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So yesterday was my 31’st birthday! It’s not as significant as the 30 year milestone of last year, but in all, it’s one year less in my mortal existence. Unlike when I was a kid, I didn’t really get anything for it. I think I got a card from my job, or maybe that was the annual Christmas card, I don’t really know. I did get some kitchen towels, pot holders, and a cake from my mom, so there’s at least that!
For the past three to four years I’ve been undergoing a big shift in lifestyle, change of perspective, and stuff like that. Part of it was buying a house, albeit I had planned to do that a little later and under better circumstances rather than sooner due to economic factors.
This shift in lifestyle has been a process that’s been taking time and hasn’t always been easy. A large part of it has involved letting go of the things I once enjoyed such as video games, guilds and internet drama, computers, technology, and the internet too. Instead of being an escape, I inhabited these places because I saw nowhere else to live and nothing else to do.
MMORPG’s (aka Mostly Men Online Role Playing Girls) were the center point of my life ever since I was 14. It gave me a surprisingly stable routine, taught me patience, budgeting, cooperation and teamwork, diligence, and moderation. By the time of my late 20’s, the novelty of these games had worn off a long time ago, leaving me to simply a routine without any cause or purpose. Other than keeping me sane and distracted from an even greater looming sense of dread, I stopped seeing the point and felt like I was wasting my time. I lost interest in socializing with anyone in the game because it was always shallow and repetitive; after 15 years of it, I think that’s pretty understandable.
This isn’t the first time either. World of Warcraft was the first for me, which I stopped playing in 2016 right before the Legion expansion. That was a solid 9 to 10 year run in just that one game! I remember sneaky buying it at Walmart because I knew my parents wouldn’t like it simply from the box art alone and the oh-so-spoooooooky word “craft” which is just too close to witchcraft! Didn’t give a crap and bought it anyhow, then persuaded my way around in the game to get the subscription paid for by other people or scrounged around for money IRL to pay for it.
Countless hours, late nights spent, and memorable moments had in front of my computer playing that game. It’s where I spent my teenage years and It was a lot of fun, but it came at a cost that I wouldn’t realize until later. No, it wasn’t my health surprisingly! I’m more of the type that forgets to eat and drink really, so I’ve actually managed to keep healthy. Instead the cost was losing grip with time and reality. My time was spent in a high fantasy world of magic and adventure whilst the reality around me was eroding away from behavioral sink and moral decay. I didn’t care one bit though. I wasn’t completely oblivious to my surroundings, but saw only enough to say to myself “yeah fug this shid, I’m going home and playing WoW, peace!”
Since I was a kid though, I didn’t really plan anything out. By the time 2016 rolled around though, I was so burnt out of the game I didn’t care to log back in one day. I didn’t feel relieved though because I suddenly didn’t have my familiar routine in life anymore. By this time I was like 20 something and that looming dread of being out of place was right over my shoulder. I didn’t like it and quickly sought out another MMORPG. I needed something that was different enough that it wouldn’t feel like a WoW clone ripoff, yet had a developed enough world to lose myself in. I tried a few different games, such as Star Wars The Old Republic, but it was too basic. The Elder Scrolls MMO, but it didn’t have any interesting characters and just made me want to play the OG Elder Scrolls games which are way better. EVE Online put me to sleep, I think Wildstar was around then but it was basically a WoW clone-ripoff and I wasn’t interested, Black Desert Online was a borefest that seemed to only invite tryhards. I remember trying to get into Archage I think a year or two prior to 2016, but it fell victim to the same scam-to-play monetization models that nearly all Asian MMO’s frequently adopt.
Then I came across Final Fantasy XIV. I remember hearing about this one coming out a long time ago and flopping hard, but I was already neck deep into WoW back then. I gave it a try and instantly liked the cozy atmosphere, the good music, and all the weird and interesting character designs. It also had a huge focus on clothing and the appearance of your characters and minor environment details, whereas WoW looked like straight up ass! Also this game actually has REAL gurls, bros! I really got sucked into this game and so was back in it for another 7’ish years.
Yeah, I tend to play my games for the long haul.
One of these games I haven’t mentioned yet was Star Wars Battlefront II (2005). I played this game since its release date, originally on the PS2. It wasn’t until many years later that I got into it on the PC version as well. PS2 was king! This game, despite being as old as it was by 2010, still had an active competitive clan scene. 2008 was sort of the end of it’s high mark though when Call of Duty World at War released, but that didn’t deter everyone. Later on, match making monetization models for retards that can’t even with community servers and e-“Sports” grifters was taking off, which took another good chunk out of the competitive online clan scene. Then finally when GameSpy shut down, that was pretty much the final nail in the coffin and the end of an era. All at once, it was over and the clan forums and chat rooms gradually closed down. Some of them moved to CoD or League, but due to the match making monetization design of modern “competitive” online games, they were largely pointless and didn’t make any sense.
Some of the GameSpy games were hacked up to run on private servers, which I followed for awhile, but by 2016 it was well in truly over. GOG actually revived the game though, to a degree, but it’s only ever kids playing that can’t conceive the amount of skill I acquired over the many years of playing that game, and so I’m frequently banned or kicked and accused of hacking. They fail to understand the meta mechanics of a game made in an era where such things were of great importance, unlike today. Quake and UT2K4 are other examples of games with such meta mechanics, but are at least a good deal more well known unlike Star Wars Battlefront II.
“Whaaaaa you hacker! You glitching! STWAPPP CHEATING!” THAT’S HOW YOU PLAY IT! There weren’t patches to fix this shid, you just learned to deal with it, got some friggin skill, and amazingly a game with depth will actually emerge!
Anyhow back to FFXIV. I stopped playing it about 2 years ago, and on occasion log in to say hi and do a few things. But a few months ago I stopped signing in, which the game punishes you for that by taking away your house. Since I’ve been so busy with other things now, such as a real house, I kept forgetting to disable the subscription renewal of the game, so they were pretty much making free money off of me for a little while there. I finally got around to it though and ended it today… RIP FFXIV guild and toon (I handed the guild off to someone else btw.)
I wanted to write this blog post because of the cost that came with the amount of time I spent in these games. Now while some of you see my site or might talk with me in the IRC or Mumble, you’ll probably think I’m just being nostalgic right? Well the truth is, I’m really out of my time at an age I probably shouldn’t even be. The past two years have been a serious culture shock to me because in my mind I’m still somewhere before or around 2010. People have become sort of hostile or just distant in a way that reminds me of interacting with people in a game. I also don’t get the obsession with phones and I don’t see the point of them aside from email or IM, to which I’m so burnt out from that I would rather not have that with me everywhere I go. It’s why I’ve never bought a smart phone and just kept with flips and bricks. It wasn’t ever some fashion statement like I’ve seen some zoomers try making it into; I just don’t care for that stuff.
I didn’t actually know you could live translate text with a phone and camera by the way, until I saw it in a video from Bald and Bankrupt one day. I couldn’t believe it at first, that’s like some Star Trek shid wtf!? I’ve been aware of the home automation stuff going on, but I wasn’t exactly prepared to see how far people have taken it. After visiting a few coworkers homes as part of trying to be a little more social, these dumb asses had cameras in every room of the house, and they’re connected to the internet, and think nothing of it! When exactly did the perception of CCTV and surveillance dragnets become a favorable outcome for normies? I distinctly recall MANY science fiction movies and shows highlighting exactly this moment, the foreboding dread of such a future, and yet here we are! I’m pretty shocked by this one.
I’m also a little surprised that nobody can simply look at a map and then know where to go anymore. Nope, they have to have something that tells them or shows them on the spot at the moment in a place they should be familiar with by now. You would think this should reduce distraction levels, but nope. The whole time that damn phone is ding dong chirping away, text to speech reading out messages, radio playing the latest ear rape on top of the noise, and then they pick it up and dick around with it while driving like a mad drunk! I really don’t like riding as a passenger anymore.
Then of course there’s the behavioral sink and moral decay, which I was aware of to some degree around the gamer gate event that dragged out that festering turd into the light of day. It’s kind of funny to think how sensitive my parents would have been to a game title like “World of Warcraft” not so long ago, and to see just how far society has fallen in this regard. It’s unrecognizable to say the least, what the hell happened while I was out collecting bear asses and killing blood elf noobs for sport? It’s too much to even bat an eye at so I mostly just ignore it.
Also everything is gatekept behind streaming services anymore. Hastings is gone and there’s nowhere to really buy anything anymore without being directed to Amazon. So piracy it is? And that’s assuming it’s even worth pirating. I have to actually do some sleuthing on the internet to find local stores around me selling the products I’m looking for without getting bombarded with freaking Amazon. I DON’T WANT AMAZON!
It’s also become nearly impossible or just right out impossible to find any kind of local business that specializes in repair of specific things anymore. You can’t use the internet for this sort of thing anymore, and so it’s either back to the Yellow Pages for me or I just drive around until I find a promising looking place. Where the fug else do I go!? I hear lots of people mentioning FaceBook marketplace? Yeah where is that exactly because I don’t see this market place on a map! Nope, it’s all on the internet, that’s where… Lame! And you know what else is infuriating about this? I can find local restaurants for every type of dish found around the world at my fingertip, but the minute I need to find someone that does electrical repair work is the moment it all shuts down. Really getting a bread and circus vibe here bros.
Oh yeah, I went to the mall one day too. It’s been awhile, but typically I just go directly to Dillard’s and not even venture out into the promenade. I decided to take a look around to see if I could find anything of interest and man, what a wasteland! All of the clothes aside from some at Dillard’s are so blah and lame and crappy. Like really crappy over priced clothes! No interesting novelty stores, unless you count the animu manga store as something interesting. The arcade was full of gacha gambling crap with nothing worth playing. I did find a game store, which I guess by this point is considered a retro game store. It’s pretty cool, but I’m pretty much done with games and that whole scene.
I’ve found that Cabela’s has better quality clothes, so I just go there now. The style of shoes I like are getting hard to find, and the quality of shoes has become abysmal. They fall apart in no time, so I’m probably going to start wearing legit cowboy boots soon.
Circumstances make weak men, but strong men make circumstances.
Well I hope you guys didn’t mind the rambling. This has been my experience so far, going out into the world and stuff. This is coming from someone that has been perpetually online since 2008 and pretty much still lives in that pre-2010 era. I like to play it up sometimes with the nostalgia factor of the site, but I’m actually trying to break out of that mold personally. I’ve been gradually letting go of that part of my life because there isn’t really anything there that I haven’t already seen or done before. The daily routine was all it had going for it because it kept me busy, but one day I came to the realization that I could probably find a better daily routine than sitting on my butt playing vidya all day long. After that, it just became difficult to play a game anymore without feeling like I’m wasting my time for nothing. It was time to move on.
I’ve been preparing myself for a change of lifestyle over the past few years because I know I can’t just do it all at once. The sudden plunge would be too much and I would just run back to where I came from. So far I’ve learned how to cook, changed my diet, I’ve been learning food preservation and canning, learned some simple carpentry and house repair stuff. I’ll eventually get into husbandry too. I surprised myself by recently replacing my trucks busted fuel pump after watching some How To videos, as well as fixing my houses busted foundation too! I’m about to embark on total wall repair because I can’t find anyone that will do the job.
It’s been pretty fun, but it’s just me. Nobody around IRL to really talk with that isn’t some drone zoned in on “muh war” “muh pandemic” “muh climate change” “muh price of food” “muh recession” and other stupid crap they’re letting fear take control of. I feel like I just came out of a graveyard to live life, but everyone else is a dang zombie! Well, maybe not everyone.
Oh well, I guess I’m just going to have fun by myself. Peace!
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