Since my final exam last Monday Iíve finally had some time to play the good old video games again for the first time in at least a month. Mostly Iíve been spending time with Hotline Miami and The Book of Unwritten Tales: The Critter Chronicles. Meanwhile Iíve been looking for a decent job for this summer, but Iím not having much luck so far. I donít want a shitty call-center job or whatever but itís starting to seem like thatís the only thing people will readily let me do. Itís kind of getting me down right now.
Another thing thatís been on my mind recently; Iíve started to notice over the past few months that Iím not engaging in the big discussions anymore, either here on Dtoid or elsewhere. Weíve had a lot recently, not all of them equally valid but there we go, but I donít think Iíve participated in any of them anymore. Even when I was reading Elsaís blog this week I felt like I had to leave a comment, but I didnít know what to say for the longest time. I used to. I used to be able to do this shit. I used to have my opinion up and ready to go. I used to love getting into these things, figuring out what point to make and how to make it. But for some reason I donít have the energy anymore. Whenever something pops up Iím simply like ďFuck it, they can have their discussion.Ē
All of the discussions nowadays are starting to feel like I should be holding one very specific opinion, and if I donít not only am I wrong, Iím demonstrably being a bad person for thinking differently. And it works both ways. Iím not allowed to have problems with Dragonís Crown Sorceress because that would be censorship and Iím just being a ďwhite knightĒ (<- by the way, I HATE that term something fierce) who doesnít know art. On the flipside, Iím not allowed to think that ďdongleĒ-jokes are harmless because that makes me a privileged bigot (<- by the way, I HATE that term too). My views usually arenít even extreme, I make damn sure that I think before I say and that I wonít regret my words five minutes down the line, and I wouldnít be studying to be a judge if I was radical about anything. Yet the sense keeps crawling up on me that Ďmiddlingí isnít good enough. Thatís it either full agreement or bust. That the best thing I could possibly do is reply to a Ďcorrectí opinion with ď^This, a thousand times thisĒ and be done with it. And in a way in the middle is the worst place to be, because youíre getting it from both sides. †
- Protip: Do not Google ďgetting it from both sidesĒ.
We have grown this culture of conformity, where disagreement is shouted down by name-calling, bile, anger, and hostility. Itís starting to wear me out, if it hasnít already, to the point that I really donít care about these discussions anymore. I remember having a very good conversation about US guns laws with Tekbunny, and one on freedom of speech with Tristrix. Now Iím sure they donít remember that, but I do because they were important to me. They stand as examples where I got some people to talk calmly to me about issues that are pretty damn Ďhot-buttoní, that didnít end with agreement but with respect towards othersí points of view. That feels like a long time ago now, though.
Maybe itís simply because weíve been seeing so many these discussions, but I also think one reason I donít want to do that shit anymore is that I donít have very thick skin. Never have. Nanbu actually called me out on it a good while ago, and she was right. In fact, Iím a wuss. Iím massively insecure, Iím the most sheltered person youíll ever (internet-)meet, and I canít handle conflict. Thatís why I want to be a judge rather than a lawyer. Lawyers take a side and fight staunchly for it. But Iím not strong enough for that. I need my time to make up my own mind, and I need time to write it down so that I donít step on anyoneís toes. I want to see people leave my courtroom not necessarily agreeing with what I just said (because hey, somebody has still got to lose) but at least being at peace with it. That takes time and care. But the internet doesnít work like that. Itís starting to seem like the internet wonít allow me to have an opinion unless itís already common consensus. And when on Tristrixí blog yesterday I tried to make a passing comment about Samantha Allenís claim that she ďdidnít fire [Allistair]Ē coming off as disingenuous, it got deleted within minutes because apparently that topic was off-limits now, even if the post specifically promised not to pursue it further and expressed concurrence with everything else in the thread. That seems like a small thing to get bothered by (it is!), but those kinds of things pile up and get to me sometimes. My opinion wasnít allowed even phrased as carefully as I could, and I feel like thatís happening more and more often lately, although I guess usually not quite as explicitly.
I donít enter discussion anymore because for all I know someone could take my words and decide Iím the bad guy. I canít deal with that. I try every day to be as thoughtful, reasonable, understanding, and a lot of similar words which Iím not sure are synonyms or have nuances that make them different, as I can be. I study my ass off to be able to do that for a living. And if thatís not good enough for internet discussion, it can go fuck itself.
(I never know with these Ėisms.; maybe this shouldíve been a blog instead. Whatever. Hereís a little insight into what makes me tick and I hope itís appreciated. Reading back all of it seems disjointed and Iím not really sure what the point of any of it is. Iím not really sure of anything right about now. I feel ďoffĒ somehow and I donít know why. Maybe Iíve just been alone too much over the past month; exams tend to do that. Hopefully playing New Super Luigi U later today will cheer me up.) †
No matter what the experience was or which game or genre left that strong first impression, such experiences have the potential to open our eyes to the rich history of a series or genre. With any luck, we might find even more to love or something better. A great first experience with RPGs could lead to an undying love affair.
Sometimes a first kiss can be so impactful that the game gets placed on a pedestal and enshrined as a gold standard, which has its own pros and cons. I mean, it is nice to have a basis for comparison, but some folks take it too far. There are people who loved Half-Life, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, or Final Fantasy VII so much that nothing after them really got a fair shake.
So first impressions matter -- they can shape and inform our gaming habits. I grew up on arcades, Nintendo, handhelds, and eventually into RPGs, so much of what I play will be influenced by how I acquired my tastes. I probably like Overwatch a ton because it has a passion for RPG roles, but contextualizes them closer to older shooters focused on objectives more than gear builds and grinding out perks for better killstreaks.
So for this month's Bloggers Wanted, we'd like you head over to the community blogs write about your first kiss, the games that positively influenced you or maybe biased you a little too much for a time. What turned you on to a series or genre? Was it love at first sight? Did it set any expectations in stone or possibly lead you to something better?
Whatever the case might be, remember to use the title "First kiss" and place "Bloggers Wanted" in the tags!
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