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
I am leaving the community; not Destructoid specifically, or out of a vendetta or grudge of any kind; just the entirety of gaming "communities" as a whole. I can imagine this won't disappoint anyone too much. And I'm sure after reading this, it will likely please at least a few.
The reason I'm leaving is because games aren't "mine" anymore. And I am starting to recognize that they never really were.
It's sort of interesting to me in an industry bigger than Hollywood how you can have a group of people that almost unanimously identify under a label; the label being "gamers", although it says almost nothing about them as individuals except that they play and enjoy video games. It's a strange phenomenon. So many people play games these days that there is almost nothing exclusive about them, and I'd imagine, almost zero instances of folks being ostracized for enjoying what is now an entirely mainstream hobby.
There are underbellies to the industry, and underdogs, as well. But with millions of households in North America having game consoles at the ready, and with even the most unlikely people engaging in some form of interactive entertainment, whether it be done through the Wii or Facebook, there is nothing unique about the term "gamer" anyone, and the fragmented way in which the term is treated is becoming more convoluted by the day.
People who read books aren't "readers", just like how anyone who watches movies isn't a "filmie." But there are specialized terms, such as bibliophile, that are used to describe people who dive far past the surface of their hobby and, generally while criticizing every facet of it they find objectionable due to their socio-political stance on various issues, take it all very seriously indeed. They are the seasoned "grognards" of gaming, and it is out of growing frustration and distaste with their zealous approach to the hobby that I'm deciding to back out, and just be a guy who enjoys games occasionally.
One of the problems I see with these sorts of hardcores is their almost stoic obsession with making their beloved "art form" something that is not seen by the masses as a shrug-off activity for kids, or Bejeweled playing grandmothers. They lobby for changes to the way games are made, nitpicking (in a generally ultra egalitarian way) about offensive tropes and stereotypes present in the hobby, pushing for games to be more "aware" and "accessible". While I can understand people being offended by, say, the distasteful way in which Duke Nukem Forever thrived on a high powered chauvinism that degraded women around every corner, they seem to fail to understand that their medium is NOT high art; it rides on the backs of yellow, dot munching protagonists and chivalric "save the princess" stereotypes out of necessity, in a way, being a form of entertainment that is only now sophisticated enough from a technological point of view to treat bigger issues in a more cinematic way, one not reliant on sprite limitations and midi files in order to tell a larger story.
Video games have been relatively crude up until the last few years ago, and are just now earning the right to be a serious candidate for legitimate forms of artistic expression. So the uber serious hardcores who profess their love for their medium at every step ARE looked at as laughable by the majority, and especially the older generation, and rightfully so; anyone who didn't grow up in the nineties, when games were starting to get a hang of expression due to the emergence of the 16 bit era, can't understand, and really can't be expected to understand; games to them were an exploitative consumer experience, one specifically designed to take quarters from drunks. That will change over time as that generation fades into obscurity and is replaced by the more informed "sophisticates" of the community at large today, but even said video game intelligentsia are significantly dwarfed by the popcorn consuming masses who really don't give a flying fuck about the legal measurements of the latest in game heroine, or how selective camera angles evoke the concept of the "male gaze", a concept all but the most ardent feminists and university hipster-types could give a rats ass about, let alone find it worth fighting against, when all they want to do is hit the R1 button to lob a knife into the face of the drone-like walking casualty of their favorite FPS title.
Internet comment boards everywhere are a venerable clown college of clashing opinion. Alarmist journalists such as Jim Sterling, poster boy for the embarrassing stereotype of the "comic book guy" physique that gamers are desperately trying to get away with are shining examples of the spoiled-brat level of ultra consumerism that plagues the industry at large. "You are being used!" he shouts out, shaking a meaty fist, while the industry shrugs and laughs in his direction; their Hollywood-like ability to bring in money quickly dwarfing any hope in hell his kind has in making an impact on their stormtrooper like rule over the console and PC business alike.
Hope shines through in dull, obscured rays with industry brights and the indie minority, who are doing their best to create something worthwhile, something that sets itself apart from the junk food life of the AAA gaming world. But eventually, they too are swallowed up in the fascistic system if they have any hope of their games making an impact and finding any kind of an audience past a small clutch of loyal followers and Kickstarter backers. They are definitely the glowing redemption of the industry if their ever is to be any, but they don't own the system; and they have no control over it. And the people who truly give a shit about games and don't want to watch them degrade into the lowest common denominator of cultural vacuousness are still too small to really make a difference; though they are growing, in some respects.
So what is the problem here exactly? It's a matter of logistics, and I simply can't wrap my head around things anymore. I was inexorably pulled into a kind of dogmatism myself when I realized the horrid direction my beloved hobby was going, and wanted to fight, in some small way, against it. But the deeper I got, the more I started to disagree; why should I waste my time worrying about the presence of "booth babes", or the legitimacy of games as an "artform", or the latest developer Twitter outburst? These are all "problems" that people will always feel need addressing; just like there will be people burning Harry Potter books, or boycotting movies for objectionable material, but they will always be the laughing stock of their hobby by the greater majority, and rightfully so. Without money to bring to the table, there is no power. So they can prattle on in blogs and argue in comment boards, and cite the latest racially sensitive diatribe for why Resident Evil 5 was woefully insensitive, but their case will only get smaller as time goes on, I think; and when games are as common in households as toasters and toilets, it will be impossible to put up any kind of fight over the reigning capitalists of rising cream at the top.
I hate to sound like a pessimistic doomsayer, because I do think there is hope. I do think there are amazing, brilliant, nearly tear-jerking titles being made by people who really do love the genre. Fantastic titles like Frozen Synapse blew me away with their incredibly creative. Cave Story was made all the more impressive by it's impossibly small development "team". The coming swathe of Greenlight titles are getting all the more impressive with each new run. And some of the brilliant looking projects on Kickstarter are truly a site to behold.
So maybe it's because I'm old. Maybe I'm a little jaded, too. But I don't feel like games are "mine", even though there is still a lot there to love, and even though I will always play them in some capacity. The industry is too big now, too much of a giant, and the microcosms like Destructoid that exist to cater to a smaller minority of dedicated folks who truly love their hobby are also being infiltrated by the children of a new demographic; a consumerist demographic who devour everything around them as a form of cheap entertainment and distraction, and who never had to withstand the near oppression dealt out to the folks of my generation who were constantly belittled and picked on for their hobbies.
I get why they are mad. And I am not blaming them for fighting the good fight. But there are bigger fish to fry in my opinion, and there are a lot of people pouring a tremendous amount of energy into what you could boil down to as a "hobby", when the rest of the world is essentially crumbling around them. Without getting too vague and philosophical, entertainment can't be everything; and when most of your time ends up being consumed by arguments and activism, and not actually enjoying games, there is something seriously wrong with that. I have no respect for it anymore, and certainly, no time to engage in it myself. It's a bunch of angry folks desperately kicking a dead animal while a pig in a hat walks in the opposite direction flipping through a handful of hundred dollar bills. It just seems desperate and futile; the real people making waves are the people with an ability to actually get out there and DO something.
Not the consumers. Not the angry voices and Jim Sterlings of the community. They can spread their brand of awareness to great effect, but they aren't starting any revolutions; they don't have the money, and they don't have the ability to create actually content within the industry that actually matters, like, say, new games.
So if the industry needs anything, it's not another angry Manchild. It's people with real ability, who sweat real sweat, and bleed real blood for the hobby they have turned into a lifestyle, and into a career; it's the developers themselves. And if more people want to stand up and say "NO", they should do it with their wallets, and their talent; and if they don't have talent, they should find it. They should become martyrs for the industry that will barely take a second glance at them, and get noticed, not for the things they say, but for the work they do.
Because that is really what makes waves. That is really what makes a difference. And for however small the small guys are, they are the ones that can make an impact. They are the ones who can make the industry look down at them and think twice about the kind of content they choose to support.
The industry at large will still be doing it for their industrial purposes. But it will still make a difference. The grognards of gaming will support quality, even if their voices are washed out by the deafening scream of the masses.
They may go down, but at least they will go down with a fight. And that is a lot more admirably than yet another screaming match, in my opinion.
One of the hesitations I have in engaging in discussions on the internet is the ferocious, violent, mean-spirited way in which others react to opinions that are not theirs, or not popular; Phil Fish is a good example.
Regardless of how you feel about his opinions, the guy gets the short end of the stick when he says anything remotely controversial. People are on constant "Fish Watch" on Twitter, waiting for the poor bastard to slip. His most recent offense? Expressing his frustrations with the Nintendo DS and what he believes to be poorly implemented gimmicks, such as dual screens, which he claims add nothing to the game play.
Cue a bunch of a self-righteous know-it-alls hopping on the proverbial gaming soapbox, and saying that he has no right to a voice of his own; he's a game designer, you know? He should be setting a good example for people and laying off the negativity.
Why the fuck is that, exactly?
Is he an Olympic champion on a Wheaties box now? People said the same thing about Tiger Woods when he cheated on his wife; but why the hell should an athlete, who is getting paid millions of dollars to play a bourgeois sport have any concern for setting an example? Skill isn't enough, apparently; the cult of personality will out, no matter what the inherent talent of someone is. And yeah, people bitch about Fez being a "bad game" now, but that was only after Fez ripped on Japanese developers. Before, I seem to remember people going nuts for that game. It released with some problems, but it did eventually deliver exactly what Phil Fish promised; a platforming game with a cool retro flair, some fiendish puzzles, and a unique element of gameplay that hadn't really been seen before in the genre.
Forget Phil Fish, though. More broadly speaking, I notice that wherever I go, the vast majority of gamers' comments are of a progressive, PC flavor; you really need to be careful about what you say.
What if I DON'T feel that there is a rampant sexist culture in all of my games? What if that just isn't something I really notice when playing Bit.Trip Runner, or Skyrim? Clearly I must not be cultured or "hip" enough to see this glaring issue which is right in front of me. What if I just don't give a shit about the demanded "inclusiveness" of gaming? As long as I don't say it, I'll probably be left alone. But what if I were to share a more conservative viewpoint going against the current grain of now stereotypical thinking prevalent among many game communities?
I'm actually afraid to, to be honest.
It's not that, if I did hold an opinion that wasn't politically correct, that I wouldn't be able to back it up. It's just that I'd be worried about character assasination, being singled out, having my career completely ruined, or if I were someone more prevalent in the industry such as a game designer, having a permanent mark on my record based on a simple opinion I hold, and actively losing sales because people are so petty that they will actually hold an ad hominem argument against somebody with their wallets, even though they were previously interested in the game beforehand.
And it's not like Phil Fish came out and said "I do drugs, I rob stores, and I punch babies." The celebration of all sorts of scumbag celebrities from athletes to movie stars that goes on, regardless of their bullshit behavior (look how the internet embraced that shithead Charlie Sheen after his morally vacant behavior?) and a guy like Phil Fish, or insert X name here, based on an opinion about fucking Nintendo hardware gets to stand?
There are notable voices that are helping to perpetuate this kind of bullying. I don't agree with some of the opinions of people online, and how they choose to express them. But when you have blatantly self-righteous people like Jim Sterling pumping out a constant stream of front page articles on Dtoid for his chosen "enemy of the day", it is a behavior that eventually starts to be revealed for what it is; a completely different kind of discrimination, a discrimination of values.
If you don't think a convention like Gaymer is necessary, you are raked across the coals and called a "homophobe." If you think there is a large overreaction in respects to the treatment of women in video games, or that the issue simply doesn't really matter to you, you are Hitler 2.0.
I honestly feel bad for the people who get attacked based completely on a difference of opinion. I am not attacking Destructoid (barring the very specific comment about Sterling, a writer who I have lost a lot of respect for since originally hearing about him for his rushed reviews, insipid ad hominem attacks on various folks, and using the front page as a personal sounding board for his own cult of personality) but this is a problem I see frequently. It's different when some idiot goes on a comment board and says "lol nintendo is gay" and gets ignored or down voted. But that isn't always how it happens; peoples reactions are largely unpredictable, and sometimes, ferociously hostile and one-sided.
I happen to have a very conservative stance on a broad range of issues, some of which apply to the gaming world, and some of which are more political or philosophical in nature. But there is an inherent fear in expressing them there, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels that way; if I make a blog tomorrow, will I suddenly get an inbox full of spam and hate mail and have my account hacked? It's a scary thing to consider, and I don't think that, based purely on a difference of opinion, that anyone deserves that.
For a community to have any depth of character, it has to be open to a wide range of opinions. But on the "enlightened internet" especially, there seems to be an increasing demand that people conform to one very liberal minded viewpoint, and don't stray to far from it for fear of being labeled as a bigot, uneducated, or "opinionated."
Anyone who posts there opinion is opinionated. That's the point of having an opinion. It's a difference in opinion that seems to bother people, and seeing figures in the industry such as Fish being held up to some imaginary standard for no other reason than "well he makes games" is something that I can't wrap my head around. The guy's an artist, and a designer, not the fucking President.
End colorful, soon to be very unpopular rant. I'm sure I have probably exaggerated the prevalence of this to a degree, but I do feel like what I am saying at least has a shade of truth to it. It certainly appears to be that way from time to time.
It's been awhile since I've been around. Stuff happened. It wasn't pleasant.
It's over now.
Now that I've gotten that out of the way, I need to deal with something else. After going without games for quite some time, quitting my volunteerism as a Cblog recapper, and going through some of the hardest months of my life, I slowly eased my way back into my once beloved hobby.
Things have changed dramatically for me in other ways. I spend a lot more time doing other things, but it has been nice to be playing something now and then. So here's what's been up in that regard. If nobody else gives a damn, that's fine; I have a weird, instinctual need to blog about my gaming experiences. Maybe that makes me a narcissist of some sort.
I can't express with any realistic accuracy just how much time I have spent playing Dr. Mario in various iterations over the past few months. For a long time, it was in fact, the only game I played, generally while on the toilet on my Game Boy Color. I spend a lot of time on the can, you see. Sometimes I go to think. Other times, I make boom boom. But every time, I play Dr. Mario.
I got so good at the game that level 20 became no real problem. I even discovered a new chime I heard for clearing four lines at the same time; the invincibility theme from Mario Bros. I have seen the ending screen for the game more times than I have lost a round, and I have even seen up to about level 23 on the Game Boy version, far higher than that on the DSi version.
There is probably some metaphor I could make about playing Dr. Mario while actively deciding to take prescription medication to help with my anxiety and mental duress, but I'm not going to bother with it. Frankly I am sick of trying to write that sort of sappy shite.
Wow. Just wow.
It's not very often Nintendo really impresses me anymore. After failing to preserve key franchises like Star Fox, and willingly pumping out the same 2D Mario experiences ad nauseum over the past few years, I was starting to become a bit disenchanted with them. Mario 3D Land was a saving grace, and in my opinion, is one of the best Mario games ever made. But I avoided Kid Icarus due to fear of a broken control scheme, and because I was willing to heed the horribly flawed (in my opinion) and completely unfair of Destructoids own Jim Sterling, who I have realized I thoroughly disagree with on more than one or two opinions.
I am glad I finally bit the bullet, because Kid Icarus is one of the best Nintendo games I have ever played.
Getting past the controls was a minor hurdle. For whatever reason, maybe my lack of soft baby hands and a grip that could crush a melon from frequent masturbation, I haven't really had a problem holding the relatively light plastic 3DS in one hand while using a stylus in the other. I am not claiming some superiority or implying that I may be slightly more physically capable than the buttery overlord and reviews editor who slashed the score in half in part because he could not figure out how to do so, but that problem isn't one I have had, so I certainly can't relate.
The other criticism was one of the "ground game", which I find to be just as thoroughly enjoyable as the flight portions of the gameplay. The fast paced action, excellent voice acting, and amazing soundtrack and ridiculously meaty replay value of the title put it up there with some of the greats. I do recognize some barriers to entry do exist, and many may not be able to deal with the controls for various reasons, but if you are able to get past them, it's really a fantastic, fun experience that is not matched so far on the system by anything else in the genre.
ALIENS: THAT DS ONE, WHATEVER IT'S CALLED
Wayforward is a hit and miss company in my opinion. While I have certainly enjoyed everything I have played by them, very few of their games stand out to me as being exceptional. They are definitely good for the most part, and they have some very specific talents I appreciate such as sprite animation, but the games themselves are just alright a lot of the time, and Aliens falls into that category for me as well.
The thing is, it isn't the budget title my local Wal Mart bin made it out to be; in fact it is one of the best games the franchise has ever seen, which really, isn't saying a whole lot.
The Metroid-esque mapping system and the atmosphere of Aliens being kept mostly intact are two of the positive points, with the negatives being some fairly simple trigger happy, mostly bland and straightforward gameplay, and some repetitive, dull music. It's really not a bad buy, but for me, it has the same problem other Wayforward titles have; a simplistic design that offers nothing new, and is barely innovative. Still a lot of fun and definitely worth it if you are an Alien fan.
LITTLE BIG PLANET 2
There is so much to say about this game that I don't even really know where to begin.
So I won't.
It's great. It's like owning millions of games. And even the story, which I found to be sort of boring in the first one, has a lot of really great, solid levels. It's a platformers paradise, with everything else thrown in for good measure. Just beautiful.
I am going to cut it short. I am not super comfortable doing this yet. Feeling rusty. It's been awhile. But this is the primary space where I blog about games, so regardless of this post doing nothing to further my imaginary "career" as a blogger, it felt good to talk about what I've been up to and get that out of my system.
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.