How has/did Ecco change your life?

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Ecco gave me an interest in and appreciation for the ocean.

I'm 22 now, but I first played Ecco the Dolphin back in 1993 or 1994 when I was two or three years old. Everything about the game was so captivating and fascinating. We hadn't even learned anything about the ocean at school, I knew some basic stuff like what sharks, dolphins, fish and whales were, but Ecco let me experience it. To a three-year-old boy, controlling a dolphin in a vast ocean was the greatest thing ever. I'm sure like others, I was mesmerized by the way Ecco moved and jumped out of the water. There was no other game that gave me that feeling of freedom of movement. It felt like I was a dolphin. Everything in the game was so mysterious, beautiful and terrifying. I wasn't put off by the game's difficulty at all, it only drove home the game's point about the ocean being both beautiful and dangerous. The game made me want to learn all sorts of stuff about the ocean and its creatures, specifically whales and dolphins.

Since I became a retro gamer, I've been going through all my childhood posessions from the 1990s and early 2000s. That's when I discovered just how many books about marinebiology I had back then. I literally have dozens of books about whales and dolphins from my elementary school days because I wanted to learn all about the ocean! I even had a humpback whale stuff toy I used to sleep with. On top of that I had a bunch of calendars of whale pictures, as well as calendars and jigsaw puzzles of Wyland's marine art. When I stared at art like that, it gave me a similar kind of feeling as when I played Ecco.

By the time I was in grade 6, I could spout off facts and information about all sorts of whale species. Around the time I first played Ecco, I was introduced to the Free Willy movie. That gave me a love of orcas because I thought they were cute, I was also intruiged, like with dolphins, by the stories of their intelligence. Since I liked orcas, I usually focused on studying whales, but I had and retain an interest in general marine biology with an emphasis on cetaceans.

Ecco and the interest in marine biology it gave me have always stuck with me all these years. In high school I was fascinated by the idea of the story of Moby Dick and wanted to read the book because it was about a giant white whale. I never got through the whole thing due to getting sidetracked, but I plan to read it eventually. If I had gotten good math and science grades in high school, I would have surely gone into studying marine biology instead of getting the useless history degree I am now. I'm far from an activist, but I consider myself an environmentalist of sorts because of my love for and interest in the ocean, I'm saddened by all the damage our species does to it.

Playing Ecco is a very emotional experience for me, not just for the nostalgia and the wonderful memories, but because the whole thing truly is something special. Give me a few minutes with the games and my mind is in another place. Hopefully one day we will get to see Ecco emerge from the Atlantean time machine!

Ed created something wonderful with Ecco and changed a generation of kids and he should be proud of it. I am super excited for The Little Blue and The Big Blue, I can only imagine what amazing things he and the team will do with them. Best of luck to Ed and the team!!

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  • 7 yrs agoLast active
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