So, today was my first day back from what was essentially a 4 day weekend. At that time and time of writing, I have/had a cold, and it was my great uncle's funeral on Friday. The strange situation of being at home in between jobs, figuring out my business plan for a record label, trying to understand the basics of all music theory, essentially being in sensory isolation (to put it in a blunt way) due to a cold, stuck in the same room for 3 days, seeing my dead uncles corpse and also completely obliterating my Skyrim saves cuz of faulty mods put me in this weird state of timeless, introspective analysis.
My findings after this period gave me this strange feeling of being a main character in a video game, maybe any given Bethesda game (where you create your own character and do whatever the hell you want) and everyone else around me is an NPC. Now the idea seems silly, but it does work in a way.
As the player, I have direct interaction with sensations, perspectives and the cause and effect of my surroundings, the same as we do individually with our real hands and sense (smell, sight, and so on). However, every aspect of this idea is heavily malleable: I may decide to be a mage vampire with an incredibly unwieldy sword, or perhaps a ninja with a lightsabre (there's mods for that, btw), much in the same way that we can choose to live as we please in 'the real world', although the choices are obviously more substantially varied for both states of being (You cant choose to be a lizard in RL, for example)
But is the place we live in so incredibly dry that it’s easier to use a video game as a context for our existence than actually using society's generally accepted viewpoints?
Obviously so if a video game is more immersive than actually living as a person.
Now, I know there's going to be that thought of 'Man, this guy just needs to get out more', but maybe my experience of going out isn't as nice as yours. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy people, I just don’t like clubs, bars, pubs, most venues, lots of alcohol, narcotics, places that literally take your piss from your bowels and give it to you in the form of enjoyment, basically where every person who's you're average person who has free time, goes to waste their free time.
This is just to clarify; I've had far too much time to think about this.
But back to the subject. Have you ever found it strange, that there's so much of this seemingly harmless visual input that’s around us?
Guy goes in bank, gets money. Pair of gloves on my table. Church bell in the distance. Coffee in Costa. This wine list seems incredibly dreary, darling. Dog smells your shoes, you realise you're wearing shoes. Mr Mime used Substitute!
What is all this? If I was born and raised in the deepest eastern European forests, only just coming into a current western country, I'd probably lose my shit. This thing with money, why is it a generally accepted fact that we need this shit? I mean collectively as a species, not in the 'TO BUY OUR STUFF WITH, DUUUH' sarcastic bullshitter way. If I went by the two big accepted thinking regimes (yeah, thinking regimes, not exactly a difficult thing to perceive when you think about it, then again, no one ever does that anymore) i.e. modern science and religion: one says that it is one of our 'adaptations' for surviving... something, while the other perpetuates the idea that everything automatically has a measurable value on it because 'the good book is right, so sayeth my imaginary friend, Jesus Muhammad Buddha Ganesh'. Why should we have to accept either/or? I personally would rather see a dedicated effort to prove both, as a mutual collective of like-minded human beings, rather than repulsively 'impassioned' religious nuts and bitter science people starting pissing contests over who's got the biggest fan base.
But then how can I say anything against either? That'd be like being Holland in WW2: Eventually, someone’s going to force you to choose, usually the one with the best explanation (or biggest gun).
It’s a forceful and uncaring automated society where your very perceptions of your own choices are skewed by external factors and variables placed around you by the people you read in the paper. From the day you are born, you are going to be put into an environment where your brain will get used to everything you live with which, as the American republican party will tell you, is all part of growing up as a natural human being. Fine, people are defined by what they're exposed to, that’s pretty much everyone’s question about personality answered, but when you're shown a set of beliefs by other people you don’t really understand (how can you, you live as yourself in your own body, you have no fucking clue what it feels like to be anyone else, don’t pretend to, don’t even try), all you can do is accept it.
To bring it back a little bit, Skyrim has a similar thing going on: Initiating conversation with someone in-game is a fairly simple ordeal, whereby, depending on the character, you're given 1 to 3 dialogue options, most usually the most banal things that pass for small talk like 'Who're you?' 'What do you do here?' 'Do you have something for sale?'. I really think Beth has hit it on the head here, where we've been able to parallel our own streamlined, low-thought process thinking regimes to that of the standard of a fantasy RPG.
If anyone owns a smartphone, then you're probably one of the groups of people I feel the most sorry for. Why? Well, you sold part of your brain for a £200 chunk of flimsy plastic and chips.
'Yeah, well, that doesn't bother me, Mr Blog person thing, I can talk to everyone I know at the press of a button! I can also download a GPS app, a multitude of free games, look at dem angry birds, dey so angry, it’s also gotten me laid, several times! I can even talk into my phone, and it replies back!!! OMG, SO OSSUM!!!1111eleven11one!'
Congratulations, you've concentrated your life down to one massive fucking distraction. Now you've got everyone of your identical friends saying the exact same inane thing on your Twatter, or whatever, after a £5 meal at Nandos while pictures of your chemical pumped greaseburger are being tagged by people you met on the street who you've met once and vaguely remembered the face of.
And yet, the big stupid fucking thing is, we young adults have so much freedom. Whether it’s mastering a guitar fretboard by 21 or shoving a firecracker into a dog’s mouth, we've got the entire world at our finger dipping pleasure. And yet still, this entire globe of hysterical teenagers still restrain themselves with talking to a bleeping piece of branded plastic as the next best thing that they think they can do for their lives.
So I guess my overall point with this blog was... well, I had to get this off my chest. Maybe I could be accused of being some random shit head, and yeah, I am a random shit head, but if you've ever wondered why there's a society, why money exists, why we're given these choices but not given a reason to choose them other than the reasons given by the ones around and before us, then you've probably missed that text from your 1000th Facebook friend, and need to get back to your iPhone.