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by HikariNaito

So I'm really late on the info portal, I know... (Aina and Izyan are much, much more active than I am, and I believe you already know what's going on in their lives, heh) Anyways, this post is just to inform you guys that I'm currently studying at INTI International University, Nilai, under a MARA scholarship (Alhamdulillah)... If all goes well (Insyaallah), I'll be flying to the United States by August, to the University of Wisconsin-Madison to pursue Software Engineering (well, the course description is officially 'Computer Science', but I know what I really want!).

First of all I'd really like to thank my parents (to no end!) for endlessly supporting me, for helping me out, for kicking me in the ass when I most needed it, for always being there even though I disappointed them on a few occasions... The list goes on forever. I'd take up a terabyte of text just to attempt completing that list, perhaps more.

Next. I'm really, really thankful to MARA for offering me this opportunity to expand my borders. Without the sponsorship, my parents would be forced to use their money on me.... and in the process, sell our cars, the beds, the Xbox, the tv, the house itself... and there wouldn't be any more left for my sisters to continue their education. I may be many things, selfishness being one of those things, but no way in Heaven or Hell could I let my sisters lose out on that opportunity because of me. I'd willingly drop out of university if it means all my siblings could have the chance to do what I'm doing now - chasing my dreams.

And I'd be damned if I put all my countrymen's tax money to waste - by wasting my education, or keeping it to myself. Even if I find that I like living in the States much, much more than living at home, I would come back to Malaysia. Our country needs more educators, more people who can show their fellow countrymen that no matter what profession they're in, they have the power to bring good to the world. And that dreams can really come true.

Aina, for example, dreams of being a psychologist. I honestly don't understand why people say being a psychologist is 'kerjaya picisan', as she put it (in fact, loads of MARA students in INTI want to be psychologists). Psychologists like Sigmund Freud, who was particularly interested in the human subconscious, influenced the Western world and helped that world to advance. Other psychologists, in general, hold noble jobs - they can coax people out of depression, help the mentally ill reconnect with their families (do you know how hard it is to live with a mother who has dementia? Look up The Crooked Man, a Wolf RPG game, on YouTube), and basically improve the quality of life of these people so they can be able to experience happiness.
How on earth is giving happiness to people a lame thing?

Izyan is going to be a French language teacher. So you think that's lame? Well, you haven't been to Paris during winter now, have you? When you learn a foreign language, you're not just learning the words - you absorb their culture, understand their minds, and appreciate the diversity/moral values/beliefs that the speakers of the language bring. She is currently studying the language of an advanced country, whose people are gifted with creativity and really good fashion sense. And when she comes home, she'll be the one spreading the values she learned from the City of Love. She'll be teaching her students a whole new way of thinking, expanding their minds past blind homework and Add Maths (hehe, sorry Pak Yem (/゚Д゚)/ ). Teaching kids to be open-minded is the best thing one could do, no matter what kind of teacher you are.

Me? As I said, I'll be a software engineer. Sounds great, right? Big paycheck and everything? Well, what if I told you that I'm planning to enter the gaming industry?
Elders used to teach their children and grandchildren moral values and life lessons through storytelling. You know never to talk badly of them or disrespect them because they hold wisdom that is many times greater than your own age. People progressed, and invented the radio and television - storytelling mediums that make you laugh, make you cry, make you cower in your beds, and make you remember never to leave your house door unlocked as you go out. More progress - and lo and behold, the console was born.
Now I live with a gamer dad (who taught me how to handle the computer, the PS2, the Wii, and now the Xbox 360) - and based on that you'd probably think, "Oh, of course she's a gamer, her parents play too." Yes they did (Mom loves the Xbox Kinect and Wii!), and supporting my being a gamer is one of the biggest things in my life that I will forever be thankful for. I learned many of my life lessons and formed principles because of the games I played - I used to want to be a policewoman because I believed in protecting justice,  I really value my friends because I believe that friendship conquers all, I believe in outer space and aliens and dragons... oops did I go off track?... The point is, games taught me a lot of things as I grew up.

Back to the topic. The best games tell a story - ranging from cliches like a warrior saving a princess from timeless evil to more current goings-on like soldiers preventing terrorist attacks that could destroy countries. Sometimes an odd game or two pops up - games about the aftermath of an apocalypse, games where your character is already dead and is fighting to be reborn, games about ancient mythology... the list goes on. All interesting as, let's say, movies on the same topics... but the difference is that, with games, you are the main character. You are the person controlling the story. All those events aren't just happening to the character; in a way, they are happening to you, too. The level of immersion you get with games is what causes you to break down in tears when Lee (from the Walking Dead game) is forced to die, what makes you jump in ecstatic happiness when, finally, Sora is reunited with Kairi (in the Kingdom Hearts series), what keeps you on the edge of your seat when Neku attempts to kill his own partner Shiki (from the NDS game The World Ends With You). Therefore, they are more effective ways to spread moral values and wisdom from expert researchers and old-timers. They let you experience what it must really feel like to fight in a war, for example, and give you a taste of what it's like to put your life on the line for the sake of your family or the ones you love.

I really want to be a part of that. To create game engines like the Unreal Engine already powering many games on the market, or the Crytek engine behind the amazing fluidity and graphics of the Crysis games. Oh, and you know what would be really, really cool? I want to be on the first team to bring virtual reality gaming - real VR stuff, not just a camera like the Kinect! - to the household. To program what you feel in your fingers as you touch something, to immerse you in the sights of a completely different world around you, to give weight to your virtual boots as you trek through the jungles of an Avatar-esque planet. Imagine the possibilities!

Of course, if I could design/get to use a holographic storage device that could read and write hundreds of terabytes of data on a pendant-size crystal, that'd be a big plus, too. I heard Nintendo's going to be the first videogame company to use the technology.

Anyway, this is just another rant. The point is, follow your dreams no matter what!

Geek Naito out!

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    kick off your shoes and lepak wif us...the bloggers are Mai (Hikari Naito), Aina and Izyan...three person many stories one world....haha...camner??
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