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ChargingChuck's blog

5:49 PM on 06.24.2013

Thoughts on/in Video Game Depression

Thanks to this video I have started examining my own journey through a sort of depression. Now I get that my life isn't really that bad, but as a recent grad struggling to find a job in a field I want to, and trying to find motivation to continue the search, I have my own issues. I moved away from my crutch of family and friends, and do not have much to lean on besides my cat, my girlfriend, and video games.

I moved to a suburb of Portland this past February with my girlfriend in the hopes of a better job market, or at least a better selection of jobs. Even before we left I was in a bad state. We graduated from college last May with high hopes, and even higher expectations. Soon after she went on a trip to Italy, basically causing life to be set on pause until she returned late last October. I was lonely, so I did what I always do when I have any feeling of doing much of anything - I played games. It didn't really matter what game, just anything to keep my mind off of the current situation, not finding a job and just waiting (which is an awful feeling sometimes btw). Between working as a part time waiter/bartender I probably played 8+ hours everyday, more if I didn't have to work.

Upon the return of the GF and plans to move to somewhere with better job opportunities, I thought that my slump was over. This feeling only lasted a short time. Running out of the money we saved up for the move, I had to accept a very shitty job at a semi-large retail hardware/home improvement store. It wasn't the job I wanted, and definitely not using my "skills" - in fact I knew just about nothing upon getting hired, but it was a job. I figured I could just keep looking for work, and keep on trying. This has almost come to a halt, all my free time really just spent playing games. Skyrim, The Witcher, TF2, Battlefield, Borderlands, Fallout, even Bioshock. I play anything just to keep my mind of what I am actually doing with my life. The only enjoyment I get is from playing games, and watching shows on Netflix. 

This can't be a healthy way to live, do most people feel this way after they accept the fact that they hate their jobs? I understand just going with the flow, but if this is the flow why in the world do we just accept this? That is not okay. This feeling in my "heart" is not comfortable, and can only be dulled and numbed, but it never really is going to go away until I am doing something I love, or care about. That is not okay. I need to use games as a form of entertainment and fun, not as a crutch to just numb my feelings. I get flashes of this in some games, where I am actually enjoying the experience, but overall I just feel okay when playing - no strong feelings towards it or anything. If I could go back to that day when I was 11, home sick, beating Final Fantasy 7 while laying in bed - to feel the excitement and joy when I finally beat Sephiroth, and saved the world - It made me happier then I could ever imagine being right now, and I was only 11. I get the fact that not every game is going to have that emotional impact that I really want right now, to feel successful, to win, to save the world, to be legitimately happy for longer than a few minutes a day.

To accomplish this I must make goals, write down what I want to do and take steps to reach this. That may mean not just playing games because it is the only thing I can think to do, and play them for the reasons I should be - to live, to be, to explore - not to hide from myself, drowning in this pool of self-pity and hatred. In the video above people played those games and for some those helped them readjust, to pull them out of depression, gaming the right way. I have been on the more negative side of gaming, just doing it to be doing something, not really thinking about it - just playing. 

It is important to make that distinction because I will continue playing games now, but for the right reasons and with a better mindset. Hopefully this tactic works - but if it doesn't I guess I need to separate myself from my gaming lust and reevaluate what is really going on. For those of you that actually read this to the end, I know it seems like my brain is just going everywhere, and my thought process can be very confusing, but that is what my brain has felt like during this depression. Writing this down, no matter how convoluted it all is, has helped - and maybe someone out there will know exactly how I feel thus deepening the bond of community we can have as gamers.

- Also, I may just have to take their advice and talk to someone   read

2:16 PM on 06.12.2013

E3 2013 - and why even though Sony "won" I won't buy a console for a few years

Well the big press conferences of E3 have come and gone. It is needless to say that most people feel that Sony "won" the e-peen contest this year, but neither group did much to sway me to buy a console. If I want to watch movies, play games, and take in any sort of media I would still rather be connected to my PC than I console. It comes with more freedoms, choices, and best of all it gets most of the content that any of the consoles will get.

I do not want to pay to play my games online, that should just come with  a game that has a multiplayer element, and now even Sony is moving into having a paywall for it. I do admit that Sony's PS+ seems to come with a lot more perks and at a lower price than Xbox-Live Gold does, but where you can get two kind of old games for a price per month, there are sales all over the internet for PC games that you just won't find on any other platform. Now lets get into why exactly I won't grab up a PS4 right away.

Exclusives are important in any competition between the big companies, and Sony seems to have quite a few, though apparently Kingdom Hearts III is coming out for both (really the most exciting announcement for me). However, the games I fell in love with during the show so far are going to be also available for PC. This includes Titanfall, FFXIV, Battlefield (though I will NOT buy 4), Assassin's Creed, Witcher 3, Watch Dogs, and most of the indies shown. Not only will they be available on PC, but they will perform and look better (minus AC: Black Flag, because they are AWFUL at porting). I just don't get why I would pay 400 dollars on something I cannot customize as much (yes yes I know the PS4 can be upgraded) and cannot just do whatever I want on. 

I will eventually, further down the line, pick up a console, but not for quite some time. It just isn't a pressing matter for me. I just hope that the PC games that come out will just be buffed by the new consoles and push PC gaming even further ahead. Though I won't be buying these yet, I can without a doubt say, I am also pumped for the next "generation" of gaming to boost my own world ahead.   read

12:37 AM on 03.21.2013

PCism - Why we demand constant content updates

It is one thing to expect a developer to come into games after release and fix bugs that were in games. It is another thing completely to expect them to continue generating content for the game continuously after release (Minecraft). At some point they have to decide if the new material is generating new sales, or if it is time for people to just deal with the game that they are given.

Now the title says PC Elitism because it is not often you see this on the consoles, primarily only on the PC. This whole thing was sparked when I was talking to my younger brother earlier about the oncoming release of Terraria on the Xbox and the 1.2 update for the PC version. Minecraft has spoiled us into wanting all of the games we play that are non-MMO's to continue pushing out new content again and again for FREE. Is this really fair to the developer of the game? Hell no. Is it wonderful when it happens? Oh yes, yes it is. Also the added on content can start to dramatically change the game entirely, into something completely different. This could potentially ruin a game, or in others, make a previously unplayable game better. As the time keeps ticking it is looking like this trend is going to continue. For I play Guns of Icarus all of the time with my friends, and I thought it was great from the start, but they are continuing development and advancement of the game day in and day out. So it all really boils down to these questions.

- Is this mainly a thing Indie games can do because of their size?

- If it continues, will it make it harder for developers to move onto another game?

- Could any of the big studios and publishers learn from this?

- Should the developers just sell these updates as a form of DLC?

The gaming world is a quickly changing place, what with the upcoming next gen for consoles, the rise of the Indie gaming community, and the MMO market changing almost entirely to a free-to-play model. Food for thought people, food for thought.   read

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