Every day, I sit on the same train to work, I always find myself staring at the same old scenery, trees zipping by in a familiar blur and with each passing station; the world loses its color. Perhaps it is the loss of my childlike innocence or is it just my naivety crumbling away with each revelation. Growing up was never meant to be so bleak, when did I become so jaded? So cynical? Why has the world lost its color?
In a world so bleak, there is only one place I can escape to, the one place where the world still shines like a newly minted coin and everything just seems so much simpler. My mind.
Of course, to say that my mind is simple is far from the truth, if Christopher Nolan ever got to check out my brain, it would make Inception look like a sock puppet theater compared to what goes on inside.
So close your eyes and relax, let the veil of reality lift from your eyes and step through the mist into a world beyond.
Those were my first thoughts.
Half-formed trees swayed on its own accord, buildings sprung up across the landscape as quickly as they were consumed by nature, destruction and creation, Ourburos, the serpent eating its tail.
Verdant pastures stretch out into infinity while the tingle of grass against the sole of my feet brought a smile to my lips. I tossed myself into the soft embrace of this emerald dream and laid there staring at the cotton candy sky.
Reaching out, I grabbed a plume of cloud and shaped it into a rose, with a yank, I brought it down from the heavens and I planted it next to me.
It was then that I noticed this curious little hole, it laid merely a few paces away from where I forcibly planted a white fluffy doppelganger of a rose.
Peering into the hole, I tried to discern its contents, the next thing I knew, I was on my butt nursing a bump on my head. A brown furry little freight train had decided to pop out of the hole at the very same instance I decided to put my head near it.
With a hand still on my head, I glared at the rabbit, who too was nursing its little head, except it wasn’t really a rabbit. It looked more like someone had decided to dress my dog up in a bunny suit and most disastrously believed it could pass off as a real rabbit.
A distant crack brought my attention to the distant horizon, the sky has darkened visibly and lightning snaked through the darkness like coruscating worms.
“That is where dark thoughts lie”
I turned and stared at the dog/rabbit.
“You can talk?”
“Were you honestly expecting anything less in a world where you can pluck a cloud out of the sky?”
“You better get going. They are coming” Inclining its head to the north, the dog/rabbit thing gestured me to head towards that direction.
A minute I was in a wide open pasture, the next I was standing before a forest clearing with a small pond in the middle. The specular reflection of the moon cast a ghostly light on the withered trees; it did little to sooth my unease. As I drew closer, I noticed a lady sitting by the pond, and she turned to me and beckoned.
She was breathtaking, piercing emerald eyes that could stop a man dead and locks of raven black hair spilling over her shoulder like a waterfall in midnight black. That was all I know, that was all I could remember, her face was a haze, a fleeting image, like a half-remembered dream. You could almost make out her features but you never could. All I knew were those pretty eyes.
“Tell them of what you saw here…” She whispered into my soul. “Never forget…”
Looking into the distance, she whispered one final time “They are here…”
“SLEEPING ON THE JOB AGAIN!?”
I sat back up in a start. I glanced around, enclosed within a 3x3m plastic divider, there I was, another cell in another monolithic corporate beast.
I looked down at my desk, a pool had formed where I had fallen asleep and a specular reflection of the moon stared back at me.
With a twist of my hip, I spun my chair around and greeted my slave driver with a cheery voice “Au Contraire! I’ve got a world to bring into reality!”
In the span of 3 days, I have encountered 3 posts on the topic of gamer identity right here in the ocean of information. The first is by a local gaming magazine Playworks, you can read the post “Defining the Gamer“. The next was Kotaku, I’m sure most gamers are familiar with it, similarly, you can view the original post “Is Gamer A Dirty Word” and lastly, a post by Transmythology, you can view the post “Wake Up Geek Culture: Time to Live“.
Each of the posts are tackling the same problem from different angels and approach, one questions the word “Gamer” itself, the other questions the connotation of said word and lastly a post about fandom and the elitism inherent in it.
Alright, lets tackle this one by one, starting off with Gamer as a term. The thing we must understand, is the fact that words are social constructs, words by themselves are gibberish, they are without meaning or form. It is the people that give meaning to words. I covered a similar topic in one of my earlier posts “Mind Your Language“.
The fact that words are social constructs being with it, implications, and in the case of gamers, the implications can be rather unpleasant to the uninitiated. Gamers is a term given to people who play alot of video games, I’m gonna recycle a post I put up on Playworks.
Do we truly need ‘Gamer’ as a label? As a title? Games encompass a wide spectrum of medium, board games, miniature games, table-top games, video games even sports.
Chess is a game, but do the people who play chess regularly or even professionally consider themselves a gamer? I highly doubt it. How bout the myriad of people who play Farmville on Facebook? If by strict definition, they can be considered gamers in the strictest sense of the word, but do the people who play those games label themselves as gamers?
A gamer, in a cultural sense, is someone who plays video games very often and keeps in touch with the latest gaming news. Video games are usually the gauge of a person’s gamer-ism but are not necessarily a strict benchmark.
As games and reality continue to converge, we will be forced to reevaluate what game is, and what being a gamer means. “Gamer” should not be a label, title nor a category, it is a concept. A concept is malleable, a category is not, so a gamer is simply a person who enjoys playing games, regards him or herself as a gamer and is proud of gaming as an act itself.
One should just be comfortable with what they are and what they enjoy doing, it doesn’t matter what people call you or what social niche you feel inclined to fill, the simple fact is, just be yourself. Who cares what other people think, haters will always be haters, why waste time on them when you can spend it getting more exp.
Moving on, let’s take a look at the history of video games, because that is after all the most common association of what a gamer does. You may be wondering why I’m looking into the history of video games, simple, it is the source of all the stereotypes. So the first video games came out around 1940s to the 1950s, not to mention the first video games were on an extremely rudimentary computer, a technological wonder of its age. New technology has always been treated with some suspicion and the amount of knowledge required to even make and use such technology can be staggering. This acts as a barrier into video gaming, technological jargon.
Who were the people who made the first video games? Technology experts with their thick glasses and their lab coats, this mental image of what geeks are kinda stuck, especially the glasses. What does this do with the negative association of being a gamer? I’ll get to that in a short while, bear with me.
Let’s move on to another aspect of video gaming, time. Video Games, especially the bigger titles, demand a great amount of time from its players. This leads me to the point of human evolutionary psychology, an animal with a highly evolved brain is still an animal, we are driven by primal needs and the most powerfully of them is the need to procreate. Most human activities either involve survival or socializing. Socializing can be viewed as a way to find potential mates in a deep-seated psychological sense, the fact that we spend so much time on games, reduces the chance of one going out and socializing. Admittedly this is not necessarily true but acts as a good marker for how most people might subconsciously think.
If we just look around, most people who do not play games are more often than not involved in a social activity of some sort. Analyzing further, we see issues like gender classification as well, which we still see today, women are suppose to like ‘girly’ things and game systems just ain’t girly with its big bulky wired manliness. Women were never expected to get into the nitty gritty insides of a high tech computer, even now, there is still an overwhelming difference in the number of male technical workers to that of females. This of course, is caused mostly by social pressure and the status quo.
So women hardly play video games and gamers do not have time to go out and meet people. I think on some level, everyone can see this, the hard part is to look past this rather shallow but unfortunately true idea and see the people that gamers are, and the thing is, more and more gamers are finding a balance between life and games.
So let us take a look at the elitism that surrounds the gaming community, admittedly, most of the hostility was borne more of a reactionary hostility, I mean if you have people making fun of you and what you do, you will eventually snap and strike back, this makes the gaming community passive aggressive or just outright hostile to the new comers (newbs) of a gaming community, a hostility borne out of suspicion. As we look down the road, this has evolved into a niche, something these outcasts can rally to and take comfort that they are alone, this exclusivity builds upon the very human need to belong and yet be an individual at the same time. We are rare enough to make us exotic, but prevalent enough to find friends.
In a very masochistic way, I think most gamers enjoy this exclusivity. With the advent of facebook games and the whole casual game industry, gamers find their once clear definition challenged, when you are challenged, the most common reaction is to lash out, which brings about the need to redefine what a gamer is. The people advocating this are, not surprisingly, the gamers themselves. I mean even I have lashed out at the in my post “The real fake fans“. Gamers see this as an intrusion into a space they once have a clear definition and a place they belonged.
The world is changing, old stereotypes are eroding and labels are becoming less important, people are who they are, it doesn’t matter if you are a music connoisseur, a movie buff, comic book nerd, Otaku or a gamer, in the end, we are all just people who enjoy what we love and that is what matters. It is natural to want to protect the things we are passionate about, but how we feel do not apply to how people perceive it and people need to accept that and just live with it.
So be proud of who you are, no matter what stereotype you fall under.
Another year has pass, let’s hope it’s not your last.
You’re going to die soon, perhaps this afternoon.
Please don’t lose your hair, there’s no need for despair.
Come and have some cake, it’s better than fired snake.
Just like that, another year has come and gone. It was on this day (-3 days) that this blog was conceived, and it has came a long way. As we continue to hurtle around the sun, let us take stock on the awesome games that have so graciously emptied our wallets, our bandwidth and in general, our time. Well, that is for me anyway.
Mass Effect 2
Dawn of War 2: Chaos Rising
Dragoon Age: Awakening
Deathspank: Thongs of Virtue
Call of Duty: Black Ops
Fallout: New Vegas
World of Tanks
Command and Conquer 4: Tiberium Twilight
It was crap and the people who made it should be spitted and put over a fire.
The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:
The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.
The average container ship can carry about 4,500 containers. This blog was viewed about 15,000 times in 2010. If each view were a shipping container, your blog would have filled about 3 fully loaded ships.
In 2010, there were 81 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 112 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 30mb. That’s about 2 pictures per week.
The busiest day of the year was August 6th with 374 views. The most popular post that day was Warhammer Witch Hunter Costume.
Where did they come from?
The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, forum.manor.ru, mankindunplugged.com, shoutmix.com, and mikeramblesaboutstuff.blogspot.com.
Some visitors came searching, mostly for sarah kerrigan, witch hunter costume, red vs blue, witch hunter, and kerrigan.
Attractions in 2010
These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.
Warhammer Witch Hunter Costume July 2010
Witch Hunter Costume Revisted August 2010
Red vs Blue July 2010
Mass Effect…The Movie!!? May 2010
Empowered June 2010
Wow, I’m pretty amazed to find out my blog did this ‘well‘. I am elated of course and I like to thank all you constant viewers out there. Thank you again and have a good one.
The tantalizing taste of fear lingered in the air as blood dripped from the wicked blades of the warrior. The warrior leaned in close to the dying man. “Your suffering is most exquisite Mon-keigh“, with a throaty laugh, the lithe warrior garbed in armor of midnight black, drove his serrated blade into the man’s chest.
With a snort, the warrior drew in the escaping soul essence, enriched with pain and despair, it was most potent in its powers. Shivering with pleasure, the lithe warrior traced the blood trail he had made, into a hall. With eyes sharpened by the intoxicating pain of the man, he surveyed the room with nerves afire.
“Come out little one, I know you are here“. The soft inhalation of breath caught his heighten senses. “Yesssss” The warrior uttered in a low sibilant voice. “Yesss, little one, hide… Your terror will be all the more sweeter when I find you. I shall flense the flesh from your bones, and your screams shall invigorate me. There is much power from pain, and your pain will be most delightful to me”
Pain, suffering, anger. They are all emotions and feelings one would consider negative, destructive even. To me, they are a source of power, a source of inspiration, there is no language more universal then pain and suffering. The aching within your breast, the impotent rage that fills your lungs, the debilitating despair that drive grown men and women to their knees, such is the power of pain.
Most of my poetry are written in states of heightened emotions, negative emotions, and into my works I channel them. I thread a fine line however, as it is so easy to be consumed by such emotions, I channel the destructive potential of such feelings into something constructive, a message, a plea perhaps and maybe even a warning. Such is the power of pain that even the best of us will still fall prey to its influence. As Yoda once said “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering ”
Thread lightly my friends, though suffering can be a powerful creative force, it is all too easy to be consumed by it.
In, a few hours time from this very moment, I will be leaving for Australia. Even as you read this I might already be midway across the vast span of water, separating nations. Nations that at one time, all belonged to the super continent Pangea. Ever the eager teacher I am, always spewing random facts about the world.
I’m afraid. People laugh at me and call me paranoid. My trip will be fine they say, just get me a souvenir they say. But I dread this day like nothing you can imagine. I do not fear this little trip, heck, I’m not even afraid of my mortality. What really chills me is the things I have left undone. Words that have been left unsaid and people I might not be able to see again.
Does this count as a fear of death? Maybe, when you have things to loose they tend to haunt you evermore don’t they. Stop being silly they say. Silly? Hardly, I’m just prepared for an eventuality be it that the reaper comes for me early or late. But there are so many things I have yet to do…
Everyone lives to die. To borrow a page from Heidegger, it is not death that bothers us but rather the process, the dying. It is in this that we live a life that is worth dying, to live the best to one’s ability despite the bleak eventuality, morbid perhaps, grim even? I find it beautiful. Call me a fool, but a fool is the one that sees the most does he not?
As I contemplate life and death, introspection always jumps you. I recently had a row with one of my really close friend. It remains unresolved I’m afraid… I hate to have to leave the country like this… Not even a goodbye or farewell… Well I guess it is my fault…
Regardless, I’m leaving on a jet plane, don’t know when I’ll be back again. Well actually I do, lets disperse this sombre and rather forbidding atmosphere. I’ll be back on the 18th of October and if you have not already guessed, my computer is up and running again, after a 3 week hiatus. Guess I’ll be taking another long hiatus again unfortunately. Rest assured when I come back, if I come back there will loads more of posts about everything and nothing at all, for such is life.
Have a good day people. Live long and prosper!
There comes a time when you know that your life can be so much more, so much better and so much more meaningful. But often, people let this feeling pass them by and do nothing to grasp this ethereal promise of something greater. But I am not just anybody and today shall mark the day of change.
Some new concepts to be posted on this blog.
1) Artist of the Week – A weekly look at artists I personally think deserve wider recognition.
2) Iron-Y Man – A weekly photoshop Image of Iron-Y Man and an ironic quote.
3) The Vault – A picture compilation. Neatly sorted and categorized… relatively
4) Portfolio – Self explanatory
5) WTF?: What the FRAPS? – Still Pending, the file size is a problem.
Sweet huh, I’ve recently been thinking of getting a Witch Hunter costume. Great for Halloween costume if you ask me. NOBODY EXPECTS THE SIGMARITE INQUISITION!! So a few click here, a little research there. Here is a break down of the cost it will set me back by if I choose to make a Witch Hunter costume.
Flintlock Pistol replica: SG$ 126
Rapier/sword replica: SG$ 500+
Duster: US$ 59.97 – 69.97
Pilgrim Hat: US$ 12.99
Breeches: US$ 25
Buccaneer Boots: US$ 155
Undershirt: US$ 40
Yeas so it is gonna hit close to 1000 bucks and it will only look something like this.
If I’m ever gonna get this outfit, I’m definitely gonna get a fake mustache !
Stumbled upon this while surfing through the sea of information or as you might know it, the internet aka the world-wide web. Hilarious. I am quite the grammar Nazi at times. I hate to admit it but sometimes, even I am prone to making the occasional slip in the language, but for the most part I try to take stock on what I’m saying.
But I have to admit, I do get really annoyed when people epic phail at grammar. I’m not really policing the language or anything but have a heart, pity me, please try to speak properly. On a side note some hilarious videos on Grammar Nazis. Those of you who are not movie buffs might not understand Collegehumor’s Grammar Nazi beyonds it’s play with the Nazi party. But as some of you might have realized… or not, Grammar Nazi is actually a spoof on the movie Inglorious Bastards.
On a totally unrelated note. All Chinese knows kung-fu and this only proves it. Sith Inquisitor gets his ass handed to him by The Last Airbender.
The cold air blew through my open window while the pale specular reflection of the moon shimmered.
I awoke with a start, sweating. My shirt was soaked while perspiration trickle down my face.
“…were found Dead”
I was bathed in cold shifting light as the tele near my bed flickered with static .
“Suicide rates have continued to increase despite efforts….”
Shifting images of people shuffling to work tore through my retinas and into my brain.
“Get off the road you damn Nutter!” A baleful horn and an angry fist.
I lifted my leaden feet and lurched towards the station. Everyone goes to the station sometimes… Everyone….
Pain wrecked my body as the world rolled over me.
Smashed against the bottom of the steps I picked myself up and nursed my injured arm.
“Watch it asshole! You are in the way!”
Nobody cares. The world cares not for those it leaves behind.
For the world turns with every second, every minute, every hour, every day, every year.
It turns away, never to look back.
Shuffling forms filled the train. Body heaped upon bodies.
The smell of decay flows down from the top and into the station.
I stand amidst the bodies innumerable. Vacant seats and vacant minds.
Rundown and barely serviced. My apartment, my home.
“…there has been a drastic rise in the number of people claiming that ‘the end is nigh’. Authorities are clamping down… “
I look at the mirror but a stranger looks back.
There is sadness in your eyes I told the stranger
My vision blurred and it was moist
Dead… but still alive…
Out the window they were walking
Always walking, walking, walking
The wind blowing through my hair as I run laughing through the streets.
People stop and stare and I laugh at their bewildered gaze
Let them trudge on in the thick mud of drudgery
Let them walk the path they walk forevermore
I dance with the walking dead as they shuffle through their life
In my breast beats a cold furnace and I’m more alive than ever
But I am dead inside… My heart a frozen mass…
I am the living and the dead… for I am an ode to the living dead.