When the Abnormal is the Norm

Some days are better than others, but mostly they run together in a fluid mess of… not so much bad, but not good.

It feels like at some point in depression you get so used to being sad that you only really notice how bad it is when it’s really, really bad.  There’s a phenomenon of living with pain so long that you become so numb to just how miserable you are that the moments without pain become more jarring than the ones with it, and I feel that applies just as keenly to depression.

Usually I’m triggered by something — intrusive thoughts or just a small example of things going wrong will snowball me harder than the bigger things, sometimes — and from there I’m scrambling to try to find footing and work myself through the anxiety and sadness that comes with each of these episodes.

Scenario: Former boyfriend — now good friend — and I spend all our days together.  I help him out while he’s at work and things get done because the idea of him being behind on things and having to go late into the night to keep up on MMO stuff bugs the shit out of me because, well, as mentioned, I’m kind of in love with him.  Sunday’s the free day, it’s the day where he can choose to do whatever he wants and attend to things because he’s actually able to be there. On this day he chooses to hang out with someone else.

While I consciously understand that hanging out with someone else is fine and doesn’t in any way mean that he, when given the choice, will choose someone else over me, the anxious part of me harps on that.  I realise that I’m being ridiculous, I realise these feelings are beyond ludicrous, and yet still I am hindered by them.  The anxiety’s still here, and still I want to cry my eyes out (while trying very hard not to because my father might pop in at any moment and he would definitely ask why I was crying.)

People always tell me I should get distance in these situations.  They don’t understand why people are friends with people they used to date, and I think that’s absolutely fucking stupid — pardon my French.  It’s idiotic to think that just because the kissing part of your relationship is done that you’re done being around someone.  If I loved them enough for it to make me want to cry at the loss, then I love them enough to make the effort to be friends.

This isn’t an issue of proximity, or trying to stay close, or even being fiends; it’s my emotions and their imbalance and how sometimes things just go south and I run with a scenario like a child who just stole a cookie.  I want to hide behind a pillar and devour it until my sadness is sated, even though I know it’ll make me sick.

I’ve digressed from my original point, but it still stands… I’m not sure how to feel that I’m so used to being sad that even these moments tend to pass without me even speaking them to much of anyone for the most part, or the second I admit them to someone I feel guilty for putting my sadness and drama on them and immediately force it into the pit of my stomach and let it form a stone or something to drag me down further.  I’d rather suffer than make others deal with my nonsense, and that’s just as destructive.

Depression is some nonsense, I really should do something about it.

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I hope my smile can distract you
I hope my fists can fight for two
So it never has to show

And you’ll never know

I hope my love can blind you
I hope my arms can bind you
So you’ll never have to see
What we’ve grown to be

One may think we’re alright
But we need pills to sleep at night
We need lies to make it through the day
We’re not ok

One may think we’re doing fine
But if I had to lay it on the line
We’re losing ground with every passing day
We’re not ok

But that’s one thing
I would never
One thing I would never
That’s one thing
I would never say to you

 

Always a Feminist Issue

Ezrik shared something with me, which was… both hilarious and upsetting.  We have this sort of mutual friend — though I don’t talk to him much, if at all in the last year, and who annoys me — who I’ll just call Pandaman for the sake of things, and he was upset that some game on Steam was tagged with ‘female protagonist.’

Pandman:…So, just saw a game on Steam tagged with “Female Protagonist.” Fucking sexist women, labeling that game. (Ezrik asks how it’s sexist) Focusing on her gender.  That doesn’t make the game any different just cause the protagonist is a woman. Puts undue amount of attention on gender when there’s no need. Now I gotta go and label all the games with guys as protagonist as “Male Protagonist”, since apparently that matters.

Direct quotes from the conversation, though with mere indicators of Ezrik’s replies.

I think the funniest part is how he seems to think because games aren’t labeled male protagonist it means that they’re not being represented — or less that and more that he feels pointing out females means we’re trying to make them more important…. which is true, we are.  We’re trying to make it so that females can be more predominant in roles in games; hell, if we could get so far as labeling all forms of representation it’d let people find games in which they feel they could have some investment.

But no, Pandaman thinks that women wanting to have a bit of representation is somehow sexist because men don’t label their games ‘male protagonist‘.  He doesn’t seem to realise that you don’t HAVE to label games that way as the majority of games are featuring a male lead.  Hell, even in the Zelda series (in which the titular character isn’t even the protagonist) it’s pretty much a Link game instead, hence all the ‘Zelda’s a cool dude’ meme jokes.

In his attempt to call something sexist though, he also made a sexist assumption that women were the ones labeling it as female protagonist, because no male could ever care that a female was a lead in a game because men are dudes and dudes are bros and fuck feminism /tips fedora.

Ezrik has grown a lot since I first met him and made the points I would, before the conversation got stupid and he just let the point go, it was as follows:

Ezrik: They specifically label female protagonists because in 85% of games, it’s men who are the ‘hero’ of the story. And females are mainly used as a sort of sex symbol, or some kind of prize to be won.
Ezrik: And not everybody wants to play that kind of stuff.
Pandaman: …That doesn’t make it any less of a sexist issue. If you really want equality, you can’t go making either gender singled out or made special.
Ezrik: If gender equality were an actual thing, then they wouldn’t have to label it.
Pandman: But by labeling it, they are furthering the issue.

If you really want equality, you can’t go making either gender singled out or made special.”  Well, exactly, I couldn’t have said it better myself, but as the role in games (even with the current influx if some female fronted games it’s still the vast minority) is predominantly male, they are represented far harder than the female demographic.  If you break that down further, even in most female fronted games they’re straight white women, or gay white women, and therefor STILL not even coming close to breaking the issues we have with representation.

But with every guy who thinks that ‘meninist‘ is a thing, or that feminism is about misandry — the two are mutually exclusive, by the way — we fall five steps back from people feeling comfortable about these things.

This isn’t to say that everything made by a female or a minority is inherently good because of that, but it does mean that they shouldn’t be immediately shunted into the trash chute because someone doesn’t feel comfortable that they’re trying to have their voice heard.  How dare those radical feminists label their games female protagonist so other girls in games can put themselves in the shoes of someone they want to, if that’s their comfort.  By that logic no games should have any labels or marketing period because you’re bringing too much of the ‘issue’ to the forefront.

One last gem, I promise.

Pandaman: It’s kinda like how Taylor Swift has haters, and by making a song saying she doesn’t care, she earned MORE haters.

It wasn’t about getting the haters to leave her alone, that’ll never happen, it’s about trying to teach girls that you can stand up for yourself, have these feelings and issues, and if haters exist… let them.  Let them sit on their cushions and rage at you for being you, but have the guts to stand up for yourself and be unapologetic about your voice; let yourself be heard and don’t let the haters stop you.

Bring it on, haters, equality is something worth getting shit on for.

P.S. In editing/formatting this I noticed that originally I typed Male Protagonist, yet always typed female protagonist.  It’s a weird little note but it’s sort of indicative of the deeply ingrained issues that come from shit like this.

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90s JRPG problems

© Konami

I’m just going to leave this here as a reminder that they redid the cover for Suikoden for the US release and I picked it up based on that horrifying cover that is really not indicative of how good it is.  I don’t know why the left wasn’t good enough, but eeeeeeh.

Legally Grey

Preface: This is in no way considered legal advice or even condoning anyone else doing these things, merely an opinion of one gamer on the ludicrous nature of how legality plays into these things.

There’s something to be said for things that are technically considered illegal but… shouldn’t be?

Emulation to me makes sense for games that are no longer in production, but as far as I’m aware of there is a legal line there that’s crossed when you go for it.  The problem is, some of the games I want to emulate I sure as hell own they just aren’t within arm’s reach right now and it makes it difficult to play the proper copy.

My biggest issue with the huffing about emulation is that most people who are going for emulation aren’t doing it for new games that are sitting on shelves in droves, but for games that don’t exist anymore or would cost a fortune from some private collector in which the dev’s would never see a penny for anyway.

Not to mention that, sometimes, filling the gaps you have had in a series will inspire you to pay money for new titles within that series coming out — such as me with the Tales games — and can sometimes inspire players who never got to futz with them before to fall in love with and end up building a collection of games and official merchandise around.

I do pay for games — and I really do, and have an active subscription at a rental service which also is fairly legal — but sometimes it’s impossible to find the games you want because of them being dated or the systems themselves being dated, and the idea that you don’t want people experiencing these masterpieces because you’re afraid you’ll miss out on some dough is ridiculous. The worst part being that most of the time it’s not even the developers causing these issues but the companies and resources they went through to get their game to the public.

That being said, if you do end up pulling some emulation out of your arse and end up enjoying it, do try to buy some merchandise or the game itself, for the sake of the company continuing to make games, and in the case of failed series/halted series or companies that no longer exist… write a review and let ’em know what they did do was appreciated.  Even if it’s just a little something.

… I want more Suikoden games.