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GameOPS P.O.I.: Aldous Castro

(Photo credit: Xy Judan)

Meet Aldous Castro, our current GameOPS P.O.I. He's a normal corporate guy by day, and a bad ass musician by night. But that's not all -- he's also one of the few really hard-core gamers in the country that we know. And in my lifetime, he's probably the one single person I know that has a living, and working, Atari console in existence!

The first time the GameOPS team met Aldous was when he was the AVP for Digital Media Exchange, Inc., the mother company of Mobius Games, the local publisher of the popular hack and slash MMORPG MU Online.

We're very thankful that he agreed that we do a feature on him. So let's take a peek at the colorful life of a pure blood gamer and a musician.

Could you tell us something about yourself? How old are you? Where are you located and what are you currently engaged in?

My name is Aldous John O. Castro.  I currently live in Ortigas.  I work in a marketing/advertising production company called Affinity X.  I'm the Director of Digital Design Services in that company.

When was the first time you actually played a video game? What's the name of the game and game system? What or who made you play?

First ever game I played would be Pong on Atari 2600.  Atari was the first ever video game console that ever entered our family household.  My Dad bought it because it was the latest in technology at the time. (Yes, I'm that old.)

Do you own a video game console? If yes, what system? Was it your very fist console? What video game platform do you prefer? (PC, Consoles or Handheld)

I've always had at least one or two video game consoles for each console generation.  Usually the current Nintendo console first (Since Family Computer/NES onwards) then I would get the current console of Sony (since Playstation 1 onwards).  I've always been a Nintendo fan ever since the Family Computer.  Currently I have a Sony Playstation 4.  Skipping the Nintendo Wii U and waiting for the Nintendo NX to come out.  For some reason, I just generally stay away from anything Xbox.  I suppose I see Xbox consoles as PCs.  So I might as well get a PC instead.

I've been primarily a PC gamer than a console gamer though.  I saw console gaming as a couch co-op with friends.  PC gaming was always where the more hardcore games would be released.  PC Master Race FTW!

What is your favorite video game? Why?

Tough to say I have one single favorite game really.  There's just too many games that I love.  I usually like action games and RPGs mostly.

How about a particular video game character, who's your favorite? Why?

Kirby!  Well mostly because I like playing Kirby in Super Smash Bros (since Nintendo N64, Game Cube, and Nintendo Wii).  The down+special brick-drop move is too good.  Haha

Do you play online games? What are your current and all-time favorites? Are you part of a clan or guild? If yes, can you give us some info about your guild?

I used to play a lot of our published games back when I was working in mobiusgames (DME).  Since then, it would just be World of Warcraft.  I do plan to go back to WoW since Legion is already out.  Not part of a guild or anything.  I don't think I have enough free time to be active in a guild in any MMORPG.  Haha

I've also been playing other Blizzard games like Diablo 3, Hearthstone, and Heroes of the Storm.

If you were to convince a friend or co-worker to play video games, how would you do it? Would you do crazy stuff just to convince him or her?

I just invite.  If they don't bite, all good.  Hard to find people to play the same game as you really.

Did playing video games make any difference in your life?

I'd probably shrivel up and die if I didn't play video games.  It provides a means of dealing with problems in real life by escaping to virtual worlds and stories.

Do you have any personal video game related story that you can share with us?

I used to play one of our published games Dekaron heavily back when I was working in mobiusgames.  When we had to shut down the game, I honestly felt genuinely sad for days.  As if I big part of me just suddenly disappeared.  LOL.  I suppose I get that way when I've spent a lot of time playing any given game.

(Photo by Cris Pangan)

Have you ever bought (or played) a pirated copy of a video game?

Admittedly, yes.  Back when console and PC games were still easily pirated and less reliant on online features.  The recent past console generation or two, it's all original.  Same thing with PC games.  A lot of video gaming has become online reliant.  So pirated copies of games just won't work anymore if you want multiplayer.

How long have you been playing percussions?

I've been playing percussions for about 13 or so years now.

When and how did you start playing percussions?

I didn't really consider myself a percussionist when I first started.  I bought a pair of LP Aspire bongos that were on sale at JB Music at the time.  I jammed with some officemates one Saturday over drinks.  One of my officemates apparently was part of a band called SunDownMuse and had a gig later that night.  I got invited to jam with them.  After jamming at their gig, I was asked to join the band full time.  That would probably be the night that I would say I started percussions.  I already forgot what year that was. That was easily 13-14 years ago.  I have since learned to play better and have added more drums and percussion toys to my arsenal.

Percussions looks really hard to learn. Did you learn it from someone or were your self-taught?

Most of what I know with percussions is self-taught.  Everybody has their own innate rhythm.  You just have to listen to yours and expound on it.  Learning was mostly self-exploration, playing along with music I love.  Some research online also helped with my learning.  Especially with conga rhythms.

Besides percussions, what other musical instruments can you play?

I also play handpans (originally called Hang drums).  It's these metallic instruments that resemble spaceships. I believe I was the first one and only one in the Philippines to have handpans back in 2012.  It's only this year that I have met a few people that have handpans as well.  But I'm still the only handpan player in the country that gigs in the music scene.  Handpans are also my first foray into writing my own pieces/compositions.  I do plan on releasing a handpan single or two online later this year.

(Photo credit: Rakista Radio)

How can you juggle between working and being in two bands all at the same time?

My work would still be the priority because I do enjoy having a roof over my head and food to eat. LOL.  My band practice and gig schedule has to keep my work schedule in mind.  So I'm usually only free to practice with a band or gig during weekends.  I would at times file leaves from work to go to gigs on week nights.

It does get tougher to schedule as to join more and more bands.  I'm currently in two active bands, Jack Versus the Crab, and Manila Sky.  But there was a time that I was part of 4 bands.  My work schedule back then lended fairly well to keep up with all 4 bands.  But it does get tiring when you find yourself gigging 3-4 nights consecutively each week and still manage to go to work the following day.

How old are you? Are you still single? What kind of girls are you interested in?

I'm 38 years old.  I'm single.  I don't necessarily have a hard preference in girls.  Haha.  I probably would love to have at least one common interest with a girl I'm attracted to.  Either gaming or music or both.  There's a certain level of emotional introspection and artistry with gamers and musicians.  So it makes it easier when it comes to communication and understanding of each other.

If a genie gives you 3 wishes (no wishing for more wishes, LOL), what would they be, and why?

Three wishes huh?

I wish I was rich.
I wish I was rich.
I wish I was rich.  Hahaha

I think we all miss out on life because we're largely consumed with earning money.  This goes for both the amount of time and energy we spend in our jobs over anything else.  As well as the amount of money you earn that allows you to survive.  But it all comes at a price.  It comes at the expense of time and energy spent on other things.  Like seeing the world.  Meeting lots of different people.  Helping others.  Gaining inspiration and fuel to create more music.  All of that takes a back seat when you have a corporate job.  So I imagine I could do and enjoy my life so much more if money was no object.  Oh well.  It doesn't hurt to wish and dream.  Haha

Any greetings and link-love to your friends?

Shout out goes to my Manila Sky and Jack Versus the Crab bandmates.  As well as my close friends, Joseph and Mari.  Haha

You can visit Aldous's website and social networking accounts:


And also his bands Facebook fan pages:

Manila Sky:
Jack Versus the Crab:

Aldous also recently released 2 singles called Nomadic Disciple and And then There Were Two (feat. Ramon Mancio). As of this writing, you can find these songs in Amazon and Spotify.

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