Although I wrote about my thoughts on whether playing Pokémon LeafGreen made my life easier in my penultimate essay on this series, that essay was also concerned about the question of whether playing with a strategy guide would ruin surprises for me. No, since I appreciate narrative surprises more than gameplay surprises. Did playing this game make my life easier? Similarly, this question has perspective-dependent answers. I can answer no, and without narrative irony, yes.
The “no” answer is obvious.
I achieved nothing financially significant from playing this game. By finances, I don’t merely mean money, but any sort of advancement toward any sort of career opportunity. I played this game while on medical leave. My health has decreased from when I first started playing. I don’t consider this related. I would have used the time I spent playing this game to play another game or do another sedentary activity. I do as much as I can for walking around and following the advice of my physical therapist, but there’s only so much I can do until the pain gets to a point where, like today, I had to go to sleep to wade off the pains of the day. Playing LeafGreen was helpful as a mental distraction as my physicality worked out its problems, which is where we get into the yes portion of this answer.
The “yes” answer is more subtle.
Through my playthrough, the most obvious thing that this game helped me out with was a naming convention. Almost all of my Pokémon, except select tribute characters, were based on characters in “The Story.” Throughout this series, I posited whether the team I would use to defeat the Elite Four would then be primary characters that would appear in Novel 02. I even brought in a new character, Zhanna, that will make more of an appearance than one of the six defeaters. The truth is that Zhanna was too under-leveled and my patience for LeafGreen was reaching its end. While I enjoy the game, which is why I hazard to give it a rating at all – a 4-star rating is fair, I was perhaps a bit oversaturated by the multitudinously complex game design elements infinitely more advanced than rock-paper-scissors and I had gotten all that I needed from the game at the moment.
My winning team was Sammohini, Josh, Nessa, Adriana, Honora, and Burn.
What this playthrough taught me most is that media is more enriching if it helps you toward your goals. Escapist media is looked down on frequently because you can spend six hours in some RPG while not having profited. We live in a capitalist-meritocratic-pro-money system, after all. If you’re not generating revenue, what are you doing? They might say wasting time. To that, I say, ‘if I spent six hours playing some RPG, but I profited,’ how can they reply but ‘how?’ I can then reply in earnest that I used that time to develop story ideas that I can eventually profit from.
These capitalist-meritocratic-pro-money arguers would scoff.
They have a point. However, what is the point of money but to enable us to do the things we love? If we love to own expensive things, then go toward that. I love writing. I love editing. I love them so much that I work myself into such states of disadvantageousness that I can’t figure out ways to profit from writing or editing because I’m too busy writing. Writing and playing videogames are two things I cacoon myself away into that help me, yes, do they help me? No. So it is through my perspective that I can say that no, playing this game has not helped me achieve anything more than writing some essays that might interest someone. Will that help me? Maybe. I would say probably not. There is no organic marketing growth potential in what I write. I would do better if I figured out the SEO to capitalize on the buzz words required to achieve better marketing.
I would say these essays are my hobby where novel-writing could be an eventual full-time job.
If engaging a media helps me develop ideas for novels, whether it’s something like LeafGreen where I was inspired to start building out my character section, which is lackluster now but more robust than an empty folder, then isn’t that profit? I profited from LeafGreen not in the acquisition of green, as a metaphor for money, but in the acquisition of concepts that can help me build out Novel 02. Even if everything financially goes to ruin, which is a possibility thanks to my benevolent insurance company, well, money goes but ideas stay. I can always recoup myself financially. I have not been able to work through this past month, even if I had wanted to, so it’s not like I could have chosen to work. But I don’t know, this is a complex though.
Addressed simply, I have profited through reprioritizing my focuses.
I don’t think I’d ever fully lost sight of novel-writing. I think what had happened, which is something I learned from LeafGreen, is that I can play or write even when I’m not playing or writing. Just like I might wonder what I need to do next in the game while cooking food, having that character folder open can remind me to think about character materials when my mind might otherwise occupy itself with other meandries.
As this final playthrough shows, I’ve regained focus.
I skipped all the optional content. While I read over them in my chosen strategy guide, they all seemed tedious. I can do tedious activities, however, I prefer not to if they don’t benefit me much. Or like when I approach the final pages of a book, where I find myself anchored, reading, doing all that I can to nosedive my way to the conclusion of the novel, I avoid all nonsense.
If you, similarly, have a project like “The Story,” chisel away at it daily.
Avoiding nonsense makes life easier.
|Sources: My personal and gameplay experiences.|
|Inspirations: I had some difficulty coming up with the title, because in my penultimate entry, I’d already taken out most of the steam of what I would write about concerning easy living, but I found my second wind after thinking about turning the original title into a question. Had I found easy mode living through playing LeafGreen? It’s not easy. But it’s easier now that I know that I’m fine with doing many things, and even some nonsensical things, but only if they help me toward my goals. So, limit nonsense, have fun, and work toward your goals. That’ll help you live an easy life, I guess. [Written by a hard mode lifer, I guess.]|
|Related: Essays building “The Story.” Also, other Sammohini Arc and Media Meandry essays.
. . . Pokémon LeafGreen Series:
01 – “Easy Mode Living”
02 – “Real Life Grinding”
03 – “Had To Play”
03.5 – “Fiction Inspiring Fiction”
04 – “Videogames Aren’t Ambiguous”
04.5 – “Level Up Yourself”
05 – “Catching What’s Next”
06 – “Recatching Escapist Tendencies”
07 – “Inconsequentially Building Characters”
08 – “Incidents Build Characters”
09 – “Generic Character List”
10 – “Meditative, Competitive, Narrative”
11 – “Preparation Versus Scenarios”
12 – “Testing Out Characters”
13 – “Main and Sides”
14 – “Plan Or Overplan?”
15 – “Mechanical, Narrative Surprises”
16- “Made Life Easier?“
|Pictures: My final party, exiting the game, and my team in some more detail. No, I won’t include more specifics, only because this wasn’t a very good party overall. I had significant difficulty battling Kingdra. I save-scummed through some battles, even, and it was still tough. But overall, it was an OK party.|
|Written On: 2020 May 27 [9:17pm to 9:59pm]|
|Last Edited: 2020 May 27 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|