A diary of sorts, wherein I moonlight as a games writer. Under haphazard construction.
An outlet for existential angst wherein I act like I’m living the dream
April 12, 2014Posted by on
I composed the majority of this inaugural post in my head whilst driving home from work this evening, but most of it is already gone, so I guess this is just a tribute of sorts.
I’m also posting this over a week after the fact, during which time I’ve been giving myself a slight head-start on the rest of the writing. I’ve not really looked at it since, so it is mostly unedited.
If you saw draft I was getting advice on you might wanna read it again anyway.
I’ve had terse words with my parents lately, over the new job that I’m starting soon. I’m glad that I got it, and looking forward to start there, don’t get me wrong, but the thought of moving out of one office just to land myself in another doesn’t fill me with much existential joy. There are some people I will be very glad to get away from, and a whole host of other perks and advantages.. but it will still be an office. And only a marginally more interesting one than the one I’m in now. I’ll still be working in Sage, still be pushing money around, still be making sure the numbers add up. There will be no spares and services customers, and better prospects for pushing bigger numbers around in the future, and perhaps even talking about them to people in Japanese instead of English, but I will ultimately be continuing to make my career as a administrative drone.
I won’t be doing anything I particularly enjoy. I won’t be realising any of the few ambitions I have. And I won’t be moving any closer towards a career that enables me to.
My parents don’t get this. They’re excited for me about how good an opportunity this is to become an accountant. What fantastic prospects I will have for continuing to work in offices pushing numbers for the rest of my life.
They don’t get that this will not make me happy, they don’t get how I feel like my life since graduation has been wasted, and they don’t get how fucking powerless I have felt to change it. A new job? Fantastic! That’s two more years to spend growing steadily more miserable as I watch the life I’d rather be living slowly slip away from me.
I’ve thought long and hard about what I would rather be doing, because god knows, I’ve only ended up here because I couldn’t decide so far. In absence of seeking, or even knowing, what I’ve wanted from life, I’ve always settled for what’s been available, or what’s seemed like the safest idea at the time. Trusting my parents for counsel, and almost invariably taking their advice. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that they’re happy and I am not.
You get asked what your dream job is all the time, and I’ve never really convinced myself with any of my answers. As a kid I wanted to draw comics like Sketch Turner and learn kung fu so I could fight the mutants when I got trapped on my own pages. Where’d that one go?
If I were to just do what I love, day in, day out, what would it be? Translating stuff? Games? If that were true, as I have often tried to convince myself it is, how come I can’t ever be arsed to do it? Why do half the battles in Dynasty Warriors still make absolutely no sense to me?
What would I prefer even to that? What would I really like to do? What comes so easily to me that it doesn’t feel like work at all?
Writing, of course. I have always prefered words to numbers, and stringing them together’s never been difficult for me.
In English, though. Because I’m best at that. Despite all my time, money and effort invested in trying to learn how to do words in Japanese.
About? Well, games, naturally.
I’m not sure when the epiphany struck me, but at some point last week I realised that that I have been living my whole life completely blind to the one thing that I absolutely love to do.
Talk. about. games. Think. about. games. Write. about. games.
I realised how much enjoyed it so early on, and I can pinpoint to the day exactly when, yet I did nothing at all about it. I wrote, occasionally, but I never took it seriously. Was I discouraged for some reason from seeing writing as a viable career? Did it just not occur to me that I too could learn to write like the magazine journalists I idolised? Could I not see how simple it would have been to just combine what I enjoyed with what I was good at and somehow struggle along until I found a way of getting paid for it?
My diary, stretching back eleven years now, is full of thoughts and feeling and opinions on games, jutting out starkly in focus and clarity to the angsty, sentimental and oftentimes directionless ramblings that surround them. It has only just this week occurred to me to separate the two. I’m such a fucking idiot.
I’ve been kicking myself for not thinking of it sooner. I mean, what would life be like now if I’d decided at eleven that I wanted to write down my thoughts about games and post them on the internet? If I’d not cared about nobody reading them, or worse, people reading them and thinking they were rubbish. If I just decided to do it, because I enjoyed it, and to see where it led. No point ruminating over it now, but shit, if I’d decided to become a journalist at eleven years old I doubt I’d have left Uni feeling so lost.
So what am I doing here?
Well, not trying to launch a new career, yet, despite, perhaps, the impressions I’m giving. No, I do appreciate the stability I have found at the moment, and not everything about office life is bad! I like the look of the place I’m moving to and my new colleagues, so I’m definitely not going to just drop everything I’ve earned over the past couple of years and sign up for a journalism course. Try and get myself hired as a writer somewhere, on the merits that I really really really want to be one.
No no no. What I’m doing here is simply writing. I’m just gonna just do it for fun and practice and see how it goes. See whether masquerading as a writer at night helps get me through the working day any easier. See if I can be interesting and informative and entertaining. Do it as a hobby, for the sake of escapism, and see if it sticks. See if anyone else cares about it. If they don’t, then it’ll only confirm what’s been putting me off all these years, and I’ll probably just keep doing it anyway. I’ve spent my life following bloggers on the internet, I can’t believe it has taken me so long to join their ranks, if only as a wannabe.
Don’t expect full reviews or anything. And please don’t be mean if in a month’s time I have gotten bored and given up. I reserve the right to write sporadically, like I do in my diary. If I’m doing this for fun, I’m doing it when I find things of interest to explore. Things which I feel the need to share words about. I play and think about games all the time, so that shouldn’t exactly be hard, but I’ll try to keep it meaningful. I’ll leave the ranting on Reddit.
If you’ve stuck with me this long and haven’t been put off by the narcissism, then thank you for your patience. I’m only doing this part once, and from here onwards it’ll be about games.
What kind of games?
PC games, handheld games, console games, “retro” games, board games, card games, mind games, table games, roleplaying games and party games.
What aspects of games?
Art, music, “gameplay”, ideas, themes, mechanics, meta-narrative, their creation and the wider industry of people that create them.
I follow lots of news and opine on topical things!
Last night I played some Netrunner!
I went to Rezzed last weekend and saw things!
Maybe you’d be interested in reading about that?
Maybe you’ll agree with things I say and enjoy reading me say them. Maybe you’ll disagree and want to set me straight.
Maybe you’re sick of me ranting to you in private conversations and would prefer to ignore me on here instead.
I’m quite excited about all this.
Maybe you’re not even into games at all and are just reading this because we’re friends. If you’ve made it this far in that case, then I’m flattered, and I’d love for you to stay awhile and read some more.
I am more passionate about this form of entertainment, this medium, this artform, than just about anything else in the world, and I would love think I could help someone else get it too.
So here we are, then. At the end of a long post, saying perfunctory things about new beginnings.
With a snappy closing line.
Just like a games journalist.