Sorry for not posting. Today, I was going to go on this long-ass spiel on how I hate the Social Justice Warrior movement in addition to the Anti-Social Justice Warrior movement, but when I sat down at the computer, ready to procrastinate by not doing homework, I couldn't do it. I don't know enough to accurately explain or form an opinion on the subject, and I was afraid to discuss something I really had no idea about. I mean, that doesn't stop some people, but it stopped me.
So instead, I want to talk about the specifics of not posting for two years. What drives a man to do such a thing? Yeah, it was laziness, and yeah, it was schoolwork, but it was also pure, unbridled paranoia. And I want to talk about that experience. The experience of my first blog post and the experience of basically straw-manning myself to the point of near-depression.
Sounds pretty serious, right? Yeah, I thought so too, at the time. What could have led to that unbridled sadness, that unspeakable tragedy, that terrible ache that stayed with me for days? Well, it was Sim City.
Not the game itself. It was... well... It's complicated, to say the least. And I feel like my experience is worth sharing for a couple of reasons, but reasons that I don't really want to go into at the beginning of the blog post. It feels a lot more like aftermath stuff than precursor stuff.
So, let's jump back into our time machines and pretend it's 2013. At the time, I was pretty fuckin' hyped for this new game coming out called Sim City. All the pre-release hype pre-DRM was pretty good, and I wasn't pre-destined to hate Maxis. I actually liked them a lot. They had released some of my favorite games like Sim City 3000, Sid Meier's Sim Golf, The entirety of The Sims franchise, and so in my book, Maxis was pretty high on the list of Companies I Could Trust.
So this new game that comes out, I really like the look of it. Seems much like a unique take on the style of the visuals of SimCity (If there's one thing about New Maxis that I can say I definitely love, it's their Art Direction) and it looks hella fun to play. The Glassbox Simulation Engine was still kind of a hype machine, and all the additions, like add-ons for buildings, multi-city trade in online mode, and multiplayer in the first place just seemed like it might add up to the best time ever.
But I'm also getting a little off track here. I need to start getting to the part where I actually talk about what happened. And, well, DRM and the community happened.
Try for one moment to put yourself back in that place in time. Do you remember how angry everyone was? Comments were thrown about how people were going to protest the game, pirate the game, burn down EA, whatever. But I think the thing that bothered me most were the people protesting against it. They just showed NO RESPECT. I come from a community where open discourse is "valued" and this was about as closed-minded as it could get, at least in my eyes. Why was nobody even trying to reach out to the other side? Why is everybody assuming that all corporations are evil? Why wasn't EA and Maxis handling this situation? I didn't agree with anybody, and when I see something that I don't agree with, I get a little bit crazy.
I call this the Star Trek: Into Darkness effect for a very personal reason. I don't like Star Trek: Into Darkness, but for a completely different reason than a lot of people. And so I don't line up with either the haters or the fanboys, and that becomes really irritating because I think everybody around me is being irrational and straw-manning the hell out of each-other. I really do want to have positive discussion, but I just have no input. I feel almost left out. This is what happened to me with the Sim City debacle. I was Maxis lenient, and I felt like nobody agreed with me. That's when I started blogging on Destructoid, because I felt like it was an outlet for that kind of emotion. The feeling of hatred tormented me, and I just needed to let it out.
Silly me, I thought I was going to be amazing on my first try. I was going to get front-paged, or whatever for sticking to my opinion. I have no idea why I believed that, but I definitely felt like I could really make a difference in the world with this blog. On Destructoid. Seriously, I love you guys, but yeah I was a bit naive to say the least.
I read through it once carefully, and then read it about twenty more times. I wanted to make sure every point was articulated well. I didn't want to be one of those people who was stupid as hell and tried to make an argument without backing it up. I wanted to be an intellectual. I wanted to be respected, and the only way I was going to be respected was if I was respectful in return.
I immediately regretted posting it. What if they didn't like it? What if they gave arguments that I didn't know how to respond to? What if I didn't know enough and was just being ignorant about the whole situation? I stayed up all night worried about it. Then the first daily recap or whatever it's called came out and while I can't remember what it said about my article, I remember to this day, I felt like it painted my review in a negative light, and I will never be sure if it did or not. I felt devastated though, I can tell you that. I felt like I had done a bad job conveying my point to other people. It must've been something I did, right? I said Maxis is amazing, didn't I? I was too hateful, wasn't I? What did I do?
I drove myself insane. I felt SO bad about writing that article. This was one of the first times I had expressed any emotions in a constructive way, and I felt like it was a mistake. Most people worry about me because they think I'm about to explode and have some sort of episode, and I tried to channel that instead into writing this article, and it didn't work. All my confidence that I had left vanished. I felt like I had been the asshole, the completely blinded fool ranting like the village idiot. How could I not feel dumb?
It sounds angsty as all hell, I know, but I felt terrible. There were no words for the lump in my stomach that sat for three days or so. I didn't look at the comments. I tried to write a post about Professor Layton, but it didn't feel the same. In that specific moment, that blog post was the most heart-wrenching thing and nobody could convince me that anything was more important.
Not to mention how I felt when the game actually came out and the problems were maximized by ten. At this point, I had fooled myself into believing that I had written that this was going to be the best game ever made and boy, had I messed up. It definitely didn't help that not only was I convinced that I had written that EA was amazing, but that everyone kept saying how EA wasn't amazing and it just drove me to the point where I kind of had a little tiny PTSD, like looking at Sim City caused my blood pressure to rise or something
Ever since, I've been afraid to voice my opinions, specifically about video games. I didn't feel right, posting. I felt paranoid to even click the blog button. I felt paranoid that everybody was going to remember and laugh at me. And when big events happened that I cared about, like Anita Sarkeezian or whatever and more recently Hashtag FuckIdon'tevenwanttotalkaboutitthiswholethingisamessandIjustwishtherewereobjectivetruths, I didn't want to talk about them. Nobody cared about my shitty opinion. I just had to bear the weight, and spend time walking around in my room mulling angrily to myself. it felt and continues to feel terrible.
People always try to convince me that there's a light at the end of the tunnel, and that all of this ends eventually and none of it really matters, and I ask, how am I supposed to know this, and then why am I doing it in the first place? There are so many things wrong with this argument, but I think the biggest problem is that I interpret the world through my own eyes: You have perspective of someone who already went through that experience, that even if you tell me a million times that things are going to be okay, things are still shit in mine. How do I change my world? I'm a dot in a George Seurrat painting. Someone told me once when I explained one of my arguments, "You're very opinionated, but you won't be able to change anything," and I believe it. I can't do jack shit. How do I break the pattern? Is there a way?
It's probably wrong to act this way. It feels selfish, like my life has to be perfect. Wanting more would take away from others and I'm just a selfish ass who wants the world to be flowers and cupcakes for himself and doesn't have any real problems Oh god I'm doing it again
And that's why I've been gone for two long years. Cause I defended EA and I feel like an idiot. There were definitely some other feelings I had during that time, including those elusive feelings of "joy" and "comfort." So please, don't worry about me. As for the takeaways, I don't really know. I just kind of made up the fact that this had any point. I thought it might, but to me, it's just good to tell y'all about my problems. Here's what I'll do: You, reader, you go embrace your inner post-structuralist and find your own damn meaning.
And finally, before writing this blog post, I ventured to read the comments on my Sim City article and figured out that, yes, I was truly paranoid. You guys are a bunch of respectful people and wonderful to hang with. Maybe I'll pick up blog writing again, sometime soon. Thank you for all your support, Destructoid Community. Never stop being classy.
It's going to be hard to press the submit button, but when I do, please go easy on me?