I hate to say it, but I've been doing a bit too much reflecting lately, and I've come to the conclusion that I'm in a way ashamed of who I am.
I'm guessing it started from high school, for you see, I fucking loved comics & videogames. I had my folders plastered with Spawn, Mortal Kombat and Final Fantasy and I didn't think anything of it because I FUCKING LOVED those things. You could probably say that at that age I was spending way too much time focusing on that shit rather than focusing on other things like sports and girls. As I went through the years at high school I slowly started realizing that the things I loved just didn't seem to be what the majority of other kids were into. At first this didn't seem to bother me, until I started to get openly mocked for being into comics and games, and once I had built a reputation around myself, it stuck with me for the next 6 years, from Yr 7 right through to Yr 12. Guys would bully me because I was an easy target as "the geek", and girls wouldn't talk to me because of the embarrassment that would come as a result of with being seen with that nerdy kid. All of this because I was openly a fan of games and other elements of geek culture.
Of course thatís just high school, and I'm sure a lot of you went through a similar experience yourselves. Once we all grow up we finally realize how dumb and pointless that crap was and we move on. We go out, meet people, make friends, meet women (or men), get laid, and no one judges you based on any bullshit pre-conceived notions. You are who you are and you should be fucking proud of that fact every day of your life...... yet for some of us, letting go of those old habits just isn't that easy.
I've taken too long to build up to this point, but the fact is that I'm still ashamed to tell most people that I'm into videogames. Maybe I'm busy making the assumption that people just won't get it, maybe I can't be bothered explaining myself if questions are asked, but the answer is more than likely that I'm still stuck in the habit of worrying too much about being judged because of what I'm into.
So how do I deal with it? Well, Instead of being open, I just hide who I am. It's not like I lie to people about it, I just don't tell them everything there is to know when I'm asked what Iím into, what I've been doing, how was the weekend and so on.... the main problem though is that videogames seem to be such a big part of who I am and excluding them from what I choose to tell people doesn't really leave me with much left to talk about. I guess it's no surprise that I usually have trouble relating to people. My close friends know what I'm into of course, as they're all fairly serious gamers too, and while my ex-girlfriend was well aware of my love for gaming, her complete lack of interest in it always made me extremely self-conscious whenever I spoke about it in front of her so that didn't help.
Now.... I know what Iíd tell someone if they told me this about themselves. I'm sure I'd find a nice enough way to say "Fuck off, you don't need to worry about what a single person thinks. You just have to be happy being who you are and if other people have a problem with that then they aren't worth fucking knowing in the first place. If you're happy with yourself then you don't have anything else to worry about". While this is the advice I'd expect from anyone who knew me, words are a great deal weaker than 14 years of self-suppression. It turns out that its a hard habit to kick. I'm definitely trying, and things are definitely getting easier in this respect, the process is definitely not as easy as I'd want it and at times i do still struggle with who I am, but I think I am slowly starting to finally learn to really accept myself so that I can learn to let others accept me too.
Now, just so you know, this isn't supposed to be some fuck-off emo-omg breakdown. I don't think my life is shit and I'm actually quite happy with things at the moment thank you very much, its just that I, like most other people I imagine, have thoughts about these kinds of things at times. I'm just here expressing myself a bit and opening up. So... while Iíve gone and opened my heart a little, how about you share a bit yourself. Does anyone feel the same way, or am I alone on this one?
You can probably call it a bad habit, but i can't fucking help myself and I still don't know why. If its not on offer then I honestly couldn't care less, but if its there at all then you can be sure that I'll be using it like a god damn junkie.
I think it all started with Megaman X. At first it was a novelty, like "oh cool, instead of shooting a pea I can charge up a blue fireball". Then once I got the laser upgrade and the blue fireball turned into a purple wave of death, I was sold. Sure it was impractical, but I think i spent 90% of my time in that game holding down the Y button with that fucking charging noise humming in the background (that noise. that fucking noise), just so that I could unleash pure firey hell upon even the smallest enemy that would stand against me.
I've tried to think of other games which offered me the charge shot, and surprisingly, only Capcom games came to mind (minus Metroid ofcourse). Devil May Cry. Street Fighter 3 (Ryu's Super Art) and now Street Fighter 4 (Gouken's Hadoukens), but sure enough, the second i discovered that there was a charge move, I was all over it. I'll admit that they're still pretty impractical most of the time, but that hasn't stopped me from using them AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE. In fact, by now I've learned to balance my gameplay (in SFIV in particular) in order to make the most of the charge shots.
I've been wracking my brain trying to think of more games that offer the Charge Shot, but is that it?? Only 4 games? That just can't be right.... why would a technique that has had me so fixated for so long be so rare??!
Surely there's been more games with the Charge Shot. Tell me I'm not the only one like this? Come on, speak up!
I'm personally going through a very wierd stage in my life right now. Massive changes are happening, some good and some bad. Some changes I've brought about myself and others are way beyond my control giving me no choice but to deal with them, but regardless, everything that i once knew as being my life is being turned on its head. As my life changes and I'm forced to mature and grow into something more than I already am i order to survive, I actually worry if the things i loved so much this time last year might be slowly loosing their appeal to me as a result.
Basically, i feel that gaming might be starting to bore me.... and that fucking sucks.
Its such a wierd thing for me to say considering that i still get excited about new releases, i still browse gaming blogs every day looking for new information and I still go out and buy new games when i can afford them, but my the problem is the stack of games sitting next to my tv which I've barely even touched. Far Cry 2, GTA IV, Dead Space, Battlefield Bad Company, Burnout Paradise, Crackdown, Fallout 3. These are all games that i've played maybe 20mins of, and just haven't had the patience to go back to since. Fuck, I even force myself to sit down and try playing more Fallout 3 whenever i read about how awesome it is, but I get bored before the menu's even finished loading!
I've thought about it and there could be a reason why this is happening. Time. As everything in my life changes, I just seem to be getting more and more busy. Its a good thing because i'm doing more of the things that I love and i feel like I'm getting more out of everyday than i ever have before.... but now when i sit down to collect some agility orbs in Crackdown, that little voice in the back of my head keeps quietly reminding me of all the other things that i could possibly be doing with this time, stopping me from relaxing and just enjoying the game. This means that when i rate everything that i could do with my day in order of priority, gaming seems to be slipping lower and lower down the list.
I don't know, maybe its time, or maybe its just a guilt thats been programmed into me since school. All those hours playing games with the niggling guilt reminding me of the assignments that i should be getting done right now instead of playing, but back then i was care-free enough to choose fun over being productive.
Despite what i've just been talking about, I haven't stopped gaming completely. There are still a few titles that will probably hold my attention indefinitely. Rock Band still rules my world whenever i've got my drink on, i'll always make time for Street Fighter IV (or any fighting game for that matter), and Left 4 Dead is holding my attention pretty well to. One thing in common with these titles though, is that i only really enjoy them when I'm playing them with other people. Its like my perspective on gaming changes when there are other people in the room, as all of a sudden it becomes a social event rather than just playing a game.... maybe I enjoy it more because it doesn't feel like a "waste of time" anymore once I'm sharing the experience.... then again, I never did feel as guilty doing something wrong if other people were there doing it with me.
And thats where I'm at right now. A social gamer who still loves everything about gaming yet doesn't know what to do with the practically new of Far Cry 2 sitting next to his 360 :/
NOTE: Not to negate my whole point, but there is still one game I can gladly play on my own for hours time and time again, Ninja Gaiden 2, but thats probably just because I'm a fucked up sadistic prick who love the power trip that game gives me every time
By the way, i'm still new here, so if you give a shit about what i write at all let me know. thanks!
Before anything, may I offer a brief summary of Me: a 26 year old male, loves games and all other geeky shit, loves his drink, his women and his friends (usually combined, though not a requirement), over analyzes nearly everything way too much, plays action/racing/platforming/pointnclick/fighting/fps/ games, doesn't play rpg/sim/strategy games (i don't think they suck or anything, I just haven't got the patience for them), thinks a certain level of "innovation" is desperately needed in more games today (sorry Aaron), listens to metal/punk/rock/indie/hiphop/pop/techno/indie and most other stuff, wishes he could survive on 3 hrs of sleep a day and generally drives himself batshit crazy 75% of the time.
Who am I anyway, nobody right? Exactly, I'm nobody, but after being a lurker round here for so long I've decided that its time to start spewing some thoughts and opinions up here along with everyone elses in the vain hope that some of what I write may get read, understood and possibly appreciated.
Just don't expect daily updates from me, as I often haven't got the time or motivation around everything else in my life, and don't expect failblogs with no point or purpose. My aim is to post meaningful and hopefully thought provoking write ups about different aspects of life as I see it, all while doing my best to keep it all atleast slightly amusing and VGR (as I'm well aware that this is what we're all here for after all). I'll do what I can to keep it from getting too serious and becoming a self-rightous bitch-fest, and I'll try to keep things as open and unbiased as possible for the sake of any civilized debate on what I write, BUT if you see me coming across as a pompous self-loving douche, please feel free to just raise your hand and slap me in the fucking head.
So, anyways, thanks for reading this. If you've read this far then go ahead and add me, leave me a comment or ask me a question (oooooh question time), and I'll have my first real blog with some decent content for you before long.