Even though Mega Ran’s book, Dream Master, is not directly about video games or game development I wanted to include it in myVGBC “Gaming Books.” Raheem “Mega Ran” Jarbo is not a game creator or developer, but he combined his passions for video games and rap music to create a whole new movement.
Dream Master is a memoir that captures Raheem Jarbo’s journey to becoming Mega Ran (in a little over 200+ pages). I wanted to read his story because his story and others like it are what inspired me to start this site (myVGBC.com). I had the idea of creating my own place to write about games for a couple of years now, but was always a hesitant to actually do it.
Growing up, if I were in a group of people who also played games I’d have no problem talking about my love for video games, what I was currently playing and anything else related. However, if there were some non-gamers around I would keep it to myself, probably for fear of being called out or made fun of. Today, I feel much more comfortable, but that may be due to it being “cool” to be a nerd about something these days.
Dream Master is a collection of essays and short stories about Mega Ran’s life, broken up into different chapters. I really like how each chapter had a name and song lyric corresponding to the subject matter. After the opening song lyric in each chapter I already had an idea about what would come next.
Mega Ran has a unique way of telling his real life stories, because he incorporates some real world history into most of them. While learning about his life events I also got educated on some historical events — whether they were American History, World History or Entertainment and Pop Culture related. Everything from video games, to 9/11 to wrestling history.
The book starts off in a linear fashion, following Raheem’s childhood to college life. Once we get into adulthood, the book may jump around a bit. That’s because some of the chapters focus on topics rather than a specific time. It never gets confusing or anything, so it’s perfectly fine.
The most inspiring part of Mega Ran’s journey is how he created his own style and genre. He knew he loved hip hop and wanted to be a musician. He began trying to be like the rappers he looked up to, but later on went his own way. There was also the social responsibility of being a positive role model with his music.
It’s because of Mega Ran and others who made it “cool” to be a nerd in pop culture that J. Cole can feel comfortable rapping a line about Hideo Kojima on his latest album. It’s also because of things like the Marvel Cinematic Universe bringing comic book heroes to the mainstream.
Check it out
Dream Master is a great book to read if you want to learn how Mega Ran got to where he is today. He talks about his early days as a kid, getting into games, the struggles and not-so-great people he had to deal with along the way. His teaching career, but also the school system.
There’s also stories early on when he was just a fan of rap trying to figure out his style and meeting some big names in hip hop. He even got to work with people he had admired, and become friends with some of his role models.
Even though he has gone through tough times and openly talks about it in his book, Dream Master is an overall feel good story. That can be mainly attributed to the man’s positivity.