One of the reasons I frequent reddit and imgur is to hear snippets of life stories. Is it because I can extract these stories for my own selfish reasons and use them to supplement fiction? Or is it because I enjoy the everyday vicarious socializing using animated images and memes?
Get it? Because it’s a meme.
When a post opens with “This is how a game saved my life” I am of course immediately intrigued. And I’m heartened to see that the game in question is Magic: the Gathering.
“We’ve long canonized our respective lunacies, believing it is like some artistic sacrament that makes our bizarre endeavor possible.”
Jerry “Tycho” Holkins, Penny Arcade writer, on Mike “Gabe” Krahulik, the comic’s artist, and anxiety.
I respect the folks at Penny Arcade. I’d love to go to PAX next time it comes East. Between Child’s Play, great video game journalism, and a new engaging reality show about artists, they’ve accomplished a lot, and I’ve always looked up to their polish, professionalism, and sense of humor in every subject; even subjects that aren’t actually funny.
I also- due to a recent stint with anx-meds (as I shorthand them), appreciate what it’s like to work through a disorder.
Today we’re going to talk about the brain, and the parts of it that keep us working, for better and worse.
The Bourne series has a special place in my head, not only for popularizing fine-tuned psychogenic amnesia– characters that forget the plot but remember how to kill you with a pen or a rolled up newspaper– but for kicking off an interest in the brain. Aside from the bonus of being something my Dad and I can always watch together, it was a foundation of interest in psychological writings.
But we need to go deeper.
I recently deleted all my music.
Just under ten thousand songs. Some purchased, some carried over from archives that are at least seven years old. Most of it was pirated. But now all of it’s gone, erased. I traded in my iPod (30GB video) for some Gamestop store credit.
The recent events of my life, as well as some free time, have given me the opportunity for reflection. When I was younger I loved making lists, keeping an absolute inventory of everything I owned. Even when I was little I was worldbuilding, on a smaller scale than I am now for novels, but I wanted to know every single item and every single person’s name in the worlds I created.
But another purpose drove that almost compulsive need to inventory: minimalism. The eight-year-old Jared had a communist world: one type of car, one type of TV, one brand for everything. To this day, I keep a very small amount of possessions. Everything else I have is just “stuff” and I wouldn’t hesitate to leave it, or sell it.
My Kindle is a thin slab of plastic which now constitutes my entire library.
My USB drive, 2GB, is attached to my keys and has everything I’ve ever written.
Then there’s my games, my clothes, my photography equipment. And it’s all too much. Continue reading