What Do You Want To Do With Your Life?

I want a clean slate with this blog. As clean as I can get in the age of Google and timelines, visit this site anyway. I have control over this blog, it’s content, and it’s purpose, and so I’ve decided to go all tabula rasa on it: a clean slate.

This blog was being used for nothing in particular. Originally it was for my thoughts and opinions on gaming, but then I opened (and am currently closing) Levelcapped.com for that purpose. Then this blog became a dumping ground for tech-centric news, but that bored me as it wasn’t reallfocused on technology — it was mostly just ranting about stuff in a pseudo-psychological bent that has (unfortunately) become my self-realized trademark. But now that I’m less interested in writing about video games, and have become more interested in writing about other things, I’ve decided to deep-six my previous content here and start over.

I don’t know if many bloggers do this. I know several, and they’ve occasionally talked about going back to posts that they wrote years ago. My first blog was a home-brew affair, and then there were a few Blogger blogs, then Cedarstreet, then Levelcapped. I apparently have no sentimentality for my own thoughts, or I just can’t make up my mind on the theme for my writing outlets. Sometimes I don’t want to be associated with what I’ve written when I get it in my head that I want to write about something else, so it’s easier to export the content (I’m not crazy!), delete it all, and start over.

So then, the why. Like any good writer (which I am not), the details on the why aren’t handed out on the first page like candy from a van. I’m not going to really spell it out for you in plain, tortured English, but will require that if you really care to know, then you’ll have to return on a semi-regular interval, and then piece a theme together. This being the Internet, though, I’m sure that everyone’s interpretation will be different. I’m a fan of directness, although my hands often get ahead of my brain and I end up saying in 20 words what I could have said in three, but I’ll try and keep that under control when I remember to do so (he said, 4 paragraphs later).

Hopefully this will be the last time I have to scorch the blogging earth because the spirit moved me. I’m sure I said that the last time. And the time before that. And before that as well. We never know what our future holds for us, so I’m not making any promises.

Solidarity

Note: This is a repost of a particularly meaningful post here on LC that was part of the Last Great Purge.

Being a gamer is a choice. It’s a lifestyle. It’s a hobby. It’s a passion. It’s a source of inspiration. It’s also a source of anger.

We live, page love, viagra 100mg eat, sleep, breath and dream of gaming. Our virtual adventures present us with problems to solve that we fall asleep thinking about, and wake up knowing how to solve.

It’s thanks to the Internet that we’ve found one another, which is something we tend to forget. There are those who are too young to remember the days when talking about video games in public was verboten, lest you be shunned, or even beat up. Believe it or not, there was a time when it was hard to find other gamers. Video games were sold in toy stores, which were the domains of little children, not teenagers or even young adults. If you had a modem, you might find other gamers on a BBS, or if you had a local users group, you might be able to find kindred souls in a church basement or unused library room.

The internet has allowed us to come together at the same time as gaming is maturing. Having expended it’s store of geeks and nerds, the industry turns to the mainstream, pulling the stereotypes of those that decades ago wouldn’t admit to playing video games: the moms, the jocks, the females. Being a gamer now is acceptable, and verily borders on commonplace when shopping meccas like Wal-Mart and Target get their own “exclusive” versions of pre-release titles. Anyone with an Internet connection can jump into the fray, playing online with strangers, talking about their favorite games, and coming together as a community.

But what has brought us together also can push us apart. Differing opinions were never much of a stumbling block in the early days of gaming because there wasn’t enough stock to diversify opinions, and any opinions to be had were rarely heard in large numbers. The Net has opened the doors for people to toss their hat into the ring to express their opinions, and to confront and engage those of differing minds. This freedom can, when executed in a controlled, civil manner, make us all better though exposure to points of view, if we’re willing to accept them on their own terms. When discourse turns to debate, and debate into partisan sniping, we lose what gains the Internet has given us: connections, friends, and solidarity.

If you’re old enough, think back to the times when heated exchanges over video games was impossible because there was no one to have them with. Remember when it was far less socially acceptable to talk about video games because they were considered toys that tethered children indoors and to the television. Remember how much of a relief it was when you did find another gamer that you could talk to about the things that you wanted to talk about, but otherwise couldn’t with the people around you. If you’re not old enough, then try it: unplug for a month. No blogs, no social networking, no news feeds, no digital downloads, no online gaming, no trips to GameStop. Engage your non-gaming friends, family and co-workers in discussions about gaming, and record their reactions, and then pretend that you can’t get out of that loop.

We’re lucky that things have turned out the way that they have, and in a way and at a pace that we never could have imagined back when we enjoyed our gaming in isolation. We can’t take it for granted, though. This hyper-connectivity isn’t a conduit for anger, sarcasm or combat, and shouldn’t be used to isolate ourselves and others behind arbitrary walls of unwavering opinion. We’re all together now, sharing our experiences both good and bad. It’s the kind of togetherness that we wished we had when video gaming was first taking off, and that is something that we should not forget.

Just a footnote: We tend to get into some heated discussions on the net, which is perfectly fine because it signals our passion for the topic, but because it’s all walls of text, it’s often times difficult to really make the exact point that you want to make the way you want to make it and not have it read in a totally different way by people on the other side. It’s unavoidable. The key, then, is to remember that we’re all talking about things that we love, and while we all want to share our enthusiasm, the net is in imperfect vehicle for conducting our excitement and passion. We’ are all very lucky to be able to be able to have these discussions these days, and with the kinds of people we always wanted to have them with.