One of the rules of the “Grand Experiment” has been that I would sit down each morning and write a blog post. A lot of my friends in the blogosphere write their content at their leisure and stage the publishing at a date of their choosing. There is technically nothing wrong with this practice, but the entire idea behind the experiment, was to force myself to write every day. So as a result I have always considered it cheating to do what I am doing right now… writing a topic the night before I intend to post it. These lofty ideals are one thing, but every now and then real life throws me for a loop. Generally speaking on the weekend my posts end up being considerably later because sometimes I have to accommodate life in the process.
However our weekend plans have been altered quite a bit and as a result my wife and I are carpooling together tomorrow. This means that I won’t really have my traditional “drink coffee slowly and contemplate the universe” time in the morning… or at least I won’t be able to faff about as much as I normally do. So as a result I am admitting to my “blatant cheatery” up front and hoping you won’t mind terribly much that you are getting a slightly stale topic by the time I post it tomorrow morning. I could have lied to you, and posted this without you really knowing the difference… but I am always willing to admit my failings freely.
One of the things that I have not talked about much is that the Grand Experiment is far more for me than just writing every single day. It has also been an effort to surround myself with as many positive influences as I can, and limit the amount of negativity I have in my life. I am not just trying to bury my head in the sand. I assure you that I see just as many negative things on a daily basis as anyone, I am a pessimist by nature. However I had noticed that the more negativity I surrounded myself in, the more negative I became and as a result the more unhappy I was. You know how they say “fake it until you make it”, well it turns out it works pretty well for being happy as well. If you can’t be happy, adopt the trappings of being happy until I actually sinks in.
In addition to trying to limit my exposure to negativity… which means I pretty much stop reading game forums when they exit the alpha and beta phases… I have been trying really hard not to write many “rant” posts. In doing so I have realized just how unbalanced and ranty the world seems to have become. If you look at the popular review sources, it seems as though we absolutely love to hate video games. There are popular youtube personalities that I have never seen give a single game a positive review, however people line up to watch them. I am sure that the occasional video like this is funny, but after awhile it changes into something else. IT feels like these reviewers are trying to enact their revenge on an industry they believe has “wronged them” somehow.
People Want Different Things
At this point I am just too damned old to care much about looking cool on the internet. I feel no shame in gushing about the things I am really enjoying, and just glossing over the things I don’t so much enjoy. Over the weekend I appeared on the Game On podcast, and eventually the topic came around to Wildstar a game I really don’t like very much. I had a few options of where to go with my commentary. I could of course have spun up a mighty rant that would nuke the game into oblivion from orbit. Instead I chose to share my reservations, but also talk about a few of the things that I thought the game was doing right. It is your choice as a player, or a blogger, or a youtuber to either dwell on the good parts or the bad parts. Right now I am making the conscious choice to look for the good in both people and games, and so far I am much happier for doing it.
The Curse of the Fanboy
There is nothing more exhilarating
than pointing out the shortcomings
of others, is there? – Randall
One of the worst curses you can give to another gamer is to call them a Fanboy, because it immediately belittles anything they may or may not have to say in response to your criticism. I guess my question is, why aren’t we all “Fanboys” over something. For the majority of us, gaming is our hobby, and even in those for whom it is a job… at one point or another it was also their hobby as well. We are all geeks here, cut from the same core fabric even if we claim to not acknowledge it. We all love games, more deeply than any of us would ever care to admit. At least at some basic level we all have to admit that games are absolutely magical. They can bring us to tears, make us laugh, and cause us to plunk down another $60 like a junkie in search of a fix. If we do all of these things, then why the hell SHOULDN’T we love it, and be more than happy to raise our hands high and yell “FUCK YES I’M A FANBOY”.
I love games, or I wouldn’t be spending each and every morning writing about them. Sure you get a fair dose of my personal shenanigans and that of my friends… but this is a gaming blog devoted to my love and obsession of video games. I am not trying to make games better than they are, because they seem to be just as good today at getting me to spend countless hours a night playing them than they were when I was a child. Sure I hold up certain games like Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past or Castlevania: Symophony of the Night on a pedestal, but my love of those games should not somehow tarnish something that doesn’t do the same thing as those games did.
What gets lost in the shuffle is the people behind the games that folks all too often want to tear down. No one goes into a game trying to build something that the players will hate. Each and every one of them has lost sleep at night trying to make the best possible game within the constraints they were given. Just as I started writing about games because I love them, they all aspired to be part of this industry that quite frankly has some pretty shitty conditions placed upon them. No child says that they want to grow up to work in an industry that is ultimately thankless and will more so make large segments of the fan base revile you. I am just waiting for it to be acceptable to like something again without someone else feeling the need to put you down for doing so.
Cast of the Aggrochat
I feel like I got a little preachy during the course of this post, but it is really how I feel. I am going to unabashedly love things, until I don’t then move on to other things that I love equally well. So far I feel like my mission of being more positive has paid off. I am surrounded by some pretty amazing friends, and I feel so thankful to have all of you supporting me on a daily basis. While I have a deep protective streak, which leads me to play all the tank classes that I end up playing… I feel no need anymore to protect you from what I deem a “bad game”. You might see me wax philosophical about how I don’t quite grasp a game, but that is coming from a place of wanting to learn what people see in it… and not from a place of hatred. I wanted to close things out on a really positive note by showing off something that I really love right now.
Rae has been hard at work over the last few weeks since we got the odd idea to start Aggrochat. She has been capturing the essence of our personas in Chibi form and I think she did a damned fine job. From the left we have Rae riding Ashgar the bear, with me in the middle, and the ever stylish Kodra on the far right. There are a few inside jokes in the peace but I figure it is universal enough for most to enjoy it. She does amazing work, and is the creator of the original Chibi Belghast that I have used for ages as avatars and in the masthead of this website. Over the coming weeks we will be branding our libsyn page into something more fitting a proper podcast.