Life is a Metroidvania

As a kid, the world is full of items you can’t reach and places you can’t access. Like Samus. Life is a Metroidvania, especially in the early years.

This episode draws parallels between young kids hitting milestones and gamers progressing through these quest-laden classics. Learning to crawl is like acquiring the Morph Ball. Also, figuring out how to open a childproof latch is a metaphorical key item.

In addition to connecting dots, I do a quick breakdown of the term “Metroidvania” and wax nostalgic about some favorites from the NES era.

Episode Summary

  • Intro and greeting (01:03)
  • Don’t worry; this is not an episode about parenting (01:32)
  • “Metroidvania” is a portmanteau. What’s a portmanteau? (06:08)
  • A pseudo-history of the Metroidvania (06:58)
  • Oddly, the original Castlevania was not a Metroidvania. Conversely, were Zelda and Metal Gear? (13:07)
  • So … life is a Metroidvania for a little kid, how? (18:14)
  • SWS: Amazon Echo, my voice-controlled best friend music player (29:16)
  • And finally, a call for feedback and the closing (40:37)


Comments & Conversation


  • Fuckin' Justin, dude. says:

    Your comment on the “first world problems” bit (and every time I hear a sentiment like it, with respect to technology) puts me in the mind to speak to the role that technology plays in our lives. I think every now and then, we all get that lingering thought of, “Wow. This shit is making society lazy.” – implying that the issue is the tech itself. When in reality, I think that technology just amplifies the tendencies that we already have. The example you gave with the frustrating part about changing songs is a neat juxtaposition to an example of, say, a novelist moderating music in order to keep the flow of inspiration while writing.

    I’m fully aware that you weren’t advocating that technology is bad, or anything of the sort – it’s just a fun little exercise in thought. Bringing nuance to a really simple, yet often expressed, then summarily dismissed opinion about the detriments of technology.

    • Phil/Poly says:

      I hear ya. I complain about “first world problems” almost exclusively and I use that term to poke fun at myself. I love gadgets and don’t believe they’re making us lazy any more than I believe games are making kids violent. What you said about amplifying tendencies is interesting, though.

      Maybe tech makes SOME people more lazy, if they were lazy to begin with. It’s just a big megaphone on character quirks.

      Personally, it’s down to an evaluation of time. I mentioned getting my groceries from Amazon; that’s not because I’m unwilling or too lazy to go to the supermarket. Instead, it’s that if I can have an extra hour in my day to not do dumbshit subsistence work I’ll snatch it up. Same with focus and managing music playback. Those “5 to 10 minutes here and there” add up.

      So it’s a cost/benefit analysis: would I pay X dollars to have Y extra time or avoid Z pain-in-the-ass. For the copious minutes I’ve snatched back over the course of the year-and-change I’ve had my Echo, that $180 bucks is a bargain.

      Good thought, and thanks for the comment, man!