As I said on my very first post to this journal, I never like making an entry that is nothing but a life update. There needs to be a good reason for bugging the people that for some reason or another added me to their friends list. There should be something the reader can walk away with, some insight I can provide, to make it worth their time, at least in my eyes. Like, say, about good and bad fame [Celebrity], the nature of love [Ineffability], who the man is [Rickroll], that sort of thing. Well, as it happens, much has occurred recently to give me reason to be a bit introspective, as well as make my friends wonder what I've been up to given that I haven't exactly been descriptive lately. As a computer scientist, efficiency is my great objective, so here is a life update counterbalanced with life lessons. They sort of segue into each other as well.
One thing I haven't talked about here yet - despite its having brought a good number of you here - is my small appearance in The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters. It's curious how things have played out - Picturehouse's own forum would seem to be revealing me as a cult favorite. Now, I have no idea how to respond to any of that, but this much I do know: it's a positive force. That much I've decided. That "Celebrity" article I linked to above? I mention an interview where I was asked "the real questions". It just so happens that the interviewer was Seth Gordon - the film's director - and that clip of me that made the trailer is from that interview. I'd never have suspected that interview would have resulted in my having my own IMDB entry, but I don't object. (I do need to figure out how to get that entry corrected to include my middle initial. For disambiguity, you understand. That, and I have insisted on my middle initial for years. There's a story in that, but that's a tangent.) What does fascinate me is that my little off-hand comment about my lifestyle is what started this; again, I don't object, but I do wish I could show you all the rest of the interview, if for no other reason that it would save me time trying to remember it and typing it out in another entry. The point is that what I was being interviewed about ended up - through no fault of my own - taking a back seat to just who I was. Even if the rest of the footage is lost, how could I possibly complain? How could I want to? It amazes me how acceptive others seem to be about my usually-considered-antisocial aspects; even those that seem to find it all rather weird also rather respect my choices. I guess discussing game design can wait in light of discussing life design, even for me. To all those who have expressed positivity for me, I sincerely thank you. Beyond that, I'm not really sure what else to say.
Now before anyone asks: I personally still haven't seen the movie. Yes, I'm in it, and I haven't seen it. For that reason, I cannot comment on its accuracy. What I will state - because the movie has nothing to do with it - is that Steve Weibe is the real deal. I personally witnessed him playing at Funspot, and am thankful I got to shake his hand. When Steve auctioned copies of a DVD of his first million-plus performance - in itself a first-ever act - I was the winner of the first copy. (Note that this was before I became a TG ref! The auction was in October 2004, and I became a ref June 2006.) I figured it would become a controversial item, valuable in a historical-collectible sense; I had no idea how right I was! ...I wonder what I did with it... gotta be around somewhere...
My Xbox 360 is back in my possession. I stress that it's my Xbox 360 - not a replacement; as someone who was in the top 100 worldwide among Gamerscore from XBLA games, that's pretty important. As I've noted before (mainly in entries tagged "torment"), one of my greatest concerns is having to rely on people I don't trust. I'm happy to say that Kmart's repair plan proved quite trustworthy indeed, with a very fast turnaround and no hiccups or hassles once I got past Kmart's own internal service issues (which in their defense are nowhere near half as bad as my experiences with Amazon, eBay, or WidowPC - they were downright saintly in comparison). The point, however, is that the absence strengthened in my mind, not only through my own longings but also conversations with friends, just how important gaming is to me, something I'd have thought strengthened nearly to a maximum. It is not merely a hobby, nor even just a dream job. It is a way of life, just as essential to me as not drinking, smoking, or doing drugs. Every game, from the simplest to the most complex, from RPS to FPS, is a chance to learn something about someone, often oneself. My dedication to "hardcore gaming" - primarily evidenced by my willingness to delete save games I've put over a hundred hours into - largely stems from my desire to maximize my experience - and enjoyment - from games that I feel are worth the effort. Due simply to the medium of this weblog, my other great passion - puzzles - tends to get more coverage here. I hope to help balance things out in the near future.
I was recently made aware of a clever little Flash game called Chain Factor. However, its the metagame around it that fascinated me: it functioned like a miniature alternate-reality game, with puzzles to solve and codes to uncover. I managed to get permanent billing in the game by being the first to solve one of the "unlock" puzzles (select the Thrive power). Ultimately, the game came down to a moral decision: the virtual option of destroying or saving the current model of the world economy was put in the players' hands, and destroying it won the vote. Persons can believe in persons, but people don't believe in people. Sho ga nai. At least, that's how it used to be, but lately I've noticed that people have begun to believe in persons, and I can't help but think that this is a very good thing indeed. That there's something wrong with the world today is rarely questioned, but actually doing something about it is even more rarely brought to light. Can you imagine a world society where the hierarchy is bottom-up instead of top-down, where a conceptual model based on individual worth and value trumps that of a (theoretical) "societal greater-good"? Apparently, the people chose the persons' society over the people's. If you think this game result isn't representative because it's a game, reread the previous point. If you think this game result isn't representative because it's fiction, read the next point, then reconsider.
I am not a political person in general, and I do not want this journal to take on a political purpose, but I think it noteworthy that I made my first-ever political donation not long ago. November 5th, to be precise. I'm far from a rich person, but as they were seeking $100 a person and I can do two-and-a-half things at once, I thought $250 proper for myself. As it turns out, I became a small part of history in the process; the over-$4.2M raised for Ron Paul on symbolic Guy Fawkes Day is not only a record but also a money-put-where-the-mouth-is view of just how far the persons have united. Could it possibly be that the persons can rest power from the people? Can it, in fact, be helped? I'm certainly willing to try. I'm a libertarian; I recognize that people are, ultimately, persons, and believe that they should start acting like it. I always did. Try it. You may like it. I in particular am a distrustful person - see above - but even I have more hope for the human race than I've seen out of most others. With that, I have concluded what will hopefully be the only time politics in any manner enters this journal.
The final line of my bio in my profile is so true. I'm telecommuting today, and I still have things I need to get done. Note that I'm not using my recently returned Xbox 360 either! I'm writing this instead! Now why is it that I apparently feel this is more productive and/or important than either of those other very efficacious acts? I don't know, but I think it's noteworthy. Maybe you can tell me.
I could add more, but I have a job to do. It may be a late night. "Wars come and wars go, but it's a war." - Wilford Brimley, as Bradley Tozer in High Road to China