"A video game comic and blog that would have been awesome and relevant 10 years ago. Maybe." -Famous Website
Last Saturday, I went with some friends to the LA pride music festival. It was our first time going to such an event so we thought it would be a good and interesting experience. Upon going, I noticed that I was feeling completely out of my element, even a little down because I began to realize how little I feel like I fit in with normal people.
There were stages blasting loud music and many people dressed and dancing very openly and expressively. I admire and am happy about them being joyful and freely expressing themselves; it's something that I always seem to have reservations about. I couldn't help but to think "no wonder I'm such a recluse and don't have many friends" and "wow, I act like such a stiff old timer," and began to wonder what elements in my childhood lead me to be as tame and possibly socially awkward as I am. Maybe it's the product of being young with a father who enforced this kind of behavior? Is it from natural introvertedness? I started thinking back to my high school friends and acquaintances to remember whether or not they were the type of people who would join in on the music festival's activities, which I'm sure they would have which made me feel even more alone and an outsider.
Cecilia seemed really happy while there and it was clear she wanted join in on some of the activities, but I couldn't help but to feel stupid opening up; I was conscious too that my reservations are limitations and weights that I place on myself; that feeling stupid doesn't matter and that I just needed to try to live a little. I wanted Cecilia to enjoy herself and I didn't want to hold her back but I had trouble stepping forward on my own. Eventually, she pulled me into dancing somewhat close to one of the stages and I tried to let loose and get into it too. I looked and I felt stupid, especially since I can't dance worth beans, but seeing her happy began to cheer me up. We did a few other things like ring tosses, had ice cream, and rode a ride that spun and flipped upside down and the evening actually ended up being pretty fun. =) We even ended up going out for dinner afterwards too which was a huge plus to end the day!
I'm happy we went to the festival, but the feelings of seclusion I had there still makes me think about the feelings of not fitting in anywhere and about what I had written in my blog post on Saturday on the idea of being "hardcore" causing one to neglect other significant elements of one's life.
While away from home, I admit that I was still thinking about art and how I need to improve. It's an obsession. It can be depressing at times; sometimes I feel upset that I'm not as far along as I want to be, but it's also a direction with energy and a goal I'm striving for. I'm driven which is so important because you don't always have the energy to do it. I think the idea of being hardcore is really great because then you're focused and are working a skill, it's a mastery that you chase for yourself for whatever reason. I guess how you use the skill acquired is a big question too though. XD I feel like I've been having a "hardcore" mentality to improve my art during the previous weeks; throughout my days, whenever I was doing something that wasn't drawing, I was thinking about how I needed to practice or study, and was trying to think of ways on how to approach my development. As I lightly mentioned last week too though, I've been feeling isolated and kinda lonely also and I knew that focusing on art so intently meant I'd spend less time with people and I just didn't really want that. '_' Going out to the LA pride was kinda like a forced break and a chance to see something different. A small part of me kept telling me that I needed to work on something, but other parts also rationalized the idea of gaining life experiences, memories, and a chance to study people, culture, and light. I admit that I wasn't super excited at the idea of going at first and if I had been more hardcore into getting art or getting work done, I might have stayed home and missed the festival, but I'm really happy I DID go because I'm sure that I came home that night with a lot more than I probably would have ended up with if I had stayed home with my face in a drawing canvas.
There often seems to be the question as to why there's negativity towards casual gamers in gaming communities. I read something recently that stated that there's nothing wrong about being a casual gamer, it simply means that we play games for fun; It sounds pretty good and seems sensible. XD I'm not saying there's anything wrong with being a casual gamer, but I guess the problem that occurs is that because there are so many casual gamers out there, many game companies have decided to cater more for that audience than the older style gamers, often times watering down or simplifying mechanics and the experience, killing the sense of complexity and deep exploration, thus there are less games that are catered towards not-so-casual-gamers, thus they are prime targets for gamers to focus their anger towards since the industry isn't as much a prime target, being huge vague and seemingly intangible element. '_'
Another reason for the conflict, I think, is because casual people don't see the same things in games as usual gamers. The situation is similar to automatic versus manual shift cars drivers. From people who I know that enjoy manual shift cars, they love the control and the technical feeling of it; that you're given so much more control over your driving. Manual car fans see driving more than simply transportation, but as an entertainment too. There's an aspect and an art that is deeper in driving that they enjoy that casual drivers might not be able to appreciate. You wish people could and would appreciate it, but they can't which can be frustrating.
I think the combined elements of frustration over the idea of casual gamers not being able to appreciate the nuances of game design and the idea of them being the target demographic, changing the market and focus of a lot of gaming are some of the major reasons of the slight hostility against the idea of the casual gamer.
I know that it's a really basic idea but I just couldn't help thinking about the relationship between casual vs hardcore traits and people since my post from last week. XD