I sometimes wonder whether these essays where I explore wildly unrelated topics are successful, but then I consider that the purpose of writing and releasing these writings is succeeding on my terms: writing or reading to learn. Since I haven’t made any money with my writing, it’s easy letting financial self-doubt infect things. I might worry that I have to write about topics for broader appeal, but for me, I’d rather write what feels good.
I write these essays like people play videogames.
The half-hour-plus for essays or hours-plus for fiction I set aside during any given session use the same pleasure sensors in my mind as playing videogames except the rewards are different. I waited to play FF7 at Junon until I could hoard a sufficient amount of time to mosey through at my own pace for as long as I wanted to play, which was Mount Corel. Were it not for the 90 screenshots I took, what would I have earned from that session? I enjoyed myself. Is that a commodity more valuable than writing fodder, which, shouldn’t that be the most important thing that I hoard?
I used to feel this way up until my health degraded months ago.
Collecting as many experiences as possible meant being able to digest and regurgitate them in essays until I couldn’t digest or regurgitate much of anything. What happens when the pleasure of doing anything is drowned out by a sea of pain? As I took the time to work toward recovering my health, which is still an uphill battle, I realized that these Media Meandry essays are the yang to the yin of Sober Living essays. They exist as a quantum duality. I try to, then, remember Maslow’s hierarchy of needs before playing longer sessions. Am I playing because I want to recover my physiology or because I want to self-actualize through media?
The ideal would be only self-actualization, right?
I think that’s where we need to figure out why we do what we do, why, and then react to our feelings when they present themselves. I like the repetition of grinding but that’s more reactionary to wanting to have some sort of logical predictability to make sense of a chaotic, uncaring world. Playing through story segments, then, might be more equivalent to reading something for pleasure or learning. Grinding, for me then, is more of the physiological escapism that might be more often criticizable than interacting with media for their lessons.
How did I learn this about myself?
Through writing enough essays where I explored my thoughts and feelings. You don’t have to write publically like me. I do this because maybe something I write will resonate with someone and it’ll help them fast-forward through their own opinions, even if they disagree, but with enough potency where they might ask themselves “why am I doing what I’m doing?” What I find effective is looking at my time emotionally and logically. Earlier this morning, I spent about one hour going through my bookmarks to clean things up and make them easier for myself while listening to a podcast.
Years [or months] ago, I would have considered [digital] cleaning to be wasteful.
Now, I consider dualities more often. I clean because it lets my mind relax. A relaxed mind, then, might be more able to capture new ideas. After my previous bookmark deep-cleaning, I thought my bookmarks had exploded into further disarray, but it was just because I had filed them in an order that didn’t work as well for me. This time, I let the podcast take my primary focus while I grouped similar objects, like a puzzle game, and this organically grew into something that I can manage better both as I continue to recover from this spinal issue and after I return to work and might only have a few recreational hours a day/week/whatever. [How did we get here? Hmm…]
I find that if I forget one side of myself, the other overcorrects.
If I don’t allow myself an avenue to calm down, then my mind will figure out how it can calm down, and do so recklessly. For media, there are many videogames, books, and more that I want to meander through, so often I will spin my wheels indecisively until I do nothing. If I were to spend that time cleaning things until I realize what mood I’m in, then I can match that. When I played through this section of FF7, I had been trying to sleep for the better part of 5 hours without success, so I figured I had the latent energy enough to do something, and what better time to “do something” than when you can’t do much else?
Would it have been better had I done something “more productive?”
Whose definition of productivity are we following? If we’re considering the societally productive, that would mean acquiring the capitalist benefits for myself and others. If we’re considering what’s productive for my mentality, then that fits just as well as doing anything else. Especially if I can take some screenshots and reflect on that time in an essay like this, which is the deceit and conceit of Media Meandry. If Sober Living is my expression of angst after having experienced the angsts of life, then Media Meandry is my attempt to acquiesce, avoid, or accept to the angsts of life.
There will be pain in life, but there should also be gain.
When I played the demo to Papers, Please, what turned me off to the gameplay was the mentality that I’ve been living over the past few months: one step forward, one [or more] step[s] back. Even if that’s my current reality, and even if learning to cope with that brutality can help me cope with life better, I stopped playing because I knew the name of the game. I prefer doing things in life that reward my productivity meritoriously, even purely recreationally.
I suppose that essay was terrible for revenue acquisition, huh?
|Sources: My personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: I took the screenshot just because I liked the way the quote was phrased. It was a silly idea about how now the town talks about the military rather than humbler topics. As I was looking through my screenshot gallery, with some 400 screenshots, with this 90-screenshot meandry, this was the one that inspired me the most. To conclude this inspiration, it might be more profitable if I were to write about my experiences in a more direct manner, but writing indirectly like this helps my mind explore thoughts easier, and I’m usually happier with what I’ve written because of what I’ve learned during these meandries.|
|Related: Other Media Meandry essays.|
|Screenshot: FF7 at Junon.|
|Written On: 2020 June 07 [4:41am to 5:22am]|
|Last Edited: 2020 June 07 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|