Sharing the Passion
Hey there, 1 More Castle faithfuls. I had an interesting experience last week that spurred some pretty deep introspection. I was listening to the 1 More Podcastle live stream when my partner came in the room wondering what I was so intently looking at.
“Well it’s the 1 More Castle podcast hosted by Eric Hunter, Eric Bailey and Jason Lamb. The livestream is every Thursday at 8:30 EST and you can comment and interact with the gang as they discuss retro video games. They’re up to the best part of the show, the Retro Showdown where they all pick a game based on a theme and argue to see who picked the best one. Care to join me?”
“Oh, I see. You prefer to catch the podcast on Stitcher or iTunes or directly on 1MoreCastle.com when it’s posted on Monday so you can vote for your favorite game on the podcast page and download the track from the music break artist. Smart move.”
“Not everyone loves retro games, Jonathan.”
I was speechless. How can this be? Were there really people who do not spend their evenings writing, reading, watching, talking about retro video games? I had to solve that mystery, so I set out to spend a whole week discovering what other interests the populace could have. I questioned coworkers, grocery store clerks, friends, family, everyone. I was shocked, dumbfounded. My partner made me realize that there’s a whole lot of hobbies out there. It was like discovering a new world of things I could not care less about…Seriously, THAT’S what you people do with your time? Horrible! Here, let me give you a few examples of the things I heard:
The paper thing that’s super heavy and I thought had turned into a decoration to fill some furniture? Yeah, books. Apparently, some people still read a ton of them. I don’t know why, honestly. There’s a reason why game manuals aren’t included in video games anymore: Because reading is boring. How do I know which soundtrack to put while reading? What do the characters look like if I can’t see them or create their every characteristics? Why can’t I change the name of the protagonist? Reading books just sounds so… archaic. I guess people still read them to sound superior when they say “the book was better than the movie.” Who’s gonna check to see if it’s true? Why comb through 600 pages for days when they can see the whole thing in two hours while eating popcorn?
Video game alternative suggestion to books: ZORK
And don’t get me started on comics. It’s always the same Superheroes saving the same huge city. I don’t know much about them, but from all the trailers of “comic book movies” I’ve seen, they all look the same: action porn with snarky comments.
Speaking of trailers, a lot of folks, even in gaming circles, seem to enjoy movies a lot. They do feel a lot like video games, except for the whole immersive interaction part. When movie junkies were talking about their hobby, I admit, for a short period, I was interested. When people debated movies, I could see their disappointment when I didn’t see a “classic.” They really looked down on me. They used words I was familiar with like overrated, overlooked, gem. They debated harshly, never letting the other person have his own opinion. It kind of reminded me of gaming. I tried checking out the classics, but, boy, did they age badly? In some of the older ones, I couldn’t even get the color or the sound to work. I did try more recent movies. In fact, I figured, since I already like video games, I should watch movies based on video games. Let’s just say, I was not entertained. In the end, I failed to grasp the appeal of movies. I don’t really regret it when I see their award shows and premieres. I couldn’t fit in with such classy people.
Video game alternative suggestion to movies: Night Trap
That’s when someone else mentioned “Anime.” From what I understood, it’s like the cartoons you watched as a kid, but they’re for older teens and adults, though they mostly star kids with questionable anatomy. Looking at the person who mentioned this hobby, I quickly realized that, unlike movies, there was nothing classy or elegant about this pastime, making it fairly approachable. Of course, not wanting to explore needlessly, I searched for the most popular category of Anime, which ended up being a thing called “Hentai.” I didn’t take long for my “research” to end. Let’s just say that I do not want anyone talking to me about anime ever again, you sick bastards.
Video game alternative suggestion to Anime: Kinect game. I don’t know… just don’t touch my controllers
Surprisingly enough, I met some people who just aren’t into fiction it seems. Well, they *think* they don’t enjoy fiction, so they follow sports. Real men and women fighting over a set of rules to win a “game”. The way I understood it, most people treat sports like a “let’s play” or a stream on “twitch.” You look at other players playing a game, sometimes cheer for them, other times yelling at them because they act stupidly, in your opinion. A lot of people told me they were cheering for their favorite local team, which is cute considering 75% of the players come from another town or, most of the time, from another country. When their team wins or loses important games, there’s often a ruckus and some riots. Even lately, a woman was beat up over it. I couldn’t believe it. All this over a game? I wouldn’t want to have a hobby that people take so seriously.
Video game alternative suggestion to enraged sports fan: Mutant League Football
Oh, there are people who practice the sports they follow also. I guess that’s kind of interesting. It’s harder to gather people to play with, however, unless you’re in a league. Can you imagine having to think of 20 people that don’t annoy you, just for an hour and a half of entertainment? Of course, leagues cost tons of money to be in. You’d think playing outdoors would be free considering how long it existed. Other people practice individual sports like running. Though, if I hear another person talk to me about running, I’ll go crazy. Runners are way too intense. They go out in full winter wearing plastic leggings and a small hat to go run for hours. They literally put one foot in front of the other for hours! You’d think they do it for the exercise, to keep in shape, but they legitimately enjoy what they do enough to talk about it! They’re nuts.
Video game alternative suggestion to real life tedious grinders: Diablo *click*
Then, some people think of “cars” as their pastimes. I mean, come on. That’s not a hobby, that’s a transport! A terrible transport! They say they like to modify their cars, add bigger exhaust pipes, tweak the motor. I can see how cool it would be to make a race car, but it’s kind of useless when you have to respect local speed limits. What’s the fun of prepping a car for speed if you can’t race it? Doesn’t it end up just costing money, causing pollution and noise? You’re better off playing a racing game. It would light your face up like you light up asphalt with the neon lights under the frame of your “baby.”
Video game alternative suggestion to danger driver: Relearning the basics
And then come the worst people of all, those who don’t have time for hobbies: “I’m too busy with the newborn and all, we barely have time to sleep! Hahahahahahaha [continue fake laughter filled with distress].” Well, I managed to suffer a couple “My kids” conversations and I think I can explain why parents of newborns are so busy and tired. You need to decide if you hate your baby or you love it. Stop oscillating between the two! It’s that simple! Is the baby cute and cuddly? Or it that newborn a demon spawn from hell to rob you of your sleep all the while yelling its lungs out as you wipe feces and vomit from your clothes for the 20th time today, deciding to put on your bottom drawer clothes conscious that your appearance matters little to your partner behind the wall of intimacy the demon child has erected? If you end up choosing which side you’re on, please let me know then. Maybe you’ll have better advice for me than: “You should have kids. Kids are great, but…” In the meantime, I’ll stick to my cats.
Video game alternative suggestion to parenting: Yoshi’s Island
And by this I mean generally taking care of them and not snapping pictures every few seconds. I get cats are cute. I’d go as far as to say most pets are cute, but they’re not long term conversation subjects. ESPECIALLY if you still don’t know how your cell phone picture gallery app works! Yes, pets are part of your family, but you’re not showing me tons of pictures of your aunt lying on the couch or your grandfather eating the cookie he stole from you, ARE YOU?
Video game alternative suggestion to sharing too many pet pictures: Pokémon Snap
After that, to be honest, I stopped listening. I don’t care if it was phone book collecting or stalking the neighbors, nothing had any chance of deserving my attention. So there you have it. People have other “hobbies” outside of video games. Amidst this uneventful week, I did learn a valuable lesson. Though we are passionate about retrogaming, maybe we should restrain our enthusiasm for our hobby when conversing with others unless they come forward wanting to discuss it. I mean, first of all, they clearly don’t have any taste in hobbies and we’d be wasting our breath. But, more importantly, maybe, though inexplicably so, they don’t care at all about gaming. I couldn’t really hold it against them, I don’t really respect what they do in their free time. In the end, video games didn’t become this popular because of us shoving it down ignorant people’s throats, right?
See you in two weeks!