There's never been a question about either of them stepping out on his own.
Going through life as a team has always worked for Richard and Michael Borba.
The fraternal twins have shared everything from childhood farm chores, to bunk beds, secrets, college classes and a lifetime of ups and downs.
On May 15, they will share one of their greatest achievements together—graduating from Morrisville State College.
The Borbas are among candidates who will receive degrees during the college's commencement ceremony May 15 at 1 p.m. in the John W. Stewart Center for Student Activities (STUAC) gym.
It's no surprise the siblings will receive matching bachelor degrees in information technology management: application software development.
Graduation signifies a lot to Richard and Michael, who grew up in Freeville, N.Y., a small village in the Town of Dryden just east of Ithaca. It's the beginning of a new chapter in their lives, an exciting venture they plan on approaching with the same team concept they have applied throughout life.
They are pursuing paths that will hopefully land them in the same place following the career they both love—video game development.
Getting along is a walk in the park for Richard and Michael, who mastered the craft as kids and roomed together peacefully for 21 years.
They shared the same bedroom until their third year of college when they moved to a suite in a residence hall and each got his own digs.
Looking back, Richard and Michael wouldn't change a thing about going through life unified, a gift that's benefited each of them in so many ways.
“We can continue to help each other achieve goals,” Michael said. “Why would we change that?”
There are economic rewards that go along with being twins, too. They share a car and since they took all of their classes together at Morrisville State College, bought one set of books. They do draw the line with sharing clothes however.
While they look alike and even laugh the same, there are ways to tell the siblings apart. Michael has sideburns and is half an inch taller, while Richard has a birth mark on his neck.
Despite so many commonalities, each maintains his own set of dynamics—Richard is the more protective brother, which he attributes to being 20 minutes older, while Michael is the more laid back one. Because they are so similar when it comes to everything else, they mesh in every way.
In essence, they foster just as strong of a sense of self and independence as being apart, but the benefits of being a team pale in comparison to going it alone.
“We have helped each other our whole lives,” Richard said. “We never stop learning because one person is always figuring out something new and sharing it with the other.”
It's a powerful platform they take into the classroom too, a place where there has never been a rivalry between them.
When one doesn't get the gist of a lesson, the other steps in with an explanation. They both reach beyond classroom lessons too. They taught themselves 3D modeling and shared things the other might have missed.
The Borbas initially came to Morrisville State College to study computer science then switched to application software development, a degree that is fine-tuning vital programming and other skills that support their lifelong interest and ultimate goal to make video games.
That dream started when they were introduced to interactive gaming through PlayStation, an innovation that animated their ingenious, creative minds.
Morrisville State College has further fueled their interest, offering gaming classes in which they learned high-scripted languages and simulation concepts to add to their repertoire of skills and help market them in the industry.
At Morrisville State College, they are sharing what they've learned with fellow classmates too, teaching a 3D modeling class for credit. 3D modeling is the process of developing a mathematical representation of any three-dimensional surface of object (either inanimate or living) via specialized software. It is used in a wide variety of fields, including medical, movie, and video game industries.
Richard and Michael were also among students who participated in the 2010 International Game Developers Association (IGDA) Global Game Jam (GGJ) which Morrisville State College hosted for the first time this year. Teams from around the world were tasked to make a video game within 48 hours.
The applied learning at Morrisville State College has inspired Richard and Michael, along with professors who actively engage in students' learning.
“We were involved with a lot of real-life projects,” Richard said. “They (professors) really teach you things you are going to do at work in your career some day.”
That instills a vital confidence Michael knows will transition both of them comfortably into a new job.
Determination is also on their side.
“Michael and Richard have a great work ethic and don't let roadblocks stop them from reaching their goals,” Dr. Richard Marcoux, assistant professor in Morrisville State College's Computer Information Technologies Department, said.
Graduates of Dryden High School, where they were teammates in wrestling, football and track, Richard and Michael are the sons of Sheree Borba of Freeville, N.Y., and Honorio Borba, also of Freeville, N.Y.