5 Tips for Unfocused Artists

authorday

 

It’s ten minutes to 1pm on a Sunday afternoon, and the last thing I want to do is sit here at this computer and form words together on a word processor.

At least, that’s what my body is telling me:

There’re dishes to do.

Laundry to put away.

Brunch to cook and eat.

A shower to have.

Groceries and hormone medication to purchase.

And a mother to go and visit – long, long, overdue.

And yet, I have been aching — physically crying out — to sit down and write, all weekend. I want to be here. I want to sit down at this desk (technically breakfast bar?) and reconfigure the last problem area in Book of Wind, so that I can finally move on to something else (Hopefully, Eri book 2).

I’ve been sitting here since 9 o’clock this morning, listening to the Happy Console Gamer and the Diablo 1 OST with pieces of a new chapter spread across three different open documents, Wikipedia tabs open pertaining to the geographies of Scotland and Ireland, a dictionary.com definition of ocean firths, a Google images search for “firth” (resulting in an endless wall of Colin Firths), not to mention bringing up inside jokes with my live-in partner about Shinji Ikari’s cousin from the southern states, Corncob Ikari, to which I am being verbally assaulted for merely mentioning here and now in writing (“How dare you reveal our secrets? I’m mad right now.”), and nothing to show for this newly-revised chapter other than mental exhaustion and a bladder full of coffee and Jade Citrus Mint tea.

I know what this chapter looks like. I know what needs to happen and where it needs to go. Its contents are easily-visualized in my imagination. It’s just a matter of sitting down and doing it. Putting the time in, powering through, distraction-free.

 

corncobikari

And you bet your buns I took necessary time away from writing so that I could make this picture of Shinji’s American cousin, Corncob Ikari. He’s a farmer from Nebraska.

Except, of course, it’s not that easy.

In my last blog post (I’m going to pretend it was last week, because this is supposed to be a weekly blog, right?), I mentioned the struggle of diverging focus on building a social media audience, when all of my energy wants to go to writing. Ultimately, this leads to mental exhaustion.

I want to write, I physically need to write. So I sit down, put on some music, and stare at a blank screen for as long as my body will allow until the sudden urge to get up and make a tea, or go to the bathroom, or snuggle with my cat, or joke with my partner, or all of the above, takes over.

Most every artist who dabbles in throwing words at a page struggles with procrastination and focus. My background is in journalism, and this problem was prevalent with myself, my peers, backed by evidence supported by our collective professors and mentors in the field. It’s no wonder why so many writers struggle with substance abuse: drugs and alchohol sometimes help bring down the internal walls guarded by Inner Critics and Overanalyzers.

And as someone who has recently discovered that she’s more than likely been living with undiagnosed Inattentive-Presenting ADHD for all of her life, the temptation to drown my unhinged thoughts and lack of focus with a brim-tall glass of wine and a few puffs of the ganja are pretty strong right now. Because, haha, Heaven knows downing twelve cups of tea and coffee in a row does the complete opposite of what I need my body to do, and I start to feel sleepy.

I’m sure some of you can relate to this sense of artistic frustration in one way or another. And it’s easy to be frustrated with one’s self-imposed expectations for “productivity”.

But I think the imporant thing to recognize here is that it’s happening, and to forgive yourself in the moment, and most important: try to maintain good humour about these frustrations.

When you’re able to recognize your “faults”, and laugh at yourself, the dehibilitating power of these issues we face when it comes to starting, and finishing, our art projects ultimately become lessened. At least, I like to think so. Sure, we’re still going to procrastonate, and become frustrated, and absentmindedly leave a wall of Colin Firths open in our Internet Browser (because fuck that’s funny to click on when we least expect it). But recognizing these patterns and why they are happening (be it internal or external forces vying for your attention) allows us some grace as artists to step back, have a chuckle, and utilize our imaginations as a problem-solving mechanism.

I mean, part of our job as artists is to problem solve, right? Whether you’re a painter, an author, a sculptor, what have you, we are all ultimately sitting down with a dozen or so intellectual pieces of a potential puzzle we’d like to solve (the puzzle being whatever project we’re working on, and the pieces being the literal vague or planned ideas we would like to incorporate into these projects). The only difference is that we are trying to solve a much bigger project: our ability to create in an efficient way.

So, for the sake of keeping myself on task, and hopefully try and help some of you who also struggle with these issues, I’ve come up with five ways to help refocus attention on the creative process. Here are some strategies I use:

Meditation: I’ve been meditating on and off since about 2014. My then-business coach  introduced me to mindfulness meditation and Buddhism at a time when I knew things in my life needed to change.

I love meditation because the practice isn’t so much about emptying my mind (like the media often portrays), as it is recognizing my thoughts and separating myself from them; recognizing thoughts as things that are independent from me as a person, and allowing these thoughts to simply pass by as I focus on the relaxing effects of deep breathing.

I typically can’t bring myself to meditate for more than twenty minutes at a time, and it needs to happen in a dark and quiet place where I can close my eyes, seperate from the rest of the world. Even a quick five minute session helps to ground me in a way where all stress and tension seem to just evaporate.

 

Listening to/humming instrumental music: I’ve always used music to write with. Even as a kid, writing stories on my brother’s pentium work laptop (he was a door-to-door salesman for Kirby Vaccum Cleaners), listening to shitty MIDI-quality songs from favourite video games and cartoons was an integral aspect of my creative process.

I say instrumental music works best, because of how distracted I can get listening to anything with lyrics attached to them. There are plenty of artists who can throw on AC/DC or Drake, or Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album, and create to their heart’s content with relative ease (Stephen King is my favourite example of this; the guy rocks out like nobody’s business when he’s creating.) I can’t do it, though. My ears focus on the lyrics instead of the words trying to form in my brain, and it’s just a disaster from there on out.

Instrumental music sets tone and mood of the scenes just as well, in my opinion, and because there are few to no words attached to said songs, the music itself helps focus my thoughts in a creative direction, driving out any other sort of mental intrusion.

At the time of this writing, I’m a Starbucks barista in my spare time, and the same tactic applies: because there can be so much to do and keep on top of (you’d be surprised how much there is to keep on top of, for a job that revolves around the serving of coffee), that I often find myself humming high-octane themes from some of my favourite video games (Final Fantasy II, Phantasy Star, DOOM) to help focus my attention and keep pace with my coworkers.

 

Smoking the ganja: I have a complicated relationship with cannibis. Sometimes it helps, sometimes it makes things worse. Cannibis has wonderful healing and coping properties, but I will be the first to warn anyone that its effects (both for better or for worse) differ from person to person. Sometimes I hyperfocus on otherwise neglected tasks (doing dishes, getting back to people’s texts…). Sometimes I’ll overthink every self-percieved flaw and have an emotional breakdown because I’m a horrible human being who should have recognized the signs that my ill cat had contracted something months ago, and should have taken her to the vet ASAP (Don’t worry – I did, and she’s doing just fine).

When I use cannibis, typically it’s for making art and writing. Because of the way my brain is wired, cannibis helps focus me in a way that nothing else can. It breaks down self-imposed limiting barriers, which for an artist, can be a supreme obstacle to overcome. There are no inner critics, there are no imposing thoughts of, “I have to do laundry, I have to make lunches, I have to pay the bills” — there’s just the hyperfocused ability to enter into your art in its rawest form, and simply create, or see problem scenes/characters from a different perspective.

The Master of Monsters was a project I struggled with for over a decade, until I discovered cannibis, and it’s no wonder why so many creative people use it. The stuff helped me realize a lot of problems in MoM’s narrative, and aided in the creation some of the best and most memorable chapters and plot developments not present in previous drafts. It’s still not a perfect book by any means, but it is a book that I can now proudly stand by as an artist who has matured and honed her craft.

In that regard, cannibis is an amazing tool for the creative process. It’s just important to try to not rely on it as a tool. Good writing comes from practice, and great writing comes from opening your work up to external constructive criticism and subsequent revising. Cannibis might help lower self-imposed walls, but it doesn’t make you a better artist; being in-tune with yourself and your projects makes you a better artist.

 

Working in a closed-off and/or uncluttered area with a lot of space around me: This one’s really important, and to some of you readers, is likely a no-brainer. Personally speaking, I need a lot of space to create. The table or desk needs to be at the perfect height in ratio with the seat of my chair, there needs to be a ton of natural light coming in from somewhere, and a tea kettle needs to be near-boiling close by. Working in a wide-open, distraction-free, area helps alleviate any chance of me feeling suffocated and needing to constantly get up and move.

Perhaps this point is more about harnessing healthy rituals than it is finding the perfect place to sit and work on whatever project is at the top of the list. Creating routine in your life as an artist is just as important as creating art. 

Whether it’s simply about getting dressed in the morning and having a cup of coffee before you create, or limiting access to all WiFi-enabled devices, or going for a brisk walk, or throwing on some amazing hip-hop beats, it’s important that you find what works for you and your muse, in order to be at the top of your potential that day.

 

Practice patience and self-forgiveness for the days that just don’t work out: This is a tough one. And is quite honestly, the most important point on this list. Some days you’re going to sit down at your desk with good intentions, only to stare at a blank screen for hours at a time. Sometimes external factors will demand your focus and attention on days you’re feeling most creative. Somtimes your body, or your mind, or both, will work against you in ways that will make you feel defeated and filled with resentment.

It’s easy to get frustrated with the lack of productivity. Being a creative person comes with a term I learned in journalism school, called “hurry up and wait”. Waiting for the ideas to come, waiting for inspriation to knock on your door, waiting for the caffiene to kick in, waiting for the end of this long and grueling process to be over, so you can move on to the next fresh and exciting idea that keeps knocking on your door.

Sometimes you have to buckle in and drive through these moments of inactivity. Sometimes you have to sit back and say to yourself, “Listen, today didn’t happen. I’m not okay with that, and this is why, but I realize tomorrow is a new day. I’ll try again then.”

Being real with yourself is the key point here. And for most of us, tomorrow will come, and tomorrow will offer new opporotunities to try again. And if it doesn’t, then it’s important to try not to be so hard on yourself.

When I’m feeling this way, I always know my partner and my close friends will be there to support me, and talk sense into me. Shit happens, right? Life will go on, and your project will get finished, so long as you keep plugging away and don’t give up on it.

Accept the day for what it was, recognize where you can improve, but most of all, be patient and forgive yourself when you think you’ve failed. In the grand scheme of things, you are likely more productive than you actually believe you are.

 

grumblegrumble

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The Super Nintendo: A Retrospective

Here’s another video game-related blog entry, but this time with a more of a positive light.

You can always tell the lasting factor of a console, not only by its durability, but by the games created for it. There were a lot of really great games on the Super Nintendo – maybe more so than its predecessor. I mean, I’m not saying this out of personal opinion. It’s true. Ask anyone who owned a Super Nintendo: the good-to-bad ratio of games was ridiculously high; likely around 75 – 80 per cent, and was something I never saw again until the Sony PlayStation.

Just like in the days of NES, Capcom and Konami were ready at the flanks, but this time, backing the rear was Squaresoft, who tried to make a name for itself on the NES, but was successful only with Final Fantasy. This time around, however, Square was ready to take on anything, and although there were still really annoying things about its games (My biggest gripe being broken AI in Secret of Mana), the company easily made up for it this time around with immersive stories and characters, unforgettable soundtracks, and continnual innovation in the RPG genre. They hit a goldmine with Final Fantasy, and throughout the 16-bit era, stayed with what worked for them best, bringing us classics such as Secret of Mana, Final Fantasy II, Breath of Fire (even though Capcom developed it), and what is known throughout the “hardcore gaming” community as The Masterpiece Trilogy: Super Mario RPG, Final Fantasy III, and Chrono Trigger.

Man, what a great system. I still remember when I opened it up Christmas morning, in 1992. Instead of most kids who got Super Mario World with the console, my pack-in was Mario Paint – which I always assumed was my mom’s doing, as she knew I was a pretty artsy kid. Alongside that, my brother gave (or rather, I later found out, lent) me some of his own games, such as Super Star Wars and Equinox,

As a kid, it was amazing to come off of Super Mario Bros. 3 – which I got for my birthday just that past April – onto such an upgrade in Super Mario World. Everything about that game just blew me away: rotating walls, giant Bullet Bills, and Goombas that looked kind of three-dimensional somehow in their waddle, in comparison to their NES ancestors. As a six-year-old kid, playing Super Mario World was quite a surreal feeling for me.

I remember on Boxing Day that year, my dad took me to a place in the neighbouring town. I’m not sure how to describe the store properly, but at the time, I guess it was kind of like a Hock Shop, but I don’t remember there being anything other than video games (but that could be attributed to the fact that all the games were at the front of the store, and that was the only thing I cared about at the time). There were glass cases in the middle of the front area, all lined with loose cartridges – that may or may not have the coveted instruction booklet with them. The walls in the front area were stocked with games that were either in their original packaging, or in the cheap plastic rental cases.

The place had the weirdest name for a store, and it’s always stuck with me:

The Green Door.

It was on that fateful day that I, for the first time ever, bought a video game with my own money: Super Ghouls N Ghosts, complete in the box with manual, for thirty dollars; money from my grandmother.

From that point on, figuratively speaking, a sacred trinity had been: myself, my consoles, and that store – up until The Green Door finally swung shut a good five or so years later.

The SNES Jr. came out in late ’97, offering parents an affordable alternative
($99.95, packed-in with Yoshi’s Island) to the newer N64 and PSX.

One of the most incredible things about the SNES, is the fact that Miyamoto was so confident in their current winner of the legendary “Console War of the ‘90s”, that he experimented with going fully 3D through Star Fox, despite three years into the console’s life cycle. For the task, Nintendo created something called the Super FX chip. Only a handful of games in total ever used this chip (and its predecessor – the Super FX Chip 2), which could harness a basic idea of early three-dimensional technology in console gaming.

And then on top of that, ID and Williams Entertainment announced they were going to port DOOM, a gargantuan PC DOS game, onto the Super Nintendo, through use of the Super FX chip. …And somehow they did it. The game lost a lot of its visual flare, and it controls like a tank, but in some ways, it’s a better port than the 32X version, which came out later. The music in the SNES port of DOOM is great, though – far better than its PC version, I think.

And when I didn’t think things could get any better, I saw this commercial one Saturday morning:

Whoa, are you serious?! Game Boy games? On your Super Nintendo?! At the time, I thought I died and went to heaven. When the Super Game Boy came out, my dad rented it and Super Wario Land for me, and for that entire weekend, I refused to come out of my bedroom.

Although I had a good, healthy relationship with The Green Door, I didn’t have nearly as many games as a lot of people I went to school with. To be honest, I rented games more than actually bought them, and I think my parents used our local video store as a tool to get a good idea of games I liked and what to get me for birthdays and Christmas. And then there was that one time where both Santa AND one of my brothers got me Wario’s Woods. I remember thinking Santa must have been incredibly drunk out of his mind for that kind of doosey to happen.

Turns out my dad and brother just don’t talk.

In addition to this little retrospective, I thought I would also go ahead and say a little bit about particular games on the console that I’ve enjoyed.

What can I say about Super Metroid that hasn’t already been said? The game is visually stunning, the soundtrack is one of the most beautiful (and haunting) on the console, and as far as sequels go, this one takes the cake, building off of the original Metroid and refining it in almost every — no, not almost — in EVERY single way.

One thing people don’t don’t really ever seem to touch on (or at least that’s what I’ve noticed) when talking about how great Super Metroid is, is the subtle use of a non-textual narrative. Yeah, all right, there’s still that text scroll prologue at the beginning of the game, but outside of that, Super Metroid’s entire narrative is told through things Samus crosses paths with on her journey to the bowels of Planet Zebes.

A great example of the game’s use of non-textual narrative is when you first stumble across Kraid’s Lair. You find yourself face to face with a creature that very much resembles a mid-boss from the first Metroid game, called Kraid. You blow him apart with a couple of super missiles, collect the goods, and head on your way — until you get to the opposite side of the next room, and discover, laying before the door that lead’s to the real boss lair…:

Who is this poor soul? Is he an astronaut from the wrecked ship found later on in the game? Is he a bounty hunter, like Samus Aran? Who knows? — But that’s the greatness of this game: it doesn’t force-feed exposition down the player’s throat, instead allowing a sense of imagination to flow. This was a great implantation, and I think it totally works in this game.

In my mind, he is a  bounty hunter, just like Samus. So every time I see him for the “first time” in Kraid’s lair, I always be sure to have Samus kneel in front of him as a sign of respect. Silly, I know, but whatever.

I love this game. A Link to the Past is by far, hands down, the best entry in the Zelda series after the NES original, and before Minish Cap on the Game Boy Advance. I’m not sure what resonates so well with me about A Link to the Past. I suppose it has to do with the grand sense of adventure that I feel every time I pop this cartridge in. And I think the great atmosphere about this game — that I feel, even now as I write this blurb — has a LOT to do with the game’s soundtrack.

Koji Kondo did a great job capturing the feel of his soundtrack on the first Zelda on the NES in this game, and while I do think gameplay takes precedent in what makes a video game good, I’m not sure how much enjoyment I would get out of A Link to the Past if somebody else other than Kondo composed.

Don’t get me wrong, there are so many other things that makes A Link to the Past an incredible game, such as the solid gameplay, beautiful graphics, and the masterful dungeon design (except for Turtle Rock. Screw that first area. So much magic WASTED trying to navigate those moving platforms properly. Ugh), but the music plays such a huge part in why I love the game.

Role Playing Games (RPGs) were a huge part of my childhood as a … child. Hurf. And when Square made games on the Super Nintendo, I was consistently lost in a world of magic, magic, swords, and monsters. Final Fantasy II, I remember I got very unexpectedly for Christmas one year, and right from the start, I was drawn in by the tragic story of a conflicted knight torn between his duties for his country and the morale of his heart. A story built around the idea of one man’s repentance wasn’t something I saw much in video games back in the day.

Parasite EVE on the Sony PlayStation (also by Square) was toted around its release to be “THE CINEMATIC RPG”, but I highly disagree. Square had been making “cinematic RPGs” long before that time, and I really think Final Fantasy II on Super Nintendo really holds true to that kind of feeling. This game brought out the importance of great story-telling for me, which has played an integral role in my own fiction writing.

You can also find this game, remade, on the Nintendo DS — and the cinematic aspects are even more prevalent there. When the game first came out, I was incredibly excited to get my hands on it, and I feel it was wise for Square to choose Final Fantasy II over the other classic entries in the series to bring to the DS. Just the trailer alone sent shivers down my spine at the time.

Shadowrun is a best known as a table-top RPG (think Dungeons & Dragons and Marvel Superheroes), and has seen several adaptions, in both novel and video game form. There was a version of Shadowrun on the Sega Genesis which was totally different from the SNES game (and fans tote to be superior). I’ve never played the Genesis version, but even so, Shadowrun on the Super Nintendo has to be one of the best Western RPGs I’ve played.

The atmosphere of Shadowrun is what sticks out the most to me. It’s pretty dark and gritty for a SNES game, and while it is very loosely based on the official Shadowrun lore, the atmosphere of the game keeps me coming back. When I first bought the game about a year ago (although having played it briefly a couple times in my childhood), I got really far — until a glitch happened and my file was deleted. Normally, I’d ragequit all together and refuse to touch the game for six months or so — but Shadowrun drew me right back in, and I didn’t at all mind  restarting my game.

Shadowrun is classified as a Cyberpunk RPG, and I think a lot of its inspiration stems from Bladerunner — although I can’t really exactly place any one thing that proves this, but that’s the overall feeling I get. And I guess that’s the most important thing: feeling.

Star Fox was the first game on the Super Nintendo to utilize the Super FX Chip, Nintendo’s basic “Eff You” to other companies who felt the itch to upgrade to more powerful console  resources that could harness the power of three-dimensional graphics. You wouldn’t think a sixteen-bit console from 1991 would be able to harness polygons without an add-on, but Nintendo proved otherwise.

There were only a handful of games on the console that utilized the Super FX Chip and the Super FX Chip 2 (Yoshi’s Island being one of them), and I think it’s safe to say that Star Fox is one of the few (if not the only) fully 3D games on the console that has actually aged well over time. It’s fast-paced, intense, and it’s hard to not get sucked in when you’re faced with not only hundreds of baddies firing at you, but with the task of making sure your allies survive the end of the level.

I always find myself in conversation with Slippy, Falco, and Peppy, almost like I’m actually inside the cockpit (especially on those outer-space first person levels), and I think because of that grasp the game has on me (and other people) it’s no wonder why we’ve seen several Star Fox sequels, as oppose to ANY Stunt Race FX sequels.

There are several other games on the console that really resonate with me for one reason or another — but for some reason, I just can’t think of any one specific thing that sticks out as to why I love these games. They’re amazing all in their own right, and for that, I feel that they have a powerful grip over how I view them. I think in general, if you love something so much that you can’t find the words to describe WHY you love it — that says a whole lot more than a few descriptors you can pull out your ear.

Anyway, I just wanted to pay tribute to what I think is one of the greatest consoles of all time. The ‘90s were what a lot of game hobbyists call The Golden Age of video games. Those of us who grew up in that decade might have been shrugged off by the “glory” of the ‘80s, but at least we did something Ferris Bueller, Teddy Ruxpin, and Stevie Nicks couldn’t for once:

We played with Power. Super Power.

THE MIDDLE MAN

We constantly hear about the “war” (if you can really call it that) between the distinct parties simply known as the casual and the hardcore gamers (Let it be known that I absolutely hate the term “gamer” with a passion. Playing video games is a hobby, not a life style choice). We know the definitions of both, we know what games both plays, and we even know the average age demographic of both, through general statistic gathering and observation.

But what about the middle man? The fellow who isn’t quite casual, but isn’t very hardcore, either? The “casu-core”, if you will. From what I’ve observed, the casu-core display a deep interest in games, but either very rarely plays them, or is easily distracted by what’s NEW and SHINY, only to toss it over-shoulder a few months to a year later, when something else comes along to dance and parade before the eyes. In general, the casu-core are very hard to talk to about games, because they’re only feet-deep in the topic, which obviously makes their knowledge limited, despite what they think.

My brother is a perfect example of a casu-core. He’s always been in the gaming scene, I guess. He’s actually the one who got me into video games. I remember being led into his room when I was three, and him sticking an NES controller in my hand, with Metal Gear blaring from the television screen.

Anyway, my brother was always into the gaming scene. As far back as I can remember, he’s always had video games and magazines at his disposal – Games like Contra, and Super Mario Bros. 3, and Super Metroid, DOOM, Final Fantasy VII, Parasite EVE, Grand Theft Auto. Magazines like Nintendo Power, PSM, Electronic Gaming Monthly, GMR…

A friendlier way to … oh.

In retrospect, my brother had the potential to be a hardcore. No, he SHOULD HAVE BEEN a hardcore. But what went wrong? What came along and made it so he was an unbeknownst (is that even a word?) traveler of the road most avoided?

Lack of funds.

Yes, games and consoles were always coming into the house, but they were also leaving just as fast. My brother, despite having decent paying jobs, was always in a financial bind – to the point where when he ran out of stuff to get rid of, he’d turn to my collection without my knowledge.

This cycle of buy-sell-buy-sell-buy-sell is still going on with him, too. I eventually got sick and tired of him regretfully selling games, that at one point, I forked over the cash just too keep them in the family.

Short story long, my brother spent so much time beating around the bush with video games, he never got the chance to fully appreciate them, I don’t think. I mean, sure he’d get super excited and passionate about a game – but then a few years later, say the game is “virtually unplayable” and/or “ugly”.

Now, I just want to clarify: this isn’t a “Let’s pick on Lime’s brother” article; he’s just the best example of a casu-core “gamer” that I know of.

My brother loved Super Metroid when it first came out. He loved it to death. And then he gave his copy to me. A good four or five years ago, he was talking about some Xbox 360 game – I think Crackdown. He was talking to me about Crackdown, and how amazing the graphics look, and everything, and I briefly mentioned I was playing Super Metroid, and how even in today’s standards of updated graphics, it’s an absolutely beautiful game to look at.

His response?

“Okaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay?”

I expect that sort of response from a kid five years younger than me, who grew up in the PS2 era. Not from a 36-year-old adult who cherished the EXACT. SAME. GAME. when it was released seventeen years ago.

I don’t care how many kids it made go schizoid,
Polybius is the shit! Casuals be hay’tennn~

I got a similar response from him when talking about games released in 2000 – just 12 year ago! My brother came over one day while I was playing Final Fantasy IX on my PSX. While watching, he casually said, “Dude, you should totally play this on your PS2. It beefs the graphics up.”

He’s saying this once again, about ANOTHER game he cherished (and ironically praised the graphics for) at the time of its release.

Not to mention that it doesn’t matter what Sony console you play your PSX games in, they still graphically look the same. If anything, the games load a second or two faster. That’s it.

As mentioned above, this blog entry is not about bashing my brother. It is about the subtle niche of video game players I’ve noticed. People who enjoy video games as much as the hardcore, but know or respect them just as much as the casual. The always-moving, constant-oblivious casu-core. The middle man.

Those of you who know me personally could probably even say that I’m a casu-core game player. Maybe I am, maybe I’m not. I’m extremely picky, and don’t enjoy many newer video games, even ones that are critically acclaimed, yet I own a large collection of video games; larger than the average game hobbyist. I talk more about video games than I do play them, but I have a deep, deep regard for many older games. I don’t know. And the honest fact is: I don’t really care what you think about me.

In any case, the road of the casu-core is a rather unfortunate one. It really is. There are so many great video games out there, be they two years old, or twenty years old. It really is a shame, but there’s always hope. There’s always, always a shimmer of hope that the narrow eyelids will eventually widen to see the whole picture — not just quick fixes, spiffy graphics, and what’s current.

…Maybe not.

…Probably not.

Oh well.