Angsty emo pish – hooray!

March 22, 2015 at 1:46 pm Leave a comment

Been thinking about life recently and I think I’ve realised what my greatest fear is.

Basically, my greatest fear is wasting time by doing things that are finite.

My life has developed in such a way that if I do something now I feel anxious if it doesn’t have a lasting effect, even if that’s something as simple as acknowledgment that it happened.

If I watch a movie, I feel like I have to write a review of it, almost to commit it to a record as proof that I saw it, that this happened in my life.

If I play a game, and I can’t write about it, I only get real satisfaction from it if it has an achievement system. I convince myself it’s because I like building my Gamerscore but in reality it’s because it stores a (hopefully) permanent record of what I’ve done: again, as proof that I played it.

This has gotten worse over the years and I think it’s a consequence of the nine years I spent as a games journalist, primarily the six years at ONM, where I reviewed a massive number of DS, Wii and 3DS games.

I was reviewing so many games at ONM that I was barely playing games just for fun any more – the review almost felt like a part of the game-playing process. Now when I play a game and I’m not writing a review of it at the end I have an empty feeling, like I’ve just wasted my time. It’s as if it didn’t happen.

If a tree plays Picross in the forest and there’s nobody around to see it finish a puzzle, did it even play it?

I’m pretty sure it all stems from a desire to be remembered. I’m terrified that when I die (hopefully not for a while yet) the things I’ll have done won’t have a lasting impact.

I’ll always have my reviews in ONM, and I’m so grateful to have that you have no idea. And I’m constantly proud of my 260+ film reviews on That Was A Bit Mental because it’s almost like a little archive of my free time: proof that the time I spent indulging in entertainment wasn’t wasted because I wrote about it and people read what I wrote.

But recently a massive chunk of the last three years of my life – all my work on the Nintendo Gamer site and everything I ever wrote for CVG – has been wiped off the face of the internet, and that has devastated me.

I have been in a massive emotional slump for the past couple of months now. Not because I don’t have a job: I’ll get a job eventually and I have plenty of money to keep me going for a long while so that doesn’t bother me in the slightest.

I’ve been in a slump because three years of my work – thousands and thousands of hours of work – has essentially disappeared. Everything I’ve done between the ages of 28 and 31 is gone. Three years of my life – the creative aspect of it, at least – no longer exists.

Now I spend almost all of my time writing reviews on That Was A Bit Mental, writing articles for Tired Old Hack and playing games with achievements.

I feel anxious any time I watch a film without writing about it, or play a game without an achievement system, or even go outside and see people if there’s no permanent record of it (even just a Facebook post or a Tweet saying I was there).

I was there. These three words are taking over my life and I need to get over it. I’ve spent nine years of my life chronicling the games I’ve played and now I need to re-learn the real point of them: to have fun.

I was there.


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A message to all Scots today

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