Bizarre coincidences that you want to share

Something real crazy happened to me this morning, and it‘s the kind of thing that I just have to share with somebody, you know? Hopefully you all won’t mind hearing about it, because it's very tangentially insert credit-related.

I was casually scrolling through my Twitter feed when I saw that Frank Cifaldi had posted some circa-2011 1Up content featuring himself and Scott Sharkey. Having been a fan of 1Up back then, I thought, "Ha. Those were some fun old times."

A few minutes later, Ray Barnholt replied to one of those posts with a screenshot of the 1Update news program from August 12, 2010, featuring Frank and Tina Sanchez. "That'll be fun to watch for a couple of minutes," I thought, so I checked out the video.

Well, one of the segments on their news program was jokingly talking about how Ray had just returned from his summer vacation to Japan, and they featured a 1Up blog post by some jerk. Tina concludes by saying, "Ray Barnholt has one fan."

Now, I should clarify that I don't know any of these people, and have never met any of them. But here's the twist: _**that blog post was mine**_. I apparently wrote it ten years ago! And I never knew it was mentioned on a 1Up video until today!

I felt like I was in an episode of the Twilight Zone or something. Like seriously. Can you imagine this happening to you?!

Here's the video in case anyone cares:

So, how about you? Any weird coincidence stories you want to get off your chest?

This exact experience is the fantasy of anyone who has ever written something on the internet!

I have a similar sort of coincidence a few months ago, but of much smaller magnitude.

Two years ago when it came out that Elon Musk and Grimes were dating I had a dream (nightmare?) about Elon Musk's housekeeper beating Grimes for not knowing the name of the Pidgeotto they inexplicably owned. Elon Musk saw this and immediately ran out of the house because he was afraid people would think he'd engaged in domestic abuse. The housekeeper chased him, and just as she pinned him to the ground and was about to cut open his jugular, I woke up.

I don't actually read any fan fiction, but that dream sure felt like what I imagined crappy fan fiction is like. I decided to turn it into a Elon Musk x Pokemon crossover story and post it on I'm not actually going to post the link here (it was really bad), but you can probably find it by googling if you really want to.

Fast forward to 2020, right after Grimes had her baby, I was looking through the twitter feed of some person I didn't know. I'd probably reached them by clicking through the retweets of someone I followed. This person retweeted a tweet from an account I'd never heard of, fanfiction_txt, which was just the first sentence of my dumb story: "Elon Musk had been living with his wife Grimes in their apartment in Goldenrod City of the Hoenn region for seven years when the housekeeper one day asked while folding laundry 'who are the wigs for?'"

It got over 300 retweets! I guess that isn't that much. But as a guy who barely ever posts anything on the internet, it sure seems like a lot to me! I felt a weird mixture of validation and sadness. About two thirds of the replies were chastising me for knowing nothing about Pokemon and getting all sorts of details wrong. I'm sorry! I have never been able to play any of those games for more than, like, two hours.

Anyway, I imagine this kind of coincidence is a lot less exciting for people who write a lot more than I do. Especially if it's been over many years/decades.

@saddleblasters#4443 Ha! That's an amazing story. Really glad you shared it.

I guess for our generation, this will be the kind of story we tell instead of, "Guess who I bumped into at such-and-such dinner party!"

I wrecked my bike pretty bad once and my arm was wrapped up for a while, so I had to take the bus everywhere. while trying to network I went to a code and beer event and my tablemate talked about building face recognition software to detect “bad hombres ” (it was 2016) and I got disgusted and left early. I ate some ice cream before leaving and was waiting for the bus when some of my classmates happened to be walking by, they were going to a rap show and I was like “well im not doing anything ” so I went. at the rap show another cohort of mine was there and later in the night asked if I wanted to work with his friend on vr stuff, and I was like “sure who is it” and hes like “the dude who made myst”

and thats how I got to meet robyn miller

This is a small one and more a coincidence for the other person than for me, but - at E3 maybe 2005 I was walking around and recognized the Erikawas, owners of Koei (pre-tecmo merger). They didn‘t know me but I went up and said hi in Japanese, asked them what they were checking out and if they’d seen anything good, regular stuff. It was a nice little conversation and then we went our separate ways.

The next evening anybody who was anybody at E3 was at this giant Sony party at Dodger Stadium - Incubus was playing and it was just all kinds of over the top. I had already said what's up to suda and hey to kojima who didn't know me, and I had a fun interaction with Kenji Eno where I asked what he was working on and he said "something with a new control device" and then waved his hands all over the place and winked (clearly referencing the wii). we got a nice photo cheersing together which I have somewhere.

Anyway!! It was a long party in a big place and it was dark and everybody was everywhere.

As I came back from getting the last beer of the evening a rather blitzed keiko erikawa stumbled toward me, and said "Oh! Thank goodness I found you!"

I was a bit taken aback and was like... "huh? what's up!?"

she replies: "How do I get out of here!? Nobody speaks Japanese!"

And I showed her the exit and she was super appreciative. Apparently she had been looking for how to leave for a long time, her husband was already gone, and she couldn't find anyone else she recognized in like 15 minutes of wandering. In fairness it was a very big confusing place! (also she has never recognized me since then ha ha)

this has nothing to do with video games or insert credit, but it's the story that comes to mind when I think of coincidences.

back in high school I was sitting in class and realised I'd left something I needed in my friend's locker. I asked him for his combination, went to his locker and opened it, but found it was empty. I went back to class and told him someone had emptied his locker out. he was confused; he'd actually given me a fake combination and was expecting me to come back saying it hadn't worked. however, I'd accidentally gone to the locker next to his and the fake combination he'd made up was was exactly the combination for that locker.

the combined odds of him making up a fake combination that happened to work for his neighbours lock and me mistakenly going to the wrong locker would be astronomical. it's always kind of annoyed me that I've wasted such a moment of luck on something totally useless instead of winning the lottery.

stuff like that makes me wonder if it really happened or I just dreamed it.

yeah exactly! that feeling gets stronger every year too. memories are dark and weird.

I got a concussion/temporary amnesia when I was in late middle school/early highschool (I forget) so I literally have that sometimes - do I remember this, or did someone tell me it happened? Most of my memories from before that time are in third person because the memory is what my mom told me about it or whatever, or some other reason related to brain weirdness.

anyway yeah, sometimes I'll be like "was that real!?" and just not know!

@devilsblush I‘ve been on a bit of a Stephen King kick lately, and your story of the locker combination gave me the same kind of thrill I get when I’m reading one of his stories.

The fallibility of human memory is a real thing! All you can really hope for, as you get older, is that the memories you make up or embellish are fun and cool ones, and not dark and scary ones.

I have memory problems so the malleability of memory and the way we use that erosion to reframe the narrative of our own histories is interesting to me.

Dont want to get to meta but Tim himself has written in a few places about the unique way he experiences memory.

@Moon What an incredible writer he actually is. Thanks for linking me to that piece. I read the whole thing, and it made my chest swell up and my eyes tingle a little. I think I want to cry. Life is complex and messy and all any of us ever want to do is make meaningful connections with others. That's all I want to do, anyway. Sometimes we can do that by sharing honest words with one another.

@whatsarobot#4586 (since the board doesnt have a message system yet) if youd like to read more of his stuff reach out to me on twitter at @moonsoother some of it can be hard to find.

@polygull That is dope! Wow! I had a similar thing happen back in April, when I started playing Persona 5 Royal the day after whatever the first day is in the game (April 6 or something). Not as cool as yours though.

@Moon#4594 Thanks for the offer. I had to get off the dang twitter recently because it was bumming me out, so hopefully this board will have a message system soon! I've been reading tim's stuff since 2010, and while his games criticism is usually on point, I consider his non-gaming writing persona as one of my very favourite authors. The one novel of his that I read still lingers in my memory, all these years later. He's an inspiring guy, for me!

@polygull#4597 that is dope! Crysis is an amazing game!

Not a coincidence exactly but the one piece of graffiti that I ever did in my life made the front page of the college newspaper at UNC. I was not identified as the artist.

your career peaked too early!

i would like to share more of this story but i have to make several things more vague because it's the internet.

a tech startup co-founder whose apartment i slept on the floor of while i was crashing at various places in the bay area (who is... friends with Elon Musk apparently... if that gives you a good idea of what said person's politics are) happened to be partnered with an older man who used to be a producer in the game industry before he co-founded said company (and was the boss at one time of one of my favorite game designers). anyway, several years later his son, who happened to be an indie game developer, contacted me out of the blue about hanging out because he apparently liked and/or knew of my work. i was in a new city by then and still kinda of itching to meet more people so i took him up on it. i only found out in the midst of hanging out with him that his dad was the partner of the person whose floor of the apartment i crashed in. he had no idea i had ever met his dad or his dad's partner, let alone crashed on their floor for several months. the son later invited me to a 4th of July barbecue where i completely surprised his dad and the person whose floor i crashed on by showing up. i'm very much a lefty and they are very much kooky tech libertarians with money... so as you can imagine it was very awkward.

speaking of which i seem to have several bizarre second or third-hand connections to Elon Musk, but that's a whole other story. (tl;dr California is a pretty crazy place!)

Let‘s revive this thread because it’s nice. This one is not about game stuff at all, just the kind of thing I miss that used to happen. Someone was talking recently about how, with the pandemic, we‘ve lost the coincidence, or the casual accidental meetup. We only see people we try to see with absolute intention, for the most part, and are not out galivanting around the town. Like there’s this one guy I often used to see when I‘d be at a random bar or backyard in oakland. he just seemed to be everywhere. I went to my buddy ryan’s birthday like 3 months ago, and there he was again - hadn‘t see him in 3 years but we just had a conversation and caught up because we always used to bump into each other in exactly those situations, and I realized I’d forgotten his name, if I ever knew it.

Anyway that wasn't the story I wanted to mention, it's this one:

I was in new york for the third time or so - I don't go often because it's massively far from california and most of my friends that moved there have since moved away or back here. I was trying to find some place in manhattan chinatown, I think I was going to a show, to meet up with a friend I knew from work, but I was walking around by myself, and there was literally nobody around, nobody on the streets, and it was pitch black, and I was like where the heck have I gotten to!? I think this was pre google maps on your phone, was the thing. Anyway, I was wandering through dark streets when coming across the way was a guy named Tom - I went to highschool with him and hadn't seen him in 10+ years. Just randomly on a dark street we were the only two people you could see anywhere. and we were both like oh hey how's it going as though it was an expected meeting. He told me how to get where I was trying to go, and also that he was having a show the next day with his band Wallpaper, which he put me on the list for. We kept in touch for a while after that, and I did an hour-long video for projection over his performances with his other band North America, but then my friend on whose computer I edited it lost all the files.

Anyway - it really sticks out to me because I'm about as far away from home as I can possibly get and still be in the continental US, on empty streets (I've noticed the streets do actually empty in new york - out here there's always somebody walking around somewhere at all hours, must be the weather), in an unfamiliar neighborhood I was in for the first time, surrounded by signs in various languages, wondering where the heck I was going. Then the one person I see in the darkness is a guy, not even a friend really, that I knew from highschool (from california!), who wasn't even in my grade, thousands of miles away, and I didn't even know he was in new york, and then we were just like oh hey how's it going.

You don't get that during a gol darned pandemic, I tell you what!

@exodus your story reminds me of one of my own! Waaaay back in 2002 I went on my first international trip with my partner, to Paris. We had scored a super cheap package deal for the flight and the airfare. We were there for a few days, and we went to see big Sacré Coeur church like tourists. We‘re walking around and my partner sees this guy and says that he looks just like her university office mate’s boyfriend, Ed. She's so sure that she goes over to him and says hi. It is in fact him, and a second later her office mate (who is from France, and is visiting family) comes over. According to my partner, this was completely a coincidence, but it sure was wild!

A second minor coincidence story: I was playing one of the gazillion charades-like word guessing card games that were popular in the 90's with some friends in like 1995. It's my turn to guess, and the person with the card say "this is..." and I just blurt out "Tijuana", because I was goofing around. The word was, in fact, Tijuana.