Ideas in the Making

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Video Games and 3 Things I Learned Playing Them

I used to play a ton of video games. Not like “a lot”of video games, I’m talking a shit ton of video games. Most of the times I played RPGs, (role-playing games, or games where you level up your character and otherwise make choices about their “development”) some, but not many, RTS’s (real time strategy, games where everything happens in real time and actions have to be constantly inputted and strategies revised on the fly. Command and Conquer anyone?) and a handful of just action/adventure games.

Note: This post is divided into two sections, first my story regarding video games and then what I learned from them, feel free to skip.

First I want to break some misconceptions about video games and gamers in general. For one they aren’t all fat, nerdy and awkward. In fact some of the coolest, chillest people I know play video games. A lot of them just do it to relax and escape, others just love to pour hours upon hours watching their characters advance. Some are “achievement whores” or gamers that spend all their time chasing numbers. Some are min-maxers, or people who through excel spreadsheets, repetitive testing and brainstorming determine what the “most effective” way to play the game is (something usually the developers only know unless they divulge a lot of information). Regardless in all these sub types I’ve met tons of people who are genuinely cool, laid-back individuals.

In almost all games I’ve played of every genre I’ve met people interested in different facets of the game. Some people like to focus more on the economy of the game and the ways the markets work. Some spend hours trying to make their character perfect, detailing every relevant piece of information and plugging it into various spreadsheets. Some focus almost solely on player-versus-player aspects and spend their time practicing in teams in order to outcompete. There is something for everybody.

The Power and Danger of Information

On Kevin Espiritu

There was a time (2010) where I consumed vast amounts of information on a wide spread of topics, thinking that the knowledge would somehow translate magically into results.  While I gained a lot of insight on a broad range of topics, the knowledge didn't do much for me in the way of results in the real world.

Here are just some of the topics I studied in 2010:

And the list goes on.  When I say I studied these topics, I mean I really studied them.  I surfed for 3-4 hours per day for a month straight.  I played drums for 3-4 hours a day.  I would go out for hours at night and take photographs to get better at long exposure photography.

While 2010 wasn't all fun and games, I'm very fortunate to have had the savings to afford spending a year pursuing whatever interested me.

Having the luxury of spending a year of my life like this is something that a lot of people dream of.  I know plenty of people who would have loved to do the same, but needed to pay down school debt or get started in a career.  I thought I should get started in a career...but with money in the bank and a stubbornly curious mind, I couldn't pull the trigger on that just yet.

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