A life in games. In music. Part One.

I’ve played many games over the last eighteen years. Some were evanescent, forgotten even as I met them. Others, like childhood friends, are fondly remembered but vaguely; time has dissolved their features, erased the details. Ask about them and I’ll say “ah, yes,” and smile, but my brow will furrow if you press for much more than a name.

But another group remains: the indelible. The ones that have, for decades, stayed with me on my journey. The ones that changed that journey’s course. These are the games I seek to share with you, but sharing is impossible. Games are special because they’re interactive, and that means our fondness for them cannot be taught or shared. To love a game is to catch a fever and burn with it, perhaps for a season or perhaps forever, but always alone. Two discussing their love for one game may be at accord on many of its traits but never all of them; in a way, no two people ever play the same game.

Still, we try. You know the games I never played; here, then, are the ones I have. My words are mere formalities, meant to amuse but then, who knows, right? My hope is that by the time you reach the end of this you’ll understand me better, and where my words fail perhaps the music I’ve chosen will speak more clearly. So take a walk with me through my life. Remember these games if they’re part of you, and explore them if they’re not. These are the games that shaped my life; perhaps you’ll meet one here that changes yours.

15 Days, Day 4

This is part of a writing exercise dictated by this list. It may benefit you to read it if you seek to know me (or merely someone) better; it may benefit me in the selfsame way. And if knowledge of others is your goal, seek out Anna, whose list prompted mine, and Kimi, whom Anna credits for said list.

Day 4
One passion in your life?

Quite a ways into writing this, I suddenly decided I really love autumn, and that I would finish my brief thoughts and go ahead and write about that. I liked what I’d written, and thought maybe others would too (since, after all, if you’re reading this it’s because you want insight into who I am) so I’d post it below my thoughts on autumn, and that’d be that. But then, as I continued to work out my thoughts on passion and its role in my life, I realized that what I was writing was more important than any pontifications about cool air and colored leaves and pumpkin pie could be. So a passion in my life is New England autumn. The rest follows:

Part of the reason that I had to call it (temporary) quits on this 15-day task was a seeming inability to respond to this question. As one who tends to be over-passionate in all things, nailing down a specific passion has proved fairly difficult for me. I feel a bit like a fruit-of-the-month club member who’s trying to answer the question in a more precise way than “fruit;” or at least figure out how to talk about “fruit” in an interesting and unique way. (No, I’m not passionate about fruit).

At any given time, my passion may be gaming, or cinema, or theatre, or photography, or writing, or vampires (no, but seriously), or politics, or…well, you get the point. And I don’t mean to list hobbies, or general areas of interest; I go through seasons of extraordinary obsession, ravaging the flavor of the month in a way that cannot possibly interest most people. For example, I went through a pretty strong Kingdom Hearts phase a few months back, which led to buying a game, reading about lore, catching up on news, following a half-dozen tumblogs, changing my twitter avatar, etc. In the moment, I was frighteningly fanboyish about it.

And then one day, all of a sudden, it was something else, and I unfollowed the blogs and changed my picture and stopped playing the game halfway through. It was as simple as that. The passion which had driven me for three or four weeks just up and vanished. But it’ll be back, I’m sure, because this is the fourth (or was it fifth?) time that that passion has taken me by storm.

There are few constants (true constants) in my life which can be talked about in a non-abstract way. I’ve pretty much been a writer since I was 9 years old, but I don’t get off on sentence diagrams or crave sonnets or revel in bookstores and cafes quite as much as I’ve always felt I was supposed to. In fact, I’ve spent precious little time in libraries since junior high, and am only now (in post-graduation haze) rediscovering a love for what got me writing in the first place.

Alternatively there’s the Jesus route, but while I’ve been quite a theologian for the past few years my actual faith and knowledge of scripture has floundered (again, things are changing). I don’t have a there-and-back testimony; there’s no before and after. I’ve called myself a Christian ever since I had self-awareness (or at least ever since Mr. Sauder handed me a New Testament and told me that going up to the altar every single time there was a call for rededication was just plain unnecessary), and though there have been crises of faithfulness there has never been a true crisis of faith. God has not so much saved me as He is saving me, and though sometimes I forget to tremble with fear I am still working out my salvation.

Here’s the thing: I’m bad at my passions. I love Christ but go long stretches without serious prayer or devotional. I love gaming but haven’t gamed in weeks. I love writing but struggle with actually, well, writing. I love theatre but I have no plans on seeing a play anytime soon. If this 15 Day Challenge is useful, perhaps it’s because of epiphanies like this: seeing that I don’t embrace life (or facets of it) with the fervor that I ought to, that others do. I have impetus to change, to define myself more fully, to be a more consistent and faithful believer, writer, gamer, photographer, human being.

So that’s not bad at all, is it?