I'm TheManchild, though I go by many names. Two, actually. Although it's only really one, because TheManchild is not a real name. So um, well, sorry for wasting your time.
I guess I kind of like video games. It's the only thing I'm really interested in apart from occasionally farting. I believe that might is right, that survival of the fittest is our only calling. I guess that makes me something of a paradox since I'm located somewhere between pond scum and bong water in the proverbial food chain.
My favorite games are the ones that make me feel superior to you for having played them. Games like Larry's Quantum Physics Adventure, which I just made up now. But if you question me on the subject matter and probe my understanding of it, I won't respond. I'm just kind of a dick that way.
Here is a non-exhaustive list of some of my favorite things to waste time on.
You know, in between farts.
Ecco the Dolphin
Dem Sega Mickey Mouse Games
Sonic the Hedgehog
Super Meat Boy
Star Control 2
Galactic Civilizations 2
Alien Motherfucking Soldier
So Jim Sterling wrote something or other about whatever the other day, some thing about girls and games and there was a video. Oh wait, no; it was a video he made. It was everyone else who wrote something in response to the video. People were offended or upset or just plain didn't think Jim was right in his viewpoint about how the fake nerd girl business is a pile of bullshit; it's a phenomenon that, yes, probably exists, but that people are working themselves up about because...
Well, I talked to a friend of mine who also happens to have a vagina. It's no coincidence either; she was born with one. It just kind of happened that way. Nature is funny sometimes. Every once in awhile, her and her boyfriend and some other guys they know and myself get together and play games. And that's about it. We talk on the internet about various things, but sometimes we talk about games. She is a girl who happens to be a nerd. She's a "real" nerd girl, since we have now established that there are "fake" ones.
I asked what her honest opinion on the whole thing was, and we discussed it for awhile. She said, quite frankly, that it annoyed her. It bothered her to know that there were chicks out there pretending to like games for whatever reason; male approval, peer approval, or just tagging onto new trends. It bothered her because they are fake, disingenuous.
She wrote one or two paragraphs explaining her stance, and her reasons made sense. I then asked her, just how much of a big deal is it, really?
Not much. It's a minor annoyance.
It seems to me that the people speaking out the loudest against "fake nerd girls" fall into one of two categories; and by one of two, I mean both of the categories I am about to describe.
2) Males who genuinely have some ire or sexist leanings towards women
For anyone who would call me a "white knight" for merely pointing this out, or for rushing to the defense of women everywhere; fuck yourselves in the mouth. You are part of the problem. People use the "white knight" call out more often as a defense for their assholian brand of sexist slander, and in very few cases is the white knighting thing true. I am just as willing to call someone a cunt if they are being one, whether they actually have a vagina or not, so let's get that straight right now. Girls are generally either embraced or totally raked over the coals and lambasted when it comes to the gaming "community" by and large, so if someone wants to rush to their defense even out of some vague attempt to gain their respect, I actually understand that, and I'm okay with it. For all the dickheads I have seen out there treating women like shit on so many online games, and in so many forums largely dominated by neck bearded, borderline asexual man babies, I can handle a little chivalry and inverted sexism if it means cutting chicks some slack in an overly caustic environment which can barely handle their very existence much of the time.
Most of the people getting really upset are guys. There are girls out there too, and Jim Sterlings argument that it really shouldn't bother anyone is something I basically agree with. The reason? I can't imagine it being difficult to ignore the few "sluts with controllers", as a picture someone posted in another blog suggested. I mean, really, apart from some pictures on the internet, or the odd ill informed YouTube channel, where the fuck are these people? Are they invading games of Dota 2 and Team Fortress 2 in swathes? Are they ruining high level Diamond League Starcraft 2 play? The REAL nerds, the people who grip and hold onto that title like a badge of honor, if they are indeed as hardcore as they think, should be too busy involving themselves in their obsessions to worry about these people hiding somewhere in a corner.
I think that Jim probably overstated the prevalence of the bitching; at least I did until I saw all of the responses in the comment boxes, in the blogs, all pointing out why he was wrong and quickly flocking to defend their view which mainly consisted of "uhhmm ahhhh it's just annoying goddammit! They took our jerbs!" It just kind of irritated me to see that anyone wanted to fucking bother to refute a well rounded argument because it did exactly one thing, and one thing only; it exposed their own prejudices, whether they were well meaning or not. It showed their pettiness and inability to simply look away, to ignore a minor "problem" that they need not concern themselves with at all.
I don't want to be called a nerd, a geek, or even a gamer. I don't feel the need to be identified in that way, nor do I find it offensive when that "title", which others bestowed on me as a derogatory term, is being adopted by people who are simply trending, and who will eventually move on to the next big thing or simply be exposed by natural causes for the frauds that they are. I think that the successful nerd girls are the most heinous in the eyes of the green eyed monsters that seem to hate them so much; "that fucking bitch, she doesn't even like video games and yet she makes money off of being hot in front of a camera while sit here and play for ten hours a day?"
Yeah? And what's your fucking point? People exploited your hobby in order to make money, using their sex appeal and business savvy in order to do so. Tough shit, assholes; its a hard world sometimes, and this sort of thing goes on everywhere. Even within this very industry, a few sexy "nerd girls" are hardly a part of that much bigger "problem", if you want to call it that. There is a lot more insidious dog shit going on behind the scenes than a playboy model posing nude with an Xbox controller on her crotch. And that other stuff, stuff that is actively hurting our hobby, like shitty payment and subscription models, forced DLC, and all sorts of other nonsense perpetuated by the big giants, has no redeeming quality; you can't even masturbate to it. I've tried. All that came out was blood. Blood and sadness, and of course, all of my fucking money.
I think it's jealousy, some of it; attention being lavished on other people in a sub culture which has generally been maligned, and is still largely misunderstood. But I honestly have little sympathy. I went through an extremely abusive childhood in my school years and was called out, insulted, and physically abused on a daily basis for being into geeky things. You don't see me bitching. The growth and popularity of this thing I love, for all the negative things that have come of it, like dumb ass award shows on TV with rappers and all the cunts who would have picked on my back in school have actually done a lot of good things for my hobby; the money being thrown into the industry has helped to allow for smaller developers to exist to get a bigger piece of the pie, more games every year, better quality in games as a general rule (oh shit, you know it's true; just look at the Atari days and NES days and try to tell me there wasn't just as much, if not more utter crap being pumped out on a daily basis due to a lack of quality control.) and people generally being more accepting of video games as a staple of pop culture. So before anyone accuses me of just not getting it; trust me, I get it. I went through it just as bad, and maybe worse than other people did. But I'm not gonna blame the current generation for that; that was just a case of being alienated from the mainstream for loving something that was so decidedly out of it during that period of my life. The times are a changin'.
This change is good for me, and it will be good for my kids who will ultimately be playing games at one time or another. They will no longer have to feel completely like outsiders. So if a few good looking girls want to exploit rabid nerds (coming from the same group who will ultimately judge them, ironically enough) then so be it.
Yes, I understand why it is annoying. I even managed to hold a woman at gunpo- I mean, talk to a friend over a cup of coffee, who happens to be a female, to get her own opinion. And as someone who is unquestionably geeky, even she found it annoying. I am not getting upset about that fact. I was annoyed when I saw Geoff Keighley surrounded by a bunch of Mountain Dew and Doritos shit, or when I heard a bunch of jock fuck nuggets talking about how "badass Halo was, yo". But I shrugged, and went back to doing what I did best; playing video games. Talking to other people who weren't those people, and just doing my best to stay absorbed in the things I love, regardless of the taint of the outside world otherwise "ruining" it for me. It wasn't ruining anything, it just kind of annoyed me.
But only a little bit. And that's all it really should be; such a miniscule annoyance that it is barely worth mentioning, bringing up, or blogging about...
One of the first memories I have as a child, literally one of the very first things about my existence as a human being on this planet I can remember, is corn. I remember eating corn at my Nana's house. What a little baby was doing eating corn is pretty questionable; was I at risk of choking? Was the corn eating supervised? What kind of corn was it? Sweet corn? Or like, that crappy tasteless canned corn you can got on sale for thirty cents that only really old people who don't have teeth anymore buy and cram down their toothless, time ravaged maws?
There are so many questions that can't be answered in life, and this is probably one of them. But the next that pops to mind can be answered; what was a memory in close proximity to, and far more relevant to this blog than my memory of eating corn?
Super Mario Bros. on the NES, specifically, the stage 1-4, the first time I saw King Koopas Castle.
I remember the bricks, the music, the lava. I remember watching my Dad play it, and being a little weirded out at how much darker it was than most of the other stages. Even the first underground stage had this kind of goofy vibe, and off beat music. There was the water stage, which to this day, just makes me happy to think about. But the castle man, that was some shit. And it's probably the earliest memory I have of any video game, apart from some dumb ass Sesame Street game we rented around the same time.
It's weird to think back to when you were a kid, though. Everything is all blurry and cloudy, like some kind of fucked up dream. I wonder sometimes, when was the first time I was truly conscious and aware of everything going on around me? I look at my daughter and wonder, does she know what she's doing when she calls me daddy and laughs at my stupid faces? Just what will her earliest real memory of all this be, and how clear will it be to her? I think of the fact that my wife is pregnant again, that there will be another little spawn running around, and whatever what it will think of the world around it?
Anyways, that's a bit off point. What I'm trying to get at here is that as far as I can remember, the NES was always just kind of around. It was a part of our entertainment system from a point so early on that I don't remember a time when we didn't have it. So it has always existed as an integral part of my entertainment since growing up in my memories, much like kids who always listened to the radio, or always watched Saturday morning cartoons. Nintendo was just there, but I didn't have any ownership over it; it was a part of the family.
Years later, there was the Sega Genesis, my favorite home video game console. I remember getting it on my birthday when I was sick with the flu, and playing Sonic the Hedgehog and Toejam and Earl with my Dad. I remember that Ghostbusters game, and that game Moonwalker where you played as Michael Jackson before he was accused of touching kids, in a game which was conspicuously about saving little girls. Needless to say, it was a new generation, and a real game changer, and the NES just felt old and played out by the time it came out.
But the one console I will always have deep feelings of nostalgia, even beyond the Sega Genesis, was the first one I ever owned, all to myself; the Nintendo Game Boy.
I remember getting this for Christmas and nearly shitting my pants at the awesomeness. The green screen, the blur, and the heft of that gargantuan beast makes it look like an ancient arcane relic compared to what we have today, but back then, it was amazing. You could play a game in the palm of your hand, and it wasn't one of those shitty Tiger Electronic things that your mom would never buy you when she took you to the grocery store even though it was staring you right in the fucking face every time and seriously what kind of cruel shit is that to drag your kid shopping with you all day you mean spirited bitch?
Anyways, the Game Boy was great. And it was mine. I took it fucking everywhere with me. I got sick in the car so frequently from playing it that to this day I can't stare down at my lap while driving or I both feel nauseous and get a ticket for distracted driving. It is a serious problem when you're trying to masturbate into an empty Tim Hortons cup while driving down the highway and listening to Star Wars audiobooks read by Mark Hamill and it's one of the few regrets I have about owning a Game Boy.
I had it for years, and by the end of it, it was beat up and abused, and eventually, completely outdated. My Mom would eventually try to buy my love with a Sega Game Gear, and being the fucking dumb kid that I was, I'd look at the Game Boy like a piece of crap, and give it to my uncle. Over the years, I'd hear stories about how it sat in his bathroom, and about how he played Mario Land every time he took a shit. My Uncle is kind of weird that way, since most of the stuff I know about him has to do with him taking a shit, or having shit thrown on him from back when he was in a prison yard. It's kind of gotten me thinking that maybe I shouldn't have shared that here, that maybe that is a tidbit of information I need to deal with on my own. Sorry.
It wasn't until the Christmas of the year my parents divorced that I'd see another Game Boy; a Pocket Game boy, the Limited Xtreme Green Edition, which my mom would get me along with a copy of Pokemon Blue. It was tough going through divorce. It was a real dark time in my life where I was incredibly lonely and sheltered, having absolutely no friends and being completely isolated in a new, hostile environment after we moved from a small country town to a big, unfriendly city. I remember being extremely depressed all the time. It carved a part of my personality that has been so integral in making me who I am, while at the same time completely shattering any natural ability I might have otherwise had to connect and empathize with people. It has been a long road of healing, and even though I've come a long way, I still don't feel like I am completely out of the woods.
That Game Boy Pocket and Pokemon became my own personal escape from reality. I treated that thing like a best friend. I would stare at it sometimes, just admiring it; for some reason, I attached myself to it, and it became incredibly precious to me.
Then one day some asshole stole it out of my backpack.
The end. Just took it. Probably played with it, or sold it for lunch or whatever.
An abrupt end to what was literally the most important thing to me in my life at that point, the one thing that gave me any kind of joy in an otherwise joyless, merciless world of change and confusion.
You're welcome, cunt head. I hope you enjoyed it. I still miss it.
My Mom saw how much this upset me, and bought me a Game Boy Color. It wasn't the same, even though it was a hell of a lot better, but a Game Boy is a Game Boy, and I would play the hell out of this beaten up piece of shit until I finally got the GBA, and then the DS, and so forth.
For many years, I wouldn't have a Game Boy at all, but I stuck pretty loyal to the Nintendo brand name and continued to buy every console down the line as they would be released. I even have a 3DS today. But even then, even with the 3DS and a PSP and everything else I could ever want at my disposal, I still consider the Game Boy my favorite console.
Because I have a Game Boy Color sitting next to the toilet with a copy of Tetris. And I play it every time I take a shit. I learned by my Uncles example; the cathartic moment of silence and isolation on the throne is the best place to thoroughly enjoy a game of Tetris. I mean, I've brought my DS to the can before, but there is always a level of guilt involved since it is a bit newer, and was more expensive. The experience just isn't the same for some reason. A Game Boy is an inconvenient hassle to play these days; you need the right lighting, usually on a summer day, and taking it out anywhere just feels impractical compared to a system where you can just download a shit ton of games, and which people won't look at you like a crazy person for playing. Really, the Game Boy has lasting appeal to this day far beyond anything else as being the perfect thing to do while dropping the kids off at the pool. Nintendo had the foresight to see it forging a permanent place in the average American home based on this premise alone. It's a work of brilliance. Only in the warm lighting of a bathroom does the Game Boy screen look just right, and it's probably the only room in most peoples house where the light is going to be glaring directly down on the screen and where you will be sitting upright while you play it.
I love anything that makes my bathroom experience a better one, which makes the Game Boy my favorite console, and my favorite inspirational tool for thought stimulation, apart from the poster on my wall of Danny Devito's head superimposed onto my cock.
What would my life be like if I wasn't married? If I didn't have a little screaming brood running around fucking shit up in my house every day? If she didn't slam the spacebar key while I was playing FTL and TOTALLY SCREWED ME OVER FUCK. I have wondered this sometimes. And by sometimes, I mean one time, this morning, after I read this blog on this site that isn't as good as Destructoid about a girl who was trying to find love on OKCupid, and instead found a bunch of socially awkward nerds who just wanted to fuck in the bathroom. They were attracted to her because she put in her profile that she was a gamer.
But not all gamers are socially awkward creepy weirdos. I have put together a future OKCupid profile for the inevitable day when my wife leaves me. I am not a ashamed to be a gamer, and I think that the woman who wrote this article would totally dig me for my honesty, and sexiness.
Send me a message if you want to hang out someday when I'm available. We can hold hands, or chat, or you can just step on my balls with stilettos. Whatever, I'm game for pretty much whatever. We just gotta wait until my wife finds my stash of geodes I spent her life savings on. I just can't get enough geodes these days.
Do you hear the wind blowing through the spruce trees? Are they calling my name to you? Because if they are you should probably get help or something. That ain't right. I know a psychiatrist in town and he only charges twelve dollars an hour to do a full psychiatric review of his patients. It might be kind of weird that he asked me to take my pants off and took pictures of my genitals for three hours, but he said it was like, some Freudian thing that I wouldn't understand anyways because I don't read books or whatever. Anyways, I'm a great guy, and when you read this profile, you'll see why. It's like a novel where you get hooked early on and have to figure out how it ends.
And then it stops on a cliffhanger and you're all pissed off. But unlike that book, which ended with a main character death or the introduction of some fucking stupid plot point, this one ends with you and me getting nasty in a bathroom stall. And the very last word in the novel is "shame".
What I'm doing with my life
Well this morning I went out to get coffee. I was feeling kinda crappy so I just put my jeans over my pajama pants. My car was frosted up real bad and I spilled some of the coffee on my crotch. Tomorrow I might eat a sandwich. But I don't wanna say anything for sure yet, life is unpredictable sometimes. I make enough money to afford loaves of bread when they go on sale at four for four dollars, and I spend a lot of time drinking in the bathroom in case I get sick and throw up. I guess you could say I'm a man who likes to be prepared.
I'm really good at
Sonic the Hedgehog 1. I beat the fuck out of that game. I was sick with the flu once for a week, and because I didn't want to move, I just kept watching the only DVD in my Xbox which was King of Kong. For a week. I probably saw it like a hundred and twenty times. It changed me as a person and inspired me to get the high score at Sonic the Hedgehog 1. I didn't quite make it though. Somebody beat me to it, so I sent them a can of kidney beans in the mail. It was supposed to be like, a vague, confusing sort of threat. I don't know if they ever got the beans though; it was hard to make chili that night so in retrospect it was kind of a bad idea.
The first things people usually notice about me
Mostly stains. I am a messy eater. I get a lot of shit on my shirts usually, and it's hard to wash out. I don't like washing machines because loud noises frighten me, so I hand wash everything I own with a bar of soap. I always smell lemony, and that's only in part because of the cocktails I drink when I'm out of money; Pledge and Orange Crush isn't as dangerous as people think, you just need to do shit in moderation. Kind of like Mescaline.
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
I like those bathroom reader books. I can learn about stuff and they rate about a 3 on the Gunner Fog Index which is great 'cause I don't have a very good vocabulary or nothing what like that. My favorite movie is Blue Velvet, but mainly I just watch the scene where Dennis Hopper kisses Kyle McLaughlin over and over. It was artistically stylish, don't get the wrong idea. I don't watch television because I don't want the cable guy coming into my apartment, or anyone else for that matter; I don't need to go through all that shit again, the cops were here for like two days checking things out last time. I mostly listen to Abba albums at a really low volume and at twenty percent speed, and I made a recipe I like to call the "Poor Mans Pants Shitter Casserole" which is made of like, a box of Kraft Dinner, an onion, and a shitload of those little chili peppers. But I make sure I take the next day off if I'm gonna make that for dinner because, well, the name should have given that away anyhow.
The six things I could never do without
Alexis Texas five times, and face-sitting videos.
I spend a lot of time thinking about
Corn. I don't really get why that is. There is something about corn that makes it endlessly fascinating. It can be used for so many different things, but all of those different things are just for eating. I just really, really like corn.
On a typical Friday night I am
The most private thing I'm willing to admit
I cried once while watching Finding Nemo. It was only because I was real sick and on a lot of drugs. I mean his fucking mother died, give me a fucking break, am I the only one with any emotions? Who the fuck puts that shit in a kids movie, anyways for Christ sake? I didn't turn that shit on to watch a friggin' dramatic play, I wanted to see CG fish do crazy shit while I tripped balls and threw up into an ice cream bucket. Fuck you Pixar.
I'm looking for
Girls who like guys
For activity partners, long-distance penpals, casual sex
You should message me if
You know what, fuck it. I didn't realize what a pain in the ass was. I think I'm having flashbacks. All I can think about is that scene in the fish movie where the dad fish is all like "oh shit your mother died" and mom is dead and it was all quiet and sad. And then just to fuck with you the whole thing fades to black and then cheery music starts playing and it's all like "AND THEN IT WAS BACK TO BUSINESS AS USUAL" but you're too FUCKED UP INSIDE TO WANT TO KEEP GOING so you sit in the shower and cry while trying to wash all the ants off of you. But they just keep coming. They never stop. And then you are in the hospital and they are shoving charcoal down your throat. Fuck, where am I?
Oh yeah, I also like gamer chicks. My favorite game is Cosmic Carnage for the 32X. We could play it and then cuddle and you could make me french toast or something. But you gotta pay your own bills, I only have enough pop cans in my closet to buy groceries once a week. This ain't a charity drive, I expect self sufficiency. Don't try to steal any of my cans, you cunt.
Jack Forrester winced as the biting wind from the mountain top assaulted his skin and caused his bones to ache. He hated the cold; his arthritis was beginning to act up worse every winter, and when he was called to the Ten Pines Ski Resort up on Mt. Pirih to investigate an incident, he knew it was going to get real bad.
There was one way to warm the bones, though. Jack took a swig from his canteen full of steaming hot coffee, with a shot of Jack added for flavor. He and his partners would be staying at the resort over night. It was a convenient way to squeeze a vacation into the middle of their work week. The body, or at least what was left of it, had been taken away the evening before. The area had been closed off from the public. Jack had all the details, and a dossier packed full of photos; photos that would have given a lesser man nightmares.
It had been a busy week for skiing. With fresh snow thick on the mountain, and the long first long weekend of the season, the tourists had come in droves. The town of Speers at the base of the mountain was a tourist joint first and a town second. Jack had never seen so many novelty souvenir shops in his life.
"So this is where it happened." A soft voice said through the piercing wind.
It was Evelyn Foster, his long time partner. She was a good kid; married young, fresh back to work after a long and difficult pregnancy. It hadn't worked out; the baby never made it. But Evelyn was tough as nails, or at least that's what she claimed. She was back to work two weeks later, and she wouldn't hear a word about it.
She was a tough woman. If Jack had been a few years younger, he would have gone after her himself. But at 52 years old, he was just an old man to her. And he could feel his age upon him as the aches from the cold really started to set in, and his hand began to cramp around his canteen.
"Most people don't come down this far." Jack said, pacing through the snow. "The trees are thick and it's easy to get lost. A guy got killed last year, slammed into a pine. His wife and kids were waiting at the top of the lift and when he finally came back, he was in a body bag."
Evelyn pulled a lock of blonde hair out of her eyes and pulled her green wool scarf up to protect her face from the wind. "People come here to relax, have a nice weekend; pretty tragic when it turns out this bad. Crashing into a tree, or getting torn apart in the middle of the mountain. Pretty nasty stuff."
The victim was twenty three, and was training for the Winter Olympics. He had won several competitions locally and abroad, and even Jack had seen him on the news once. Now all Jack could see were the photos; photos of a carcass ripped to shreds and scattered all over the mountain side. It sent a chill up his spine when he thought of the poor kids that had went too far down the mountain and found him in that state. They wouldn't forget it for the rest of their lives.
Suddenly, a crack shot out from the trees just beyond where they were standing. Evelyn and Jack both jumped, and peered down into the woods.
"What was that?" Evelyn said, turning to look at Jack.
"I dunno." He replied, scratching his sparse, rugged beard. "Let's go find out."
They moved slowly through the powder, the wind whistling with a deep rhythmic hum. From where they were, they could barely see the resort towering high above, so distant it was barely a speck. And as they made their way down toward the trees, the fog of the mountain clouds obscured their vision completely.
It felt isolating and lonely, even with Evelyn at his side. But since Maria's death, he always felt that way. The kids would seldom visit or make the time, blaming their lack of interest on Jack and his career. It was something his first partner warned him about when he was a beat cop, a rookie as green as Evelyn's scarf.
"Don't drag a family into it, that's all I can say." John had said to him in that thick British accent. "I left mine back home which is where they belong."
Jack hadn't listened, of course. Those first few months with Maria before he got accepted into basic training were a hard, fast living dream. She was such a classy woman.
Christ, he missed her.
"Did you hear that?" Evelyn asked, reaching an arm out to stop her partner.
Jack had been too lost in thought, but he caught the next one. It was like the bark of a dog, and it echoed all around them. Another snap followed, and then another. Jack looked around and realized how deep they were into the trees now. If they were to scream, nobody would hear them.
Evelyn watched Jack as he slowly reached for his pistol.
"Is that necessary?" She asked with a nervous smirk.
"I sure as hell hope not." He replied, keeping his eyes on the woods in front of them as he drew his Beretta and carefully aimed it in front of him.
The thing came out of nowhere, and all Jack saw was a flash of grey before he was hit so hard it nearly knocked his damn teeth out. He was thrown into snow and felt the powder mist his face, the gun flying out of his hands, and the terrified scream of Evelyn apparent through the chaos all around them.
He righted himself on the palms of his hands and darted his head around. He saw Evelyn a few paces away laying face down in the snow, and quickly rushed over to her.
"Hey are you al-"
As he turned her onto her back, his gut twisted in horror. Where that pretty face had once been, there was nothing but a pool of forming blood melting through the snow; whatever had rushed them had taken her head clean off.
"Oh sweet Jesus, no!"
Jack leapt to his feet, cupping a hand over his mouth. He could feel his heart racing as he twisted his head to look around, to see whatever the hell it was had done this. It dawned on him that he had dropped his gun, and he instantly felt defenseless, weak, like a child without his mother.
He raced over to the place he had fallen, an imprint of his body left in the snow there. He heard another terrifying crack from the woods, and he reached down to grab his gun.
Just as he was wrapping his frozen fingers around the handle, he heard the rush coming at him again. He pointed the gun in the direction of the grey, abnormally fast thing heading in his direction, and found it on top of him faster than he could pull the trigger.
It shoved him hard to the ground with a strength he could barely comprehend, and as he looked up, all he could see were two slanted red eyes staring back at him, and a set of jaws obscured by patches of grey fur. The thing opened it's terrible maw so wide that he could see the back of it's inflamed pink throat, and the bark it let loose nearly deafened Jack completely. Acting entirely out of instinct, Jack felt his grip on the pistol tighten, and despite the crushing weight of the thing on top of him, he managed to pull the trigger one, two, three times in a flurry of a gunshots which shook the silent mountain.
The thing instantly released him from its grip and let out a pained, shrieking howl. And before Jack even had the time to lift his head and look at it, it took off into the woods, and was never seen again.
Jack was forced into retirement the week after the incident, deemed mentally unfit to work. The resort closed the mountain past the slalom course off for further tourism, and although the details Jack gave during the investigation into Evelyn Fosters death corresponded with the evidence found on the scene, the composite sketch of the thing that had taken her life was taken into question.
Every now and then I like to put up a writing related blog. After all, that is what most of us are here to do, sharing our thoughts and feelings about the things we love, and sometimes even more; our personal stories, are deepest secrets, and our affinity for boners.
I think a lot about writing and what it has done for me as a person. Although approximately none of you will probably ever be unlucky enough to meet me in the flesh, most who know me through writing first and then meet me in person after are usually quite surprised at how different the real life Manchild is from this guy right here. That's because it is far easier to articulate exactly what is on my mind through writing - and I do write about everything on my mind - then it is to do it in person. I can hardly find the right words otherwise, although it is also a detriment to speak through writing alone because I barely have time to filter out any of the real more nasty crap that collects in my brain, instead opting for a "blurt it all now, apologize later" route which hardly shines a positive light on the strength of my character.
The fact is that writing is something I have grown comfortable with as both an artistic exercise and a cathartic one. It has become a part of my daily routine. Whether I am yamming about nonsense on Twitter, or posting irrelevant quips on Facebook, typing up a piece here or on my own blog, I am always writing. It is something I do just about as often as I take a dump in the morning. And as a result, I have become reasonably skilled at getting a point across.
For the month of November, that is all I will be doing, because it is National Novel Writing Month. I don't know how many of you are just as interested in writing stories as you are writing blogs and opinion pieces, since the two are thoroughly different practices, but I wanted to talk about NaNoWriMo and why it is a good thing, regardless of its many detractors.
I like to spin a good yarn. I have had a couple of things published here and there, and although my success rate for doing so has been abnormally high, I also don't submit my work very often. Fiction is mostly a hobby on the side, one which is obviously directly in line with my tendency to write, but not necessarily a large portion of what I do. I love stories, big and small, in books films and video games alike, but they aren't something I am particularly comfortable writing. And NaNoWriMo, which has you writing 50,000 words in a month, is no small task for someone who doesn't often sit there and attempt to pen out their Magnum Opus of Great Canadian Fiction.
So why do I do it every year? Why do I do it when I know I'm usually going to fail, or that the stories, which are of particularly low quality due to the time constraints and lack of pre-planning are never going to amount to anything?
Practice makes perfect.
I have known a lot of people who were interested in a topic, say sports, or of course video games, and wanting to involve themselves somehow in the industry but not really having the talent to get into the fray and become either an athlete or developer, decided they want to take the journalism route instead. One guy in particular had never written a word of anything in his life. And while he is spending an enormous amount of money and time on courses in order to do so, I honestly wonder just how successful you can be if you haven't invested the years of time it really takes to be proficient with such a skill?
There is an overwhelming focus on "education" these days, with "education" implying that you will hand over a wad of sweaty bills to a teacher or professor and suddenly become a master in whatever art they are striving to teach you. People go to school almost exclusively because they are afraid of the stigma they will face if they don't; peer and parent pressure, mixed with the desire to meet others expectations drives droves of kids into a learning environment where they aren't interested in learning anything. Many of them will pick "cop out" topics like Psychology and Philosophy for a lack of real passion in anything else, and will pay themselves out of house and home, only to finally return, sometimes ten years later, when they are a little wiser and actually have something tangible in mind.
Personally, I thought it was a racket when I was in high school and wondering what I wanted to do with my life. I realized that whatever it was, I wasn't sure of it and didn't want to invest deeply into post-secondary until I really knew what I wanted to go for. Sometimes the simple act of being involved in that system can inspire kids, can teach them about professions or endeavors they otherwise may not have known about before they went to College or University, but much of the time it doesn't; and as someone with absolutely no financial support from parents or other family, I simply didn't want to take the risk. I knew I loved writing back then, but wasn't sure about doing it as a career. And frankly, I'm still not sure.
While I'm not judging anyone for being proactive or ambitious here, I have to wonder about passion sometimes. How do you know you want to be a writer if you've never sat in front of a computer for hours on end attempting to write, sharing your work with others, and bracing yourself for the inevitable criticism to come? How can you say your passionate about something if it isn't a complete obsession, a need, and if you have put no effort in to do it every single day, and to get better despite the lack of tools at your disposal?
That is what payed education is; a tool. I have heard of a lot of people flaunting their credentials, especially when they are called out for being poor at what they are supposed to be geniuses at. But the simple fact is, nobody with half a brain thinks that working your way through a course automatically equates to success in that field. You have simply been given working tools with which to further your skill; how you implement them relies completely on you, and your passion to succeed in your given field.
As with all artistic practices, writing is absolutely no different. You say you want to be a games journalist, a novelist, a sports writer? Well then do it. Start now. Today. If you are saving up for a journalism or creative writing course, keep saving, and do what you think you need to do to improve. But in no way will you improve faster than constant practice, failure, defeat, and savoring in the rare few real successes you will see throughout your career as a practicing writer, even if it is not a career in the payed sense of the word.
That is what projects like NaNoWriMo are good for; failure. You are going to write your ass off, there is a great chance you won't accomplish anything, and there is a definite possibility you will fail to achieve your goal by the end of the month. But what it will get you doing is writing every day; putting up with the frustration of writers block, and making you think actively and write on the spot. The biggest problem with writing is not having anything to say. NaNoWriMo doesn't care if you have anything to say, it just wants you to say something, and like a kid hanging out in a College taking Psyche courses and realizing just by being there that he wants to be an Engineer, you will get bigger ideas, you will be inspired, and all that practice will have one definite benefit; you will get better at writing, just through the act of trying.
I'm going to do it this year again. I probably won't succeed. But I will become a little better at what I do. Just like every time I write a blog for Destructoid, I get a little better at blogging. So no matter how much you think you suck, no matter how discouraging it can be do be criticized by others, just remember this; it's all part of a long and tedious learning process. You will not get better at writing simply by reading materials about how to write. Only practice can bring that.
If you are a blogger for this site who wants to someday become a legit GERMS JERNERLIST, consider this place your education. Consider your payed education to be a toolbox of knowledge to put to work furthering said education.
And most importantly, write, write, write, write, write. Because that is the only way you will ever get better at writing, period.
(For anyone interested in NaNoWriMo, here is the link. The shenanigans start tomorrow. By making an account you can upload your stories and update your word count, find people in your area to communicate with, and sign up for motivational emails to help you stay on track. Good luck, and if you are participating, let me know how it's going for you!)
This was an example of what can go wrong when Destructoid implements Youtube embeds. This is a public service announcement from your friendly neighborhood Manchild reminding you to use Youtube embeds responsibly, and not as the sole body of your work here on the Dickstructoid C Blogs. (the C is for Cock) Nothing is less tasteful than posting a series a mind boggling Sonic the Hedgehog fan videos, or an entire series of Let's Plays for Avernum IV running at three frames per second because it was the only game you could afford on Steam and "fraps dont working rite".
Keep it classy, folks. Keep it bloggy. And most importantly...
Keep it Kelly.
An R. Kelly music video...with fucking Sonic shit going on.