a complete history of the annoying and unfunny versions of myself that i've been/am.About ask me a thing
…why do all the lesbian netflix movies have real titles and interesting looking posters when all of the gay movies have names like “His Secret Life” or “Almost Normal” or “Boys Night Out 3” or “Head On” or
“Walk a Mile in My Pradas”
guys what EVEN.
- God: *creates the human butt*
- God: Oh they are gonna love this
What’s more than just vaguely annoying is that there’s still a small part of me that totally wants like that ~*~bohemian poet~*~ underground pre-[insert literary movement] lifestyle but there’s really no reason for it and it’s totally opposed to anything else I want, and it spends a lot of the time getting in the way of me liking real actual people who are gr8
In retrospect I really like the idea that in video games you have to learn to jump or fly or swim. Since often it’s built into the tutorial level, which is a strange in-between world that I really like. It’s this world that should appropriately foreshadow what’s to come thematically and in design and whatever. But also it can’t—or maybe shouldn’t—be too alienating. It has to teach you about this new world but also understand that you’re coming from a world sometimes totally different, or in other times pretty much the same but less or more pretty.
Sometimes it’s built into the story that your character, already in some sense an adult, still for some reason has to learn how to BE, but there’s no escaping the fact that this character in the world of the game is telling your character to press X or O twice to double-jump. Walk up to me and tell me to press X and I’d think of my Playstation controller but I won’t assume you’re telling me anything about how to cross this real-life bridge.
“Fuck. I have to write an essay about Apollonius.”
“Oh, no, dude, it’s fine, just press X three times and then triangle.”
Anyway. I think it’s really interesting and neat that there’s this in-between place and that your character isn’t so much learning how to walk, as they are learning how to walk with you. And yeah in a sense you’re God—or you’re their religion. You may not have made this world, but the world is for you, and though you may not yet know how to explore it, you are their guide. That is your task: to inhabit THEIR body with YOUR mind (or soul, or whatever, if you want this to get even more unnecessarily metaphysical or spiritual or whatever oh my god Dom it’s just a VIDEO GAME, YOU DON’T EVEN STILL PLAY VIDEO GAMES). It is your task to understand how to move around in this world. To, in some cases, “win”, you have to understand the limitations of this new body, and of this world. No, you can’t hold on to that ledge because it’s not even physically there and is actually just painted onto this cliffside which is actually just strings of code. But yes, you can find the key behind that bush, which unlocks that door, which leads you closer to your goal, which is what this world was made for, and so it is the most important thing. This world was crafted to confound you but also to lead you, eventually, to some sort of end. And maybe sometimes to bring you to a real-life truth. Or at least a really funny ending video clip where the villain gets thrown into a volcano, which is gratifying since he was such an asshole the whole time you were playing.
And so for me at least, this relationship I have with the world of the game through the in-between world, or whatever, has totally informed how I see our own world. Sometimes I think of elevators as loading screens, which they sort of are, in the sense that an old world is disappearing and a new world is being generated around you, all the while you’re liberated or protected or given a break from it by these shiny metal doors and a column of buttons. I think of the objects around me and how, unlike in a game, I can’t just approximate my relationship to them. I can’t just put my hand SORTA near my mug and expect it to enter into my inventory (and also my backpack does not, in fact, have the capacity to hold fifteen first-aid packs and eighty guns). To pick up this mug I have to really engage with it, and have a respect for its shape and form and weight and how it fits into my hand.
And the reason why I’m thinking and writing about all this is because just now I did a little jump and touched the ceiling of the library where I’m sitting (and where I also just rode the elevator). And I thought about how many times I’ve learned how to jump in different virtual bodies, and how jumping felt easier and better in some games and clunky and weird and unnatural and others. And the “better” jumping didn’t feel better because it felt truer to my own experience of jumping, but because it felt perfectly congruent with the physics of the world in which I was jumping. It felt like this in-game character was really a part of that world— and so, for a moment, was I.
And even though I wasn’t outside in the real world doing real jumps (but I did spend a lot of time doing that too! I wasn’t a loaf. Well I mean I was a loaf but not a huge loaf), I think I still learned something meaningful about the real world, how to feel like I’m really interacting well with the environments and objects I find myself in the presence of.
Or in the presence of me.
Whatever. The difference between those two sentiments depends on whether or not I want to think the world was constructed specifically to confound me in order to then to lead me, ultimately, to a truth. And I don’t think it was, and I don’t think it will. And some times a better way to learn how to be in the real world is to learn how to be in another one. This is why fantasy works, and why learning geometry is really cool.
And I also never officially “beat” Spyro the Dragon or Tomb Raider and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I find myself regretting inebriation (because when I’m drunk and I try to talk to people I’m sooooort of articulate but also can’t remember anything which makes the person I’m talking to think I’m not paying attention (which I am!) and I end up using that shout-talk voice because the party is loud and my voice is 98% bass anyway, but it still comes off sounding aggressive and weird maybe i don’t know), yet in the moment I always want to augment my reality in some way. Is this like some fear or confidence that the party won’t sufficiently take me out of this world and create an atmosphere for itself? I mean, they usually don’t even when I AM drunk so what am I doing?
But also is it maybe a little too romantic and weird for me to expect that my college’s dining hall, retrofitted for a 1920’s party, still looks like a dining hall and does not, in fact—and WON’T, in fact—have Kathy Bates as Gertrude Stein walking around giving me advice? And asking me to come to her awesome “open home” or whatever. Also Midnight in Paris wasn’t even that GOOD but damn was it delightful.
what’s weirder…? the fact that i find it cool and validating when someone tells me with enthusiasm to “TWEET THAT” in response to something i’ve said, or that recognizing the mass-appeal of my everyday comments is now a compliment?