You should know better than reading this. You really should. I am about to take a fair bit of your time and leave you with nothing show for it.
I haven't properly introduced myself, and I don't intend to. It's not that I don't like you enough to explain myself, but rather it's a lot like having to introduce your retard nephew to your date after unexpectedly bumping into him at the movie theater, except in this case I am my own retarded nephew, and if that sounds awkward to you, then just imagine how it makes me feel.
But for a moment disregard that swollen, pathetic self-loathing, and put yourself in my shoes, or rather in the shoes of yourself if you were me, and not typing this extemporaneously hoping to get to a point. Under the left shoe tongue of my LA Gear lights is where you will find a role, or your role as you to be precise.
Have you got that? Yes? Good.
We can move onto the next buggered up point on this agenda.
That guy on the screen is me/you.
Treat this as a roleplaying excercise. Make me say something. Make me do something. Lead me through the narrative with your own particular tang flavoring me up like bag of Cool Ranch Doritos. Ok, it's not working for you is it? I just keep pushing these words out here, but if this were a video game you'd have a bit more control, and instead of trying to wrangle me you'd be focused upon the game's setting, environment, and character interaction. I suppose the lack of interactivity between you and me is holding us back here, but whatever. My fingers aren't tired yet.
The person typing this is me.
Stop being me for a moment and just be you. I'll be me. I'm all over the place, whether it's in the foreground as an NPC, the background as game mechanics, or somewhere in between as the game's environment. It's a lot to ask for, but I have prepared for a long time to be me. I've been checked, double checked, and triple checked. I'll be checking out me well after you are done with me for performance evaluation purposes. It's scientific like toothpaste.
Now that I have spent about fifteen minutes letting my mind run amok with my fingers, let me try something else, or more of the same if I can't make my mind behave. It doesn't like being told to sit still, you know.
As my solemn promise to you, which if I were actually interested in my peers, or audience if your not so keen on being on par with a self-loathing, mumbling neurotic who can't stop himself from pounding out words and wishing that they'd edit themselves into something more meaningful... ok, I promise to [you/me/mom/baby jesus] that I will at some juncture make an argument or theory that justifies an eighth, perhaps less, of the time that I have take from you in getting there.
Let's begin again. If you can't tell already, I'm more than a little megalomaniacal. It's not because you're bad people either, rather that as a person that spends a large amount of leisure and work time alone I don't often have the benefit of others to bounce ideas off of. Frequently, I make my mind up quicker than I think I should and get the sneaking suspicion that if something were that easy that it couldn't be right. Rome wasn't built in a day, and I want my brain to significantly better infrastructure lest it have the same trouble with tourists, religious fanatics, and, oh, shit. I'm doing it again, aren't I?
I do this a lot. I'm really lonely and talking to myself tends ease my nerves, or at least until I noticed that my nerves have been ease, and then I figure out how I did it and it riles me right back up. Either that or it's the coffee. I drink lots of coffee.
If you haven't forgotten the point, then boffo for you. See those paragraphs up there? I'll be rereading them and refamiliarizing myself with what I thought I was going to blog about when I started typing. Uh, let me look at the clock. I started typing twenty five minutes ago, and it was my noble, or perhaps vaguely interested, but not yet bored intention to write up a blog on a day that was not on the weekend in order to chalk up more readers and to discuss... wow. I paused literally for thirty seconds here. The matter I wanted to discuss was self-awareness of the gamer from varying angles; some of which I haven't actually looked at and might be Dutch.
There are four basic questions that can be asked when determining your identity within a game, and if you answer them the sky will turn into a giant turtle named Phil. He likes when you pet him. Also you'd like to know the answer to these anyway because without them the possibility of forming any sort of narrative involving you as a protagonist are miniscule. Prove me wrong though. That'd be f'ing awesome. I'd love that game. Oh, and sorry about wandering off again. I saw a bird over by the turtle in the sky. I was going to make them fight, but then I remembeedr that I didn't tell you what the four questions were. That's the trouble with already knowing them myself. I assumed that you did too. Woops.
Those questions are...
Who am I? Why am I here? What do I want? How does that affect me?
Again I am going to move backwards to go forwards. If you take a look back, this series of questions can be applied to my own narrative flow thus far in the blog, which is to say that I am not treating this any more seriously than I would a video game, but this is a blog on a video game enthuisiast site, so I guess my tone is right, even though to be honest with you I don't think it is and I may have insulted the lot of you just by opening my big mouth.
Oh, well. Look at all these fancy words.
There should be more of them.
The leap from being that you that is rolling your eyes at my incomprehensibly foolish rambling and the you that is the last hope for humanity in a dying universe, cum space odyssey a la zombie apocalypse, is a pretty fantastic one. I asked you to step in my shoes, but step back into yours again, and then step into Commander Shepard's for a second. It's distant. It's a fantasy, but you have a lot of control there and you actually trusted enough in the designer's artistic vision to pay them for the experience, whereas you are reading this either because you can't play video games right now or you are drunk. Let's assume that you're drunk.
Now that you've loosened up with another shot of Cranberry Schnapps, I'd like to tell you that you are pretty, but along with being pretty, it's time for you accept that place that you once were in is no longer where you thought it was. You're a pretty drunk boy/girl and I am going to take advantage of you. To do that as benevolently as possible I am going have to convince you that you want that to happen. Imagine that I'm whispering at this point and hoping that you pass out to make this easier on the both of us.
Did you pass out?
For those of you that did, if you don't feel sore afterwards it's not because I am a gentle lover, but rather that I am quick and don't like to jostle the sleeping if I don't have to, although I did leer. Yes, I did. I leered like a motherfucker.
Assuming that you haven't passed out, or if were to speak in less metaphorical terms, stopped reading this blog, then its safe to say that you wanted me to convince you of something. You bought the charade and took your role, which hopefully you enjoyed. I know I tried to enjoy it. Hell, I'm still trying to enjoy it, and those are your four questions as would provide them to you. How you approach them is an entirely different story.
I have addressed you directly as a reader previously, and then as someone that I inappropriately inserted into a date rape situation, we can all see that there is difference between the two, both in the audience's choice of roles and in speaker's approach towards them. Had this been written by a more professional voice, my own identity would be obscure, or legitimately minimized, so you, as the primier personality, could step up and shine.
That is what most video game narratives do. While they may have strongly voiced characters that forge the narrative the game, they do not do it without you. We're reminded of this through called out reminders from NPC's when we go idle in an action game, dialog tree options in an RPG, and all sorts of other instances where the game not only asks for, but requires, our direct input. Did you notice that I did that earlier and that I am doing it again now? It's nice to feel like you're wanted, isn't it?
I guess that's a large part of why I like gaming. You're not alone, regardless of what the necromorphs leave you believing in Dead Space. A good video game is a tool to not only get you involved with something more thoughtful, but also to be yourself and experience something beyond just being you. Man, I don't know if I should feel smug about that, or if I should feel embarassed that playing games can be that satisfying. I do know that if there were anywhere that I'd feel comfortable letting that out it'd be here.
The song below has nothing to do with this blog. I just love it and felt like posting it.