Little Joys Ch.43

This post is part of an ongoing challenge to share a little joy I have found each day of this year, and perhaps for the rest of my life. I hope you enjoy it!

February 12th, 2020

Sometimes we need to motivate the little child living inside ourselves to do better. It is so much easier to simply laze around, watch shows and eat junk food and just do everything possible to create almost coma like conditions.

I came across a fun habit and to do list tracking app today called habitica. It basically turns habit building and getting stuff done into a cute rpg style game. You level up, get pets and mounts, can party up with friends and defeat bosses by completing your tasks, and overall just turns the mundane into something fun to look forward to.

Stuff like this just makes my inner geek come soaring out, and lights up my little joy meter quite a bit.

For anyone looking to gamify their lives a little, I would recommend checking it out.

Remember folks, stay healthy and let your geek freak fly.

GeeksnBarbells Podcast Ep.1- Intro to podcast +State of MMOrpgs in 2020(temtem, ashes of creation)

Big changes coming up! Just started a new podcast, you can check it out on youtube for the moment, with possible audio versions in the future. It’s definitely a rough work, as I am still wandering around Asia at the moment. I am hoping to get a fun intro crafted, perhaps even by yours truly if I can teach myself. I thought I would start off just geeking out on some general online gaming, but I will definitely be shifting topics over the coming weeks, really exploring and fleshing out this concept of the modern renaissance man, meshing geekhood with health and fitness ideas so that we can better enter into the coming virtual reality world with a more healthy mindset on taking care of ourselves, and really upping our creativity and productivity along the way. This is very much me sharing my own journey of discovery as I figure my own stuff out, so I hope you enjoy it and follow along as I develop this website, the podcast, and as I, hopefully, flesh out the book I am writing.  As always, remember to stay health and let your geek freak flow free folks!

Little Joys Ch.19: The TemTem edition

This post is part of an ongoing challenge to share a little joy I have found each day of this year, and perhaps for the rest of my life. I hope you enjoy it!

January 19th, 2020

Ever since playing final fantasy 10  on the PlayStation 2, my general interest in video games has been tentative at best. Its as though the gaming industry suddenly decided that every Rpg and Mmorpg had to have a shit storyline and repetitive, monotonous gameplay all at once just because their graphics were prettier.
There have been a few moments of genuine joy as certain games just floored me with their amazing storyline and gameplay. Games like Horizon zero dawn, God of war, Enslaved, and even some short story campaign games like titan fall 2 all had me really invested in their characters and world development.

MMOs have been even more difficult for me, as I really got into the genre with Asheron’s Call, which to me is still the most amazing MMO ever to have been created, ever. It had a level of depth that is unmatched by today’s current games, and its ability to create camaraderie through its guild systems and massive customization allowed endless playing hours. Alas, it is a super old game and eventually died out. Ever since then I’ve tried a host of games, and found most incredibly boring, relying completely on end game content and PVP to stay relevant, with storylines that are lackluster and most quests highly redundant, not to mention skill and stats that just don’t make you feel like you are a unique character.

One of the games I absolutely adored when I was younger was Pokemon. As a grinder, it was still a pleasantly fun game that could keep you going for hours, and the few sequels it first came out with expanded the world and roster of cute Pokemon enough that it remained interesting. After a while though folks, I have to say, it was simply the same game regurgitated again and again and again, the story remained the same, everything was the fucking same. I still can’t grasp how it remained relevant for this last decade considering this fact, but somehow it has.

When Pokemon Go was announced, I was super excited. Here was the Pokemon game I had been waiting for, online and interconnected with everyone, and the initial concept of it being part of our actual world seemed really great! and then it came out…and I was horrified. You walk around wiggling your finger to throw a ball, then watch as your Pokemon headbutt other Pokemon. No strategy, no proper leveling, no skills, no story, NOTHING! and it blew up tremendously, and I couldn’t understand why.
Life sucked.

All this is to say that I have been waiting for something good to come out of the Pokemon sphere for a decade, and I think, maybe it finally has, and it has nothing to do with Nintendo thankfully.

Temtem is an upcoming, indie created MMO by a team of folks who quite simply love Pokemon, even admit that the game is fully inspired by it.

Its fully online, coop and strategy based. It has everything that makes Pokemon fun while fixing all the annoying, repetitive boring stuff that has been in the games for eons. The flashy new style is really cool also, although a bit kiddish. What’s amazing is that this is an indie game, from a small company. Seeing what they have accomplished and what this game could build into if interest is piqued enough, with possibly even more depth, shifting creature designs, more quests, and world development, it could be the kind of game I have wanted to be able to just jump into whenever I want to have lots of fun my whole life.

It should be releasing publicly tomorrow on steam, although from what I have read it is still in its alpha stages, with tons more work to be done, I am so damn happy.
If anyone has not heard of it and is looking to wipe the bad memories of Pokemon or simply delve into a new Pokemon like world, I definitely recommend checking this game out.

Have fun!

Little Joys Ch.9

This post is part of an ongoing challenge to share a little joy I have found each day of this year, and perhaps for the rest of my life. I hope you enjoy it!

 

Today was the first time since I was a young teen that I played an online video game with a friend. It was surprisingly enjoyable, it transformed the entire experience.

I have spent the majority of my life playing single player games, highly focused on the story and interactivity of the experience. I had forgotten how fun it can be to venture into a new world and discover it alongside someone you care for, and it’s made me realize why the younger generations have become so hooked on online gaming.

Although I still have many reservations about the culture that online games seem to produce, filled with negativity and producing groups of kids who do not know how to interact in a healthy manner due to not having to deal with face to face interaction, I believe that when games are played with those we know deeply it can be a beautiful experience.

Even relatively repetitive games can become intensely amusing and fun when shared with another. I hope to get back into it in the future, especially once I return home. A few mmorpgs have piqued my interest, such as Ashes of Creation and City of Titans.

Here is to a future filled with geek filled fun.

Little Joys Ch.2

As part of an ongoing challenge to myself, I will be sharing a little joy I have found each day of this year and perhaps for the rest of my life. Hope you enjoy!

As someone who truly believes a healthy mind and emotional state stem from taking care of ourselves physically through nutrition and a large movement practice, I find myself always a bit hesitant to indulge in my obsession with film, tv and games.

Yet there is something incredibly satisfying about delving into new worlds and exploring. Finding a new game, or a new show that just kicks you right in the happy place is so awesome.

This is doubly true when you happen to be doing this with someone you care for, being able to share a show or game you love with someone and seeing them find pleasure in it is exquisite.

As I was watching two different shows with a friend today, I was lucky enough to be able to see that enjoyment sparkling in their eyes.

There is nothing quite like the pleasure of shared interest.

 

The toxicity of gaming culture

Many people will think this post is some man hating rant about how male toxicity is ruining the gaming industry. This simplistic idea is shared by a bunch of people who don’t understand biology nor how our environment affects us.

Take a human being, someone who is already introverted and shy, stick them in a room alone, barely interacting with other humans face to face, not learning proper social cues and emotional control, make them play something aggressive with other people who they cannot see or hear or touch, and we wonder why gamers can be assholes.

Twitter, facebook and instagram are another perfect example of what happens when you remove people socializing face to face, let them remain relatively ambiguous and free from consequences, and the shit will fly.

There are aspects of male biology that make men fall into this trap more often, higher testosterone levels can really play havoc on aggression, especially considering many gamers are young teens who are already have very little control of their emotions.

But it has nothing to do with male toxicity, and everything to do with the toxicity of online gaming culture. In the same way that the toxicity on social media has to do with its culture.

Social interaction online can be a great thing, people can connect from all around the world. But we have to be realistic about the fact that most humans in the world get zero training on how to take care of themselves emotionally, physically and intellectually. They sit around in front of screens banging away, feeling like shit, cut off from the real world, and it all goes to hell.

Gaming in and of itself is great, regardless of the type of game. What we need is a paradigm shift in how we raise our children, we need to focus less on math skills and more on life skills.

We need to teach ourselves how to behave, with empathy, with courage and most especially with a higher level of understanding of how our brains are primitive and need our higher consciousness to rein them in constantly.

This takes training, lots of it.

Let’s begin, shall we?

Meshing the online and offline worlds

The popularity of anime such as Sword Art Online and other works has shown us a glimpse of the possible lives our children could be experiencing in the future, a time where the real world becomes mundane and the online world becomes one of fantastical possibilities.

The actual issue is not people spending all their time online, but of them losing sight of the wonder and majesty that exists in this reality. Most people never leave their city of birth, hell most people don’t even explore their whole city before they die.

There is so much out there to see and experience, and so many of our own physical and mental boundaries that we can push and explore.

The online world is an amazing place, and when we achieve full depth virtual reality experiences it will be beyond belief. But we must not lose sight of all the beauty we have in our own world.

If anything it would be incredible if we can mesh the two worlds together, much like Pokemon Go and others have attempted to do, although hopefully in a much better fashion.

The future, I hope, will be a blending of the two realities, creating a far richer and more meaningful experience, one where our very real animal bodies get the much needed stimulation they need for improvement but also get access to the incredible swath of experiences the online world can provide.

There is so much potential in our technologies and I am still optimistic about the future, even if we manage to screw up a lot of things as we usually do.

Stay positive folks.