Cleaning My Room, Half-Baked Cooking Metaphors and Eventually, Video Games (2017 Edition)
Hi, Giant Bomb! I just finished cleaning my room, which is not a video game but is something I like doing a lot. It's a lot of hard work, but it gives me an excuse to re-arrange things and by the end of it all, everything is cute, clean and cosy. It can be fun, but the part I like the most about cleaning is that I have something to show for all my hard work.
Another thing I like is that for a little bit, it gives me control over things. Dust will make cough and sneeze and junk, but I can just... brush the dust away with a cloth and it's all gone. I can choose what books I want to show off on my desk, and in which order I want them in... or, you know, I can just get rid of them entirely. My room is whatever I want it to be.
A big part of why I like video games so much is because for the most part, I have a lot of control and understanding over things. Video games have rules, and they're usually pretty simple to grasp so I don't get too anxious. If not, tough games are generally compelling enough for me to want to spend the time to understand them. It kind of works out in the end regardless, y'know?
This might sound like a pretty trivial thing, but these are the very few times that I actually feel at peace, because the real world doesn't really have any rules. That's both liberating and totally terrifying because if there's no rules, I get to do whatever I want... but likewise, the world gets to do whatever it wants to me and it regularly exercises that right.
For the longest time, I've never had the strength to fight back because I've always felt like I didn't exist. In video games, in movies, in cartoons and everywhere around me, I never saw myself. If I ever saw somebody that even vaguely resembled me, they certainly didn't act like me; just a shallow representation of stereotypes I was forced to fit everywhere else. It is very hard to have the strength to fight when it feels like you're not supposed to be here.
And... look, this year was a real kick in the dick to everybody, but I felt for people like me- young, colored, queer people that were tired of feeling non-existent. I felt empathy for the women who weren't going to let awful men silence them (and with the timing that probably saved my life).
I have felt a lot of pain this year because of these things, both because of them happening to me and to them happening to people like me. I've never felt like I was supposed to exist because the world around me was adamant on convincing me that I'm not like everybody else... that maybe awful feelings and mistreatment were supposed to happen because of that.
This year has helped, thanks to all the strong, smart, genuinely funny, inspiring black and brown voices that helped me feel like I could exist in this space. All the queer kids who have the most strength in the entire world because they choose to live as who they are in the face of everything telling them that they shouldn't. All the women who continue to push through things like abuse, and harassment and can still run laps around the people that try to put them down. They're all people that gave me the strength to accept my identity and be here.
It's weird, too because I've never felt more thoroughly, utterly broken as a human being than I do at this very moment. This year has taken more than enough from me, and all of it hurts. At the same time though, I've never felt so... I don't know, inspired to contribute, and help, and just... create things that can't be taken from me anymore.
I think that's one of the most upsetting parts about all of this; 2017 beat me up and I have virtually nothing to show for it. I have a lot less than when I started, but I don't know. Maybe it's like trying to bake cupcakes or something but the oven blows up in your face. It sucks really bad, and you have nothing but bruises and burns to show for it but if you're lucky, you can try again.
And lemme tell you, we're going to make some good-ass cupcakes.
Sorry... video games
I guess the point that I was trying to make was that video games helped me a lot. They kept me grounded when everything else was trying to sweep me away, and I'm deeply appreciative of how they helped me connect with others and understand things when those were two very hard things to do.
So... thanks, video games, even if you need some new and different voices.
I'm going to list some games that meant a lot to me this year, okay? They're in no particular order but I love them all very, very much and I hope you do, too.
Some not-2017 game things:
- I played Silent Hill 2 this year and I think it's one of the most beautiful video games that I've ever played.
- Nier is, also a very beautiful game, and is probably one of my favorite games ever.
- I learned that I don't like Max Payne 3 and really like Kane & Lynch 2.
- Resident Evil: Code Veronica X is one of the worst games of the past 17 years and you will not convince me otherwise.
Thanks for reading. ❤