Re: The Gamers

(A reply to this blog post.)

In my honest opinion, society has been kind of slow on things, especially on things they don’t necessarily conform to the social norm. If you’re in your 20’s and 30’s, you are a witness to the changing times.

When I was a kid, it was considered dorky and nerdy to play video games or watch sci-fi shows like Star Trek. Anything that was relatable to killing people or sports was considered the pretty cool thing at the time. That was before PC’s became easier to use and fiscally easier to obtain. From there rather than picking up a baseball, everyone picked up a BFG. Rather than winning matches, they rather win…well, matches. Then the little niche that could had access to DSL internet and from there multiplayer brought people from all over the globe to pick a fight against each other. However even with a bolstering youthful population playing, there are some old world blues.

Every since the industrial revolution, there has been many who like to push the boundaries of human progress while some rather put tolls on them as well. Humanity’s greatest gift is it’s ingenuity, able to adapt and learn while to accept and question the old and the new. The problem is traditional economics as in “it’s a waste of time if it’s not making money”. Which explains a lot about why they put us down negatively. We, the gamers, are seen as lazy non-contributors to the workforce. We are seen to sit back and play than work tirelessly. In reality, gamers are hard working individuals. From my personal experience, the gamer’s who played more are more productive in real life. Then there is something remarkable about video games. With games connecting players in parties and guilds or similar system, it has allowed these communities to not only pool resources in game but individual strengths together. I can reminisce a few times, I joined a group who played well to their strengths. Not on class or race but on each other’s attributes such as time management, critical thinking and conflict resolution. The complete irony is from some I’ve met, they’re very talented in talentless jobs. I knew a game who was an outspoken person who would be a great public speaker but they were working at something low wage and closer to his weaknesses than his strengths. It’s not because he was lazy, but the fact is economics. In our society we treasure those who are educated and prove they are educated rather than the outgoing personalities and attributes we personally developed. These people, these gamers; they have what it takes but because of how the economy works, “Gamer from 2000 – Present” isn’t much of a qualification.

There are a few benefits for playing video games. Some are loosely substantiated, but from my personal experience the main benefit is escapism. Just having a world you can explore and create your own fiction is an amazing freedom, I use to play a bit of GTA IV and after a difficult day I rather cause harm to computer programs than to people. If I wasn’t allowed to do so, I might be a bit of an angry person. Well, I still am but I have control of it. As for reflex and visual acuity, I’m kind of on the fence. I’ve been playing video games at a young age and I have never exceeded the test’s average. I guess it’s how you look at the text and if you think you can beat it.

Though there is little to support the benefits and consequences to video games, we shouldn’t turn a blind eye. We could be at an interesting turning point where video games can enhance people’s psyhcological and physical well-being. Not only being able to see and hear better, but to live better and happier.

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Re: Your First (Videogame) Love

Response to aander14’s blog post here.

For me, I had bunch of small moments that fell in the right place. For me when I started playing video game, I wasn’t much of an enthusiast. My parents were fairly strict and (Dare I say) somewhat backwards when it comes to new technology. Here’s the list of firsts that got me into playing video games.

The first time I ever met the digital world was probably in school when I was a kid. That’s when schools started to teach kids about graphic design and how to draw stuff on computers. The first computer I remember using was a Macintosh, I’m talking the years before the iMac went on the market and every school in my district pretty much had something from the late 80’s. Most distinctive piece of software was the paint program for it where you use dynamite to “blow up” your creations. Later as each classroom got it’s own computer, the district went forward with getting PC’s. Before the Apple computers were phased out of the computer lab, I remember playing Battle Chess or a variant of it. Until my parents finally got an SNES, this so happens to be the first exposure to video games in my entire life.

Then I got the SNES, or Super Nintendo for those who are a tad young and asking “what’s a SNES?” Remember how my parents were so strict on me playing video games? They were probably the epitome of tiger parents before the term even came around as “tiger parenting”. So essentially when they got me the SNES, they thought I was too young to have it and too young to do anything besides go to school and get good grades. My sibling on the other hand turned the argument around and got us the SNES. First game we got was Super Mario All Stars and at the time even with my parents putting money to this game console, the would hardly let us play it until we were done our homework or we had nothing else to do. After awhile, our library to include Super Mario World and Gladius II which was given to use by relatives. Later on in grade school, I met other people who owned the Playstation and the N64. At the time, the PS had GTA but I never touched it until a buddy of mine at the time got it and told me to try it. I mostly stayed on their N64 and my SNES. First exposure with platformers aside, I got into cinematic cutscenes and gun play of Perfect Dark. I got deep into the singleplayer and enjoyed the split screen, big head cheat fun of of PD.

The same buddy that got Perfect Dark got Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and they let me play it. That was when everything just click. I liked sandbox, violence and open world games. Even to this day, these are the tenets of video games I like especially when it’s not overly exaggerated and just allows some escape from reality. As I got older, my parents seemed to relax a little and got me the Game Boy Advance and some games for it. For the most part, I stuck to Mario Kart for the GBA and Pokemon Red. By this time I was coming up to my teen years and I was fairly entertained through cartoon violence. So Mario and friends later got boring to me, lacking the things I want in games. I laid fairly dormant with my GBA until I was around 13 when I finally got my first PC.

Growing up in lower middle class, my parents couldn’t afford what I wanted in a PC so I got something a bit low brow. More attuned to a workstation than a gaming rig, I got this 512 MB with 40 GB computer running the last Intel Pentium ever created. This was my gateway to the world. To top it off my parents let the world wide web into the house with DSL and that’s when everything starting to ramp up for myself when I played the many games I soon to find to be everywhere. Firs it started with browser games that are precursors to Facebook games. Then I got a collection of pirated games from my sibling when they moved away for university; but mostly I remember Mechwarrior 3. By this time, my life starting to go downhill. In my child-like mind, the world didn’t seem as beautiful and carefree. As I entered high school, I already accumulated a lot of time into my first MMO, Kal Online which was a Korean MMO taken place in Korean lore. I got as far as I could in the game but in the end at level 25-ish, I gave up after feeling the grind of the game. Of course I moved on; Silkroad Online, WarRock, and Cabal comes to mind. Perhaps there a dozens I’ve played and forgotten. After my first PC finally gave, I got a new PC and continued playing. First on the roster if memory serves was NavyField which was a Korean MMO naval arena. Of course the game has been updated many times over the years; when I remembered it, the game only had 4 nations (US, GB, Germany and Japan). This second PC lasted me a good while and I even tried to go off gaming to pursue increasing my grades. With all my efforts and looking back on it, it was indeed a futile effort and regardless of any scientific study; it didn’t change my grades, I was still the below average student since grade school. Fondest memory was the closest time I went into Major League Gaming; yes that’s right, I was close to MLG material at the ripe age of 15/16. At the time, I was playing America’s Army with a clan I was in trying to get a team together into MLG. In short, the power went out and I lost my shot at a small pot of cash at a small growing gaming tournament league. I believe the cash prize was about $14-18 grand USD per person. In it’s finality of it continuing to this day, my parents view of video games is damning. Video games is a form of entertainment and not a business you can get into, so they say. Yet I could’ve been the coolest kid in high school since I won $14 000.

By now, it was about 8 years ago where I finally found a job and made some money to get myself a custom gaming PC. This is where everything went to hell in a hand basket and yet opened me to the world of video games on an addictive level. When I got my current rig, I went to town on my bank account and bought games. I spent it as wisely as I could starting with putting it into games I can play on Steam. I bought the Orange Box which as Team Fortress 2, Half Life 2 series and Portal for a cheap price. I went back to my roots somewhat and got GTA IV, I even stuck around cyberspace to explore the free games it has to offer. Before my 8800 GT GPU died and my hard drive in need a refurbishment, I think I played about the same amount of games I had played in the past over a span of 4-5 years. Which brings us to the last 3 years and now.

Now, I’m stuck to sharing games with others. I like aspects of co-op games and sandboxes. I’m stuck to my old ways where I play games I like. If my play time in Star Trek Online isn’t proof of my past, I don’t know what would prove where I was in the past 3 years. Moving forward, I want to break away from my parents opinions on video games. I want to making a small inkling in playing video games. If I can’t, at least I want to do is share my love for video games to the world at large.

Re: Help me out here, please.

Response to http://ramblingsfromawritersmind.wordpress.com/2015/01/04/help-me-out-here-please/.

Hello Paul White, marketing isn’t my specialty. However I would like to offer my views on blogging and social media platforms.

For the past few years, I’ve been ranting on about games, people and anything that touches a nerve to me. Thus far, I have seen a small trickle of readers. In the early months, I wasn’t too sure what to do or say to generate traffic. However there are a few things I’ve kept in my mind when I posted something onto my blog.

In terms of content, I do my best to leave the profanity at the door. I swear more than a sailor in real life, but my blog gives me the opportunity to back up and cool off to look objective but still have a fire burning to the point. I’m a personal blogger so I like to be open to my readers, however there are exceptions to this. As a personal prerogative, I keep information that’s very personal and intimate away from my blog. I try and not talk about the people I know by name nor do I try and describe them.

As for “exposure” you kept mentioning, I do think it’s a good thing to have your blog seen by others and have them provide their point of view. WordPress.com is a community of thousands of writers, bloggers and hobbyists. For your content to be seen, you have to write something worth talking about. Write something provocative, informative or opinionated; you will get the attention of a few readers. Importantly when producing content, you should know how to generate viewership. With WordPress, you can use tags to attract other users to your blog. The more tags you attach to the post, the more likely it will be seen based on a keyword search. The kicker to this with WordPress.com, some tags usually overused. Meaning there are a lot of people using the same tag for their post and therefore your post might not be seen and could be buried. If they are patient, they will stumble on your post. Importantly, keep posting constantly. Create a schedule and try to stick to it. When I first started my blog, it wasn’t (and still) is not aimed to generate views. In fact, it’s my own personal platform to release. There are things to be just said and let go rather repressed deeply. I try and aim for a post once every 7 days because it feels natural for me to post at that rate. I subscribed to some bloggers that post every day and some do it once a month. Find your speed.

In a way, we are competing indirectly for viewership through what we tag. This is where social media comes in handy. If you have other media platforms to share, you can bring traffic from other sites towards your site. Of course not only you should be letting the world know what you are producing, at the same time you should be engaging. Doesn’t necessary mean you have to be passive aggressive with bloggers and guest writers where you post a small comment to redirect them to your site, but more towards on building a rapport with others to keep them from coming back. Rather than shake hands and part ways, try and find some common ground where both can benefit through generating traffic rather than having guests redirecting their viewers to your site to generate a viewership on your site.

In case you nodded off with me mumbling on. Here’s the “TL;DR” (Too Long; Didn’t Read) version:

  • Constant content
  • Tag everything like a graffiti artist
  • Reach out on other social media platforms
  • Hope you’re 1 of the many 1000’s people are reading and sharing
  • Don’t be selfish, contribute back

In the end, success just depends on what you have created. If it’s something the same and something that has been done, then it wouldn’t take off as quickly. Doesn’t mean to give up, just means you have to keep going. Soon or later something good will come to it.