May? It Seems I May Not

I spent the last few weeks in a time machine.  That is to say, the time machine we all have built into us, where we’re moseying along minding our own business and suddenly realize, “It’s the nearly the end of May? And I accomplished nothing?  My God, I think I’ve traveled through time!”

You can make a fairly good guess about what I’ve been doing with my free time lately over the past few entries:

  • At the end of April, I was writing up a Chronicles of Spellborn guide and played the Immortal Defense demo.
  • May 1st – 4th, I bought and played through Dead Space.  It rekindled my hope for gaming by being a mainstream game that was actually fairly pushing the envelope, at least along the lines of Sci-Fi presentation.
  • May 4th – 5th, I gave Hard Nova another spin.  It reminded me of how even a simple 1980s game can still be fun, even with today’s innovations in mind.
  • May 6th – 7th, I played Plants versus Zombies.  That this casual-friendly title managed to have some grip over me (though its dearth couldn’t hold a gamer hobbiest for long) taught an important game design lesson about how an occupied mind may indeed be the only core asset of fun.
  • May 8th, I changed the theme of this Blog from white on black to what you see here.  Post removed for being pointlessly spammy.
  • May 9th-10th, I spent enough time on forum to realize I had outgrown most of the people who hang out on forums.  Post removed for being a travesty of whining.
  • May 11th, I considered how to go about making a space game that still seems interesting.  Hard Nova versus EVE Online examined.
  • May 12th – May 14th, I hung around Champions Online’s forums severely boning up on my current most anticipated MMORPG.  Take that, Bioware.
  • May 15th, I was in the beta.  That’s all I’m going to say about it because I like being in the beta, and violating NDA is not a good way for it to stay that way.  (Suffice to say, a considerate existing tester gave me his Friends and Family Buddy Key, and ironically I was one of the Sakura 150+ the week after.  Before you ask, no, I didn’t get a Sakura key, probably because I was already in the beta.)
  • May 16th18th, I decided to give Fallout 3 another spin, shelled out $30 for expansions.
  • May 19th, I needed a break from Fallout 3 so I gave another old game, Star Command, a spin.
  • May 23rd, here we are.  Last week was largely spent gravitating around Champions Online, catching up with my newly-acquired preview forum access.

With that, all of May is accounted for. That was just my free time, of course.  What about professionally?  I’m fully aware I can’t live under my mother’s good graces forever, and it’s been a pressing goal to seek my financial independence in the name of not being her fiscal burden.

I would like to say I’ve been busy applying for work, but the truth of the matter is my work-finding regimen over much the last few weeks has been: “Call the temp agencies and say I’m available.  Tell myself I’m going to drop some applications this week.  Then get distracted and do something else.”

The reason why is a natural biological override.  Over the past year, I got three job callbacks and one hiring from temp agencies.  Conversely, dropping three applications a day for months, with follow-up calls, for a year, generated no replies at all.  The human brain can only tolerate so much futile effort before it instinctively locks up and says, “You stupid simian, you’re getting nowhere, I’m going to stop you from spending calories that way now.”

It seems the subconscious mind is as vulnerable to reinforcement as the conscious.  Much of my whining about motivation over the past few weeks has been trying to overcome this incredible natural magic of the workings of my creation-given design.  That I’ve had such a great failure to motivate myself has in itself resulted in an extinction of the very attempt to do so.

I might as well have been trying to turn back the tides with a toothpick.

Granted, a really well-conceived toothpick might pull that off.  Say, a fusion toothpick which harnesses the power of deuterium in the waves.  Hey, I can still motivate myself, I just need to invent the mental equivalent of nuclear fusion.  How liberating.

Perhaps, instead of defying the tides, I can devise a means to go with the flow.

That’s sort of where this, “I think I’m a game designer” thing comes in.  I’ve savored playing games for 26 years.   I’m volunteering my time to beta test a game right now, and it’s far from my first.  I’ve volunteered to write about games in the past.  If I can make great games, and that would be awesome because it would provide a marketable conduit for my life’s passion.

I’m returning to school in late June, and that’s good.  It provides a chronological frame of reference to this hallow void of a life I’ve been living.  I can now say, “five more weeks of this, and then I’m back to school.”  Previously, I would say, “I’m looking for work, but I have no idea when I’ll find some and barely any leads as to where to look.”

Is it any wonder I lost track of time?  It held no meaning.  Now that I’m returning to school in five weeks, I’ve a deadline to make my first little BYOND project.

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