Well I slept pretty well again. Not sure if that’s the Compral I’m taking or something else but I slept right through. Actually had energy when I got out of bed this morning which is a nice surprise. Continue reading
(me actually chilling and having a good time by myself. I love this tree)
Wendy and Mici’s brother (Daniel) came over on the Tuesday night as they really needed to get out of their house. They’ve been dealing with their own set of drama. It was nice, we spoke shit, had coffee. (Or least only one cup of coffee as Mici and I are way too lazy to actually make it) They left pretty late but before they did I was talking to Wendy about how I couldn’t sleep. I told her that when the car accident occurred I could feel the tendon, from the start of my neck, all the way down to the lower right side of my back, tense and I could feel this for lack of a better word, vibration running through it. I’ve always had problems sleeping but since then it’s gotten far worse. She suggested I take a Compral before bed as that would alleviate the pain and possibly relax it. While I have kicked the habit of taking too many pain killers I thought it was worth a try. Sure enough, I actually managed to sleep and slept straight through the night until 10:00 am Wednesday morning. Whether the Compral actually worked or if it was my mind convincing my body that I had done something about it (I try to believe in mind over matter…when Lloyd hasn’t taken over) is completely up for debate but the end result….I slept.
Upon waking on Wednesday morning (public holiday so no work) I found myself being in two minds. On the one hand, “Yippee I slept!” On the other hand, “Fuck, I slept too late. Half the day’s gone.” I eventually got it through my head that the sleeping was far more important.
I wrote two posts on this here blog and because I’m somewhat OCD re-read it so many times to make sure it sounded OK. I watched a little YouTube but quickly became bored. Mici (who is having major sinus issues at the moment, sounds like she’s dying at times) suggested I go for a walk as I couldn’t figure out what to do. She and I were actually planning on starting to paint so for a brief moment I thought about going to the store but I didn’t want to use the company car for a private errand unless I really needed to and of course that costs money. I asked if she wanted to come with on my walk as in my experience with sinus, sometimes a walk and the air helps clear it out but because she’s lazy and half-naked decided against it. I got dressed, hooked up my earphones to my phone, went onto Spotify and selected a stress free playlist. Not really my kind of music but admittedly because the beat and everything is light and happy it does actually work in letting go of some negative emotion and gives me a slight pick me up.
Have you ever gone for a walk, noticed a tree and thought, “Damn, that’s a nice tree.” Well, that’s what I did, while walking, trying not to sing along for fear of embarrassment, I came across this really comfortable looking tree. It was kind of perfect. The sun was beating down and this tree had just the right amount of shade for anyone looking to chill. The trunk of the tree was slightly bent which allowed me to comfortably rest my back against it and stretch my legs out. For the first time in forever, I hung out by myself, outside, under a tree listening to music. Ants kept crawling on me which kind of annoyed me but I didn’t kill them, I simply put them back on the grass gently. There was a tree bug of some kind that magically appeared on my arm at one point and honestly, I freaked out a little. I gasped, shook my arm, the bug disappeared and I looked around quickly to make sure no one saw the level of bravery I had just displayed. After about half an hour of relaxing under the tree I went back home.
When I got home, I was faced with a decision of “What do I do now?” I felt an itch that hadn’t been scratched in some time. It hadn’t really surfaced until then but when it did, there was no ignoring it. So I walked over to my TV cabinet, looked down at one of my most prized possessions and picked up my PS4 controller. I wanted to game. I had recently finished Wolfenstein: The New Order in preparation for Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus and wanted to finish Wolfenstein: The Old Blood before I got around to purchasing the sequel. I’m not really a Call of Duty, Battlefield, and Destiny kind of gamer. I prefer different shooters. I prefer ones with an actual narrative story and substance. When the game loaded, I felt like I was home. My fingers were reacting purely by muscle memory. It felt good and shooting the crap out of Nazi’s helped get out even more negative emotions that was under the surface. I managed to finish the game (the final boss battle was a little disappointing) and I was awarded with a sense of accomplishment and happiness. It felt good to game again.
After my gaming session, Mici and watched some Gilmore Girls on Netflix (We are trying to finish all the seasons so we can watch the sequel) and then we decided to watch a movie. Since Insidious: The last key was just released on Blu ray and I love horrors, I suggested we start from the first film. (It’s not very good anymore or is that just me?) We somewhat enjoyed it but it definitely wasn’t as good as I remember it. We got into bed at around 10:00 pm where I watched an episode of Orphan Black and Lemony Snicket. I took another Compral just before I closed my eyes to see if I would sleep properly again. Our cat (Scamper) jumped on the bed and instead of cuddling Mici which he normally does he came to me and cuddled right in between my legs. Curled up and just passed out. I felt good when I closed my eyes. I had no phone calls or messages about work, the car or any other drama the whole day. I went for a walk, gamed and watched some TV with my girlfriend. Right before I drifted off there was one more thought that popped into my head.
There was no Lloyd the entire day.
Well, it certainly has been a long time hasn’t it. 🙂
Much has changed since that somewhat bleak post just over two years ago. I was still in a bad space, clearly. I’m starting to feel an itch, an itch that needs to be scratched. The problem is that I can’t remember how to scratch it. It’s almost like my brain has lost complete knowledge of how I ever used to do this. But all I can do I guess, is put my fingers to the keyboard and just let something happen. Lets see where this takes us.
As I said in the beginning much has changed. After that last post, even after the comments from Drakulus and Cary, I never came back on here. I didn’t even think about writing about games. In all honesty, games weren’t even on my mind. The will to game had been lost and I didn’t care. I quite literally forgot that I had a WordPress account and totally disregarded all my notifications in my Gamers Therapy email account. There were other things to focus on.
I tried being healthy, (which is bullshit because I’m still smoking), so as healthy as a smoker could be. I was completely committed to losing weight (which technically is cheating because I was depressed at the time so the fat just fell off). Truth be told my life had been completely reset and I think for the better.
July 2014 to February 2015:
I stayed at my job as a Xerox IT Analyst, hung out with a few friends who happened to stay close to where I was boarding at the time, went to another friend every Friday night to play guitar hero until very early hours of the morning. These were all distractions of course, things to keep me busy so I didn’t have to think of what an utter failure I had become. I went through some bad bouts as well. I don’t really drink but there was an event or something and I had a drink or drinks, I honestly can’t remember and my walls came crumbling down. It was awfully embarrassing. Here was this 29-year-old man, taking antidepressants, bawling like a complete baby over his life. (good times) but there was someone helping me move along, picking me up whenever I stumbled, giving me complete and unconditional love and support. This person became my rock, my fortress of solitude. I was excited to get home to see and speak to her. We went for walks, went to the beach, played Mario Kart and spoke about everything. She helped me more than ever. You see, I have no family here besides my daughter (forgot I had daughter didn’t you) and she quickly became my family. There was never any judgement or contempt over my failures or stumbles and she is always still there for me. Her name is Michaela.
Eventually, I started to find some motivation in my life. The place that I was staying was becoming to crowded and negative for my liking and so I had every intention to leave as soon as I could. (There are much more details into these events but for the sake of this post, I’m not going to delve into specifics) I eventually found a great little flat which I am still currently staying in. So good to have my own space!! Having finally achieved independence again things started progressing slowly forward.
February 2015 to March 2016:
Many things changed during this period. Michaela and I had formed a solid relationship, she even moved in with me I think after three months. We were never really good at being apart. Michaela worked at a video store (having just finished high school, that’s kind of the only job that was around) and eventually I started working there as well for a bit of extra cash. This was our life now, I had two jobs. My main one being the IT guy and the second working at a video store. Mici (Michaela) and I were always together. We created our own personal bubble and a fuck the world attitude. Unfortunately, the world had that same attitude with us so things were good but definitely not easy. We would come home and watch series, and movies. Every now and then a friend would come by but we generally like to keep to ourselves. My daughter Paige started visiting every Saturday and eventually would spend the night as well. I also managed to get myself a car. (i was using the company car during this time) Eventually, I got myself off of those pesky antidepressants and I even managed to get myself a Playstation 4.
April 2016 to now:
Obviously, Mici and I didn’t want to work at our jobs forever. I didn’t want two jobs because that was exhausting and Mici was becoming worried that she wouldn’t find anything else. She needed more of challenge and I needed to get out of my comfort zone. We both took a chance and started applying for work. It took Mici months to finally find a job but I think it was worth it in the end as she seems to really enjoy it. She is an assistant accountant now at one of the most prestigious accounting firms in town. Me, I left my job at Xerox and started working for a more IT related field technician. The money is way better, plus commission which is insanely easy to get. Because of my nearly ten-year work career at Xerox I decided to cash in on my pension as there were things that I needed to get for myself which was only a car as the other was costing me more than I would have liked. I found myself a good car and after that Mici and I just kind of enjoyed the money for a bit. Yeah it was a stupid decision. I should have put the rest straight into a savings account or a retirement fund but I didn’t and you know what? Best decision ever. I don’t regret spending that money at all. We had months of being comfortable, not over doing it but if we wanted to go out we would. If i wanted to buy her a gift I could and that feeling is awesome. For my thirtieth birthday she and I traveled up to Johannesburg to see my family and we enjoyed a very expensive and awesome night at a strip club called teasers.(Yup, you read that right. Who else has a girl who actually wants to go see other naked ladies with you, plus my family…how screwed up are we, haha)
Nothing much has really changed in the last few months since then. Mici loves her job. My job is very stressful and I’m thinking about rebooting my career but I’m still seeing where it goes currently. I’ve been gaming a lot lately which has been extremely enjoyable and I’m even excited about games that are coming out even though they are remasters.
That’s my life up until me writing this article.
Enough about me…
How are you guys?
P.S. Yesterday we took Paige to the Lion Park and I can’t resist but upload this. It’s a beautiful pic of Mici and Paige. Aren’t they both the most beautiful things ever? 🙂
The story of my life is a long one. We live longer and experience more in this world than we do anywhere else. I still remember the day I was born which seems impossible by your standards but believe me it’s true. I have no reason to lie after all. My Alternate was six at the time. It was a cold July day. My Alternate’s mother woke him up at about 05:30 and told him to meet his father in the living room. He proceeded down the hall, sleep still stuck in his eyes. As he walked into the room his father greeted him with a big smile and a big brown parcel. I remember it being huge. His father simply said, “I thought you and I could do something together” and together they unwrapped this package. When it was fully uncovered his father simply looked at him, waiting for some form of response.
Unfortunately my Alternate had never seen anything like it and his father had no idea how to operate it. The device was square shaped, with a slight wooden finish. Rows running across it’s torso from left to right. Slightly further up, two silver switches were situated on either side of a big, gaping, square hole. The switches from left to right were labeled, Power, TV Type, Game Select and Game Reset. With the device came two square objects with cylindrical attachments and one big red button on each but there was more. Aside from the cables that this thing was heaving behind it, a small black, square thing was shaking inside the box while my Alternate was was trying to remove the device. Sticking his hand in further he was able to pull the square object out. He distinctly remembers the red printed text which was the main fruit of this object but also paying attention to the white printed text at the top of the square. It was the first moment in my Alternate’s life that he remembers being curious and from that curiosity I had been conceived. These words would lead him into a whole new life and the birth of something wonderful. The words that would forever change him were simple yet epic on a grander scale and on the square object in the red printed text..
During this time while my Alternate was reading the square object and connecting the cables, I was growing at an exponential rate. By human earth standards I would be nine months already. It took a couple of minutes by your time for me to grow and it all started with curiosity. My Alternate placed the square object into the big, gaping, square hole on the device then pushed the switch labeled “Power” from Off to On.
In that moment I had been born and it was only a couple of seconds. My Alternate and I can’t remember how he selected the games back then, but he remembers playing them, enjoying them and sharing the experience with his father while I learned, grew and started to understand what this world was and my place in it. We both learnt that this device was labelled as a Video Computer System called an Atari and the small square object was a cartridge. The two square shapes with cylindrical attachments were known as controllers or joysticks which assisted me with movement in this world. The more my Alternate played the more I understood. I remembered and picked up skills at a rapid pace.
Over the next couple of months, I realized what I was and what I was meant to do. I was his alternate just as he was was mine except I could only truly be free once a cartridge was inserted into that Video Computer System and a controller was in my Alternates hands. I was his persona and he could live his adventures through me. I would take the pain of getting blown up, shot and beaten knowing I would be brought back together in an instant, sure I might have had to walk the same stretch of virtual road again but it was worth it. He would do the thinking and I would carry out the commands. We were a team back then and shared an immense amount of joy and frustration during those months.
Sadly, good things must come to an end. One rainy night my Alternate and I were playing Tank. We had his father on the ropes. Fingers frantically pushing at the red buttons on the controllers. My Alternate had just lined up a shot, about to press the red button and then….darkness.
The lights went out, the TV went off, and the radio silenced. Moonlight bathing us in a pale silhouette. The power would be out until the morning. Sad and defeated, we went to bed. I was excited for the next morning. I had never left a mission incomplete, never been cut short so prematurely. The next morning my Alternate and his father pushed the “Power” switch to the On position on the Atari but nothing happened. His father checked the cables, the plugs, made sure the TV was on and then pushed the switch again. Still nothing. At this point I was getting nervous and so was my Alternate. Our hearts were pounding, our minds racing ahead, thinking the worst. His father spent the day trying to get that wonderful Atari working again but to no avail.
The Atari was dead and with it, I was imprisoned, to a lonely life of solitude buried in the depths of my Alternate’s subconscious. I didn’t know when or if I would ever be free again. I was in turmoil, hanging in limbo and for a while my Alternate forgot about me, the memories of our once glorious adventures were the only things keeping me company. It’s not all bad though, I remember the wall between us suddenly crumbling away and with it, new images, vast definitions and whole new sounds flooding my senses..
…but that’s a story for another time.
Last week i wrote an article conveniently titled “Gaming Equality for All”
In a nutshell it was based on the premise that most gamers are dicks to one another, use race against each other and certain genders are treated unfairly due to the amount of stereotypical bullshit that has plagued us since like, forever. This is not a continuation of that article. But it did lead me to a conversation with LadyCroft3 over at Linksaveszelda. While commenting on that very article that preaches gamers rights I inadvertently called her a girl gamer GASP! I know right. Here are those comments.
LadyCroft3: “in my experiences, even after I show my skills (this happens most to me in L4D and Halo, both of which I am amazing at) they just harass me out of anger because “the stupid girl” who they just made fun of beat them at “their” game. I too have been lucky enough to make some amazing friends, but at the same time I encounter more nastys than good people. I usually avoid it all by not using a mic and muting the lobby or being in a party (if I’m on the 360) so I don’t have to hear them in the first place. Messages are something I can’t stop though, and I have gotten some funny and awful ones.”
Vitosal: “Geez, that’s horrible. I don’t own a 360 but is there no way you can block users like on the ps3?”
LadyCroft3: “You can, but honestly I don’t feel like it’s as much of an issue on the PS3 since a lot of people don’t use mics.I don’t do a lot of MP on the PS3, but when I do I never get harassed. I don’t know if it’s due to a more mature community or what.“
Vitosal: “there’s a Microsoft joke somewhere in the your post lol. I wonder if it will be different on the PS4 and Xbox One? Being able to mute everyone, block users completely. Me personally, I’ve had no problem blocking a user on my PS3. It really does sadden me that girl gamers have to be subjected to this kind of crap.”
LadyCroft3: “Lol well I do dislike MS as a company XD Blocking works, or muting, but what is boils down to is that I shouldn’t have to. No one should have to. It’s sad that so many gamers are so hateful to one another.”
Vitosal: “agreed. What you said just sparked another idea for a post I’d like to write. I am actually backtracking here because i think i just fell into my own trap there by inadvertently calling you a girl gamer, implying there is a difference between a man and woman gamer which is going to lead me to my next post. I apologize for that.”
LadyCroft3: “No worries, it happens a lot. I do appreciate that you realize it though, a lot of people see nothing wrong with the phrase, but it separates us into genders. We are all gamers, regardless of what we got going on between out legs “
Ok now that we’re done with the “Previously On…” section, did you guys take note of what i did? I called her a girl gamer. Is this really a problem. YES! As per LadyCroft3’s last comment it doesn’t matter what you have between your legs, you are a gamer. I didn’t even know that I had done that until she commented afterwards.
I swear I have a point. Would we still feel the same if something horrible was happening to a woman in a game? Would everyone still want equality?
When i realized what had happened, the first thought that hit me, was a game where a young woman was about to get raped. I’m not going to say what game it was but if you’re a gamer you’ll know by the main picture above. Did you know that a whole lot of people were up in arms because a video game was depicting this kind of behavior? Honestly, it made me feel rather uneasy too and here’s why. As a man, I’ve been brought up to protect woman, because society and upbringing have programmed us to think that women need protection from bad things. This is how it’s been for hundreds of years really, if you had to think about it.
That shit needs to change then. Censorship on video games is one of the causes that we have labeled women that title, “girl gamers” thus contributing, albeit in a round about way to the intolerance of other gamers. Gamers want to have female leads, but don’t want them to get to roughed up. That’s hypocritical in my opinion. You can’t say all gamers are equal but then don’t want a female lead to get royally fucked up because it doesn’t look good.
This is where i think the Tomb Raider reboot nailed it on the head. She started off as a typical stereotype woman, who as the game progressed became a sufficient hunter, warrior and just a typically, not to be fucked with kind of person. Crystal Dynamic’s wasn’t afraid to show how a woman could be drastically affected by the actions of others while enduring this whole new level of torture, and still come out on top. BUT IT WAS THAT KIND OF STORY! I hear that annoying voice in the back there. It wasn’t. While very similar to Uncharted, i never felt that Lara was completely safe in this game unlike Nathan Drake who you knew would survive at the end of all his games.
My point is that if we have censorship that controls what we can and cannot show in video games, like Nazi’s torturing Jews, hate crimes, woman getting rapped then we will never step out of the shadows of the past and no one will truly be equal because entertainment will tell us what’s right and what’s wrong. Let’s start showing some real world violence, men get raped to you know, Men also cry, Not all black people speak ghetto.
We can’t all be truly equal if censorship forces us to see things a certain way.
What do you guys think?
- ‘Gamer Girls’ (falonwatson.wordpress.com)
- Yes, I am a woman and I like gaming. What of it? (bemorethanadresssize.wordpress.com)
- The Reality Of “Gamer Girls” (buzzfeed.com)
- How to Alienate Female Gamers (puregeekery.net)
- How Should A Gamer Girl Be? (buzzfeed.com)
- Why Do We Care About “Fake Girl Gamers?” (gaminggirlz.com)
- A Girl Born With a Controller in her Hand (english11463fall2013hilbert.wordpress.com)
- Mending (confessionsofafatslut.wordpress.com)
- Episode 17: Why The Lack Of Girls Heroes in Games? (3rdworldgeeks.wordpress.com)
- Xbox Gets Exclusive Early Access to Skyrim DLC (epicagames.com)