[Media Meandry] Zelda 1, Screwing Around

“Can we talk about the thumbnail for the new YT vid, here?[1]” “If you think it’s fine art, then, sure.[2]” “Is gud[1]” What’s been fun about growing a community is having conversations with people like itterama about everything from thumbnails to deeper discussions. I would say I was closer to disliking Zelda 1 than liking it, and I realized two reasons for it: I was trying to be too serious, and I spent too long playing.

Videogames don’t seduce me much anymore.

On their own, gameplay mechanics are fine, but they don’t impress me, and I often have too many things to deal with in life – whether it’s writing, like this essay which I wanted to write yesterday, or doing the myriad other things that I want or should do – that it’s hard to justify spending 4+ hours doing something I’m only somewhat interested in doing. Zelda 1, for me, is a game that I will complete and then archive. Livestreaming makes more sense, then, because I can play the game while chatting with an audience about anything. Twitch lets you indicate whether “backseating” is allowed or not, which is to say, providing gameplay tips to the broadcaster during the process. In previous streams, I didn’t want backseating or spoilers because I wanted to experience the game earnestly, but now, I don’t care so much.

It was nice getting some audience tips to streamline the process.

There’s a sort of interesting contradiction at play here because I’m not fully giving Zelda 1 a fair investment, but, I’ve meandered through enough media over my life to where I kinda “get” when something will grab me and when it won’t. It’s easy. I like well-crafted stories, strong narratives, and things that make you think. A game like this doesn’t do much of that at all. It’s great for the gameplay-enjoyers that might, say, appreciate how games were made, deconstructionist studies, or other things like that. For me, though, this game is just one of many that I want to check out and experience.

We ended up talking more about self-care topics during the stream.

It was a great conversation and I maybe wish it would have lasted longer, but, this stream also taught me that I can balance the longer streams where I do creative things with the shorter streams where I experience creative things in a way that can make sense. Maybe, for example, in future weeks I can go to my chiropractor, get groceries, and do a short stream. I wouldn’t have dreamed that before, but now that I’ve realized that the fastest way for me to dislike something is overexposure, then I can limit my time with something like this, play it for a few hours ostensibly – because really it’s just an excuse to screw around with visuals and chat with people.

The gameplay, then, becomes secondary.

After itterama asked about the thumbnail, shown above, I replied with a sort of pretentious answer: “The thumbnail represents how the duality of balance between two hypotheticals, specifically the creative and logical parts of the brain, should be balanced. If not, then, the picture is incomplete.” One thing I enjoy about being unconventional is doing things like this – we were talking about this balance between art and logic, clear and unclear communication, so I moved the gameplay in the middle of the screen and walked Link around the screen.

It was a big hit; the colorful visuals, not so much.

In these regards, though, I don’t think of success or failure purely on external constraints. I enjoyed doing the visual effects, but they weren’t distinct enough on their own. I’ll probably work on that in future videogame streams. If anything, doing this series on Zelda 1 is a good way to remind me to put in the effort to finish what I start. It’s OK to pop into some media for a 5-minute exploration, but after that point, I think generally you have to finish it to the point of being able to give a decent explanation of what you thought, if prompted and if you feel like talking about it.

Zelda 1 is a fine game for gameplay-enjoyers, but underwhelming for me.

That’s a good enough “review” but there is some value in pushing through to complete things. Since I’m part of the Twitch Retro community, I do need to “give back” in the sense of broadcasting content that they would appreciate. It’s not an obligation or contract, but, it’s a good way to balance out the material I do. Retro games, art, Minecraft builds, and podcasts seem like a good balance, and it’s something that as I go, I’m sure I’ll figure out even more, especially as I return to my 40-hour-weekly gig. If I can do as much as I can now to figure out strategies like how to enjoy broadcasting videogames, then I’ll be more likely to keep them in the rotation, whereas otherwise, I’ll prioritize doing other things – whether they’re livestreams or other things.

I’m writing this essay early in the day because I might squeeze in another essay.

Now that my spine pain has reduced greatly, thanks to chiropractic work, I can focus on these short-term and long-term plans of mine. I had thought of doing another short stream today, but, I decided instead to work on some of the projects that had lingered – cleaning up around the apartment to get more things ready to donate, writing, reading, and relaxing after having received my first COVID shot.

Maybe I’ll even figure out how to watch movies using thinking patterns like this?

I’m, for example, reading No Country For Old Men and not overly enjoying it. Its formatting is weird. The way Betterread is structured, I only read “one thing” per day, in 30-minute or more increments, so I’ve put everything else to the side reading it. After about 30 minutes, I’m bored of reading it, but it’s a fast read.

That’s something I need to balance out, too, so I don’t burn out.

Quotes: [1,2] itterama then me.
Sources: My personal experiences.
Inspirations: I think everyone has time for novelty. It’s novel to play a videogame. I have a joke where most people will read to the end of the first chapter or the first few pages of a book to say “I’m reading this book” and never pick it up again, based on how many used books I’ve found with bookmarks at around that point. Doing anything else takes commitment, and, most of it’s a slog.
Related: Other Media Meandry essays.
Screenshot: From the stream.
Written On: 2021 May 16 [4:23pm to 4:448pm]
Last Edited: 2021 May 16 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]


My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.