I decided not to take part in this the first time round but I figured I'd find 10 things this time. Sorry if some are a bit shit.
1. I'm half blind
When I was really young, I ended up with a virus inside the cornea in my left eye that basically made it non-functional. My cornea is now heavily scarred and I'm about 80% blind in it. It also used to be really badly lazy until I had some operations to fix it. Basically, my normal eye sight is similar to what you see when playing games in first person.
2. I have played bass live for a band
It was an end of year thing for some university societies and one of the coolest things I've done. I spent about two months practicing with the rest of the band and had a blast even if we had to carry the gear a mile into town for it (amps are heavy).
3. I can't drive and likely won't bother learning
I was taking lessons while in school and even passed my theory but had to move to university before taking my practical test and getting my full licence. With transport the way it is in this country, unless I decide to move to somewhere way out from the cities buses and trains will sort me out from here until whenever.
4. I failed at university
Last year I dropped off my course in computer science. I could go into it but basically, I suck at academic work. I can program and enjoy doing so so I learned what I wanted to and I had a really fun time. It also meant I could afford to go to PAX 09 and PAX East 10 which was nice.
5. My introduction to D&D was my mum inviting to join her group of friends
I was about 14 or so and she helped me roll a character up and since then, I've always enjoyed tabeltop RPGs. Also thanks to her, I have issues playing any D&D that isn't 1st ed AD&D. My mum's pretty awesome
6. I used to wear glasses
My favourites were circle rims with three different colours on them and I looked like an idiot. I was also 10 and didn't give a fuck
7. I think killer whales are totally awesome
No idea why but they are my favourite animal. They're one of the most interesting and badass animals on this planet. I feel a bit bad for whatever they eat but they do it in such crazy ways I have to side with the orca.
8. I haven't been to a doctor in five years
Given my eye issue and some other stuff, I probably should have been there at least once or twice but thanks to being in and out of hospital so many times right up until I left school sort of made me hate everything related to doctors. I don't even bother with painkillers unless the pain makes me unable to function
9. I sometimes get extreme agoraphobia
About five years ago I got mugged. I was beaten too and lost a LOT of stuff. Every now and again, I have serious issues leaving my house and sometimes even leaving my room is an effort. Thankfully it's gotten better in recent years.
10. I have Autism
Partway through university a lecturer suspected I might have autism and with some help from the university I had a couple of interviews with a clinical psychologist and was told I had it (high functioning autism apparently). I almost didn't add this given how much crap is thrown at people mentioning autism on the internet but whatever, it is what it is.
I should have done this sooner but I'm lazy and have been recovering from various illnesses slowly. This would have been done later had something not happened today to make me do it. You see, PAX was the best week of my life. It was supposed to be one week of good to outweigh two of the worst years you could imagine and it certainly was that and more. When I got back into my house, I didn't miss anyone because well, we're all on the internet and speak to each other anyway.
PAX was also meant to help get my university course back up and running and provide me a bit extra push to get me the one and only thing I have ever really wanted, a job programming games. It did that a lot and I was all ready to sort things out but today I was given the choice between a year out from uni, which I could in no way afford, and changing to a lower degree, which would mean me getting a job programming games would be so much harder as to be near impossible. The room I am in has to be payed for and I can't do that with option 1 and option 2 reads quit to me because it's a useless option. Option 3 is I do my final year and do the placement I didn't manage to secure afterwards but that will be one of the most hard fought for things I try to get that isn't PAX and I don't much believe in that much good happening all at once.
I'm not going to go into it but the past two years have been rough. The first was pretty bad and after seeing the fun people had at PAX last year I decided last October I had to go. As the second year picked up a little I got happier and then around february it all sort of fell apart and got so bad over summer that PAX was one of the very few reasons I didn't kill myself. If I have any reason to just keep on now, it's you lot.
While there I managed to accomplish a number of my own mini life goals. I played Rock Band with some people from Harmonix, and we ruled. I also full on death screeched Black Dahlia Murder and we came off to some clapping. I also played Rock Band with Necros. I had a great talk with Nick Chester and a lot of other editors. I had Niero wish me luck on my game portfolio. I spent at least part of a night with Knives and Mandi and alcohol. I wore a full suit and top hat and didn't feel stupid. Best of all though, I got Niero to wear my stupid cardboard helmet that everyone signed and then wore the full size one.
A phrase I often heard was "I love you Bunny, you're such an awesome guy" and I still don't quite understand how so many people could like me so much. I have massive trust issues like you would not believe but for some reason with you guys I just don't care. I'm sitting here crying as I write this because I could never wish for a nicer bunch of people to even consider knowing me. My life would not be anything like it is without this site and it hurts so much that because of my life here continuing to go downhill it may mean I can't come on as much and spend time with the people here.
I'm completely losing it now and need to stop crying so I'm just going to leave you with this picture
Well, I was planning on writing one of these sometime this week so might as well do it now.
To put it lightly, this site means a lot to me. I am sure that without it, I would be in a much, much, much worse place than I am now. Some of you know about me being a mental case (Aspergers among other things including depression) and how messed up I am normally and how more messed up I have been this year in particular. I should be asleep right now but the prospect of PAX next week is keeping me awake. I promise you I will be crying big manly tears probably the entire week because of the sheer love I have for you folk.
Without various people helping me through an absolute fucking ton of problems, I'd still be dealing with them. Without the care that people have shown me on this site, I'd have lost it long ago. Christ, the only reason I ever managed to get a girlfriend back last year was because of people I spoke to giving me a few extra voices in my head and the confidence I needed. To me, there's a clear three reasons I am still at university and struggling instead of back at home dealing with debt having given up and those are my mum, the few close friends round this area and destructoid.
I would like to thank each person by name but the list is far too long and it would take me forever so I'll just put names here at random and if I missed you off, I'm really sorry: mid3vol, coonskin, countingconflict, Tactix, Aerox, Rio McCarthy, BrianKeljore, Neoninja, PsychoSoldier, elysse, Technophile, KNIIIIIIIIIIVES!, Necros, Excremento, BigPopaGamer, ZServ, Pheonix Blood, Halfie, TheYoungScot, Gibbo, Chooly, Vexed Alex, Kacie, EternalPlayer, GHost, Seth338, Power Glove, Atheistium, Suff0cat, Ben PerLee, naia, Ub3rSlug. I fucking love you guys.
Just the fact I'll get to hang with you guys at PAX has been keeping me going throughout this year and I've had way too many things almost take it away from me. If I have to swim across the fucking ocean and then crawl across America I will be there.
Most of all though, thanks Niero. Without you, I wouldn't have the kind of place where I can kick back and be me without having to edit myself and hide parts of myself just because people wouldn't accept it. Thanks for creating a great site for news and a great site where even people of completely opposing views can find a game they will enjoy together and have a blast. Thanks for the iconic image without which, I would not have had a crazy idea to turn a box into a makeshift sun shield at Download last year (This is the one I mean). Thanks for somehow spawning possibly one of the most crazy, mostly intelligent, overly ridiculous, awesome community.
The internet wouldn't be the same without Destructoid. It's that simple.
First off, I don't normally write stuff like this. This article will have some personal stuff along with my thoughts so you can skip over those if you want. I don't normally look for messages in games unless they are plainly obvious because more often than not I am more interested in how best to take the head off of someone who has every intention of doing the same to me.
I'm the guy who goes on murderous rampages in GTA4 because I find it funny to shoot people in the kneecaps and watch them stumble around. I'm the guy who would sooner grab Call of Duty over Shadow of the Colossus purely because as much as I like the latter, I like killing people more.
For me to come to the conclusion I have is therefore mighty strange. Even me playing a puzzle game is weird because it's not something I usually do. Lumines is one of the very few puzzle games I can sit at for hours at a time. I put it down to the music and the way it changes a lot. I own the PSP version and the XBL version. It was the PSP version I was playing while I realised what I did. Please bear with me on this, I have a lot of trouble organising my thoughts and writing coherently.
Lumines, with its constant changes in pace and random sequence of blocks is a fantastic metaphor for life. I consider music to be the greatest medium the human race has come up with. I would give up pretty much everything before I gave up music. I can remember most major points of my life not by what I was doing or even where I was but by the music I was listening to. In Flames holds memories of a previous job and my last year of school. The Specials is when I was starting school for the first time. The new Mastodon album is the month after I was dumped by my girlfriend.
The fact that music is such an integral part of Lumines is something that fits well with what I say at least when it comes to my life. Thanks to my very open mind when it comes to music I have yet to experience a piece of music in Lumines I dislike and the fact that the music is also the pace and that bits from it are the sound effects is also in keeping with how music fits into my life. This is probably the only bit that relates more to me than most people though.
The pacing of Lumines is the thing that made me most think what I did. It seems randomly paced and can switch from having a fast time line and fast dropping blocks to the opposite almost at the drop of a hat. Occasionally, it might mix it up by having a slow time line and fast dropping blocks. Now, if you take the blocks to be events in your life and the combinations of blocks solutions to problems suddenly I might not be so crazy.
In order to do well at Lumines, you have to plan well and work with what you are given to sort things out. Sound rather like “if life gives you lemons make lemonade”. I think though that it's not so much what you plan as how you plan. One plan may well lead to you not failing but it could do it in a way that means you have much more work ahead to keep from failing.
The way you plan for one pacing just plain wont work on another pacing sometimes. When the pace is fast you can rely on your solutions working fast and problems disappearing quickly and as such plan in a way that allows part of an event to solve a problem now and provide a little room to help solve problems that you can see coming up soon.
It is the fast paced sections of both Lumines and my life where I clear everything out and have an easy time of things. It all works out fairly well as long as I don't get a run of bad luck and even then it isn't too hard to solve things fast. It's the slow paced sections that hurt.
If you plan ahead too far in a slow section you are setting yourself up for some pain. You will find that you can plan ahead a little but as problems disappear, bits of the solution serve to create messier problems. This is where it gets a bit personal to help explain what I mean because I have recently experienced a couple of these huge shifts in pacing over a relatively short space of time. In Lumines terms, I'm now sitting on a ¾ filled screen without much sequence, a slow time bar and blocks that don't seem to be getting any slower any time soon.
The short version is that last December I managed to end up in a relationship. My first one. I was 20. Two months later, a week after Valentines, I got dumped pretty much out of the blue. Cue shift in song. Until then, life wasn't too shit. There were some big problems and some old ones I hadn't dealt with still sitting around but solutions were in place and my luck was holding out.
All of a sudden, my careful planning and placing was breaking. The old problems I thought would be dealt with instead mixed with the new problems to create a giant block of nastiness and I was still using the wrong way of planning. It's taken a few months to get to a position where although the screen is still as filled as it was, it should be easier to solve as long as I keep with the right way of planning.
The nice little squares that let you remove a chain of colours by introducing it to a solution is the people in my life that are trying to help. Dtoid is one, my friends are another and the short, blond, welsh girl who spent an hour or so yelling at me a few nights ago is another. I guess I'm probably reading more into this than I should and not explaining it too well but it makes sense somewhere in my head.
As insane as I am and as bad at dealing with the slow paced sections of life and Lumines as I might be, I don't reckon I'll be hitting a game over screen any time soon.
(Also, my run from when I realised all this is still going at 329,765. I got lucky with lots of screen clears and single colour bonuses and a few sets of 10)
Well, thanks to all those who wanted in on the picture, you made this a blast to work on seeing all the different avatars.
After last time, I realised how boring it was to build this in photshop so I thought I would brush up on my PHP skills and write a script that did the job. You can view it at http://bunnyrabbit2.awardspace.com/ and if you want the script, 2 stylesheets and image that does that, just ask (gamertags are hardcoded). This site pulls the images from MS so as you update your avatar, the site will update too.