Reflection Time: My Blog Report Card

When I am gloomy I like to clean.  I like to clean my place and I like to clean my blog. As I was organizing my blog posts, I noticed maybe I should proofread before I hit the “Publish” button. I am so embarrassed, hehe. I made several typos.   Oh what a pain! I have to go through all my posts and make it pretty so that I can appear to be somewhat professional, even though I am just writing for fun.  Although lately, I think I should be more serious about what I want to achieve from this blog. What I intended for this blog in the first place has shifted. I was writing about games, but now I want to focus on my poems and songs. I would like to become a full-time poet/lyricist actually.

Yes, these days, I play games seldomly.  I did get my copy of Shenmue. I enjoy it but didn’t get very far. I am at the part where I need to join the mafia to figure out who is the tattoo artist. So far, it’s a fun detective/drama type game. I feel like I am playing an Asian soap opera.

One  character that stood out to me the most is the old lady. She kept telling Ryo (the protagonist) baby Ryo to stop wasting time. Somehow I feel that she was speaking to me as well.  I kept pressing X so she got annoyed and told me I’m hitting on her. So funny! Yeah, I will continue on my investigation. Similarly, my friends are like the old lady in Shenmue.  I am being lectured to cultivate my creative side and stop wasting time.  So that’s what I have been doing other than cleaning my place.  Telling an artistic person to be organize is like asking her to do the impossible.  Never know when inspiration strike! Once I am gone I am gone! It does take me a whole day to clean because I get distracted easily.

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Anyway, this blog will be quiet for some time. No gaming related content, as I am planning for a vacation. From now on,  I think I will do this Blog Report Card because it helps me put things into perspective. I was so close to deleting the blog after all this work.  I confess, I was feeling a bit stiff, as if I can’t breathe.  I started asking myself what’s the point? I know that my opinions are not popular, but then I realize I am  going to stand up for it anyway! And I don’t give a damn if I am a commentless blog in Seattle  as one blogger pointed out. Blogging is for my personal enrichment. If I write to gratify people it will become a chore. I already have a full-time job. I don’t need more stress in my life.  Unless you pay me, then I will entertain you gladly.

As for my final grade for my blog—I will give it a C+. Need to have a clear focus or else I’m just wasting time writing when I could be relaxing. We all know that writing takes time. On a good note, I think I have been good at attempting to be consistent. That’s quite an accomplishment for me since I get bored easily. By now, I think my blog would have been deleted. Thank goodness, I read my old posts. I put a lot of time into it so I will stick around.

 

 

 

Reflection Time: Video Games & Films

Recently Extra Life nominated me for the the Sunshine Award.  It made me smile as I appreciate the thought. But strangely, I was having a hard time answering his questions as I don’t have strong opinions about the film industry generally even though I have watched a handful of good films in my lifetime. I think I am a rather picky person when it comes to films.  If a film fails to grab my attention within the 30 minutes, I just quit watching it.  I have more patience with games than films because they are interactive. His questions, however, made me reflect about games and its relation to films and how I feel about it as a consumer. So I write my thoughts here and skip the tagging since I couldn’t answer some of the questions properly.

Back in 2011, I took Silent Cinema course  not necessarily because I am a film enthusiast, but I needed the credit.  To my surprise, I am really glad I did because I enjoyed the course a lot. I learned how films evolved overtime from something that was used for scientific purposes to entertaining the masses. In the early 1900s, the average person include the working class begin to have more time to watch films. It was a great escape and a cheap alternative to vacation. Similarly, I can see how video games can offer the same instant gratification. I enjoy traveling, but I was never the type who have a lot of energy in the first place.   Video games allow my brain to roam and since I’m the introvert type, I do enjoy doing single activities, which unfortunately society called people like me anti-social, which in truth, I don’t suffer from social anxiety and can be quite sociable. I just prefer some alone time to function as a proper human being. But of course, I’m one type of consumer. Some people play games causally and to past time. And there’s nothing wrong with that!  I remember a friend asked me to bring my Wii because I wouldn’t visit her without it. She actually really enjoyed playing games with me. We had a good time. Video games, despite its bad connotation as a social deviant activity, it is actually replacing films and becoming the new form of entertainment for the masses. There are different types of games for people to enjoy like how there are different types of music for people to listen.  So the term”gamer” is kind of outdated because it no longer distinguishes a particular group of people from the rest of the society as if there is something wrong with gamers. The correct term these days, might just be a gaming enthusiast.

Taking Silent Cinema course, made me understand why Last of Us was so successful and why it is appealing. It has that film aesthetic and the gameplay is extremely casual.  I could play the game during the weekdays after work without putting a lot of mental energy into completing it. Therefore, I think the game deserves it success, although I don’t think the medium should be ashamed of itself and try to morph into something else more mature (film). Video game has the potential to grow.  Don’t try to change its essence, which boils down to gameplay. This really got me thinking why I prefer Japanese games over western games. Japanese games are more experimental and don’t throw away the “gameplay” aspect even though it tried to imitate films (Silent Hill series is the perfect example).  However, Japanese developers can learn a lot from western developers. I find western games to be more realistic and honestly I prefer the realistic style over the animated cute style. But that’s just preference.

I have some friends who are more than a decade older than me. I get along with them pretty well. My new friend from work is a very beautiful, intelligent woman in her 60s. She was once a manager for a video store. She watched hundreds of films during that time she worked there so she can sell them. I have been discovering good films and books because of her lately.  She has good taste. We both have the same personality actually.  Unfortunately, it’s the age difference that set us apart. Lack of knowledge about games make it hard for older folks to  accept video game as a respectable medium. I believe some games do have the same aesthetic as great films.  I am pretty sure when I am her age, I can see myself becoming an expert in games and most likely still play video games (quality games). Then I can see myself becoming critical of the younger generation for the lack of taste in entertainment. Whatever the future holds, who knows.

I will end this post by answering one of Extra Life’s questions. My favorite film decade is probably the 1960s.  I love watching old shows such as Come Drink with MeBreakfast Tiffany’s and The Twilight Zone. When it comes to animation, I like anything from the 1980s.  But honestly, anything that have thoughtful dialogue would instantly captivate me.  To me, great art is timeless and it doesn’t belong to a certain era.