Today, I want to focus on a recent segment I witnessed during a call-in show that I often listen to. The caller stated that he felt men who weren’t very dominant in real life were using video games to assert their male dominance. In truth, he’s not exactly wrong – but maybe because I’m a bit of an oddball, I feel differently.
First of all, I enjoy gaming and was more or less born with a controller in my hand. That being said, I am a bit of a retro gamer and prefer a more traditional style even though I have ventured into a few of the modern games out there. I just don’t get the need to “get good” at a game if you’ve already finished it or the need to challenge other people in a game. I don’t even get the need to play at a harder difficulty from the start. I don’t find enjoyment in dying a thousand times over and wasting time getting through an experience. That’s not enjoyable to me, it just feels like a bit of a hassle. I never liked sports (especially bombardment) much either, so I guess I’m just not a very competitive person to begin with. It was never really my thing. What was my thing, as you’ve noticed – is promoting interesting forms of media that I enjoy or talking about things that I enjoy. Hell, I guess I’m like a drug dealer of media in that sense. “Try this shit, man… It’s really good. You’ll like it.” But then again, I can be a bit of a hardass when it comes to something I dislike. “Eh, that shit’s terrible. Don’t waste your time with it.” Or even, “that shit’s overrated” which is honestly how I feel about sex in many cases. The fantasy was often more interesting. Hell, the stuff I promote on the side bar (plug-plug-plug) is often more interesting.
I understand that not everyone feels that way about these kinds of things and I’m not going to shame anyone who enjoys competition or fucking. Now there are definitely times where I’ve said I might be better at something than someone else, so that could be seen as a competitive drive and source of external validation – but at the same time, it has to matter to me. Video games just don’t matter that much to me as far as competing with someone is concerned. Many times I play story-based games because I generally enjoy that world. I like immersion, same with a good film, comic book, regular novel or something of that nature. I like the art design, the playstyles, music and other factors that really geeky people usually notice. Of course, there are those “yeah, motherfucker!” moments where you defeat a strong enemy and maybe I derive some form of adrenaline from difficult puzzles and or bosses. It’s very possible that I’m getting that kind of fix – though even then, it’s fleeting. And I simply look back and I say, “that was fun” or maybe I actually find that I take something from it.
Some games, like RPG’s and visual novels can be very deep. Like “2deep4me” deep. So there are times where you can play a game and it can affect some of the actions you make in the real world. Maybe there’s a tidbit of knowledge or such powerful storytelling that it makes you rethink your life. To be fair, the guy who runs the call-in show doesn’t really play a lot of RPG’s and he’s not big into visual novels because it’s “basically a book” which is not exactly wrong. Though when you mix memorable storytelling in with touching music, it hits you pretty heavy in the feels department. I remember when I played that Korean visual novel about the android, Lucy – The Future That She Wished For and there was a moment where you had to erase her chip and everything she learned about you would be gone. But that’s kind of like dementia, so I’m even rethinking that now.
As far as men using video games to assert their dominance, I can definitely say that this is a thing. That being said, it is not a thing with all men. Not every man on the planet is so absurdly alpha and dominant to the point that everything is a goddamned competition. Some people just like to sit down, curl up with their favorite waifu and have a good time. Not that kind of good time either, unless that’s what you’re thinking – but I’m not. If there’s a clown echoing “We all float down here” in your head right now, then you’re too far down in the gutter and I’m gonna need you to come back with me.
The kind of time I’m talking about here is basically having a nice little immersion, like a journey if you will – where you may have some fun and perhaps even learn a thing or two. I’m currently playing a fun little RPG called Learn Japanese To Survive! and though it has characters, a plot and some kind of story; the game is actually teaching me Japanese. So not every game is just a game, some are experiences and you remember them for the rest of your life. Same with any other form of media that you truly cherish or has left a mark on you.
I do like what the caller said regarding the absurd hero though, because that’s how I’ve always considered myself. I am an idiot in a Halloween mask with a sex doll. Why are you here? I mean, I’m promoting eroge novels and world-class waifus made to order. I rant a bit, I’m sporadic and normally all over the goddamned place. Some say that’s what you call a degenerate, but I’m not into furries. Surprisingly. A friend sent me a few lewd pics of furry characters and I was just not interested. Then he sent me a picture of Cthulhu in lewd poses, to which I was even less interested and nearly frightened. So do you call me some even more absurdist term like “boundaried degenerate?” That’s not absurdist, that’s just plain absurd. Maybe I should start using it.