elements are necessary for a happy life? I’ve become convinced that one of the greatest supports to a person’s happiness is passion—whether for musical theater, video games, camping, stamps, shoe-shopping, teaching English as a second language, or whatever. Any passion is a great boon to happiness. It gives you something in common with other people, and so fosters social bonds. It gives you purpose.''
My love and passion for Mega Man is second to none... and it is one that I am sure will never cease!