“I hope you do something nice for yourself. Other than reading, writing, or rowing.” “I was thinking of drinking an unhealthy amount of energy drinks. Otherwise, I had thought of doing things in Seattle or elsewhere, but nothing was appealing. ” I had been anticipating my birthday for a few weeks. I wanted to prepare myself to do whatever I wanted when I woke up. Explore the city on a nice summer day? Or do nothing?
What’s the best gift you can give someone? Something that captures the essence of your relationship in a single object, experience, or meal? Shouldn’t it be a hand-made object that conveys a certain degree of effort and time, which fully expresses the value they’ve brought to your life? Anything else would be rude, right? Considering how often the gifts we give or even receive become common or discarded, shouldn’t we find gifts with more meaning?
I’ve always been frustrated when games like EarthBound have limited inventories. I want to carry more than 99 widgets! Through this process of downsizing my possessions, so that when I move I can perhaps consider a studio apartment in the city, I’ve realized the elegance of this mechanic. It forces you to be strategic! Use items when you need them and discard junk. They are micro-simulators for reducing the physical and mental clutter in our lives.
“I might try to sneak in on my break.” “I’m sure they wouldn’t mind…” How often have you heard about college students trying to sneak into a classical music performance? Let alone… attend? In “The Story,” John and Trishna are more likely to go to punk shows, and since classical music and rock music don’t often collide, what might inspire them to dress up to attend a more traditional symphony orchestra performance in downtown Eville?
Spoilers?: Minor (situational character building)
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How much would you sacrifice to make your aspirations possible? How important is your comfort? As we grow older, there’s a growing sense of wanting more from life. For Trishna (right), she wants to go to college to fulfill her dreams and become independently successful, well, along with John (left), yet part of that means leaving her retiring service dog Pollyanna (center) and family at home. How might that answer be addressed in “The Story?”
How did this happen? Is there a correlation between my childhood raised secondarily by videogames and my reality where much of it involves tempering my overexposure to reality to avoid finding myself in a drunken stupor? I doubt the hours I spent playing games like Mario, Final Fantasy, or EarthBound caused this. Encouraged an addictive framework? Perhaps. Spend another 10 minutes to level up, throw yourself to the mercy of inebriation, only to rinse and repeat?
In ten years, I would like a job I don’t completely hate. I’ll accept a little bit of animosity when it comes to some minor things: waking up early to do certain tasks, writing about stuff I’m not completely passionate about, and working for others is fine. Just as long as everything is reasonable. So here’s a list of five things I’d like, more than anything, at the start of my 20th year of employment:
The photograph below shows the back cover of a gaming laptop. The cover is filled with stickers including ones from a recently-reviewed Year of the Cobra concert. The laptop is on a reflective marble table. The background shows a hand using a smartphone. In the foreground are two LEGO minifigs. These minifigs represent the main characters of “The Story:” Trishna (in wheelchair) and John. This week’s brainstorming update explores videogame accessibility both real and fictional.
Spoiler Warning Scale: Minor (game?! development)
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My alarm would go off. Rather than go back to sleep, I’d jump on the computer to run through my Shonen Idle Z timers. I beat the game after 5 months of letting the idle game run in the background for nearly 1,000 hours. It’s a pretty game in a low-impact, somewhat trivial, genre. Doesn’t that mean it’s functionally useless and valueless? Why not play a more rewarding game? It can teach one big lesson about motivation.
Mechanics Rating: ★★★☆☆ [3/5]
Discipline potential: ★★★★☆ [4/5]
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