Hello again! Today, I finished a game called Cruelty Squad, which is a fantastic game that I would very much recommend. It's a very unique shooter, based on turn of the millennium tactical shooters like Deus ex, Delta Force and Rainbow Six. It is also a complex discourse on the power fantasy of video games, as well as disillusionment regarding video games. In the immortal words of Billy Ray Cyrus, much to think about. Regarding disillusion, I've been thinking about it somewhat broadly, so it was quite funny and fitting that Cruelty Squad delves into it. Finding out what is part of me and what I find meaningful, and what is not and what I find trivial is a bit of a journey. Certain things that used to be very meaningful to me, that I even recommended to people, now seem very distant, whereas older things that I had put to the wayside still hold strong meaning. I spent a lot of time playing Final Fantasy XIV, I suppose, when I was aching for some kind of connection and dealing with a lot of stress. I had friends who played it and I wanted to be closer to them. I still have a fondness for it, but its nature as an massively multiplayer online game (mmo) is increasingly galling to me. I have also come to realise that the mmo seems to hold a place in society similar to the soap opera.

It is carnival that never ends, a constant attraction of drama and activity. It demands your constant attention, like so much media does nowadays in a way that is rather disrespectful, even if other media is more exploitative or effective about it. It fills in time, it’s entertainment for the bored and frustrated folks, like how the soap opera was aimed at housewives who had a lot of time on their hands, who were lacking connection and dealing with a lot of frustration and boredom. They needed SOMETHING, but ultimately what they got was due to a lack of overall stimulation, and so too with mmos, although mmos are a bit more insidious in their monopolisation of time. It is what it is, I suppose. I have been finding a lot of meaning in more individualistic experiences lately (like Cruelty Squad), although this of course doesn’t have the same social quality. I suppose I’ve been increasingly finding my social outlets elsewhere.

Here is my haiku for the day. I hope you enjoy it.

brittle branches creak
is not as it was