The important stuff

When I registered this blog last year I had a real intention about it: It would be about videogames, cultural effects of videogames and to a lesser degree; the issues that plagued Mobygames as a database in trying to define an categorize materials. While the content of this blog has sometimes been on hiatus, and other websites have done a much better job than little old me, it still seemed worthwhile. I want people to understand that I love my consoles and videogames, as I love other artforms: movies, books, theatre, youtube, tv shows, clever websites… the things that make up culture.

However I’ve been watching some television dealing with the environment and climate change and it has pushed me to being depressed. I mean really depressed. The kind of depressed that I really can’t discuss on any kind of a blog without being called an emo. Suffice to say that my appetite is gone and I really had to force myself to eat every bite of my dinner. Steven Running likened climate change to dealing with any other tragedy, in that there are five stages of grief. As he points out, a fair amount of people only deal with it as three stages of grief… and jump straight to depression. That unfortunately is where I currently lay.

Suddenly in the wake of earth’s problems, videogames really don’t seem that important. But neither do a lot of the media that I previously described as culture. A lot of people are happily watching their TV shows and I can’t blame them, it’s good TV. A lot of people are happily shooting opponents at Halo or Counter-Strike or dealing with Mario Galaxy and exploring Azeroth. I know I have. It’s been a wonderful experience. But climate change scares me. It scares me to such a degree that I’m having trouble enjoying these things. I’m having trouble even thinking of culture as important. Existence is of the paramount important. Existence allows us to live, culture makes living worthwhile.

As a gamer, there’s a certain difficulty in explaining this. Part of the gamer nature I believe, is to be masters of distraction and focusing one’s attention elsewhere. This is the essence of videogames and quite a few people I know *became* gamers at a young age simply as coping mechanism for trouble in their families or around them (childhood and adolescence are traumatic experiences even under normal circumstances). Because of this… I know firsthand that a lot of brilliant people are… well focusing their attention elsewhere. I’m worried somewhat that the solution to problems are buried in one of these brains, genius but for the fact that it’s concentration is on Final Fantasy XIII rather than anything occurring in the real world. Again, I understand this… I despise watching the news and hate reading newspapers. Under normal circumstances I can even justify this attitude, a lot of what human beings do are scandals and business deals and whatnot that don’t affect me. And yet climate change somehow is something there’s no running from. Isolation within a virtual world is simply something not viable for an issue that’s not only global but potentially the most important thing for the species.

If this is sounding like the same “environmental rhetoric” that the reader has heard before. I apologize. I simply have to write something because as mentioned, I’m pretty depressed over this. The worst is not knowing what to do. Coupled with issues I already have this is…. not paralyzing but…. it’s very hard for me to get anything done. I’m hoping the feeling will pass, I can measure this emotional state since Friday. Nonetheless it affects my sleep, my ability to do anything and quite frankly scares me more than anything in recent memory. I wandered over to remnants of the “One Tonne Challenge” website (I believe the program has been canceled), most of the stuff seems to be things I’m doing already. And yet, I live in an apartment, there’s lots of things that aren’t under my control but that of the building owners and would be difficult to convince. At the same time, all of these are small steps, which while they add up and are certainly better than nothing, really don’t feel like they’d accomplish too much either. A quick glance over my television stations shows that most TV stations are filled with sitcoms, movies… everything regular and normal. I feel depressed that there isn’t more… I dunno. Eco-Programming?. Likewise I visit the Internet and the top stories are still about which Christmas toys to buy and what hi-tech gadgets are coming and the timeline for the Iraq war. All issues that seemed important last week but now merely see as something to distract the world from a goal of preventing pure terror. Maybe I’m too sensitive to this, I was raised on a school curriculum of caring about the environment and cartoons about Planeteers. However none of that particularly helps in knowing what to do. All I’m seeing in the current environmental data are trends that lead to the destruction of everything I know and care about: all that “culture” I was so passionate about in the first paragraph.

Like I mentioned, I’m having real trouble enjoying anything and I’m having real trouble even doing anything. The highlight of today is that I signed up for “green power” from the company that provides the electricity. Every other task I’ve completed seems extremely unimportant and like I’m just wasting or biding my time. It probably also doesn’t help that I don’t have any friends I can really talk to this about… and so I’m also getting myself more and more upset without an outlet for comfort or a shared consciousness to give my faith in humanity’s efforts. The bulk of my social circle lives online and as mentioned, they’re gamers. They seem more concerned about multiplayer strategies and newly released games and 30 lives codes. Like I used to be. And now that I’m not, I don’t know what to do.

I had fully intended to restart the NGAD (New Game a Day) section of this blog. Now it seems like I have a new reason to avoid it and have lost any reason to think why it might be important. :(. Likewise I’m having difficulty finding a reason to log into mobygames.

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One Response to The important stuff

  1. Hi WildKard,
    You have my sincere sympathy – I never would have thought of you as a candidate for depression; you always seem so calm and well, laid-back. Recalling how you dislike it when the forums go way off-topic, though, I suspect you have a passion for order, and I can see how really being confronted with the eco-mess the world is in could hit you hard.
    My own experience with depression (fairly brief, thank the powers that be!) came when I quit smoking – I think it was lurking in the wings most of my life waiting for a chance to spring!
    So, I do know how it is when everything seems pointless and stupid and frightening, and despite the fact that I know its a horrible cliché, I’m going to tell you that it WILL get better, it really does.
    Much as I wish I could, I can’t make such statements for the environment – you just do what you can not to make things worse, and I’m pretty sure not ALL the brilliant minds are lost in their consoles 🙂

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