People who paid close attention to 8EB might cry foul and say that the Author didn’t meet the Girl until he was in his twenties. Don’t worry; this occurs in an alternate timeline. (Sure.)

One of the reasons for 8 Easy Bits’ indefinite hiatus (declared in early 2009) was my increasingly conflicted feelings about video games. As a formerly self-identified “gamer” who could say without hesitation that he found video games more interesting than reality, disengaging from the gaming world wasn’t just calling it quits on a hobby; it amounted to a lifestyle change. I tried to keep tight-lipped about the tug-of-war between my conflicting sentiments, but sometimes it came out — like in this comic strip, for instance.

Getting the joke at the end probably requires you to be familiar with Secret of Mana’s box art. (Sad truth: the tree you see in the photograph was the biggest I could find.)