Category Archives: Personal
If you’ve reached this site through a post or, by some godly providence Google is linking these posts now, then congratulations! You’re now on the new home of Games and Geekery.
Now, before any celebration can really commence, it must be noted that there’s still a process of ongoing fixing that I have to do to get Games and Geekery formally ready. This includes writing new About and Contact Pages, recreating the blogroll, and seeing what I can do to make Games and Geekery essentially better.
To that end, I do not want to go through using this site alone, so I asked a friend of mine here in the Philippines who loves toys and tabletop gaming to help out and post when he likes. We’re still ironing out details, but he seems to like the idea of a place to write, since he used to write with me on the old gaming news blog I worked for from 2006 to 2008.
As for plans, well, I’m hoping to round out Games and Geekery with folks who want to discuss console games a bit better, or who have other general interests that fall into the geeky line of thought. While I set up a form for that purpose (boy, that’s a lot of different extra pages), feel free to email me a firstname.lastname@example.org for information, if you’re looking for a place to write.
Sometimes, you know that even a good thing like a humble little blog has to end. It’s been 460 posts since I started this blog, and I’m proud to have done so many things and started discussions on particular topics of interest to me and other folks.
That said, it’s time to move on to better things, and it’s time to say farewell to the blog that was once known as Victor Stillwater’s Blog of Games and Geekery.
Beginning today, until the time that I can’t find anything else to write about and I’ve lost all my friends in the blogosphere and twitterverse, you will have to find Victor Stillwater on a different part of the web, and that’s on http://www.gamesandgeekery.com, otherwise known more succinctly as just plain Games and Geekery.
I’m not leaving the things I love so easily, and I thought that, by buying my own domain, part of a long-standing dream I’ve had, I could grow as a person and take care of and be responsible for something that is wholly and completely my own.
With the help of Arkenor, Geek Goddess, and Stargrace, I’ve been able to work on the beginnings of a new site, though I’ve yet to find time to completely change everything accordingly to fit the needs of a new site. Call this a soft opening or a weird beginning; either way, I’m staying put, and writing what I can, and I hope you can add my new site as Games and Geekery on your individual pages.
As for what’s up next? Give me another hour or so, and I should have some new content up on the new site that might interest you folks. Cheers!
I’ve been looking for a way to discuss why I’m unlike most other bloggers. This is in the sense that I often write without taking sides on a particular issue, or in other cases write something simply to point out inconsistencies or other points of view that I can think of related to that particular topic.
Then my friend Bianca emailed me a link to this 18-minute video from TED Talks, which I think everyone should watch.
Go ahead and watch. This post will still be here when you come back.
Now it would probably seem appropriate now to make an assumption that I write without taking sides because I accept that there’s often more than one side to a story and that people can oftentimes have both categorically correct, reasonable points, or categorically wrong, unreasonable points in their rhetoric.
You would be correct in that assumption… 49% of the time. If you’re wondering about the other 51%, it’s a matter of the exact opposite idea.
Approximately 51% of the time, I write without taking sides because I do not wish to be wrong. By not taking sides and accepting that most things are relative or free to interpretation, I can write opinions without having an opinion and without getting objections to my ideas.
Of course, I could be wrong about the percentages: I do not stop to count which write-ups I’ve done have been made out of acceptance of opposing views or the fear of being wrong, but I can be sure of one thing: I am also uncertain of that uncertainty, as strange as that sounds.
It’s also highly possible that I write the way I do because I see both the fear of being wrong and the possibility of more than one side having merit, but cannot determine how much of the mix is there when I write. In fact, thinking about that possibility now, it seems to be the more likely bet.
That said, I’m writing this post to remind myself that it’s okay to take a side and to be wrong. I just have to accept my misconception, learn from it, and improve myself in the process.
The problem, I would suppose, is that not everyone is as open as regards being wrong. Without naming anyone, I do realize that some people are set in their ways. Still, there’s no reason to become enemies over differences in opinion, so long as everyone can learn to mellow out and talk diplomatically.
It’s alright to be wrong folks. Just saying.
For those wondering, the picture in my previous post is based on the guy and girl in the above video, who are cast members of the Japanese Tokusatsu show Kamen Rider OOO.
Moving back to the point of this post, I just wanted to address everyone who sent me birthday greetings, whether they were folks who sent me twitter greets, commented on the blog, sent me text messages, said “Happy Birthday” on Facebook, or just hugged me and told me they loved me.
This would include the following folks from the physical world and the Twitter/Blogging world.
- My Parents
- @Scarybooster (who even wore a dress to the gala event)
- @xxJayedubxx (who sent me the gift of Terraria)
- and Pid
I may have missed Twitter notices, so I apologize for that. But thank you for sending good vibes my way.
To be honest, it’s not been a good couple of weeks for me, and so the support and love of so many people gives me some comfort when I need to focus on the things I need to do to get past my troubles.
Again, I thank you, and I love you all.
Now get back to doing what you were doing, so you don’t see me tearing up.
I was supposed to finish a post about quests in games, but I’ve been putting it off because I’m bothered by something I chose to do and want to stick to.
It’s simple really: for one month, I would play one free-to-play MMO for a maximum of 10 hours weekly and spend absolutely nothing on video games by completing single-player PC games I’ve yet to finish. There are primarily two reasons for doing this: the first is to gradually get used to not playing MMOs so that MMORPGs feel new and vibrant again, while the second is to save money as I’m dreadfully close to running on empty.
This started sometime last week when I began playing LOTRO again on the Landroval server and made my final purchase for a month: Brink for the PC.
Here’s what happened since then:
Instead of buying games, I bought other stuff. I purchased a Kindle version of Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind, then grew so obsessed with reading it on my bed that I convinced myself that I HAD TO HAVE a tablet to read the Kindle book on. $360 later, I became a Samsung Galaxy Tab (which my parents shelled out for after I explained my case) owner.
I got a new job.
I forgot I had started a no-purchase order and tried to buy The Witcher 2, but checked with my bank and found out that I would go over my limit if I bought it online, and in dejected response I spent $55 on junk food and assorted goods (Tablet accessories, dinner at a restaurant by myself, and a massage at a spa) within the span of three hours after finding out I couldn’t buy the Witcher 2 with my e-credit card.
Any halfway sane person can see that there is something inherently askew right now with my self-control mechanisms. I realize it, but I am having difficulty maintaining the restraint necessary to keep myself from doing stupid things like the above, which not only cause me to spend on myself unnecessarily, but also cause my parents to accede to some half-baked whim on my end.
I think my MMO burnout is a sign of something worse: that I have gotten so burnt out with doing things normally that I’m obsessing over the rush I get from spending money and watching a download meter rise on Steam. It’s not the game that I want; rather, it’s the purchase behind a game or other object that gives me pleasure, and that’s a scary thought.
Times like these, I either need a counselor or a support group, and I’m not sure I can afford either at this rate.
I received a legitimate from Blizzard today that I found to be very weird.
Blizzard is trying to win back customers with a seven-day pass to World of Warcraft for inactive subscriptions. There was just one problem: The name affixed to this email, which was connected to my World of Warcraft account, was “Marcia.”
Who is Marcia? I haven’t the foggiest.
What I can say is that I grew worried and checked my account immediately upon receiving the email. I found that it was still intact, with my authenticator keeping security tight, and that the email was legitimate since there was a notice below my account offering me seven free days to return to Azeroth.
That process took all of four minutes, and yet I still had no idea where this Marcia person came from.
To that end, I sent a ticket to Blizzard so that it could be investigated, and they got back to me in less than five hours. The result, according to the CS rep, was thus:
I reviewed your account, and it appears that your Battle.net account *is* under your actual name. The discrepancy is with your World of Warcraft account, which appears to be under Marcia’s name at one point. Since the email was automatically sent out, it just looks like a little mistake on our computer’s part.
Of course, I shot back a follow-up question asking if the name could be changed to my name just so everything’s properly represented, but I expect them to get back to me on Monday. Still, at least I now sort of think I know the name of the person who hacked my WoW account so many years ago (unless it’s an alias or someone else’s name, of course). Here’s to hoping none of my accounts ever get hacked again.
Most people have secrets when it comes to gaming. For instance, there are people who lie about the amount of time they’ve played a game, or others who use exploits to further their advancement in the game.
For me, however, it’s far more innocuous, but definitely potentially more expensive to maintain. You see, most people would assume that I enjoy playing games all the time.
The truth, however, is that I have a secret gaming breaking point, and unfortunately, it’s rather short.
While there is no official number of hours I would place on my breaking point, I have noticed that I tend to come back to games that I’ve spent at least two weeks in. Games that fail to capture my interest for any reason for at least two weeks are often forgotten entirely.
As such, I go through a rather large number of games on a yearly basis, and with MMOs, my current main preoccupation, I’ve noticed that despite finding so much to love with specific games, I still keep looking for something beyond the game I’m playing. My case in point right now is STO. I love the lore, and have meta-gamed it by reading up so much that I’m excited to play, and yet here I am downloading a different game to test my mettle on.
Is it because I find something missing in the game, or is something changing in me that I can’t understand yet?
In any event, it’s probably why I wrote that entry about five MMOs I’m excited to play. Possibly because I can’t seem to be satisfied, which is kind of weird.
Do any of you experience this? What is your gaming breaking point? Is it based upon an arbitrary time frame, or upon sensing a realization, or upon getting burnt out?
At present, I’m not exactly in the mindset to really write well-prepared articles. Without making it sound overly dramatic, my dad’s in the hospital and is under observation at the moment for something painful, but not necessarily serious. I’m going over there later to watch over him, and so I’ve been trying to take my mind off of things by playing games and thinking about the things I like about games, such as the sense of advancement, the enjoyment of story, the ability to tell stories, and the short-term glories that achievements and new equipment bring.
That said, there are a couple of items I’d like to link to for your perusal, and these are articles that I find rather well-written, yet cannot completely agree with from my own personal standpoint.
The second is actually a blog post from a blogger that people elsewhere have linked to. The pertinent quote here is thus:
Because I’m no longer interested in the pixel rewards my characters can earn. WoW has conditioned me to accept that they’re transient and entirely pointless. The only thing of value to be gained from MMOs is the experience of playing the game itself.
I’ll try to have a more decent post on this matter when I have the time and compulsion, but well, feel free to read and chime in on both here or on their respective blogs.
One of the great difficulties in having a skill is the idea of being stuck with that skill as a primary means of livelihood in a time when the skill can grow quickly obsolete and require additional skills to shore it up.
That, I feel, is the current issue plaguing writers at the moment, regardless of where they come from or what audience they write for.
I love writing. I love discussing various topics in detail and using my words to bring meaning to others as regards the things I understand, or to ask important questions to things I don’t understand. Recently, while tackling my postgraduate degree in education and growing steadily disconcerted with the nature of my new job, I realized that if there’s something I want to get paid for, then it’s to get paid to write something. Maybe not just anything, but something that I understand and am good at, or at least, something where I feel I can be of help to others.
The problem with this mindset, nice as it is, is that the digital world likes people who can do more than one thing. For instance, if I had photo-editing skills, I could do both and have a better chance at getting a job writing. If I knew how to build websites, I could do both, and yes, I would get a better chance at getting a job writing.
My dilemma is that I don’t think I have any additional skills that would be connected directly to writing that could be marketable in this day and age, unless you count this strange ability I have to be diplomatic (or, in other words, to be able to look at multiple viewpoints) when writing, which I’m guessing isn’t that special.
This counts as horrible timing, basically, because I decided, after two weeks of formally doing calls, that I couldn’t handle the strain, and tendered my resignation (effective on the first week of May). I lack prospects, I lack funds, but I’m not lacking in the ability to learn.
Perhaps my fellow bloggers can help me out in this department. Do you happen to know of any skills I should consider learning to make my writing ability more marketable. Can you suggest sites to visit to learn how to make websites, or an SEO training course, or some other sort of training?
Looking at it from an MMO perspective, I’ve put most of my talent points into writing, so what should I off-spec as to make a dent against that big bad boss known as impending unemployment?