Hi everyone, first time poster here on T.A.Y, so I thought I would discuss something of deep personal importance to me. Some solid feedback would be appreciated on the piece below. I wrote it in one sitting and do not think it is too terrible. Although it is not too good either.

If you are familiar with me, you would know that I am a regular commenter on Kotaku and often express a deep love for K.O.T.O.R on articles that are posted by the team every now and then......

Why I Love Knights of the Old Republic.


Why I Love Knights of the Old Republic.

Looking back on it, I never would have found a love for K.O.T.O.R and video games as a medium had it not been for my years that I spent as a young man growing up in Canada. I was the bookish and geeky kid in a small town and as a result dealt with my fair share of bullies while growing up. Children would throw what I was reading in the mud, call me an idiot for not understanding the rules of Canadian football and sometimes even take shots at me with the puck during matches of floor hockey in gym class (I know, its terrible right?). Often, I would come home from school crying and spent many a weekend alone in my room not feeling like I would ever fit in anywhere in the world. My father (who some will know is the best dad across all of Kotaku) was crestfallen by my depressed mindset and did everything he could to make me feel better, but nothing worked. After taking me to movies, giving me advice on how to deal with dicks at school and even enrolling me in some self-defense classes I was still not enjoying my life. Finally, my dad resorted to one last thing......

Fast forward to Christmas 2003, there I was tearing open various presents with glee when I came upon an Xbox. After screaming with delight, I emptied out my stocking to find my parents had gotten me a copy of Halo and K.O.T.O.R. The first thought that went through my head at the time was "Yessss, Halo!! But K.O.T.O.R? Really? Those movies (prequels) were terrible." Admittedly, my knowledge of the expanded universe was not what it was now. I feared that the game would be awful much like the other most recent Star Wars media I had been exposed to. So, for the first few months after Christmas, I ignored K.O.T.O.R completely and spent my time killing Covenant on a wonderful ring world created by a talented team in Washington State (where I now attend school). Things pretty much stayed this way until I got into a bit of trouble at school in March.

After finding out what I had done (I was only in the fourth grade at the time and I was very silly at that age.) my dad was incensed. I still remember him cursing me out with his booming voice while I sat stiff as a board at our family table, but I remember the punishment he inflicted upon me much more fondly.....

"Son, I am so pissed off. Since you acted like an idiot, you are done with Halo until I say otherwise. As punishment, you have to start K.O.T.O.R." (I know, this is really weird, but my dad is an unorthodox guy. This is the least bizarre thing I have seen him do. Honest.)

"Really dad?"

"Yes, now get the fuck out of here before I change my mind and make you go work at the Mental Health office with the lady who eats cigarettes and thinks I control her mind."

So, with my dad's words still fresh in my mind, I went to my room and sat down to begin a play-through of K.O.T.O.R, I was not expecting much at first and seriously believed that I would fall asleep after an hour of exploring that famous galaxy so far away from Earth. But to my surprise, I found that I was reacting in a completely different way than I expected.....

I was caring.

This world that Bio Ware had created was hitting home with me. Maybe it was because it was my first R.P.G (I had played other ones, but not yet been mature enough to appreciate them. No 6-year-old can understand Fallout), or maybe it was the music, but the quest to stop Darth Malak became something more to me than just a simple video game. As the days and months went by, I was playing K.O.T.O.R whenever I had the chance. Finally, I came to the end of the game in July 2004. When I defeated Malak and saved the Republic, I felt like I had grown as a person. I had begun that game in March as a sad child and emerged as a strong and better young man. Looking back on it now, the game empowered me and gave me confidence to deal with the issues that I had in my life in those days. If I could help people and be the hero in K.O.T.O.R, I could be just as brave in real life. If I could come to see the characters in my party as friends, maybe I would find people who understood me in the real world. Thankfully, I did. Today I have a great group of friends who I would follow through the gates of hell (New Jersey). I owe my confidence as a person and my strong sense of right and wrong to this game and my dad.

So that's it everyone. That is why K.O.T.O.R is so special to me. The game had a slightly inferior (but still good!) sequel in 2004 and a M.M.O in 2011. I still pine for another game and hope one will be made soon. To paraphrase a great character, EA making Star Wars games has "given me something I have not had in a long time, hope."