The constant plight of gamers has always been having too many games and so little time to play them in. Games will be partially started or not started at all. Many of them are in various stages of progress, and you’re lucky if you ever actually finish a single one. Completing a video game has always been a cause for celebration for me because I take a really long time to play one. A video game I had the honor of finishing was Gone Home on the Xbox One from The Fullbright Company, and it was one of those games you don’t know what to expect.
One of the silver linings I found during this time of great upheaval and uncertainty is my easy access to a variety of reading material. Thanks to a small, but sizable pile of books I have in my unread pile, I have been ticking off books as read in the last few months. After discovering an Amazon Prime membership also entitles me to add a maximum of 10 e-books from their collection, mostly classics and older books, to load onto my iPad through the Kindle app for free, this hungry reader won’t be left wanting for books. As I devoured book after book, a curious pattern began to emerge—the need to swap the form my book took.
Every writer has a spot they have chosen as their writing space. Whether it’s by a window in their favorite cafe or sitting on their bed with a laptop propped on their lap, the location hardly matters as long as you’re getting your story written. Whenever I prepare myself to sit down and write for the day, one of the first things I do is put on some music.
Anime has always been my first love. Ever since Sailor Moon debuted in North America in the 1990s, it became my entry point into the vast and wonderful world of Japanese animation. I discovered Cardcaptor Sakura, Fushigi Yugi, Ayashi no Ceres, Revolutionary Girl Utena, and so much more. Manga followed closely behind, mostly because many of the anime I fell in love with were already based on a manga series. When homework and studying were done during my high school and college years, I couldn’t wait to spend my weekends or vacations from school diving into an anime series I was into. Now with those days long behind me, I find my anime viewing to be dwindling until a great sense of nostalgia (or boredom) nudges me to see what’s currently available on streaming.
One of the great burdens of being an adult is weighing your options to make the best possible decision. Is this really a need or a want? With the world being what it is these days, those choices are crucial to ensure you have enough in your savings to pay bills, meet basic necessities, and still have enough for those just in case emergencies. Buying the latest video game release would be far below anyone’s list of priorities right now, if you have the extra money to spare. If you’re a gamer cutting back on purchasing games on a whim for any number of reasons, the ever daunting backlog becomes increasingly useful to have when saving money is what’s more important at the moment.
There have been times I wish I didn’t have a lot I was interested in like anime, manga, video games, classic literature, comic books, and writing. I often thought it would be easier if I just had less to focus my attention on during my downtime. I still think that way, but having your hand in so many pots does come in handy when you’re suddenly thrust into a global health crisis no one could have ever saw coming.
I’ve written about how some escapism is necessary right now to cope with the uncertainty we’re living in. It keeps you sane and prevents you from unraveling. The past four months in lockdown has me turning to fantasy as a way of dealing with a world that no longer looks familiar.
If you happen to be a gamer and a fan of anime, there are probably some video games where you thought, “Man, this would be fantastic as an anime. It already plays like an interactive anime game anyway!” One of those video games for me is Square Enix’s 2007 Nintendo DS game The World Ends With You. Apparently, the anime gods have smiled upon us because it’s actually happening.
Video games offer another entertainment medium and outlet for escapism and stepping into the shoes of someone else’s life. I’ve played a fair amount of video games where I was a human Grey Warden, an N7 soldier, a crown prince trying to take back his throne, or a teenager attempting to get a handle on her time traveling abilities. In every role I assumed during my time with a game, it allowed me to really get inside the head of these characters and truly understand what their experiences were. But one experience I could probably do without are the sex scenes found in some mature video games.
Four months into lockdown and monotony can set in. Every day is a never ending loop of waking up to the exact same surroundings and doing the same thing over and over again. Each week hardly looks distinguishable from the next. While staying at home for an extended period of time hasn’t been that difficult for me, we introverts are often thrilled when we aren’t forced to interact, there is a sense of longing to be able to go on trips or hang out with friends without worrying if the big bad C will come and get you. To add a little variety during my weeks, I have taken the initiative to pick up other skills or hobbies when I need a little break from the usual ones I’ve been doing.
After making a better commitment to fit more reading time into my schedule last year, I thought it would be helpful to finally give the Goodreads app a shot. Although my adoption of the app has been woefully late, compared to other passionate book readers, I can’t imagine going without it. Since writing a post last year about my initial impressions of Goodreads it has continued to be one of my most used apps on a daily or weekly basis. Again, what took me so long to finally become a Goodreads convert?