I'm easily the most popular Vietnamese guy out there. I'm not? Name another Vietnamese person... Ho Chi Minh? He's dead... and a city.
Nine Favorite Game(s) of all time:
Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence
Moero! Nekketsu Rhythm Damashii Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan 2
Phantasy Star Online: Episode 1 & 2
Pokemon Soul Silver
Super Mario World
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Super Robot Wars Z
Team Fortress 2
ZHP: Unlosing Ranger vs. Darkdeath Evilman
New Yearís Resolutions!? One will wonder what why Iíd bother posting this on Destructoid. Well, just about all of mine have something to do with video games, and may ring closer to home then you will realize. Some people think New Year Resolutions are just self restricted goals placed on an arbitrary date. WellÖ one way to put it (if youíre a loon like me), is that theyíre practically achievement points.
NYRs are useless and imaginary objectives that have no reward, but oneís own self satisfaction. (Unless youíre trying to cut down on fatty foods to kill your diabetes, then that might actually save your leg.) As someone who only wants to better himself, Iíve thought by making several resolutions for myself to uphold. Like a game, it would be enjoyable and rewarding to my own persona. So ranking each of them on a scale from -3 Hamzas to +3 Hamzas (because what's a better measurement of loathing), hereís all of resolutions Iíve made last year. With 365 days in the making, how did I end up doing?
Write More. At least 12 Reviews and Many Articles.
I strove this year to write more content for my own newssite BowtieCat.com, and a few for Destructoid. If not to built my ďportfolio of publicationsĒ, but to scratch that bug I have for writing. In this case though, and despite writing several lengthy articles and reviews; I did not meet my quota for 12 reviews, which wouldíve be comfortably spaced at one a month. I felt short at 10. However, instead of giving up, this failure will only strengthen my resolve to meet this goal next year, or possibly write even more. Iíve been obviously getting some good reinforcement for it by the fact that Activision, Konami, and Disney have graciously sent me review copies this year so my word is worth something at the least. And Iíve even got one feature published on Dtoidís front page.
Watch Your Language
Freedom of speech is something important to me and, fucking hell, I like to swear. However, thereís a time and place for everything and even the most inept of individuals will know to mind their syllables around toddlers or not use racial slurs in public unless theyíre expecting some hostilities.
So online, whether it be in gaming or chat, I strove not to use these words: Nigger, Faggot, Rape, and Autistic. Ironically, Iíve only played Mass Effect 3 extensively with online players this year and Black Ops 2 on the Wii U (for a review, don't hurt me) was a quiet experience.
These words mean nothing to me, but they still affect other people, and regard of my intent, they always come off as hostile to people I donít know. If my intent is to mess with someone (which I rarely do), a personís race or sexual preference should NOT be regarded as a negative. Sure, putting words on a Do-Not-Touch pedestal gives them some power, but respect towards other people is a two way street. Just because Iím fine with someone calling me a chink or a queer, doesnít mean it justifies using other words against people who could be offended.
And regardless of usage, it actually turned out for the best, at least in terms of the word: Rape, a four letter symphony of controversy that has had quite the encore in terms of exposure this year. Of course, I could write a whole concerto about the many movements that shook up the industry this year, so we wonít be making a cadenza about it here.
And the last thing I need is someone thinking Iím 12, or pewdiepie. I canít tell what is worse.
The only reason this isnít a +3 is because I still use the word Autistic as an adjective rarely to describe some peopleís behavior, when what I really need to do is: Expand my own vocabulary to explain peculiar habits in people, instead of lumping everyone into a category thatís turned into a derogatory term.
Be Less Like Jim y Jon [Argue Less]
Jim Sterling and Jonathan Holmes like to argue, sometimes to the annoyance of both sides. This has caused quite a ruckus to Jimís public perception in the past, and some people are still hung up on it. Granted, Jim has changed his tune so much in the last few years alone that heís now even been called a overbearing feminist.
Just another excuse to use this image
So the way this tied into my own self improvement is this rule I made for myself:
For 2012, Limit myself to five arguments on the internet with people I donít know.
Simply, if itís not a close friend or family member, I can only get myself involved in arguments FIVE TIMES on 4chan, reddit, twitter, etc. for the entire year. And trust me, it's harder than it looks. So many potential shitstorms just ended in me attempting to be the bigger man and just ignoring the other side. Arguments on the internet often result in both sides never reaching a mutual conclusion, sometimes even when objective facts are presented. Rarely does an opposing side in an argument reach an epiphany that they were wrong, lest they are forced to admit it. Well itís still not useless to have debates and reach a certain level of understanding with people, 140 character spurts or an anonymous board is not the place to do so.
So what now? Well, self-betterment shouldnít be limited to one year. Iím hoping in 2013 that I have even less bitching, for my sake.
Be More Like Jim y Jon [Be more out there]
A hump I needed to get over was my own embarrassment with gaming and anime culture. In other words, I was tsundere. I couldnít embrace it in the same way as some of my friends and peers could. This probably stemmed from High School in which nerd culture was still ďhighly gay and retardedĒ, and my college days were made up of: "You weren't a ďreal artistĒ if you like Anime or were in a Game Design Program." This stigma was a barrier I was able to overcome this year after seeing folks like Jim y Jon not only find enjoyment in the projects theyíve done, but get some major, positive reception from people who care. Thereís a lot of good people out there who share your interests and as long as no one is getting hurt, whatís the harm.
These are beautiful people. Except for the one in yellow, I heard heís a prick.
Some of the biggest inspiration came from this video. One could look at it from a negative perspective of the state of ďGAMEZ JURNULIZMĒ, but I saw a free spirit who just wanted to have fun and share it with the world.
Video Games are serious business.
ďSo fuck the haters,Ē I told myself, and I soon became a magical girl on a quest to just be as balliní as possible. In the long run, all those that looked down on me in High School were so far removed from my life, it didnít really matter anymore anyway.
Everyday I'm suffering.
A year ago, I wouldnít have made this video. I would have backed down in cowardice and been afraid of the results. But even Reddit, out of all places, just said, ďYOU GO GURL!Ē Iíve stopped self loathing the things I want to like, and come ďout of the closetĒ on my own nerdom. Seriously, thank God (in the phrase sense) for Jim Sterling and Jonathan Holmes. Without them, life would be a lot less liberating and exciting.
Buy Less Games (You have too many you idiot)
I Totally fucked this one up royally. Not only did I extend my backlog by several months worth of gametime, Iíve purchased a 3DS, a Vita, an iPhone, AND a Wii U in one year alone. And Iíve already got several preorders for 2013 awaiting release. Itís going to be a great (busy) year for gaming. While I did beat a lot of titles, Iím looking at the harsh reality that a lot of games Iíve paid full price for will sit there with less than acceptable of investment and thatís a black hole people should not get sucked into.
Yeah, I bet you didnít even know the Vita had this many games. Well, that would make you uninformed, and that would make me:
A Dick. Be Less of it.
Iím often terrible critical of people, Iíll step on toes and voice my opinion regardless of whether a person is ready to hear it. Even though I tried really not to be rude and crass, I still came off that way when I didnít need to be. And for that, I failed.
Early on in the year, it hit home when Victor Lucas, from the Electric Playground, voiced his advice to his (then) unborn daughter:
S'pect, Mr. Lucas. No, not that Mr. Lucas.
My generation has grown up with a very overloaded sense of sarcasm and ironic self-awareness, and if thereís something for us to be remembered by, it certainly shouldnít be that. Iím striving to be remembered as a badass, not an asshole.
Further proof that I still have great strides to make in Un-dicking is that fact that Iím basing the entire scoring system around my friend Hamza Aziz, who probably doesnít deserve it. (The keyword being probably.) So hopefully next year, I can work towards either staying silent unless absolutely necessary or being a charismatic, kind, and persuasive individual like Commander ShepardÖ Actually, scratch that. Donít be like Commander Shepard.
Be More Social... Network
At the start of January, I had 10 followers on twitter and 25 friends on Facebook. Throughout the year, I boosted those numbers to 98 and 146. Itís not much, but for someone who wrote ONE status update in 2010, itís quite the turnaround. And itís not just an attempt at friendwhoring; an overwhelming majority of them are people I really know and would like to remain in communication with, in one way or another. Because of my networking efforts on FB, Iíve gotten to know really cool and talented people, and Iíve gotten to work on a lot of cool projects through people Iíve connected with. Itís also a great place to build up traffic and hype for the things Iíve been doing.
There was actually a big ironic twist when someone stole this from me, claimed it as their own, and I, of course, was butthurt.
A friend of mine was even in a bought of serious depression until a conversation with him, as he said, really livened his day. So when people say sites like FB are a waste of time and energy, my response is that itís only fruitless when all you're doing posting memes and complaining about the world.
Get Shit Done
This was my biggest goal for the year and it ties in with the previous one. 2011 was spent getting a new job, a new house, and situating myself in my adult life style. But nothing remotely creative was done during that time, for an artist, it was completely soul draining. So in the middle of December, I started a new Youtube account, a new blog, and an effort to produce something artistically worthwhile every week, whether it be a video, a drawing, or even a shitty photoshop job. Within the year, Iíve broke 600 subscribers, nearly three times the amount my old Youtube account achieved in FIVE years. This year alone, Iíve animated more footage than Iíve done in the previous 24 years of my life combined. Iíve made several paintings, helped on two independent games, worked on a few song mashups, and have a shirt coming out early next year. While it has left me quite exhausted, Iíve been accomplishing more things in those 12 months that entertain more people than what most of my peers will have done in their whole lives.
Why a +2 Hamza? Itís the catch 22 of my life, I can never be satisfied with what Iíve accomplished and Iíll always wonder if I can do more.Sure, I met my objectives, but I should always take it one step further.
What if I took on different projects than the ones Iíve been doing?
What about the projects I keep holding off?
Can I work any faster or with more efficiency?
Like I said, the next one is coming soon... Valve Time
Getting to 600+ subscribers in a single year might be a good number in oneís eye, but some success stories have exploded in less time and in much greater turnouts. If I canít more than double this number by next year, Iíll be very disappointed in myself. While I have to be true to myself and not ďwhoreĒ myself out to the lowest common denominator and add LIKE/SUBSCRIBE disclaimers to the end of anything I produce, it's no excuse not to aim a little higher... rather than be content in mediocrity. That's not the way Thomas Truong does things. I feel so strongly about that, I referred to myself in the third person.
So thatís it, thatís the most open and honest thoughts and dreams Iíve been aiming for during the past twelve months. And Iím only getting ready for 2013 with guns blazing. Sure, Iíve failed in some areas, but admitting to that and feeling bad about it is only going to prove that I need to fix those issues. But enough about me, what are you going to do with your 2013?