Category Archives: Life

“Hey Phil, I’m with you on this one…”

Since I am semi back on the site, I thought I would take this opportunity to say “hey Phil Fish, I’m with you on this one.”

For those who are not aware, Phil Fish is a Montreal based developer, the creator of the massively popular title, Fez.  Fish had announced the sequel to this very same game not too long ago, but, in a surprising move earlier this week, he announced its cancellation, after being the target of numerous vicious and hateful comments.

“FEZ II is cancelled.”  He said.

“i am done.  i take the money and i run.  this is as much as i can stomach.
this is isn’t the result of any one thing, but the end of a long, bloody campaign.”

Many would disagree with me, but like I said I’m with Phil on this one.  Granted all I know of the guy is from Indie Game: The Movie, but he seems like a decent guy to me, just your average joe trying to make a living.

And I feel his pain you know.  I have been working in retail for 10+ years and I know just how horrible people can be, and, as everybody knows folks on the internet can be A LOT worse.  Which is why as much as I hate to say it, I was not surprised by the level of hatred that he had to endure, or even at the level of abuse that people are still throwing his way even now.

Right now I am hearing a lot of people saying things like “yeah he should’ve ignored the nasty comments” or “he should’ve stayed out of the public domain”, a sentiment which I sort of agree with.  But, on the same note I say he shouldn’t have to.  Bully is bullying – it just shouldn’t happen, and when it does we shouldn’t just stand back and accept it.  Why and when has it become the norm, for it to be acceptable for folks to be attacked and abused?  And why in gods name are people frowning upon and punishing those who are the victims of abuse, at folks like Fish, and not those who are throwing the abuse in the first place?

It is a truly sad world we live in indeed.


Lamenting The Mountain

My tramp through my mountain of junk has been proceeding at a snail’s pace (see https://skepticalhero.wordpress.com/2012/01/21/baby-step-tramping-through-the-mountain/). However, progress IS being made.  In the past couple of weeks I have thrown away years worth of books; collector’s edition boxes; action figures and a myriad of other little bits and pieces.  During this time I have also gathered up dozens of CDs, DVDs and Blu-Rays, all ready to be traded in.

It is depressing, seeing the amount of junk that I have uncovered thus far. Seeing all the things that I had once considered my treasures, but now lie hidden and forgotten.  Things that I haven’t seen or thought about in years, and in some cases, things that I never knew I had.  Not to mention the things that I thought I had but could not find, the things that I have somehow lost without even realising.

It get even more depressing, when I think about all my limited collector’s editions and numbered merchandise from years back, never opened, gathering dust since their purchased, and eventually thrown away…  My old VHS tapes, with the hours I spent recording movies, shows and videos off TV (and in some cases even more hours spent cutting out ads, and transferring to new tapes), now useless, and again thrown away…

I find it sobering, thinking about all the things that I once held dear to my heart, but now find meaningless and abandoned, thrown out and devoid of use. It makes me look around at all my current treasures with brand new eyes, and it leaves me wondering – just what is all this good for?  Just what is the point of having money and processions, when it is all ultimately meaningless?


Baby Step: Tramping Through The Mountain

The tip of the mountain...

In my previous post, I mentioned the starting of a series of baby steps, with the idea that they would eventually lead me towards bigger goals.  Well today I’m going to talk about one of my first steps – it involves a tramp and a hike, an expedition if you will, through my mountain of junk.

My earthly processions have grown exponentially over the years, with each year, more and more media devices; collectibles; books; games; CDs; DVDs; Blu-Rays and other miscellaneous bits and pieces finding their way into my collection.  I am somewhat ashamed to admit it, but despite all the money I have spent, despite all the little bits and pieces that I own, at the end of the day I have very little to show for it.

There are just so many things that I own and love, but rarely see or use, and sadly, in some cases things things I have never opened, and most likely never will.  Action figures and collectible statuettes for example; special collector’s editions of older games; books purchased from sales but I have never gotten round to, or books that I have started but have never gotten round to finishing… all that and more, just sitting around gathering dust.  Many of these are things that I have had for years, things that I love; things that I treasure; things, that I consider to be my- well, as Gollum would say, “my precious”.

It is depressing to see how my life has gotten to a stage, where I not only find myself surrounded by useless junk, with no money, property, or savings.  It is no longer a case of me owning my wealth – much like Gollum, I find myself at a stage where I am now a prisoner of my own belongings, trapped by my own precious processions.  Well, it is for that reason I am taking this grand expedition through my mountain, and have started the task of systematically eliminating various items from my collection.  In the past week alone I have thrown away years worth of PC games, collector’s editions, books, and various types of collectibles.  And right now, I am in the process of going through my console games, CDs, DVDs and Blu-Rays, looking for titles to sell or trade in.

Though it breaks my heart, throwing things away left and right the way I am doing right now – I would have to admit, the whole experience is surprisingly exhilarating and gratifying.  With each item thrown away, another brick from the wall of my self imposed prison is being knocked down.  With each item eliminated, another window is being created on the wall, allowing the light of freedom to shine through.

Anyways to be honest at this stage I don’t really feel that much freer or lighter, and, looking at my sheer amount of junk I must say I am barely making a dent. However, that brings me back to the whole point of this tramp through my mountain: it is but a baby step.  The idea behind these baby steps is that it doesn’t matter if I don’t move in leaps and bounds, or perhaps if I move so slowly that I won’t ever make it to my goal – it doesn’t matter if I fail in what I set out to do even.  What matters is that I am moving, and, as the old saying goes – “Even the longest journey begins with a single step.”  Perhaps I have way too much love for commercialism for me to ever truly be free – but someday, who knows, I just might get there.


A New Year

We are now half way into January, and thus try as I might, I can no longer deny the fact that it is now a brand new year.  I don’t know about you, but I have always found this time of the year to be a depressing one. Sure, the new years might be a time of renewal, a fresh start of sorts, but it is also the time when resolutions are renewed… and reviewed.

Last years for me they were the standards for the most part – spend less money; save more; eat better; exercise more; get a life (sadly, that wasn’t a joke), et cetera.  Call it a lack of will, or just plan laziness perhaps, but unfortunately just like pretty much all of previous years, my good intentions kinda just fell by the wayside.  Like a lot of people, none of my resolutions really stuck, and nothing came even closed to being achieved.

Well, this year, I’m not going to delude myself with yet another grand list of things that I know I won’t get done.  Instead of plans of turning big dreams into reality, my goal instead is for me to start a series of baby steps towards bigger goals.  And instead of planning ahead for the whole year, I’m gonna take things one day at a time.  And no, before you ask I’m not doing the “no day but today” thing.  For me it’s more like “if I fail today, there is always tomorrow – and tomorrow, is never far away.”

Anyways my first goal this year is one that I’ve kinda had for years, but have somehow never manage to get even close to starting.  It sounds strange, but it has to do with my worldly processions – and my dreams of perhaps one day being free from it all.  But heh, that, is a story for another post…  That is, if I ever get round to writing it.  As usual, only time will tell I guess.


A Hero Reborn?

Random picture with rubbish lighting, nothing to do with anything - just like yours truly...?

If you are one of the unfortunate few who have been here before, you might have noticed that there has been a slight revamping of the site.  As some of you might know, I am currently toying around with the idea of starting the old blog up again.  For those who are not familiar, this little blog was originally created as a place for me to post my random thoughts and comments on various topics, which were usually (but not limited to) gaming and gadgets themed.

Having quit playing MMOs on a serious level a couple of years back, I found myself enjoying more free time than I was privy to previously.  All this free time meant extra time on the net, and it had lead me on an extended tour to a number of previously unexplored gaming blogs and podcasts.  As I explored these blogs and shows, somewhere along the line I found myself picking up the annoying habit of shouting out loud, ranting and raving over things that I had read or heard, and sometimes over things that I was experiencing within my own games.  I realised then that there were just so many musings and strange ideas that I wanted to write down for future reference, and perhaps share and discuss with likeminded folks.  And I thought, hey, instead of shouting angrily at a podcast that I’m listening to at work, or having intense arguments with myself on the bus over the plot of a game or a movie, why not start a blog, a personal journal of sorts that would record snippets of my life and store it on the WWW?

And thus, “The Skeptical Hero” was born.  To be honest the blog never really took off the last time it was launched.  While there had been a surprising number of visitors, it never really had any real readers.  The place never really felt alive, and the lack of comments meant I was still basically ranting to myself (admittedly in a quieter text form). I guess the at the end of the day, the failure of the blog mainly came down to me being too lazy, or too tired to write after coming home from a full days work.  Working six day weeks, most of the time when I get home from work I just want to crawl into bed and sleep, or perhaps just spend the night doing what a gamer does – playing games.

There WERE other problems too I guess.  The lack of focus for example.  The entries I had posted jumped from long serious rants to semi technical reviews to random YouTube links.  While it had always been intended as a place for me to rant and muse, I felt perhaps I didn’t explain the site enough, that people didn’t know what to expect going in, and, probably still didn’t know what to expect exiting.

And then there was the lack of content.  While I had lots of rants and ideas bottled up inside of me, problem was that often by the time I got around to writing, I rarely have much to say.  Sometimes it is similar to when you awake from a dream, how you find yourself unable to remember your experiences, or any of the fine details – details which moments ago had seem to vivid, so sharp, and so immense and intense.  Often by the time I sit down to write I find myself having lost track of all my thoughts and ideas, and unable to recall what I had sat down to write in the first place.  And then there are the times when I find myself restricted by my own limited vocabulary and literary skills, when things become lost in the translation from idea to text, forcing me to abandon the entry mid-post.

Anyways somewhere along the line the blog just kinda stopped.  Not exactly sure when or why, but it all kinda just fizzled out during my holiday back in July last year – it might even have been before that, around the time I stopped playing Rift perhaps.  Whatever the case, like I said earlier on I am currently toying around with the idea of relaunching the blog.  The idea is that this time, the blog will have more of a direction, while at the same time less of a focus.  It will be rantier, less formal, and more random – in other words more like me in real life.  The blog will still be accessible by the general public, however, to be honest if I do relaunch the site, any posts I might make will mostly be for personal reasons.  It will be a vanity project and a journal of sorts, a snap shot of my life at this point in time, something for me to look back to at a future time, when I am supposedly older and wiser.

And so, that’s it for me, for now.  Will I be back?  Well well, only time will tell.


Valentines Reminder

Good morning ladies and gents, just a friendly reminder that Valentines Day is in less than a weeks time.  While some folks might argue that the worship and pampering of the ones we love should be a daily event, and not just be restricted and centered on one single day of the year – I say hey, why the heck not?

Ladies, why not show that nerdboy in your life how much you care this Valentines Day by buying him that fancy DLC for his game, or better still, put on something sexy…  and then leave him the heck alone so he can go raid on his favourite MMO?  As for you guys – why not forget about Lara Croft and your imaginary band of female night-elves this Valentines, and spend the day with your real life lady friend for a change?  She will be confused and shocked I’m sure, but I guarantee it, she will love you for it.

This has been a public service announcement from your friendly neighborhood Skeptical Hero.  Happy early Valentines everyone!

Oh and one last thing – all you ladies out there, I AM currently single (hint hint, wink wink, facial twitch).


2010 – Get Off My Lawn!

Time, like a thief in the night, is slowly creeping up on me, and day by day, I am finding it increasingly more difficult being a gamer.  Maybe it is a case of me getting older and slower, and not being able to keep up with the hectic pace of this modern day world.  It might be a case of the games and their communities, having moved down a different evolutionary path then the one I have been travelling.  Or it might even just be a simple case of the sheer volume of games released, and a lack of time on my part.

Whatever the case is, looking back on 2010, I have come to realised just how tired, how burnt out, and to a degree how fed up I am with gaming in general.   Looking back at at all the games I have played; the games I have yet to play; the games I have finished; the ones I have yet to finish; and the ones I have abandoned…   It all just bring up such negative emotions in me.

It frustrates the hell out of me, looking at refreshing new games like Heavy Rain and Demon Souls (okay from 2009, but was released in Europe in 2010), and seeing how they failed to revolutionise or even make a splash in the industry.   Or looking at abandoned products like Sony’s PSP Go, at how badly implemented and supported that device was, and at how so much wasted potential there was.

It makes my blood boil looking at companies like Apple, Activision-Blizzard, and even companies like Zynga, with their overpriced overrated products that everyone just seem to love with a mindless passion.   What’s worse is seeing the unstoppable momentum these companies have built up, and seeing all the other companies out there making regurgitated copycat clones of their products, trying to emulate their successes.

And don’t get me started on things like the PSMove and the Kinect, or non-gaming things like the Kobo; autotune; idiots who releases weblinks and free classic books as paid-apps (and the idiots who encourages more of such stupidity by buying them); Twilight (damn sparkly “vampires”) and the whole pseudo vampire craze; vuvuzelas; and of course, Justin damned Bieber.

Right now there is just so much frustration, and so much anger cooking inside of me – 2010 has brought me to a bubbling simmer, and this year of prolong cooking has left me a dried up emotional mess on the inside.  And so, I find myself looking at 2011 with a skeptical eye, and wondering just how I will fare in this brand new year.  Will I finally be pushed to the boiling point and beyond?  Or will my faith and passion for gaming (and indeed humanity) be restored in a glorious non-stopping train of double rainbows?  I guess ladies and gentlemen, only time will tell.


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