Started gaming in kindergarten, when the most advanced piece of hardware I could get my hands on was a black plastic handle and an orange button attached to a brick. I used it to blow up little squares on a black and white television screen. A couple years later, I was molested by the girl next door after beating her copy of The Legend of Zelda. I have mixed feelings about the experience.
Unfortunately, over the years, my ability to maintain a passion for games has waned (as in being able to play through them start-to-finish). This is due to various reasons and issues that would be too emo to get into at this juncture. But suffice to say, though my passion has waned, my interest in them has not, as evidenced by my being here.
Nihil (or Nils) is the pseudonym I currently use for writing and gaming on the internet. I came across the Destructoid website by searching for information on Way of the Samurai 3. Tubatic pretty much has the most comprehensive coverage on it I've seen anywhere. And for that, and the other thing, I thank him.
I want to say I got off lucky, somehow, compared to whatever ridiculously high number of people out there that where/are dragged through the worst of it. Drinking and drugs and getting taken in by the cops were a big chunk of (fortunately) my adult life. No jail or juvenile hall, but plenty of padded cell time. Funny how much nicer everyone is, when all you want to do is kill yourself. Funny, because I never did it for the attention or for them to be nice. Was just trying to find a way out of the numbness and pain. And I hated them for delaying what I thought was inevitable.
At the same time, though, it was that distance I kept from people that kept me from getting into the deeper shit, otherwise I'd have more interesting war stories to share. Or, I'd probably be dead.
Or I'd might be where you are, with more inner fire than ever. Even with what happened this summer, I still have a ways to go. I have friends and family, but it's hard to want personal success, when I've gone for so long without anything to really fight for. Part of me wants that challenge. To be defined by it, even though I don't know what IT is. Part of me says that time's past, that it's too late to try because I'm tired of failure, tired of wasting effort in the pursuit of happiness. Everyone has their own lives and their reasons for staying strong, but when things get quiet, it's hard to stay focused when I'm alone. Hopefully it's just been the last few slow weeks and money constraints pullin' me down a little.
I know better who and what I am now (other than a fucked up loser), and I have my family and y'all to thank for that. But other than having that, I don't want for anything. I know some would look down on that, calling it either laziness or selling myself short. And I can't help but agree. But I've lost that fire, man. I've lost the want. Maybe taking more community college classes will do something for me, but right now, I don't have it.
I'm glad you have it though, Mike. Your shit is nothing short of inspiring (hence, this long-ass reply), as the book will be, no doubt.
I'm also very luck that I've never been a victim of Racism (that I remember, anyway).
I have, though, on more occasions than I could care to fucking count, been a victim of ignorance.
Some people don't know the difference, and if you're reading this and are one of those people, lemme break it down for yous: Racism is always an intentional attack, (verbal, physical, or otherwise (like denying someone a (hand)job)) with an intent to hurt someone because they wear different skin, regardless of their psychological character.
Ignorance is being unaware how big of an asshole/bitch you're being by saying or doing something that could be misconstrued as racist. Unless of course, you're being an asshole or bitch for the attention.
Another way of putting it: A lot of people, young and old, still uphold segregationist values ("you can't have what we have" "stay on your side of the fence"). That's racist. Acting uncomfortable around people who don't look/act like you when you've lived in a small town your whole life. That's ignorance.
One is, usually, a bit more unsubtle than the other. But ignorance can be forgiven (to a point) and worked around. Racism, on the other hand, I don't think can be fixed. It's like a cult; you're either in for the long haul or you stay away. And if you're in, that pretty much makes you a bad person. I mean, we all have our faults, but hating an entire race of people for no GOOD reason is a pretty big one. Maybe you're an alright joe otherwise, but still. I think we can agree that's pretty fucked up.
Along with misogyny, you're just assuming a specific mass populace are unworthy shitheads. Or maybe they're worthy of being your footstool, but still there to be shit on, by you. A little unfair, if you ask me. Either shit on everybody, or trip and fall down a well so we don't have to deal with you.
Pages, man. Pages upon fucking pages I could write about Black society and its role in my life. And luckily, I don't have to. All I have to say is I don't care. I think that's why I love human skulls. It fits symbolically enough to me. Takes away all the predispositions, and exposes what you are. Your money, religion, years of institution, your skin. Get rid of it all and what's left? You're just bones, my friend. Same as me. Same as her. Same as them. But you don't have time to think about that with all that extra shit on top. How nice it must be.
What the fuck was I talking about? Oh right, juegos.
Now, in video games, what we've seen the most of is ignorance when it comes to multicultural representation, if representation is what they were going for at all in the first place.
Predominantly white. Predominantly male. Predominantly nerds. Or if such is your inclination, predominantly Japanese.
It's a little unfair to expect them to tackle the subject properly; they aren't sociology majors. But as the community attests, variety in protagonists and inspired stories is sorely lacking at this point. There may be something for everybody, but we don't want to go searching for it. We want to point in a general direction, so that everyone and their grandma's dog can see it. We don't want to have to bring up something from 10-15 years go. We want something for the Now.
But we also wanna live our lives and play video games. Kinda hard to have your cake and eat it there.
I believe the hurdles to jump before we get to that point are immense and many. But I do believe we will get there. If society and economy doesn't implode, first.