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Success is a man jumping over a cliff and hopefully not falling to his death while the sun sets.

This might be one of the more ironic blogs the C-Blogs has seen if you don't count the odd "this site sucks and you guys are idiots" post that creeps up every now and again. See, I've been here quite awhile both lurking and writing, and I still check the site every day. This is where I got my footing for a short time as a "games blogger enthusiast" which is the appropriate thing to call yourself when you feel like using the term "journalist" but aren't making a dime. The C-Blogs taught me what it was like to have an audience cling to your every word, and lavish you with praises. Or tear you a new asshole like a psychotic grizzly bear, depending on the quality of your work. But what it also eventually taught me is that writing wasn't really for me; at least not in the way I had always envisioned it.

I was one of those weirdo kids who sat in the back of the room and doodled and wrote dumb little baby stories about space aliens and monsters. The kind of kid whose imagination was bigger than his common sense. And it never really payed off. I was told it was alright to dream big, but when you are in your twenties and not really doing anything except playing video games and smoking weed, you start to question the padded lavishness of your own sheltered existence. You start looking at your strict-ass stepdad who nearly tossed your shoes on the highway one day just for leaving them on the floor mat as being pretty rational. Dreams are great to have, but when they start fucking with your every day life, it becomes a bit of a nightmare.

See what I did there? Trying to be clever.

The first time I ever had an audience for my writing was on internet forums. The first time I ever got praise for my work from anyone besides my mom was on the internet. Faceless people on the internet writing positive things about my work. But it was more than enough to kickstart my ego.

If you look at Lulu, or Amazon, you might find thousands of horribly awful books written by nobodies selling for ten dollars or more. Maybe mom or dad put a few five star reviews under them in an effort to bolster sales, or the ego of their precious loved ones. Can anyone blame them? The answer is yes, but the point is, in the age of the internet, everyone is a star. You can write your fanfiction of Dumbeldore fucking Chewbacca or whatever and someone out there will actually read it. In fact, a lot of the time, it's not even worth going through the traditional channels of publishing in order to have your work be seen because with a bit of buzz and know how, it seems like just about anyone can get their dirty fingers in the Paypal moneypit and sell their magnum opus, "A Hundred Ways to Slice Tomatoes" without any real struggle at all. Maybe just to their friends and loved ones, but at the very least, it's usually enough to inspire the inevitable "Part 2" and encourage them to drone on and on to everyone about how they are now a "published" author.

The blog world is affected similarly. When I first found about Destructoid, it was like finding a goddamn infinity stone. I felt invincible. My long never-read blogs about gaming and the discouraging lack of readership that came along with them were no longer a reality. The first couple of posts I made were mediocre attempts, but even having just one or two "faps" was more interaction than I'd had in a long time regarding my writing.

It was like a taste. But the real dose was in my very near future. And that's what had me hooked.

I posted a thing about some things, and in a day, I had a huge response. Multiple tens of faps. Tons of encouraging comments. More pats on the back than that creepy uncle gave Timmy.

I was unstoppable.

After that, every post was a victory. Even if they fell on deaf ears, I was still not discouraged. Angered maybe, to the point of argument, but it helped teach me what people liked and what they didn't like. So I kept writing.

Sometimes I'd let everything else slip away while I wrote. I would skip laundry, or dishes. I wouldn't get my things done. I was "working," you see. Working to pay the bills. The ego bills, that is.

Eventually I pissed people off and realized that I didn't like confrontation much. I was a bit of a social viper in a way. I would feed off of the praise of others, but would turn around and think of them as "idiots" the second they became maybe too critical of me. It's just about the worst thing you can do because having an audience of any kind is a hard fought thing. But for as hard as I thought I worked to entertain people and enjoy the praise that came along with it, it was really nothing compared to people putting themselves out their to the ire and hatred of thousands. And in this sometimes unfortunate community of gamers in general, even to death threats and insults.

I guess I began to get discouraged because the gaming community at large became my weird, pseudo-life. But at the end of it, I didn't have a friend to hang out with and play Street Fighter. The dozens of people I thought I knew lived in the States, or in Italy, or wherever. They knew me by username alone, and the second I failed to continue writing, the second the "glory train" would end.

So while I was bittered and initially critical of the idea of a quick success story that came as a result of the internet at large, I came to realize that ultimately, you'd get out what you put in. And unlike the people slaving their balls off and trying to really, REALLY be successful as writers, I was just pretty lazy about the whole thing. I'd pound stuff out real quick, not really edit it or be too concerned if it was shit. Just as long as people kept seeing my name, I thought, that was what really mattered. Quantity over quality.

When I figured out that there was no quick solution, that despite my initial feelings, the successful journalists, and authors out there really did have to put in an enormous effort to stay relevant and be successful on a level past "enthusiast", I got discouraged. Because writing was just kind of a thing I did. I had a natural knack for it, though was not talented or dedicated enough to stand out among the thousands of other people doing the exact same thing I was.

But before I get to doom and gloom, here...

It ended up being a revelation that worked to my advantage. I had always said "I want to be a writer, because I'm not good at anything else." But when life threw me lemons, I went out and bought a bunch of tools and became a plumber. Now I'm well into the first year of my apprenticeship and have found something else I enjoy and am comfortable doing. It's also something I will eventually profit off of. So while I still enjoy writing, I have realized my own limitations. I will never be willing to put my face on the net, or sacrifice the wee hours of the night to reach deadlines on a piece. I will never feel compelled to proof read or edit, or redo.

I'm not a writer. I'm just a guy who likes writing.

So for all that, I actually attribute Dtoid as a place that gave me wings to fly. Not as a writer, and not as a kickstart to my career as a journalist. It gave me a taste of the reality of what that requires, and told me, "You aren't good enough for that.

Maybe you could be, someday.

But not today.

Because you aren't willing to sacrifice.

You aren't willing to learn, or change.

And that makes you inadequate."

Rather than killing my self esteem, that thought gave me a bit of relief. It took the pressure off. Because just as important as "following your dreams" is understanding your limits and saying, "do I want to push it? Do I want to overcome the hurdles in my way?"

And saying "no" is okay. Because I may not be a journalist, or an author, but I have found SOMEthing. Even if it took a really long time. I became successful in my own mind, regained my confidence after two years of utter abysmal bullshit, and the seed was planted with the intention of becoming a game journalist. It just mutated somewhere along the way.

Thanks, Destructoid.

Photo








Or, whatever.

Last night I wake up with sleep paralysis. It's midnight but it feels like I've been sleeping all night. And I can't stop thinking about how I flushed, like, 120 bucks down the shitter because I just HAD to choose the RIGHT soccer game for me.



When did I even start liking soccer? I had a neighbour once. I guess that's no surprise to anyone. But I knew he was a soccer fan because he wore a Dropkick Murphys sweater. In Canada there is this weird thing people do where they pretend to be European or whatever. "My great grandfathers uncles cousins dog was a scotty dog, so I guess I'm Scottish." People find pride in weird places.

I found work. The kind of work where you don't have time for anything else. The kind of work that equalizes masturbation time with actual sex, instead of keeping it in an unhealthy 9:1 ratio. I'm writing this and my fucking arm is getting tired because my keyboard muscles, possibly the most useless of all the human muscles, has basically atrophied. The last time I wrote anything was my resume, and it was just lightly edited from a template I have had since I was 14. Probably originally in Word Perfect format.

The last four months I've been coming home, eating, sleeping. And maybe taking a poo. Which is always going to be a little ironic since the time I spend in a bathroom now takes up a significant portion of my day as a plumber. I grew up playing Mario, and now I'm finally living the dream. Except Mario's real enemies should have been small dogs and wary stay at home moms who don't trust you in their homes. And there was nothing cheap about the infrastructure of the Mushroom Kingdom, especially those big copper pipes. Do you know how much that stuff is worth? If I was a smarter man, I'd spend my time breaking into C Cans on construction sites and selling the pilfered scrap metal.

But I'm a coward.



I started to get into sports about the same time I discovered Tecmo Super Bowl on the NES. Video games actually introduced me to sports. If you had asked me what my favorite hockey team was I would have said something like "The New England Handjobs" before proceeding to make an obscene gesture with a half clenched fist. Now I record Darts on my PVR because at the end of the day, my book shelf full of occult philosophy and my collection of David Lynch films are exhausting to even think about. I just don't want to use my brain anymore. It's tired. It's fat. It needs a fucking break.

So I go down to Wal-Mart to pick up the brand new Pro Evolution Soccer because I had the one from a few years ago and remember it being fun. I have Destiny and it's not bad. RPG's are a hassle. My collection of sports games are starting to build. You know, for those nights when just passively watching and raising a half baked fist in victory when goalie in your hockey pool has a shut out just aren't involving enough.

The guy behind the counter is a fraud. His meaty thumbs are poking at a mobile game that looks like Journey had an Angry Birds and Flappy Bird sandwich and shit it out into a mold shaped like Luigi. I've become less socially awkward dealing with construction guys who draw pictures of dicks in port-a-potty walls all day so I look at the one girl there who is bombarded by three rednecks buying a television with the extra warranty and say, "Can this fella help me?" He stands up and rolls his eyes with a little smirk and walks away as she tells me "he's not in this department." But all I hear is my own voice screaming back to me "I HATE THIS PLACE." as I picture him getting knocked over gently by a Mercedes Sprinter into a ditch, his flabby torso folding in two as-

Well, anyhow.



They don't have Pro Evolution Soccer. Actually, they don't have anything. They don't have the Maleficent movie my wife asked me to buy her. They don't have soy sauce. They don't have fucking garbage bags. I've been driving around all week. I'm tired of this shit.

I go to my local EB Games and find out my manager from fourteen years ago who I have seen at least once a year has escaped the clutches of the business. He's replaced by a youngster. I'm getting old. A few years ago, that guy would have been my age. I'm going to be thirty in two short years. My old boss has left for the oil business. He went from games to oil and gas. That's what kind of city Calgary has become.

They have the game. I get it home and start playing it and am immediately bombarded with arcane menus and dozens of confusing button combinations. I am trying the skills challenge and for a half hour wrestling to pull off a single trick before I realize I'm using the wrong joystick. I put a dozen matches in before trying to hop online and it doesn't work.

It just won't connect at all.

Normally this wouldn't bother me. "They'll patch it up soon." But I've become THAT guy. The guy who gets a Saturday off like, once a millenium. And it's just a few short hours without kids. And I spent the first hour eating pulled pork, napping, and masturbating, all in an alternating cycle. And I go to sit down with my new game and relax in an online match and it doesn't even fucking work.

Weekend ruined. It's like being five and being able to rent one game for the weekend, and the game is Ghosts and Goblins on the NES and it's so hard it makes you cry.

So I'm fuming! I go back to the first store that sucked ass, but they have Fifa. Sure it takes twenty minutes to find someone to help me. Sure she fucks up and gives me the game to take up to the front of the store and the guy gives ME shit and says "you aren't supposed to be able to bring this up here." Look, this isn't Minority Report asshole. I only considered stealing it for a second.

But I was too much of a coward.



I look at my collection of games and feel a little like a kid putting his toys in a box. Like, I feel bad because I know I just don't have time for any of them anymore. An hour or two of plot before gameplay begins is like taking a journey through the Tibet to find God. It's exasperating. I'm the guy who sits in his dirty work pants and grunts now. I'm the guy who'd probably be okay with Call of Duty if I wasn't too lazy to go out and buy it. Like a musician leaving the scene and telling fake stories about how he was there with RUSH when they recorded 2112, I'm a gaming fraud. I know what Dwarf Fortress is, but I'd immediately have an aneurism and die if I even attempted to play it.

In conclusion, FIFA 15 and PES 15 both make me a little sad.

But FIFA 15 is way better.

Photo Photo Photo







Phosis
10:59 AM on 07.23.2014

It's funny when you make an intentionally self-depricating nickname for yourself. Sometimes, you end up falling into the trap of it, and it is no longer ironic or funny.

Awhile ago now, I'm not really sure how long, I pulled a move I call "shitting on the floor and throwing myself out the window." I was very frustrated with life. And I let things get to me. I said some hurtful things to people I otherwise liked, and I won't make excuses for it past that. I was a very angry man.

Then life came and kicked me in the balls, real hard. And it humbled me and made me realize that certain things just don't really matter at all, they aren't a big deal. Because life is really very short; we don't have a lot of time here.

I was someone who spent a lot of my time armchair philosophizing about the world, and existence, and all the shit. And I found myself going down a very grim path. Nihilism, hatred, xenophobia. Not things that actually defined me, but a path that symbolized my general frustration and misunderstanding of the world around me.

Social justice started to irritate me. But so did the overt sexism and introversion that is synonymous in some ways with a pocket of the gaming community. I took a stance that was essentially "fuck it all". And I went on an attack directed towards both groups. It came from a real smug air of righteousness, a self-esteem driven egoism.

In short, it was a real confusing mess.

So I'm here today on behalf of my old username, TheManchild, to apologize.

As far as the community goes, this isn't an attempt to smooth over the bumps so I can return and carry on like nothing ever happened. And I no longer beat myself up over the things I do; I won't sit here feeling ashamed, because as someone who has dealt with depression his entire life, that is the exact sort of attitude that brings me down to begin with. But I am sorry, and it was wrong of me to behave the way I did. I shocked a couple of people, and soured their perceptions of me. I can't repair that, and have never personally had an open armed policy myself when I feel betrayed by someone. So I'm not expecting vindication. I don't even really know who is still around now since I don't visit the site much anymore. But it's here for those who are owed it.

These days I am writing for another gaming website. I actually have an editor now; pretty cool. Someone who can filter out the dumb shit I'm about to say before I actually say it. But the C-Blogs were my original stomping ground. I wrote a lot here, some good, lots bad. I learned a lot about the process, and about responding to criticism. Sometimes I responded very poorly. And sometimes I was far to quick to dish it out. But I can say it was definitely an experience!

I like you guys, is what I'm trying to say. I miss the comments, the blogs. Else, Bbain, Strider, Dixon, Occam, Phil, Shade, and a lot of others. Great people, and I hope you are all doing well!

Just wanted to check in and say a quick sorry. But more importantly, hello.

I hope life is treating you all very well.







Phosis
11:48 AM on 11.25.2013

The new console launch was kind of exciting. Seeing my store set up the hundreds of odd Xboxes and PS3's in anticipation, the line forming outside in the cold, Canadian winter (chairs and sleeping bags included) and the boxes of brand new games waiting to be opened and played, it all made me want to be included somehow. And I was, in my own way; it just happened to be as a result of the competitor, the Wii U, and the new Super Mario 3D World.

I held off on the Wii U, at first preordering and then later cancelling out of hesitant anticipation and a desire to hold onto my money. After seeing it flop like a dead fish on the deck of a boat, I was glad for the decision, but saddened by the result. The Wii was arguably my favorite last gen console, since I still boast a pretty sizable library for it, and played it to the bitter end. But with the online functionality mostly nixed, and my new HDTV made all the better using a system with HDMI output to watch my media on, the Wii grew tired as a staple in the household. At least it fared better than the Xbox however, a system I bought for the Kinect which is still packed away in the basement since I moved last month.

With the Wii U, my expectations were incredibly low, but I knew that now was the time to strike. With the system dropping to 249.99 on sale with two included games, Mario U and Luigi U, and 3D World ready for pick up, it was a killer opportunity. And it is a decision that I do not regret making in the slightest.

Yesterday I had my best friend over and we played the damn thing for the entire day, basically non-stop. Between 3D World and Sonic All Stars Racing, a title which we also played online with my cousins for some 4 player battle/racing chaos, the Wii U really showed off what it was meant to be; a game system, and basically nothing else. Sure it has some neat features. Yes, it does "the Netflix", but the thing is built to be fun, right out of the box.

For one thing, 3D World is the best game I have played in ages. I have been very vocal to my friends about 3D Land being my favorite Mario of all time. Despite complaints about length and difficulty that some people had, I thought it was the first time Mario truly shined in 3D, after a long and sometimes difficult transition with games like Mario Sunshine arguably missing the mark. In my mind it was a classic, but I am well aware of its perceived shortcomings; many felt it was shallow, and was more in line with a "tech demo" than a full game. I obviously disagree, but if 3D World does anything, it is to prove that the 3D Land template works, can transcend itself, and become something really fantastic. Super Mario World 3D is hands down, the greatest Mario game I have ever played. And that's a difficult thing to say considering the history of fantastic games that exist on the console.

But that isn't to say that Mario U isn't great as well. It was initially panned by some as "yet another" entry in the "NEW" Mario series, something to tide gamers over for a better experience. (such as World 3D) But the fact is, it is a superb Mario title, and if you are buying a Nintendo system, is there any better way to start out then with a great Mario game and the fantastic follow up, Luigi U?

The selection of games available for the U is a little light, so I guess it really depends what your focus is going to be. So many gamers these days are into the competitive scene, where online gaming is a must, and if you are one of those habitual FPS players the Wii U will not be a great standalone system for you. But with a massive library when you include the original Wii titles, there is definitely no shortage of fun on the system. And at such a low price, it's really hard to overlook the Wii U anymore. Even at the regular price of 299.99 it's an excellent deal. And once you get your hands on the Gamepad for the first time, and see just what it can do for you as a player, it becomes even sweeter.


I can wait for the PS4 and the Xbox One. Right now, they are babies, splashing around in the proverbial pool and getting their feet wet. There will be a year long transition period before they really start to see fantastic, long lasting content. That is just the way of things. I am into competitive gaming as well; I'm a habitual Counterstrike player, but since I own a PC, I tend to do my online stuff on there. So the premium packages offered by both Sony and Microsoft to facilitate that experience aren't really too appealing for me at the moment.

In short, I'd strongly encourage you to buy a Wii U, and Sonic All-Stars Racing Transformed.

But really, my motivation is selfish; I just want more people to play it with online.