Not that it should be considered as such, since everyone, their mothers and their dogs seemed to know about this one particular feature. But you know that thing that you can do with your phone on SnapChat? The one where you’re taking an ordinairy selfie only to have your recently captured picture self spewing rainbows? Well, yeah. That’s a thing. I only found out about this a week ago at a party.
“But Dandy, ya numbskull!” You wail, gork and snort. “This feature has been present in SnapChat for AGES! How could you only find out about it now?”
And that’s a darn good question, Mr/Mrs/Ms. Disembodied Voice over the Internet! But the answer is the real kicker.
It’s one word. ‘iOS7’
… well, that’s not really a word. More like an acronym. But yeah, you get what I mean.
Someone was kind enough to bring this absolutely wonderful app to my attention. Smiling Mind seemed like another one of those dinky ‘get motivated’ kinds of apps that come with in-app purchases that amount to bollocks but I found myself very pleasantly surprised.
Basically, it’s a meditation tracker. You clock up ‘meditation hours’, do meditation courses via audio and even unlock meditation achievements like the act of putting yourself into an altered state of conciseness itself is a video game. Hooray!
To say that Dandy has a short attention span would be a severe understatement. Short term goals seem to be all he is capable of completing and anything that consists of months of active labor is seemingly impossible, forcing him to either bear the heavy wooden cross as the tedium gradually drives him to a metaphorical crucifixion or to flat out quit.
And when it comes to gaming, MMORPGs are another one of those Herculean efforts that one seeks to actively avoid.
Unfortunately, when it comes to video games, a lot of people love an instant reward. They do something or that complete a mission, or even shoot another play dead, and they’re rewarded whether it be points, items, experience or a shiny medal accompanied by the gravely voice of an announcer blurting some turbo-masculine phrase slapped together to describe the mere act of killing an opponent under the smallest of alternate circumstance.
Hell, it’s why first person shooters and even mobile games are so popular these days. A player doesn’t need to invest a bunch of time into them to get anything out of it and the games usually reward the player on a rather frequent basis.
I will admit it. I am dangerously close to fitting under the category of a ‘dudebro’. You know, those gamers that love their shooters and clock in tons of time into the multiplayer aspect of things. If I were to ask myself why I found games like Call of Duty or Halo appealing, I would have to say that it’s honestly a combination of the adrenaline rush you get when you’re team is faced with adversity or the fact that everything I do seems to benefit either myself or my team in one way or another, whether it be points for assisting another team member with a kill or calling in a scorestreak. There are always points to be gained.
It never used to be this way, however. I was once one of those ‘grinders’ that you see playing those RPGs, clocking dozens upon dozens of hours into the game, which would eventually turn into days and then weeks. I used to religiously play games like RuneScape, DragonFable and a ton of other free-to-play role playing games that required a serious amount of grinding in order to get anywhere. Looking back, I honestly don’t know how I did it. My current self would’ve just given up after five minutes of playing and it would be left up to complete chance as to whether I would ever feel the urge to play the game again. Hell, I used to be a HUGE Legend of Zelda and Metroid fan and nowadays, I can’t even be bothered to finish any new playthroughs that I start. Oh … well, except for Super Metroid. But any Nintendo fan would understand that completely.
Although, there is one game that requires a serious amount of effort and time that I CAN, if not, actually go out of my way to play. And that game is Dark Souls.
Dark Souls is an action-RPG, so it would make sense that there would be something more flamboyant and glittery there to keep me circling about like a moth to a streetlight. The core of the game mechanics revolves around action and interaction rather than just clicking a mouse to move my character or attack targets. I move my character wherever I want him to move and I fight however I’d like to fight. None of that turn based stuff. And with the added benefit of an absolutely sublime statistics system, something that I love about RPGs in general, Dark Souls was the one game in it’s vein that I kept coming back to. It wasn’t a flashy hack-n-slash game or a first person gunfight set in the future or anything but it still kept me very entertained.
If anything, the flashiness of FPSs have spoiled me as a gamer. That’s basically what I am saying here.
And not just me but heaps of other players as well. It’s probably the reason why games in general have become more and more streamlined as the years have gone by and why cripplingly difficult and seemingly archaically designed games like Dark Souls stand out amongst the crowd.
Recently, I’ve just reinstalled Destiny. I initially panned the game for being an absolutely poor excuse for a game in general but that was probably because I didn’t play it like how it was meant to be played. I delved into it expecting some Halo-like adventure with a cooperative and competitive experience in a similar fashion but honestly, the game is more like a weird hybrid between a Borderlands-esque first person shooter role playing game and World of Warcarft. Or at least, it replicates the laters style of rewards, levels and expansion packs.
Or more like sending out a not so anonymous text …
I am not sure what has come over me today, but for some strange reason I was very compelled to text and greet a few faces from the far reaches of my past. What possessed me to almost go through with such a ludicrously late and borderline creepy gesture of potentially misinterpreted goodwill? I honestly don’t know. It must be that full moon that we’re due for tonight …
What would you even say to someone you have had guff-all contact with throughout the year? And via a text too. That’s what makes it worse. Although I felt as if I had attempted to call them, that would have just made things all the more unbearably awkward because let’s face it: At the end of the day, a bad phone call is the Dandy’s metaphorical self-esteem related Achilles heel. Would it really be so bad? In a more colourful shade of logic, the answer would probably be ‘No’ with the longer runner up for the grand prize of bluntness being ‘No, it’s your own perspective that determines whether it’s awkward or not.’
But then again, one brightly lit perspective that radiates with optimism can’t speak for two people. And it normally takes two to do the conversational tango. Unless you’re like good ol’ Dandy here and can effortlessly pull off the verbal waltz with none other than his own lonely self.
There is no shame in talking to yourself, friends. It’s when you start explaining your dastardly plans in uber-precise detail to your invisible audience for exposition’s sake that you need to start worrying.