Slipping from mid-core to casual gamer

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This topic contains 17 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by KahunaDrake KahunaDrake 2 years, 6 months ago.

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  • #3161
    KahunaDrake
    KahunaDrake
    Participant

    Yeah, the CCS forums looked kind of empty so I thought what the heck…

    There was one thing in life I have never been: a hardcore gamer.

    I consider myself mid-core at best due to my vast gaming library, collection of consoles, and a love for games as an artform/entertainment medium. But then again, you won’t see me complete Skyrim in a week, play COD religiously, or clock in 200+ hours on WOW.

    After traveling extensively in the past year, working on my Master’s, jobs, and joining a writer’s club, I found that I have little to no time to play games. I feel that I have just been so busy with living life (not to say my fellow gamers have no lives), that my gaming libido (so to speak) has plummeted.

    Last game I played was Deadly Premonition…for an hour. After that I was all like: “Shit, look at the time! Better start playing some Rammstein so I can finish this epic fight scene I was in the middle of writing!”

    I don’t want to sound like that guy who goes on Yahoo Answers to ask for advice on how to treat a STD but: Is this normal?

    Is it possible to love and appreciate video games without having to play them everyday?

    Have you guys ever hit a dry spell with gaming or other hobbies?

    Rabid ecstasy, 1997

    #3166
    Katie_B
    Katie_B
    Participant

    Ah, this sounds pretty similar to my situation. I really love video games but it’s been hard to play as consistently as I did when I was in highschool and college, since currently my time is split between a full-time job and various art commissions or personal projects.

    Most nights I have about 3 hrs of freetime after work, and I always have to make myself choose between working on animations or playing a game (Pokemon Alpha Sapphire I am looking at you). Sometimes if I am lucky I can squeeze both in, but most days art wins out over relaxing.

    And actually, this is one of the reasons I enjoy Let’s Plays. :V Ah yes, I know, the dreaded ‘L’ word. But there are times when I know I’ll never really be able to play this or that game, usually longer ones, so I will find an LP of it and watch that instead while I am working. That way I am able to experience the game in some way while still getting work done on a project.
    I had a similar thing going on in college, where I would do homework and a friend would play a game on my TV. I’ve always enjoyed watching friends play stuff, personally.

    So I guess the answer would totally be yes! I mean, I appreciate books but I don’t read every day. I appreciate chocolate cake but I sure as heck don’t eat that every day :p I think what matters is the fact that if given more time, I would /totally/ play tons of games! Other shit just gets in the way, and there’s no shame in that~

    #3184
    LaughingMan
    LaughingMan
    Keymaster

    Last game I played was Deadly Premonition…for an hour. After that I was all like: “Shit, look at the time! Better start playing some Rammstein so I can finish this epic fight scene I was in the middle of writing!”

    Is it possible to love and appreciate video games without having to play them everyday?

    Absolutely. I don’t really get what’s so taboo about being more selective about game time, especially when you get older and there’s more crap to do. Especially crap that ultimately matters (the writing for example). It’s like David Jaffe said in an interview several years ago: he still loves games but as an adult he simply doesn’t have the time to devote 60 hours to an epic RPG.

    By all means, enjoy the hobby and appreciate the art form, but I think with age (as I’ve experienced, myself) a person wants to do more with their time.

    #3201
    KahunaDrake
    KahunaDrake
    Participant

    Yeah, I like watching Let’s Plays (or better yet, longplays) when I am doing coursework/working out.

    I am glad I am not the only one who feels this way 🙂

    Friend: I finished Skyrim in a week, including all of the side missions *smug face*

    Me: How!? I couldn’t get pass the first hour!!

    Rabid ecstasy, 1997

    #3202
    KahunaDrake
    KahunaDrake
    Participant

    “Kindred spirits…” – Aw, shucks *fidgets at the dirt awkwardly* LAWL

    Yeah, I don’t know. Got a taste for metal/industrial music in high school and it just has this primal pull on me *soul food for my Id*

    Plus, these genres provide a good source of inspiration for my works/characters.

    Fun fact: Never knew the German language could be so badass and sexy….until I listened to Rammstein lol

    Rabid ecstasy, 1997

    #3203
    LaughingMan
    LaughingMan
    Keymaster

    Friend: I finished Skyrim in a week, including all of the side missions *smug face*

    Respectfully, I guess the guy has a lot of spare time on his hands to go through Skyrim in a week? Don’t get me wrong, I can’t talk much because I still love gaming and I have wasted a lot of time binge-watching tv shows, but that level of excess doesn’t sound terribly healthy as far as real-world achievements (creating things).

    But I can understand some aspects of being a “hard-core gamer”. During my heaviest gaming and video-binging phase it was at some point of low self-worth. German Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche even goes as far as to imply that living ‘a distracted life’ will keep you from achieving your fullest human potential and earning self-worth. And the moment of your discontent (realizing time wasted and what you sacrifice your time for) you go through a deep depression, and ultimately begin to push back against everything that has given substance to an ‘inauthentic life’. Recently I’ve been going from one existential crisis to another, looking for something to do to leave a mark on the world and finding some fulfillment in video editing (CCS), writing, reading, watching college courses on DVDs, reading philosophy, etc. But that doesn’t mean I’ve forsaken gaming, I’ve simply toned it down so that there’s a balance between self-improvement and some entertainment. (btw, Nihilumbra is fucking beautiful: http://www.nihilumbra.com/)

    Perhaps your friend will eventually find some great inspiration or motivation to go from consumer to creator. I look at RedLetterMedia as an example of movie nuts, but movie nuts who have gone out and used that accumulated knowledge to CREATE something that gives them personal fulfillment. Perhaps if he’s a Skyrim fan he could pick up a pen and write an epic fantasy, or pick up a brush and paint his own amazing world?

    I’d give a person time to find what they want out of life, and one wants to be a hard-core gamer then more power to them.

    Nietzsche’s Ubermensch theory (according to my research it has nothing to do with Nazis or master-races, but finding purpose in life):
    The man who will overcome (surpass on an evolutionary scale) mechanically living people who lead empty lives, and will find his true nature and rise above a self-hypnotized population that will do what it can to stay out of trouble. The Ubermensch will dare to be himself.

    To live the ‘lived life’ of the Ubermensch, one must live a life that has been defeated and overcome. One has to recognize that he has been so in the thrall of an inauthentic theater piece scripted by others that he has not lived the genuine life of man. The first time you realize what you’re willing to give up your one and only life for -the tawdry bobbles of a distracted world, the digits on your bank slip, the suburban house, the impressive car and the green yard- self loathing is the consequence. You’ll realize that all of the things that tie you to the world -friends, family, etc- are simply birthed from routine, habit, sloth and mutual-exploitation. And you are overcome.

    It is in the depths of suffering that you look for a palliative, and that palliative must be in the form of rejecting everything that has given substance to an inauthentic life. It has to be the death of that life. It’s when you come to grips to everything in your unconscious that has the real claim on your life, and how long you’ve suppressed that unconscious, it and how treasonous to yourself the suppression was, it’s only at that point that you begin to see some light in a tunnel that you’ll never escape from. Through your suffering you become worthy of none but yourself.

    Yeah, I don’t know. Got a taste for metal/industrial music in high school and it just has this primal pull on me *soul food for my Id*

    Plus, these genres provide a good source of inspiration for my works/characters.

    Fun fact: Never knew the German language could be so badass and sexy….until I listened to Rammstein lol

    I hear that. Till’s a beast and Rammstein is often a good listen for writing.

    #3205
    KahunaDrake
    KahunaDrake
    Participant

    Jesus. Fucking. Christ.

    This is scary. Not your post (which is quite moving/well-written) but its just I have the same thoughts/feelings on life and I have been through a major internal crisis/depression as well in the past year.

    Although I love my friends, they pretty much live through escapism (video games, internet, etc.) and have little aspiration/motivation to better themselves or their situation (this is mostly due to their upbringing/insecurities and fortunately, I was able to get one of them to apply for college). In high school, we always planned to create a graphic novel but it never went anywhere because they were distracted by drama and didn’t share the same passion/work ethic as I did, sadly (I didn’t notice it until your piece on “don’t do business with friends, find friends through business” which really resonated with me btw). I hope that they find their purpose in life and I will encourage them every step of the way. I have learned though that they will have to want change/improvement for themselves, I can’t force it on them.

    Writing is the only thing that has felt natural to me. I may have other talents but when I write I feel I have reached some sort of inner-knowing/understanding that says, “This is where you belong. Follow your destiny.” I too seek to leave my mark on the world, hopefully as a well-known/famous fiction author. If I can collaborate with others that share my same passions, that will be awesome as well. But for now, self-improvement and honing my writing skills through my writer’s club (who are awesome and supportive people by the way) is the stage I am at now.

    I don’t want to sound weird or anything but I literally feel like I am talking to a older, wiser, male version of myself. Kindred spirits we may be…

    This is probably why I decided to join CCS. It seems like you guys can talk about deep, existential stuff but still can chat about your passions (games, movies, writing etc.) and have fun doing so.

    Anyways, thank you for your insight and I will definitely check out Nihilumbra.

    -Kahuna

    Rabid ecstasy, 1997

    #3206
    LaughingMan
    LaughingMan
    Keymaster

    @Older you, younger me: that is creepy. But I imagine that our situation is not an uncommon thing, sadly.

    I’ve been in the same boat as far as being friends with “dreamers” versus “do-ers” and while they can be good people to hang around, too many of them are little more than time-wasters.

    Friend: “Hey, let’s totally do this cool project! It’ll be fun!”
    You: “Yeah! I’ll go out and get X, Y, and Z and we can get started.”
    Friend: “But first let’s go watch a movie!”
    You: “… Umm, okay. Maybe it’ll give us some ideas for our project.”
    *movie’s over*
    You: “Alright, let’s do our project. I’m going to get the materials.”
    Friend: “Yeah, and we can start fresh tomorrow.”
    You: “Yeah- Wait, what? Tomorrow? It’s 3pm.”
    Friend: “I need a break to think of ideas.”
    You: *sigh* “Fine”
    *next day*
    You: “Let’s do this!”
    Friend: “Meh….. I’m going to play Playstation…”
    *insert rage face*

    Then wait for these same people to crop up once you finish the project to take some of the glory…

    Rocket Raccoon: “Asleep for the danger, awake for the money, as per frickin’ usual.”

    Of course, CineMax would point at me and say hypocrisy for some of my lackluster CCS performance as of late, but while I get hung up on other personal drama I like to believe that we formed a friendship via CCS work, rather than the “do business with friends” jerk-arounds that most of us are likely subjected to on some level. You should have seen all of the pie-in-the-sky promises that were floating around in CCS’s inception. Yikes…

    But there’s a commonality with the unmotivated, and you hit the nail on the head by saying that it involves low self-esteem and insecurities. I’ve been there, I’ve done that, and in a lot of ways I’m still dealing with my own crap. The only way to get get out of that pit is to first realize that you’re in a pit. You have to be discontent with being in the pit. Then you have to want out of it, and you’ll have to claw your way out of it by working and fighting for what you want out of life.

    You’re a good friend for wanting to help your friends out of that pit, but like you said ultimately it’s on them. The best thing you can do is to lead by example by pulling yourself out of the pit first. 😉

    #3207
    KahunaDrake
    KahunaDrake
    Participant

    God, I feel your pain.

    Me: Let’s get started!
    Friend: *texting boyfriend furiously while tears run down her face for 2 hrs.*
    Me: 0_0

    Even in school/college, there were those kids who didn’t give a crap what grade they got on a group project and I would more often than not have to pull the weight of the team and fight tooth and nail for that A.

    Personally, I see you and CineMax as having two different personality types but you come together and make something work. Kind of like a Yin/Yang thing going on so you balance each other out (I’m assuming based off your interactions).

    I agree what you said about the pit. Its Hell for me, full of apathy and hopelessness. Fortunately, living a pseudo-nomadic lifestyle has giving me a sense of independence, insight, and perspective to get out and over it. However, I feel world-weary sometimes (body of a 20-something, soul of a 40-year-old kind of deal). I am still learning and growing as a person but I feel like I know where I want to be in the next five-years or so.

    My friends have told me (before I moved) that hanging-out/doing stuff with me has opened their eyes to the world around them and gave them new experiences than they ever thought possible. Its a bitter-sweet feeling I guess. As of today, they seem to be moving on to bigger and better things (like getting a education) but we are still on different levels of our lives/development as people.

    ….

    What’s left to be said though? In the twilight years of my life, I want to be able to reflect on my life and say “Non, Je ne regrette rein.” -Edith Piaf*

    BTW: Nihilumbra looks good. Will download when I have the time 🙂

    *I do think it is hilarious that Rammstein decided to incorporate lyrics from her song into “Frühling in Paris”. I like both songs in their own special way 🙂

    Rabid ecstasy, 1997

    #3208
    Katie_B
    Katie_B
    Participant

    Ahh man, fantastic conversation guys! 😀

    Yeah, gotta say I agree with LM about this, watching a show or playing a game often means you’re using your time to explore someone else’s creation instead of creating something yourself.
    Now, perhaps this doesn’t apply to people who aren’t creative individuals, artists or writers or any similar profession. Someone without their own story to tell maybe never even thinks of something like this.

    However I would like to stress the importance of experiencing other people’s creations, oftentimes this can serve as inspiration to us and make our own creations grander in some way. Hell, even when playing a Pokemon game I always come up with characters for each of the mon’s I catch, backstories and personalities and everything. To me, media is either a source of inspiration or an exercise of some kind in expanding my creative mind.
    If the media I am consuming is neither of these things to me, I will not partake in it.

    It’s true though, maybe people do indeed live ‘distracted lives.’ And video games are a very, VERY easy way to slip into such an existence, since the brain is wired to feel elated after reaching a goal, and in video games there is /always/ some sort of goal.
    Hey, I leveled up my Pokemon! *brain rewards you*
    Oh look, I got a gym badge! *brain rewards you again*
    And so on and so on, therefore we can artificially trick ourselves into feeling accomplished when in reality, nothing of real importance has happened. But again, this doesn’t mean that video games aren’t worth our time. We should just be aware of what time we /do/ give to them, especially if one is an individual with some sort of other goal, i.e. writing your own stories.

    Here are a few quotes from the Stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius on the topic of distracting yourself with unnecessary things:
    Do the things external which fall upon you distract you? Give yourself time to learn something new and good, and cease to be whirled around. But then you must also avoid being carried about the other way. For those too are triflers who have wearied themselves in life by their activity, and yet have no object to which to direct every movement, and, in a word, all their thoughts.”

    “Stop wandering aimlessly; you aren’t going to be reading your own memoirs, nor the acts of the ancient Romans and Hellenes and the selections from books which you were reserving for your old age. Hasten then to the end which you have before you, and throwing away idle hopes, come to your own aid if you care at all for yourself, while it is in your power.”

    The quotes LM posted from Nietzsche remind me a lot of certain aspects of Stoic thought actually. Stoicism says that a person must live according to nature as a whole, and also, according to their own nature. And so everyone must ask themselves, what is my nature, and therefore, what is my /purpose/?

    “Neither is transpiration, as in plants, a thing to be valued, nor respiration, as in domesticated animals and wild beasts, nor the receiving of impressions by the appearances of things, nor being moved by desires as puppets by strings, nor assembling in herds, nor being nourished by food.
    What then is worth being valued? To be received with clapping of hands? No. Neither must we value the clapping of tongues, for the praise which comes from the many is a clapping of tongues.
    Suppose then that you have given up this worthless thing called fame, what remains that is worth valuing? This in my opinion, to move yourself and to restrain yourself in conformity to your own nature, to which end both all employments and arts lead. For every art aims at this, that the thing which has been made should be adapted to the work for which it has been made; and both the vine-planter who looks after the vine, and the horse-breaker, and he who trains the dog, seek this end.
    And if this is well, you will not seek anything else. Will you not cease to value many other things too? Then you will be neither free, nor sufficient for your own happiness, nor without passion. For of necessity you must be envious, jealous, and suspicious of those who can take away material things, and plot against those who have that which is valued by you.
    Of necessity a man must be altogether in a state of perturbation who wants any of these things. But to reverence and honor your own mind will make you content with yourself, and in harmony with society, and in agreement with nature, that is, praising all that it gives and has ordered.

    LM is right though, your situation isn’t an uncommon one, I too used to feel the same way, always scrambling to find something that would make me truly happy. Various art contests or projects with friends (very bad idea, I can also attest to this!!) or doing fan art for other people’s characters, etc. I always kept myself busy, I was always working on something.

    But all throughout this I had a big story, my ‘main project’, that was being neglected. I was too distracted by the promise of instant rewards, small pictures or stories that were easily finished, thereby allowing myself that artificial fulfillment.

    Researching Stoic philosophy is what finally broke me out of that cycle (hence why I barf Stoic quotes at every given chance, it is very important to me). It made me stop and ask myself the very, very simple question, ‘Why am I here?”

    And to this the answer is, “To tell that big story.’ After all, no one else can tell this story, only me. I am guessing it’s the same with whatever you are writing, Kahuna. So now when I am unhappy, or frustrated, or feel like I am not going anywhere in my life, I look to what I am doing in that moment. Ashamedly, more often then not, I am indeed not working on my story.

    But now I at least know the source of my unhappiness. And so, I don’t allow myself to complain anymore. ‘Well yes, of course you are in a bad mood, look at what you are doing! If you were instead working on your big project, you would be doing what you were made to do, and you would be happy.’

    This is of course only my personal experience. But perhaps you may find it useful.

    As for writing in pursuit of fame…personally, I would caution against this. Or rather…the Stoic in me cautions against this.
    “See how soon everything is forgotten, and look at the chaos of infinite time on each side of the present, and the emptiness of applause, and the changeableness and want of judgement in those who pretend to give praise, and the narrowness of the space within which it is circumscribed, and be quiet at last. For the whole earth is a speck, and how small a nook in it is this your dwelling, and how many and what kind of people in it are they who will praise you?”

    Don’t write just to be praised by people you will never even meet, write because you need to tell that story! Write so that you are living according to your own nature, take pride in the act of creation, not what happens afterwards. Because whether or not your story becomes famous is ultimately out of your control. You cannot control if people will like it or not.
    But you CAN control its creation, you can bring it into being. So see to that, and if necessary, remember to take breaks and indulge in video games and other media~ The mind does need rest after all.

    #3214
    KahunaDrake
    KahunaDrake
    Participant

    Wow, I was really expecting some idle chat but I am actually getting some profound response/advice. *Is pleased* 🙂

    Yeah, if you think about it is just a phase people go through at some point. At least here, I can get insight from a creator’s perspective.

    On writing for fame…

    I don’t know if I really made myself clear on that front. Its not a point of notoriety or profit but more of developing an audience. I could care less if they agree/disagree with my writing style/viewpoints. Every artist has a critic and I’m not changing my vision for anyone. If I adhered to the whims of others, I would have sold my soul to Hollywood by now but artistic integrity is too important. Rather, it is more that I leave a legacy for myself and/or inspire others.

    “Doing something purely for one’s own enjoyment is fine, but, I must admit, finding that others enjoy it as well has a certain power over the corners of my mouth.” – Jhonen Vasquez

    I like to aim big but if I fall to the wayside, at least I have my place among numerous stars. At least they can say I didn’t exist…
    i guess its the only way people can achieve immortality these days.

    More importantly, I write because I love it! I have no idea what heights or lows my writing will take me in life but I won’t know until I take that initial step, write that first word.

    “Dear Die-ary, there’s nothing terribly wrong with feeling lost, so long as that feeling precedes some plan on your part to actually do something about it. Too often a person grows complacent with their disillusionment, perpetually wearing their “discomfort” like a favorite shirt. I can’t say I’m very pleased with where my life is just now… but I can’t help but look forward to where it’s going.”

    – JTHM

    Rabid ecstasy, 1997

    #3215
    Katie_B
    Katie_B
    Participant

    Indeed, I agree! Video game talk turning into philosophy? Yes please. ;P

    Ah okay, I gotcha. That’s a good quote, sums up my thoughts on this topic pretty well. I create for the sake of creating, but if others end up liking my stuff, that does make me happy. However, I am not so wound up in the pursuit of praise that if my creations don’t receive it, I won’t feel any sort of loss or frustration.

    To have made something from nothing is enough.

    On immortality, well, personally it’s not something I strive for, in any sense of the word :p But in any case-

    You are very correct, what is stopping you from beginning the process? Nothing, except your own mind. And this you have control over, so get out there and kick some ass dude c:

    #3220
    Arcangel
    Arcangel
    Participant

    Well I’m far too late to this discussion, but I figured I’d leave you just one piece of advice, Kahuna:

    “Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it’s yours.” -John Galt

    “Perhaps the most tragic thing about mankind is that we are all dreaming about some magical garden over the horizon, instead of enjoying the roses that are right outside today.”
    ― Andrew Carnegie

    #3222
    VelcroRaptor
    VelcroRaptor
    Participant

    I’m in the same boat as Arcangel; late for the discussion, but wanting to dive in anyways. :B Don’t have any profound quotes or philosophies, but from the working man’s point of view, I can share my two cents for what it’s worth.

    The point brought up by LaughingMan about motivation and “dreamers versus do-ers” is something I’ve heard multiple times, and for many people it works. From what I’ve seen in practice, however, motivation is something I would relate mostly to hobbies: something that isn’t done every day, but for the main purpose of entertainment or enjoyment. Motivation is situational, and even if you feel motivated to do something, you might allow yourself to become distracted or to make excuses. Even if you have the motivation and the drive to work on finishing multiple frames for an animation, or you’re motivated to complete a few more pages for a written piece, you could still end up coming short simply because you lost what was driving you at the moment.

    An important thing to ask yourself is just how badly you want what you’re trying to work for. In some cases, from what I’ve gathered in a few posts, people want to leave their mark and be remembered by their work. Others wish to focus on a certain project and complete it for the sake of creation, which wouldn’t be any less noble of a feat. But no matter what your reason is for doing something, you have to ask yourself a few questions:

    -How badly do I want this?
    -What am I willing to do for this?
    -Is this something worth sacrificing time and effort (and possibly money) for?

    Instead of waiting for your motivation to come back, discipline yourself. Set up a routine, such as setting an alarm every day to work on a sketch composing new music. Even if you find yourself faced with a mental block (i.e.: writer’s block, artist’s block), push through it. Even if it means writing down the conversation someone’s having outside your window or trying to draw a perfect circle, do it. Your mind and your body might balk at it in the beginning, as discipline isn’t exactly “fun”, but don’t let that deter you from going after what you really want. If your goal is to get a book published, or to complete the development of a video game, don’t allow yourself to stop simply because it doesn’t seem fun at the moment you’re making yourself do it. There will be times when you’ll get a lot done and will work far longer than you anticipated, and times when you feel as if you’ve produced next to nothing. And that’s okay. But don’t not work on something just because “you don’t feel like it”.

    No matter what you’re pursuing, whether it be in the arts or in the sciences or anything in between, you’re going to go between finding your project fun and finding it work. But motivation isn’t an excuse that you should use. Discipline yourself. Make yourself pick up that brush or that pen and DO SOMETHING, even if you’re just drawing a circle for twenty minutes.

    …Or, at least, that’s what works for me and what I’ve found as a common factor for the people who I look up to who get all sorts of stuff done. >.>; *end opinion here*

    “We're actors — we're the opposite of people!”
    ― Tom Stoppard, "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead"

    #3225
    Katie_B
    Katie_B
    Participant

    This is absolutely %100 true. Motivation and inspiration are unreliable, you never know when they will show up, and although they can often jump start awesome projects, it’s dedication and determination that will be what finishes them.

    The painter Chuck Close sums it up perfectly:

    “Inspiration is for amateurs – the rest of us just show up and get to work.”

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