Level Up! Another Year Another Lesson

Level Up! Another Year Another Lesson

Every Year Serves As A Long (Somtimes Painful) Learning Moment

Lately, life has pretty much been piling one thing atop me after another and yet I persist. Though this is the reason I haven’t been able to keep a structured posting schedule or done anything besides personal posts. I know you’re all probably tired of the personal talks but hey, it’s the only thing I can invest time in while I wait for 90% of these issues to pass, which hopefully will be done with by the time September rolls around

REGARDLESS! This past weekend was my birthday, I leveled up to level 28 and gained a bunch of irritating perks upon reaching it. Mostly +2 in headaches and +4 in crap decision revisiting.

As a kid, I can’t remember may of the birthdays till after 10 years old or so, but they were simple birthdays, I guess. I kinda grew tired of the concept over the years, then as I reached high school I realized birthdays were kinda all smoke and mirrors. The amount of friends who attended, the amount of gifts, and the truly sad part is you see just how many people actually give notice that it even is your birthday. You were fooled as a kid or at least since you were younger, things seemed different, possibly more pleasant than they seem as an adult.

So it’s safe to assume that I grow rather jaded over birthdays every year I manage to pull my body and sanity to the next level. However, the past few years have made me realize that I’m becoming more insightful or at least that borderline that. This year I start on my inevitable downhill slide to a midlife crisis at 30, but it also made me realize that I have to finally start bucklin down to aim towards a more structured future. Sure I should have been working on that from a long while ago, but I’m a slow learner and a bit stubborn.

I’ve also realized I’ve become more harden towards most people, stupid mostly, but I’m still willing to offer good advice then tell people to screw off when they admit they wont take my advice. In a sense, I feel like I’m becoming more like my Papa, who passed away earlier this year. He was quiet, worked hard, said what he thought, but was kind in his own way. I feel like maybe, in someway, with each level that passes, I become closure to someone I admired and respect when I was growing up.

Regardless, I’ve never truly noticed the growth I’ve gone through on each birthday. It should have been an obvious thing but just like with New Years Day, you reflect just a little too late on what’s important and what’s happening around you. But as I grow older, I feel like I’m nearing a spot I want to be in. In a career, in my hobbies, and in general, my life might just be nearing a place of comfort. Maybe I can finally stop looking to the past and look towards the future instead.

Like I said at the beginning I have a whole HELL of a lot going on right now, a bunch of issues that will hopefully be resolved by September. So for now a bunch of personal posts might litter this blog until I can finally sit down and do official research on actual subjects. When that times does come, you are more than welcome to comment suggestions on future articles or maybe for one concentrated article for the next few weeks so I can pump on out instead of a few minor posts, just let me know and I’ll see what I can do.

-ProdigiousJ

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Why Games Are Easier Now Than Before

Why Games Are Easier Now Than Before

First I want to apologize for missing this past Saturday, life has been pretty chaotic and led me to absentmindedly miss it. My post may be sporadic over the next few weeks because of these unforeseen issues, but I’ll try to get one post put up when I can.

Thank you for understanding!

Today though, I want to talk about how game difficulty has evolved over the years, specifically difficulty levels through the ages.

As a very young gamer, being born a little after the advent of video games, I know games that now most gamers call ‘retro’, but I knew them as brand new or pretty close to it. Super Mario, Donkey Kong Country, Sonic The Hedgehog, and even Duck Hunt, these titles shaped my early childhood. These inspired me to find the beauty and grace in most things video games. Unless you count the Atari 2600 games.. I’m still getting reoccurring nightmares from Superman and E.T. Yeah I know without the Atari we wouldn’t have games as we know them, but all I can say is they have not aged well at all. They are some ugly looking fuckers if you ask me. But that is the curse of being born a bit after gaming because popular and began evolving but before the creation of the powerful tech devs use to create stunning graphics, stretching beyond 8 Bits.

To me I will always be spoiled by the over arching development games  have gone through, so I’ll be jaded when it comes to comparing graphics.

The Difficulty Of It All

That aside, being someone who played a lot of the old school/Retro games, both as a kid and recently as an adult, it has given me some perspective on what you call difficulty levels. What inspired me to bring up difficulty is that with the recent release of Crash N’Sane Trilogy, with it being a “new” title,  many Youtubers, friends, and random internet people are playing it. Whether they are doing a let’s play or just running through it during their personal time, a common occurrence I’ve seen is plenty of people complaining about how hard it is to play it. Watching people getting flustered and rage quitting over a game that has been out almost 21 years now, it got me thinking.

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Is Crash Bandicoot… hard? Not sure if it was as hard as everyone else makes it seems to be when I played it. It was all about timing and platforming, a few levels are still memorized and I haven’t played in forever. It never seemed to be that much of an issue for me, then I have to wonder way are so many people having such a hard time?

Then it hit me, and it was so obvious I’m surprised it didn’t reach out and pinch me. Many of these players having such a hard time had never played the originals. They perceived a challenging level as too hard because they may not have played games to 100% in the days before trophies and refined controls. The ability to reach the 2nd level on a very hard game was the reward itself and it made you feel like a certified badass.

Even gamers my age, I’m included on a few games, never played the more challenging games whatsoever. Either from lack of interest as a kid or because their parents couldn’t or wouldn’t buy them for them. Whatever reason they had, the experience of learning these jumping patterns, enemy spawn points, or how to run through an area filled with pits and enemies  without getting hit a single time, all because they had to play the same stretch of level over and over at least 100 times. Limited lives, no checkpoints, no save files or passwords, just 2 lives or less and only allowed to be hit twice before starting all over (Looking at you Ghost N’ Goblins).

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It trained a whole generation of gamers to overthink, strategize, and find the will not to snap their very fragile controllers.

The Crux of Difficulty

Games like this were the proving grounds for both devs and skilled players. Game success meant a future career for designers, a future game meant another challenge for the player to conquer. Slowly the difficult games became more difficult, if they weren’t already at maximum. Games like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Pitfall, Megaman, and Contra were already challenging, but as they ramped up the difficulty, those gamers seeking fun more than a challenge became quickly discouraged. I can be counted as someone whose become discouraged over certain titles.

Fun Fact: To this day, I have yet to beat a MegaMan game, I’ve been getting progressively better through the years, but never made it past two of the bosses, maybe 3. These games seem challenging, but also have a mix hint of sadism yet have a set of basics to follow in order to win. It’s hard to say the game isn’t beaten by many, as I know quite a few, but it stands to reason that there are people like me who couldn’t beat it.

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Yes it goes back to skill and will, but this also ties into the idea of titles existing that maybe too difficult while trying to be challenging. Battletoads, Ghosts N’ Goblins, Ninja Gaiden (Original), these are all examples of games that seem to number low in the amount of people who actually beat them. How many times have people shoved these games in a drawer in frustration because they couldn’t get past level 1 or 2. There is a very fine line between challenging and ridiculously insane barrages of enemies and bad controls, this then brings us to where games began to ease up (after a long run of keeping the challenge in small bursts).

The Decline of Crap Difficulty

Time’s gone on and tech has improved by leaps and bounds each console generation. During each one, a set of challenging games have filled the void for the old school skill based ones. Though with each generation, the definition of challenge has changed, diminishing the quality of what games used to be.

Those upset by Crash’s difficulty now would find it much easier if they sat back and compared it to games like Contra, GN’G, or Mega Man. Heck if they had beaten Mega Man  in the years before and then went on to play Crash, they’d probably be able to breeze right through it. That’s the problem with developers as gaming has aged. They began to focus in the other aspects besides the challenge, ideals like fun, story driven games, and voice acting, which aren’t bad things. Devs tried to keep the player on their toes, but picking Hard Mode in a game pales in comparison to the only mode in certain games from gaming’s yesteryear. Anyone who looks back will realize we definitely have it easier now than back then.

Then again there is the Souls series and they hold the staple for the Hardest games of our current generation. I’d rather spend hours trying to beat a Mega Man game with hours of failure than try to beat a Souls game at all.

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Guess It’s all Perspective in the end.

-ProdigiousJ

A Stat Reroll: How I’m Changing My Norm

A Stat Reroll: How I’m Changing My Norm

I’m Usually one for lofty speeches

Though as of late, it hasn’t been as consistent for me. I’ve grown to resemble more of a closed book than an open door, keeping people from understanding my contents, my truths, while giving out only enough information to keep people just close enough. I’ve become more of a silent man who walks in the background, a NPC that nobody really needed to notice but got along just as well as he could.

But something hit me the other day, the day of someones birthday, the birthday of a man who I’ve never met before. A Youtuber who I’ve come to admire and respect, who usually has some uplifting message every few months, hell maybe once a week.

Markiplier was not someone I followed back when he started, but rather someone I came across a few years back. Throughout the vast library of videos he has, many of them have helped me get through a hard time, and many who have inspired me to do great things.

Unfortunately, I have never fully acted on that inspiration, never working, living, or playing as hard as I can to become the best I can. Doing what I can to make the world a better place in the best ways I can. I always feel a pang of sadness when I realize I have yet to reach that exciting moment when I fulfill that promise of bettering myself.

But back to the day in question, Markiplier was going on about his birthday and watching older videos of his and reacting to them. He then began to reminisce about how small his channel was at one point, how his life was totally different in the beginning. He talked about how he felt guilty for asking people to share and like his work, and even more so when he had his channel banned and had to re-upload all his videos. There was a moment where he reflected on the instance he almost gave up, almost never went on to restart his channel, and could have decided his limited run as a Youtuber was over.

The World Can Always Change

However, he went through with uploading them all, individually on his “mom’s old internet” he said after his friends convinced him to keep going. He then had to ask his followers to go and individually like, share, etc, his old videos to get the Youtube algorythm to register him better, or however that system actually works.

The basic point of it all was that he changed his life by actually going forward and putting forth the effort to entertain and achieve all that he sought to do. Be better, do better, make the world better. I could be blending that reaction video and his keeping promises video but the message was the same and all too inspiring.

So I decided that day I was going to make a change. Given the situation I am, I have to work harder to get by, I have to schedule better to get to work in all the things I want to do and be. All that I have strived to be since I was a kid, I have to actually work harder than I have to reach it.

This blog, for those few of you who read it, is something I hope makes a better life for someone else out there  as well as for myself and my joy of writing and video games. As is a podcast I’ve started to try to host on with a few work buddies. These are the things that I’ve always wanted to do to entertain, to inform, to reflect and these are now things I need to work on to better reach the success I want.

What I Plan On Doing

I want to work on a new writing schedule for this blog, write when I come home, and instead of posting it at 2 in the morning, post it the next morning after proofreading it and making sure it doesn’t sound groggy and half assed. I also will be trying to schedule some more recording time for the podcast, and after today’s first recording that looks to be an uphill battle. However, I want to keep going and learn from the experience. I want to grow, I want to help and entertain people, maybe brighten a day just like Markiplier does on a daily basis. I don’t seek to be him, but I seek to emulate his enthusiasm to change the world for the better.

My new writing schedule will be Wednesday and Saturday. Sometimes I may include a Friday post as well if something comes up I want to write about. I will keep myself accountable so I will be successful in what I do and how I attempt to help the world around me. I also will happily welcome readers and friends hold me accountable, at least a simple reminder, just to keep me honest. So from now on, expect posts on the most inane, the most beautiful, and the most hilarious (to me anyway) subjects every Wednesday and Saturday.

To close, I’d like to say what Markiplier might try to say at the end of one his inspirational speeches. Guys, for those few who do read, just try to be the good you want to see in the world. Make someone smile, tell a friend a crappy joke when they are feeling down, but do it all with a smile and never give up thinking you can’t change yourself or the world around you. Be strong and always aim to be better every day because if you don’t try to better yourself then you can never grow and you can never learn.

-ProdigiousJ

The Problem People Seem To Have With Far Cry 5

The Problem People Seem To Have With Far Cry 5

“So, uh, God…. think we could just not do stupid people anymore?”

The quote in which I wholeheartedly agreed with when I was watching a Youtube video the other day. A relatively new-ish friend, Chris Kiku Kubiak hosts his own Youtube channel and in a video posted Wednesday, he spoke about stupid people’s reactions to two big reveals in the nerd kingdom. Talking about the reveal trailer of Far Cry 5 and the absurd petition behind it, as well as the comments regarding the new Star Trek series cast being comprised of mostly women and people of other races.

Moments before watching, I had only been recently alerted to the Far Cry 5 petition, and the steam machine that is my brain went into overdrive about what I could possibly say about it. Then I watched Kubiak’s video. The wind in my sails was temporarily taken away, as he had hit pretty much all the ideas I wanted to cover. That didn’t stop me from wanting to write about it. Just means I can parlay my buddy’s quotes and and my own little fuel to the fire.

The Far Cry 5 Petition AKA White Christians Aren’t Bad Everyone Else Is

So, reading, and rereading to make sure I wasn’t daydreaming lunacy, has brought me to the mindset I am now. The one that, as you can read from Kiku’s quote, I am more than wiling to beg the omnipresent universe maker to put a recall on a bad batch of people they shipped out. Defective, in the sense that maybe their mind isn’t firing on all cylinders and could use a tune up.

Do I think people deserve a voice? Hell yes I do, platforms that let anyone with a message or a campaign speak freely is basically how I got my start, which allows me to talk about the stupid moments like this. That doesn’t mean that trolls or legitimately ignorant fans should be able to go about spreading underlying messages like:

  • White Christians are not the bad people, change them to Islamic people!
  • White Christians never hurt anyone, but the black and mexican ones do!
  • America isn’t full of ignorant religious sects who kill people or do downright horrible things, but we kinda heard Canada might!

If you think I’m making shit up, just take a look at what this group, Gamers United, posted in their petition to have the game canned.

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And you thought I was bullshitting you? Yeah hard to stretch this petition for any kind of news. They practically set everyone up for articles and videos to be done about them, which, in a way, is what they want.

Either we’re being trolled super hard (which is the current consensus) and we’re reacting to it which breathes life into said trolls or we’re giving publicity to a group that is wholeheartedly ignorant but stubborn enough to turn any rebuttal into just ‘hate fuel’. I’m not sure how much media coverage this has really received, but it was enough to catch my (and 1,905 people who signed it) attention. They can spin the negative press anyway they can, the more people that see other journalists/bloggers/Youtubers ‘hating’ on it, the more support they rally for their uninformed cause.

Do I think my voice will help people see what exactly is happening? Hell no! I barely get 20 views per article, on a good day. Out of those 20 people, half are likely to just skim the surface of the article and move on, while the other half sees some rationality but doesn’t walk away any wiser. BUT I can at least try to send a message to the stupid/ignorant people who started this petition.

Christian Extremism is NOT New

How to put this delicately… There are many religious sects that can be seen as radical in the terms and conditions their particular deity made them scroll through on sign up. Some have clauses saying they must die in the name of their lord, others say they must worship bovine, and others say do unto others and then proceed to ignore that request for hundreds of years. The big problem with these religions is that they are based on text from a deity or written by those who have talked to them, then loosely warped and twisted to certain people’s views. These divisive sects then pick off the mentally feeble of the bigger groups, like cheetahs hunting gazelle, and pull them into their folds, then asking them to cancel their current subscription of Almighty Monthly and join them in truly honoring their god, sacrificing goats. Or Virgins. Or Drinking Kool-Ade.

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Within all the jokes, there is truth. Religions created sub-religions unconsciously and these sub-religious sometimes become dangerous. A few names of people who followed religion, most Christianity, had a moment change them and set them on a path to form smaller sects, better known as cults are:

  • Heaven’s Gate: Started by a man, Marshall Applewhite, who had just had a near death experience and claimed to see a religious vision. Believing he and his nurse were “The Two” described in the Book of Revelations, started a somewhat small following who drank arsenic and vodka flavored juice to commit suicide, just so they could die and their spirits hitch a ride on a Spaceship following a comet.
  • Peoples Temple: One of the larger cults out there started by a man who followed the Pentecostal faith (oh look another sect of Christianity). Jim Jones was widely successful in getting people to follow him, including African Americans because he preached racial equality. Now sure, they had the racial aspect Gamers United was asking for, but doesn’t make this any less culty. I didn’t dive to deeply into the history, as there seemed to be a decent amount, but his cult was responsible for the death of a political figure, and in order to save themselves from the backlash, drank the “Kool-Aid”, commiting massive suicide.
  • Scientology: This one is obvious, the most well known in our current society. And yes, I see it as a cult. Founded by science fiction author L. Ron Hubbard, who crafted the Church of Scientology based of his system of Dianetics, which was basically a mental health science he crafted which spun into a huge movement. This one doesn’t have any grounding in Christianity, but it does have creators “Thetans” and some odd story about a galactic tyrant. Just reading about this is weird, but the main message is they have been accused by former members of basically brainwashing them and controlling parts of their lives (and money). No mass suicides here, but the crazy still stands.

I know, little to go off of when we are talking about Far Cry 5’s extremist Christians in Montana, but honestly a simple Google search showed at least 15 other examples of insane Church organizations that either inflicted violence on people around them, or called for weird and sometimes perverse practices. All in the name of religion.

“Who The Fuck Wants To Shoot Canadians?”

Spot on, Kiku, spot on. I was thinking it but you said it. Taking into consideration that Ubisoft wont change the set story it probably took more than a year to craft, the extremist, white, Christian aspect will most likely not change too much. But let’s just say one demand was picked by Ubisoft and they said “Why the fuck not, let’s at least lower the olive branch.” What on Earth makes you think they’d start by picking Canada as the locale swap?

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The Only Kind of Shooting You Find In Canada

The one country famous for being ridiculously over polite, even their arguments end in apologies. The country that really seems to have their shit together in comparison to ours, is the one place you want violence to erupt in? Do you just not pay attention to how Canadian’s act. Super polite, respectful. Hell, I’m not saying that they don’t have a bad side, if they didn’t then I would start suspecting them of being Cyborgs or Alien Pod People but that doesn’t mean they are secretly the most violent place on the planet.

Asking Ubisoft to move it to Canada is a sheltered idea. I say this because you don’t want to “turn away potential players due to offensiveness” and by keeping it in America, you say that American’s will not buy it. How is it offensive? To say that American Extreme Christians don’t exist was wrong, so what’s left is that you don’t think Americans can be violent against other Americans.

Have you looked at the news? Have you heard of any of the heinous acts human beings are doing upon others in our own country? Before you spin it to be Islam or other races, there have been plenty of White American on everybody else attacks. To say they don’t happen, just proves how sheltered you are.

To run down the history of each locale for the past games, I’ll make a list and see if you can spot a fucking pattern:

  • Far Cry: South Pacific rain forests
  • Far Cry 2: African Landscapes
  • Far Cry 3: Tropical Islands between the Indian and Pacific Oceans
  • Far Cry 4: Himalayan Country

Now what do they have in common? A lot of these areas that either the games are set in or based upon have been ravaged by wars of some kind, with each game basically picking up on those specific themes. Africa has been ravaged by wars, South Pacific rain forests are just cliche at this point but they have been commonly done as a wartime or mercenary shoot up free for all. The tropical Island setting has had it’s fair share of use but there is a fair grain of realism as there were and still are modern day pirates running around stealing and killing. Himalayan Country actually has the fucking developer stating they were inspired by the Nepalese Civil War.

Real life connections to these game locations, actual logical settings for each one. Minus the first Far Cry  as again it was an over used troupe as far as I’m concerned. So why is America such a bad place to set the game? Oh, wait…. it’s perfect.

As Controversial as it maybe, the game is picking up on key tones that can be found in America. It is only offensive if you don’t realize this has happened, that this may be happening in our own country. Then again, you probably wont buy that response but honestly, let’s not drag Canada into your squabble with violence in America/Video Games.

The Long and Short of It

Honestly, I felt more came from this article than I expected. I thought Kiku said all there was but I guess I just felt like I had more to offer. I got carried away on a few tangents, had to do a bit of last minute research, and even got to use my favorite sentence enhancer a few times.

The basic thing is this: I get it. I know you’re either trolling or truly ignorant of what is happening in the world around you. That you want to blame other races you’ve been told or shown were hostile towards you and you’d rather they be the bad guy than someone you relate to. You also maybe religions can do no wrong, that god is good and making the bad guys use god as a reason for horrible actions ‘just isn’t your god’. And also that you would rather have Canada go up in a hale of gunfire, not sure what they did to you but ok.

The truth of all this is you don’t know any better, or maybe you do and you just choose not to acknowledge it. Guess what, though? The petition wont change their minds, and whether you meant to or not, you probably pushed the game into people’s ‘buy’ column just because this was absurd. So if you were just trollin’, good job, you did your job. High Fives all around. If you are serious, Gamers United, then I just feel really sorry for you.

Also if you are interested in seeing this absurd petition, I’ll provide a link below just for shits and giggles.

https://www.change.org/p/ubisoft-cancel-far-cry-5

ProdgiousJ

Open World Games: My Game Addiction

Open World Games: My Game Addiction

I’ll be honest, Open World Video Games are my crack.

99%

Just completing my 87+ hour run of Mass Effect: Andromeda, maxing out at 99% (due to broken quests), I feel a sense of both pride and shame admitting to others just how much of my time I invested in this game. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Mass Effect series, always have, no matter the ridiculous color endings of the 3rd installment or the horrifically buggy  recent entry to the franchise. My issue is mainly with the Open World/Sandbox genre of games and how it sucks me in and never lets me go till I have scoured each sand grain on each planet.

I have a sense of duty to complete games like these because, at heart, I am a completionist when my time allows it. My PSN trophy wall with just two maybe three Platinum trophies listed there may say otherwise, but I know the nagging pull of completion the second I see percentage on game saves. It wasn’t always this way, in fact my foremost gaming years were spent just blazing through to the end, either missing the games hidden epic weapons or just getting stuck in one spot and never playing the game again all because I couldn’t spare the energy grinding or searching other areas. This addiction has developed over the years and games like Mass Effect has certainly been the root cause of it all. The idea of good/evil responses, the risk of losing squad mates to perma death if under questing, and so on enticed me as I grew older and somewhat wiser.

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The number of games I’ve spent months, yes months, playing and replaying rank fairly high. I’m sure someone out there has me beat but I can say for certain that my list is too high for my own good. Fallout 3, Fallout New Vegas, Mass Effect 1-3 & Andromeda, Borederlands, and the Infamous series all find a place in my Hall of Fame/Shame. I don’t begin to understand what it is that has me so drawn in to games like these, or why the addiction didn’t manifest earlier so I could have more thoroughly enjoyed the Final Fantasy series. I wished I had some clue as to if this was a overtly bad thing or, if in some small way, this said something about commitment or dedication.

I feel that it has allowed me to focus on things with some sense of clarity, since I see the large scope of the in game worlds as living environments that need to be over analyzed to find true meaning. It has also made me more vulnerable. Upon finishing my run of ME A, I found myself being touched by the epilogue, all the thank yous, the rewards for me getting as close to 100% as you can maybe it feel worth it. However it also made me feel empty once I realized “I’m done, that’s it”. All decisions were made, all quests complete”. I thought to myself what some people look at with book or movie series ending; “What Now?”. That feeling of being hollow made me worried that my addiction would lead me into jumping into another open world game, like Horizon Zero Dawn sitting on my shelf. Just jumping from fix to fix, hoping I’ll have something to keep me going till I unfortunately run out of new games.

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Can’t say for certain writing this gave me any clarity to my situation, but it felt nice to get it in writing. Who knows, maybe someone out there feels the same way I do, and can shed some light on things.

 

What Extra Life Charity Means To Me

What Extra Life Charity Means To Me

How Many People Do You Know Who Have Been Sick?

Everyone you’ve ever met, I’m sure. If someone you know has never been sick is either a cyborg in disguise or a mutant, and you probably should look at that friend with a more watchful eye. Regardless, everyone and their mothers has gotten sick one time or another in their lives. Some people are fortunate enough to recover from their sickness or there is some over the counter medicine that can make them feel better till the bug passes. Unfortunately for others, some illnesses don’t go away easily, especially for the young and old folks among us.

In my life, I have burned through many sick days, I have had issues that simple Pepto and Cold Medicines couldn’t cure me off. I’ve had my tonsils out, my hearing threatened 10 times over when I was a 5 years old, and I’ve had my esophagus burned to hell due to aggressive acid reflux that I didn’t know I could have at the age of 15. My medical background has been a roller coaster, some major points in my health that scared me more than I think any kid could handle, but mine wasn’t even the worst thing kids have to deal with. A few of my friends growing up have gone through the horrible monster known as cancer, and out of those who battled cancer around me, only a handful survived.

The entire situation is draining on all parties involved, be it the physical pain of the child going through chemo therapy, or the financial burden the families have when trying to make sure they kid has everything they need in order to try to have a normal childhood despite the trauma they are going through.

Tons of kids go through this so much more than we notice, and it’s not only cancer these brave kiddos are dealing with, but other severe diseases that prevent them from living a full life. This idea that they can’t enjoy a life that they just recently started just leaves a sour taste in my mouth. Knowing that these kids are being denied the true experience of life in all it’s joy and splendor kills me inside, I just can’t help but want to scream. I mean, I could scream mindlessly to the heavens about the injustice of it, or I could do what the guys over at Extra Life have done and brings people together to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network, which provide the funds for children’s hospitals to do treatments and help improve the children’s wellbeing.

How do they do it? Well one of the biggest ways is by recruiting gamers, yes you read that right, gamers, and have them ask for donations from friends and family, as well as participate in an event known as Game Day (Nov. 5 this year) where they let you play games of your choosing and play for 24 hours straight. I’ll admit, I’m still a bit fuzzy on how the playing games for 24 hours but I completely understand the donations.

I’ve been working my way to participating in active fundraising and game play over the past few years, but I am always behind in one way or another. The main thing is I want to raise awareness for Extra Life. If I can’t bring money to the table, I can bring other people, or at least I hope so.

Extra Life is a beacon of hope in a dark world where kids are refused the ability to grow up like everyone else because an illness is preventing them from keeping up. Extra Life is trying to even the playing field by lending a hand to those who can treat them, giving them a new lease on life. I love the idea of taking away that chaos that was imparted on these children who had never done anything to create chaos of there own. With my own kids having medical issues in their infancy, hospitals supported by this group were there for them when they needed the most.

It would mean the world to me if you could check out my page, just take a look at the Extra Life site in general and learn about what they do and who supports them. The more awareness this cause has, the more good that can be done in the fight against childhood illnesses.

I know this was a rambling type post tonight, and I’ll admit I’m not sure if everything was coherent in the slightest. It’s been a long day but I continually feel I need to help people, and Extra Life and Children’s Miracle Networks are the start of hopefully more charity work I’ll be able to do in the future.

Dialogue Trees In Real Life

Dialogue Trees In Real Life

Have you ever wished you could take back something embarrassing you’ve said?

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I’m sure many of us have made this wish on nights where our insomnia reigns supreme while the horrible conversations run on repeat. I have these moments continually in life, my anxiety is always preventing me from sleeping without first entertaining thoughts of all the mildly (majorly) embarrassing things I’ve done in life.  In an attempt to rationalize things, I try to create scenarios where I would say something cooler or at least smoother.

Inner me is cooler by all means, but real life Jay doesn’t meet the standards of cool I’ve set. I was thinking about this earlier today, as I was working at the airport where I deal with customers on a daily basis and my comments always get jumbled or I get caught of guard by people’s questions I don’t expect. Then a question came to mind as I sat down on break; What if I had a dialogue tree? Would my conversations with people become stress free? In the end, I would have to say it would make life more interesting, that’s for sure.

Imagine a customer comes up and they decide they want to be rude and interrupt you every time you open your mouth. What if you were given three choices on how to respond, the standard dialogue tree affair with Good, Neutral, Or Bad, and could see them in front of you before you spoke. The amount of time you could wait to respond comes included in this package, so you could weigh each choice with a decent amount of time and come to terms with the consequences. You decide you’ve had about enough of rude customers today so you pop off a comment from the Bad column and start by interrupting them and tell them off in the most fantastic way. You have a moment in the sun, sure you may regret the decision later, but you sounded as cool as you sound in your head. Finally.

Of course reality isn’t always as great as you imagine in your mind, but one can dream. Implementing video game mechanics into real life would make things a little more enjoyable and possibly improve your social life. Or destroy it, if it were me.

I know my thoughts may come off childish, but I’m sure I can’t be the only one who thinks things like this, so I would like to hear what video game mechanics you would implement in the real world?

Would you use dialogue trees, or would you rather introduce open combat against horrid customers? Well if you are the latter, you should look into an up and coming Indie game known as I Hate My Job by Devious Gamers. They are running a fund raising campaign to get marketing funds in the US. They have already had a soft launch in India and it looked promising. So if you want to take a look into the company or feel interested in backing such a project, I’ll post links below.

Devious Gamers Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/deviousgamersofficial/

I Hate My Job IndieGoGo: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-devious-gamers-launch-i-hate-my-job-game-mobile#/

P.S.

I want to note that I will eventually start doing video game reviews and news when I get into a regular routine. So those of you who start to follow me, I will be including these in my future writings. It also depends on my financial situation but I digress and say hopefully in the near future that can begin.

Image credit: Mass Effect and GameSkinny Article  Featured Image: Fallout 4