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Miles To Go Before I Sleep…

Okay, so I’ve been bad about keeping up with this…just haven’t had much to talk about. Although soon Skyrim will be out and I will be salivating over it and will probably post a lot about how awesome it is and how much I want to play it. 😛

Until then, well I just post when I have something I want to say…and today I have a lot.

So first, let’s start with back in high school I was a part of this amazing group of people called Venture Crew 203. Now the Venture Crews started out as a special patrol that was an adjunct of the Boy Scout troop but over the years they let us break away and become an independent entity. We were also co-ed…boys and girls could join with impunity. And I actually didn’t find out until we went to a Scout-O-Rama as a crew that all the other crews in our area didn’t do nearly the exciting and cool stuff we did. We did tons of backpacking and rock climbing/rappelling, and I learned quite a few lessons from these experiences that apply to me even today.

However, the most important thing I feel like I learned from these experiences and mostly backpacking was that you always push yourself to the limits…and then a little farther. And every time I did I always found that my limit wasn’t ever where I thought it was. It was way beyond that, and even then I could push myself farther until I was ready to collapse. As soft indoor dwelling people, our minds rebel at the thought of walking 10 miles in a day, and then add on 30 to 50 pounds on to your back to make this feat seem impossible. But it can be done, quite easily once you remove the mental blocks and just believe in yourself. The backpackers call this “hitting the wall”. You get to this point where you feel like you can’t go on any more, and then you get a second wind. It’s like something clicks in your head and your brain goes “Oh, this isn’t so bad, I can keep going!” Now obviously, eventually, you will reach the end of your endurance…but that end is much, much further than most people think. And even knowing this and having experienced it before it’s hard to go through it again and again. Every trail is a new challenge.

So, why am I talking about this? Because last night I was thinking, as I often do, about my life and where I stand. And I quickly realized something. I have never reached my limit academically or mentally. I’ve never truly pushed myself and found the end. I’ve gotten discouraged and stopped, I’ve let myself be distracted by other things, I’ve let myself be lazy and do just enough to scrape by. And every time I have applied myself, everything is too easy and I wonder why I am trying so hard to accomplish something so small. As a result, I have never even gotten close enough to the “wall” to give up.

But also, I feel like I don’t have the motivation and focus on my own to study and really push myself. I know…weak right? But even backpacking I had my Dad and the other leaders pushing me so I could get there. And that’s what I need…a learning environment where the teachers will push me to be my best. BPCC was great for that…I loved the teachers and all of them pushed me and did their best to challenge me and let me push myself without moving too fast for the other people. And I could tell by the end that my advisor knew me too well because she said “Are you sure you are going to be challenged enough by these classes? We both know you struggle when you are bored.”

So, this is all leading up to…I want to go back to school. And it would be AWESOME if I could go some place like Full Sail and study game development, or game design. But truthfully that is just kind of a pipe dream. I don’t have the money and I don’t know how I would get the financial aid without having to take massive, massive student loans out…and my credit is terrible (well more non-existent).

But it bothers me how easily my Mom dismissed it. I mentioned going back to school to her and she tried to talk me out of it and said I need to try and get a job and just get some money coming in. And I understand…I am 26, I am getting older every day…I can’t go on living on my family’s mercy. But I went back to BPCC in the first place to get a stupid piece of paper so I could say I have a degree. Obviously that isn’t everything since it has been almost 6 months and I haven’t found a job yet. And there is a part of me that HUNGERS for knowledge, and a need to push myself as far as I can go for once and reach that limit and say “Enough…this is it…I’ve found the end.”  To not have her support, hurts me a lot. She’s always supported me…and now that I want to go back to school and try and realize my potential her discouragement (especially considering my whole family pushed me into going into college right out of high school when I wasn’t sure I was ready) is well…discouraging.

But then, part of me realizes I can’t settle. After seeing all those inspiring quotes by Steve Jobs after he passed away, and rewatching his commencement speech to Stanford in 2005 more than ever I am resolved to do what I love. I have to do this, I have to realize my potential and be everything I can be. Otherwise, I am failing myself and everyone else by being less than what I could be.

Well, thanks for reading, although this was more a “I need to get this out before I scream” kind of post. I will try and get back on the weekly gaming posts and try and find stuff to talk about more often.

CG

Wishlist Wednesday: The Secret World

Well, trying this new thing…decided I am going to try and give a preview of a game I currently really want to play on Wednesdays…and probably review a game at least once a week. So coming up this weekend I will be writing a review for Dead Island, but right now I am here to talk about an upcoming MMO, The Secret World. Let’s start with some trailers:

Okay so now that you have watched all of that, a few interesting details that to me makes this my most anticipated MMO of 2012.

The setting is completely modern, and there are 3 different factions to join: the Dragons, the Illuminati, and the Templars. You can cast magic, fight with weapons, and completely customize your skills. There are over 500 different skills and abilities to learn and improve, and the system is an open classless system. What this also means is that there is no “level” system persay, as you gain experience you get access to more skills but you can only use so many at one time. Which means you can still play with your buddy that plays ten times as much as you do (important for people like me who often get burned out and stop playing quite as much). You can group up in PvE with members of opposing factions but in PVP you will be against them (good for my group of online gaming friends because we can never agree on one faction). And randomly generated dynamic events and quest lines that actually seem to matter in the story. All in all, seems like an amazing game, and should be out April 2012.

Well that is this week’s Wishlist Wednesday, I hope you enjoyed my review, and sometime later this week look for a review of Dead Island.

CG

Video Game Wish List

I really want to make part of this blog about video games and review them after I’ve played all of the shiny new ones. But the sad fact is that right now I just don’t have the money to spend for shiny new games. So instead I am going to give you my top 5 games I am looking forward to/I really want to play.

1. Dead Island

First, the trailer. This is one of the most amazing trailers I have ever seen for a zombie survival game. Factor in amazing visuals, an open world similar to Fallout 3 (in game play not so much the setting), a leveling system similar to Borderlands, and a weapon customization system similar to Dead Rising 2 (which I heard was great but I have never played) I am bouncing up and down in my seat and trying to desperately scrape the money together to pay the nice men so I can immerse myself in hours of zombie killing fun. I loved the original Dead Rising, Left 4 Dead, and own the second although I haven’t played it. I’ve also played Killing Floor which has a pretty basic leveling system, but all in all I have never been more excited at the chance to roll up my sleeves and get down to some bloody zombie slaying. Let’s do this.

2. Minecraft 1.8 Adventure Update

Okay so not technically a “game”, and since it’s already a paid for…I will be playing this when it comes out and will probably write a review. But I am so excited…I have burned so many hours of my life playing Minecraft it is ridiculous, building houses and castles and always looking for the rarest of rare ores. Spending days mining and mining gathering resources and storing them because I am a pack-rat. And this is a huge overhaul of the game, making it focus more on exploration and killing since everyone who plays has the “survival” aspect down pretty darn well. It is supposed to release tomorrow, but unfortunately it looks like that will be delayed until Monday. But I can’t wait!

3. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Now for any PC gamers out there this is a no brainer. And if it wasn’t coming out in November this would be at the top of the list. Unfortunately, my gaming addiction is based around instant gratification so those that release sooner are up higher. However, given how much time I have played both Elder Scrolls: Morrowind, and Elder Scrolls: Oblivion I expect shortly after my friends get married on the 12th of November I will be locking myself into my room to play this for a good long while. From everything I have read and heard about it, it seems like everything in Oblivion is improved. And since I didn’t think it needed any improvement I can’t wait until I can boot this up and experience it first hand.

4. Torchlight 2

I could not find a good trailer for Torchlight 2, but it is the predecessor to an amazing Diablo-like ARPG called Torchlight. And they’ve given 4 new classes, co-op abilities, and an open world to roam around in. Sounds like a winner to me.

5. Diablo 3

Ah, Diablo, my first love. I remember the first time I booted up the original Diablo one Halloween night and began my trek into the dungeons under Tristram. I have many memories of playing Diablo and Diablo 2 with my friends, having a great time slaughtering countless hordes of demons, undead, and monsters with them. This game looks to be a vast improvement over the system in Diablo 2 and I cannot wait to save the world of Sanctuary once again.

So that is basically it for my top 5 currently most wanted games. I might make this a regular thing where I present one game a week or something that looks to be coming up on the horizon.

As usual, thank you for reading, and please check out my other posts.

CG

Why indie games are the future

So I am awake, at 8 am. So totally not a morning person. I have changed my layout about 5 times, and tweaked things here and there and I think I have finally settled on one that I like.

Now on to the reason for this post. First, here is some help if you have no clue what an indie game is.

More and more I see the game industry going towards small independent game studios rather than the big corporate ones. And the reason for this is simple. Big corporate studios can’t (read don’t want to) take the risks that a small independent developer can and indeed has to by the very nature of their enterprise. And yet you see independent games becoming more and more popular. Why? Because usually they are innovative, quirky, and refreshing. And it’s not that the large corporations can really be blamed, they are just protecting their investments…but at the same time if they took a few risks and put themselves out there now and then they could do some really impressive and amazing things like the things indie developers are able to accomplish on their own.

Anyway, what follows are a few links to my favorite indie games.

Not sure if Torchlight counts, but I’m moderately sure Runic Games didn’t have a publisher until after the release of Torchlight.

Anyway, thank you for reading. Please post your comments or thoughts and share them with me, especially if you don’t agree.