It’s Amazing how your Life Changes

 

One day you are involved in doing one thing – and the next you are doing something completely different. You have changed your life’s endeavors; you have adapted and evolved to life’s unexpected twist and turns; you have lost someone close to you, whether it be a broken friendship or a break up and so are forced to alter your plans for the future. So many occurrences each year alter that which we are eventually going to become.

I remember when I was thirteen and fourteen I wanted to hang out with what some might have referred to as the ‘cool crowd.’ And they accepted me – which was pretty awesome in itself. There is always a catch though. If you feel something is too good to be true it probably is. There was no way the ‘cool’ kids would accept someone that probably wasn’t quite as ‘cool’, or who wasn’t ‘cool’ at all, and yet here they were, giving me a bone. Well, the catch in this case was that it turned out they all hated my rotten guts and would sooner step on my head if they saw me drowning rather than give me a hand up, so I quickly left their little club. Instead, I found a new group of friends that actually shared the same traits and mannerisms, views and values as I. It was a perfect fit, and still to this day is – when we have the time to communicate.

Again, when I was in primary school, due to my insatiable hunger for video games, I really wanted to become involved in graphic design and the orchestration of such entertainment. Of course, this proved to be an ineffective idea because I did not have the credentials to ever become involved in such a field. I’m no good at the terrible algebra based equations and other such ridiculous mathematical ideologies; I’m not very good at graphical design, and I’m not very good at computer programs that are ridiculously difficult to utilise.
Then in high school when I was in a band, I think all of us wanted to continue to perform on a more professional level than that which we currently resided at. However, when our band broke up for reasons that up until that very moment were completely unforeseen and unfortunately unpredictable, that dream of ours came to an immediate end.

Additionally, I was interested in pursuing a career in acting, but to become involved in a course that revolves around this career at university, one needs to acquire the highest of high grades. I did acquire a few A’s and an A+, but on average I was predominantly a B student. In 2009, according to the statistics, a good few thousand people applied for the acting course at Melbourne University (apparently one of the top ten university’s in Australia) – only two were accepted. Yes, you read that right; two out of a few thousand candidates were accepted into the course. I knew that I would never be one of them and so decided to pursue my other passion; writing.

Now, with my three year undergraduate course nearly complete, I need to decide whether I will continue on with my postgraduate course, and if so, at which institution and what variant? Or will I go out and find a place in the workforce?

Another part of life that changes exponentially are the responsibilities that are placed upon your shoulders as you grow older. When young, everything is so simple, and I really envy the children of today. You can just tell that behind those innocent (?) young eyes, not one of them has a clue for the surprise they are in for when they eventually grow up. Or maybe they will grow up too fast? Sometimes I feel that happened to me – as though I did not have enough time to be young and enjoy what life hath been given to me. What are the repercussions of failing to enjoy youth to its full? When young, you run around the house and the world outside having a gay old time. You watch TV to your heart’s content and play with random plastic figurines. As you grow up, the time that you have for fun becomes minimised as the expectations of life, including giving back to society with money, hard work and effort begin to become dominating factors in influencing the choices that one develops.

Like I said – it is amazing how your life changes. On one hand, that makes the ride that is life quite interesting. On the other hand it can be disappointing and blatantly annoying.

What do others think about what I have conjured up on this subject matter? Agree, disagree? By all means, please, your opinions are welcome!

Naughty Nefarious, signing off!

…And the Crusade to hath hold unto: The story of youth, of life, of what is and what should not have been

 

This piece will contain some coarse language.

All World Issues is one particular blogger that I follow. A young, Australian woman, this particular blogger has some many interesting, yet at the same time relatable views on life and other such ideologies and concerns. On Saturday I do believe, the young lady conceived a post on bullying, and her general dislike of such a nefarious issue in society today, the post that she wrote located at the link below:

http://allworldissues.com/2012/09/08/my-crusade-to-help-the-youth/

By the conclusion of her piece, All World Issues asked her readership if they wouldn’t mind developing a post of their own in regards to any experiences they had endured in regards to bullying. So, with that said, this here post is my response in regards to such a question.

Now, I myself have had some experience with bullying in the past. Perhaps I should amend that last statement. I suffered quite a fair bit, no, a shit load, that’s the word, a rather large amount of bullying when I was younger that was active during my high school years.

If there was one thing I could say about high school, it’s that I survived.

All World Issues is not wrong when she says that bullies will often target you for no particular reason. So, why me? I wonder how many people say that when it happens to them?

I was new. Most people at the high school knew each other from primary school. I came from an area that was farther out, whilst a majority of the other students just lived around the corner, so had grown up together.

Amazingly enough, I was lucky – at first. I befriended those who were perceived as the ‘cool’ crowd. They allowed me access to their friends and appeared to treat me like one of their own – to my face. Behind my back it was a whole different story, and eventually I guess they just grew tired of talking behind my back and made sure it was to my face.

I guess I realised I was not wanted when I was simply told that – in one way or another. The guy sitting next to me said I did not belong there at the school. Then he said I should go fuck my mother. I was 12 at the time, and believe it or not this was the first time I had been told this. I had no prior experience and didn’t really know what to do, and so told him to go fuck himself and I wished him best wishes in getting his tiny prick any larger than one centimeter.

That apparently didn’t go down well.

I realised again that I was unwanted that same week when the same guy, along with all his friends said they wished that I would ‘fucking die’; how so – a sword to chop my head off – and then to hack me into a thousand pieces with.

Maybe a little over the top, but still, the message was acquired.

Then the violence started.

I was winded twice during my first year. On both occasions I did not suspect the punch was coming.

Later on in that semester, the guy who had said he wished I was dead became angry with me when he attacked me and I knocked him to the ground. He managed to get the better of me and beat the shit out of me for fun. The class laughed.

In the second semester though, something new happened. Wood work and other such classes are supposed to be fun for the guys. I leant three things during the class. One, I’m good enough with wood work that I would probably always pass with a solid C. Two, I’m probably always going to be a shitty carpenter, and three, a piece of wood hurts when you get clocked over the head by one.

I guess that guy who said he wished I was dead really meant it. I just never assumed he would take the threat to the next level. Perhaps I should have known – surrounded by sharp objects and such that someone who hated me enough might see the potential opportunity to do some damage. When the teacher temporarily left to go into the back room, the guy saw his chance – he grabbed a nice shiny piece of wood whilst my back was turned, and whacked it across the back of my head.

I got a whopping good head ache, nothing else, which I should have been glad for. I tried to tell the teacher what had happened – and apart from ignoring me, when it came time for the truth to come out, the entire class sided with the guy who had hit me – I apparently was a clumsy son of a bitch, had tripped, and had hit my head in the side of the metallic bench I was working at.

I came to the conclusion that I could not win and chose not to tell anyone else. I was the freak in the eyes of a majority of the people.

There were some that were not so bad. In music class I befriended a couple guys, and over the course of high school we founded ourselves a school band with some older students and managed to do a pretty good job at rocking and rolling around, which is probably one of my better moments from high school.

I could have left I guess to escape the times that weren’t so good, but a bunch of rotten apples were not going to scare me.

In the second year it was much of the same thing. There were less physical attacks and more verbal ones.

I must have been called every name available. A couple that stand out would include:

-fucking friendless freak (‘triple f’ for short)

-disgusting fucking creature

-mother fucking fucker

-fucking hideous lanky cunt

-Anglo cunt

-dead cunt

Imagine this every single day. It does get a little tiring.

I was also called gay, faggot and pofter a lot. It would seem that people who bully you are scared of sexuality. I however can attest to the fact that I’m a hetero, although I think those posts should not ever see the light of day because of their incredibly graphic content.

However, year nine was the definitive moment in my life.

Physical attacks went from one extreme to the next. I was frequently water bombed. I had my locker broken into on a couple of occasions and had my lock broken, with some of my goods been stolen.

Class also became more violent than ever before. I had a pair of scissors thrown at me on more than one occasion, and they clipped me twice. Once in the head, and once in the ear. I had a calculator thrown at me, but I guess my number wasn’t up cuz it missed. I had several pencil cases thrown at me on a number of occasions. I even on one occasion had a chair thrown in my direction. Now, you might ask, what was the teacher doing? My home room teacher and my English teacher were one and the same – and she joined in on the attacks. Not the physical ones, but on the verbal ones. I overheard her call me a freak on a couple occasions. I only assume she was talking about me because my name, the word ‘freak’, and the pointing in my direction all lead me to believe one thing. On top of that, on two occasions I told her about attacks and she said ‘what exactly do you want me to do? The class is working to the best of their capability, so quit your bitching.’

The only bitch in the room was her in my eyes. She didn’t last though – she left the following year to go make some other schools’ unhappy.

I began to do my best to keep out of the way of students. No one ever sat near me in class, and I was only so glad for that. I became quite sick and tired of doing things for those who hated me; staying out of their way, was more for them than it was for me.

This didn’t really work anyway.

Later on in the year, a substitute teacher took a class. The class, well, excluding me, joined into a circle, drew a picture of me, then set it on fire, and laughed as it burnt.

I guess for some that wasn’t nearly enough, for come lunchtime, it did not take me long to realise that the hissing sound I heard was deodorant – and it was been put onto me. You know that fire warning label on each bottle of spray. I always assumed it was there for a reason, and I suppose the guy who sprayed me was smart enough to figure that out too. I spun around to confront him and knocked the bottle from his hand. I turned back to close my locker, before taking off my jumper and dumping it in there too, shutting it and turning around – to find the guy with an ignited cigarette lighter in his hand.

Everyone around me looked real disappointed. I managed to avoid all of them, but not before they managed to spray me again.

I suppose the class was still lusting for blood come the conclusion for lunch, because when I returned, the class stood around me and the guy who had intended to turn me into the human torch took the lead. He shoved a knife in my face and told me he would kill me if I ever touched him again like I had when I knocked the spray can from his hands.

A teacher suddenly came around the corner, and everyone moved to their lockers.

Out of fear for my own safety, I began to carry a small knife in my bag. It was a simple switch blade piece, where you flipped it out from the side. It had a good enough point to it, but also had a ruler along the side of the metallic blade, for that was its primary job – ruling lines on paper and then cutting along them.

Unfortunately, one afternoon when I was placing books in my bag, a fellow student saw the blade, and told a teacher about it. Instant suspension for me – for one week. I told the vice principal who interrogated me everything that had led to this moment for I concluded that if I was going down, I would take as many people with me. The guy who had been attacking me all these years – the leader – suspended for three days. Justice?

During the course of my week long suspension I had the decency to acquire bronchitis, and so was away for two weeks rather than one, and upon returning to school, it was a very different place indeed.

For starters, the kid who saw my knife – he told the whole school it was plastic – and they believed him.

A foxy young woman who was a year older than I who I obviously in regards to my previous comment had a thing for also believed the stories. Let’s just say if she ever had a thing for me, it officially came to an end when she trusted all those who hated me over my word.

Secondly, a book had been passed around the year level – a blank exercise book, that was no longer blank at all. The pages in and around the middle were filled with the signatures of 126 people. I counted them myself. I assumed there were around 150 people in my year level, which meant that a lot of people had signed this petition, for that it what it was. A petition for what? The sentence in the very central pages said it all; we want Derek Childs to die.

How did I come by this book? My year nine homeroom/English teacher gave it to me. No, she didn’t sign it. I guess she thought she would get in trouble. I took it to the vice principal. His response?

He asked if I had been attacked recently. I said no. He asked if I had any wounds on me. I said no. He came to the conclusion that this was simply students been students and told me to toss the book in the trash and forget about it.

Forgetting about it was a little difficult. It did not take long for me to be attacked in class again, and after I ended up on the ground, in an attempt to redeem myself I really went to town on the guy who had attacked me – and I kicked his arse up and down the classroom. Well, not quite, but I did a good enough job.

There are however always consequences for embarrassing your enemies, and I paid mine the next day. I only wish that when people chose to fight you, they did so on their own. In a fair one on one fight, although I would have rather avoided such an occurrence, I had a considerable chance of winning. One on several though – excuse my language, but I was fucked.

Long story short, I ended up on the ground.

Eventually all of this became too much for me. There is some aspects of what happened I am going to avoid due to the fact that I feel I’ve embarrassed myself enough and there are some other occurrences that I do not want to touch because I don’t want to write about those painful moments, so I will just skip to what I inevitably did.

In class one day I found myself in another confrontation when the teacher left to yell at a misbehaving student. I had a number of items thrown at my head, before been told again how the class wished I would die. One such item thrown at me was a pair of scissors – the person who threw them also yelled out how he wished I would kill myself with them.

Now, I don’t know if I really wanted to actually kill myself, or if I simply wanted the attention of the teachers who had been ignoring me all these years; but I took that pair of scissors, opened them up, and with all my might I shoved one of the sharp tips into my left wrist. I then proceeded to do this five times, over and over again. I did not slice – I simply stabbed. I aimed for a beautiful blue vein and went to town.

As for the class – they cheered me on. That was until the blood began to seep out from the wound I had created. For some odd reason as I sat there, the blood flowing across my fingers and onto the carpet, the class actually became frightened and the one who had lead the attacks all these years ran for the teacher and told her what had happened.

Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on who you were at the time I guess, the damage I had done was not terrible enough that I found myself on deaths door – no.

I didn’t need stitches, but I did need a few Kleenexes and a good couple large band aids that needed to be changed a few times over the course of the day because the blood kept seeping through. I was fixed up at the nurses office, and the leader of the bullies was expelled.

Well, it only took three years.

As previously mentioned, he was their leader, so after that the physical violence died down. The verbal attacks didn’t though. If anything, the classes seemed more pissed off than ever that I had survived.

There was one teacher at the school who was particularly nice though, and he told me that as students grew older the attacks would die down, and very gradually I guess they did over the next three years. Very slowly, but still, they died down.

Of course, the one change that happened in year nine was that I changed myself. I began to stop caring what people thought, and I instead wore that ‘freak’ title they gave to me like a badge. This was of course after my little incident with the scissors. They thought I was a freak, and so I made sure that they would not forget it.

I survived high school. I made a couple friends here and there that are still friends to this day, and I was loathed by all the rest.

I am certain that lots of people have experienced worse than I. I agree with All World Issues that bullying is pretty horrible, but it ain’t going to stop. I don’t get bullied any more, but I know that some people don’t like me, but you’ll get that wherever you go.

I think you can either attempt to outgrow those who hate you and not care, or let it consume and overwhelm you until it takes control of your life. It is difficult to avoid the unavoidable, so me recommending that option is like me recommending you avoid the killer shark that is one second away from making you yet another trophy between its teeth.

Bullying gradually will become worse. There are numerous news stories about people been stabbed at school and murdered, and I am glad I didn’t become a news story.

Anti-bullying campaigns don’t work, and neither do the videos. You will never stop it; you just have to outlive it. If you can do that, then you have officially conquered it. This is my view, and not that of All World Issues.

That particular young lady wishes to start a campaign to build awareness against bullying and has other great ideologies in regards to such a plan. I’m glad that such a person is committed to such goals. I wish her luck and anyone else who attempts such a plan.

You ain’t gonna stop bullying for it is imbedded inside human culture, and honestly, how are you going to change human culture when there are 7.4 billion human beings on the planet. Now, many of them have not bullied others. Many of them have never been bullied. But the other couple billion people have either bullied or been bullied. I ask those who wish to help, can you really help solve all that pain?

People are capable of the greatest of things. They are capable of love, of happiness, of amazing intellect, of generosity, of selflessness. People can also do unspeakable evil. They are capable of hate, misogyny, and violence. This is human nature. Everyone can do good, just as everyone can do bad. Can you really change a couple thousand years of evolution?

Hollywood; Loyal Movie Developer, or the Murderer of Movies?

 

The following content is but my opinion, so if you don’t agree that is purely your prerogative, and you have every right to it.

However, I would like to state that over the past few years, the varieties of films that have graced our screens at the cinema and at our own homes I would say are less ‘gracing’ our screens as they once did, but are tormenting them with stories that require additional development, characters who are either very similar to others or who are simply brain dead and are unable to postulate a single thought of their own, and special effects that inevitably cause the audience to become lost within the, sometimes, beauty of the graphics and forget what the plot was in the first place – which doesn’t say much about the plot.

I would argue that it seems that Hollywood has officially run out of gas. The vehicle that is the movie making monopoly has stalled on the side of the road and is attempting to make its way back to the city on gasoline that is less that the required ‘premium’ variety that it is used to.

How often recently have you seen a film that was an original concept? I mean, every second film contains vampires, every third film contains werewolves and every fourth film contains aliens that are hell bent on our destruction. There are only so many ways you can create a storyline that is reflective of these genres, and eventually they all just blur together and it is as though you are watching the same film over and over again.

And don’t you dare get me started on the remakes that are been tossed out from Hollywood faster than its trash.

I have always wondered, how do the creators, the actors, the writers, the producers, the directors, and all the other hundreds of people involved in the original features feel when Hollywood decides to orchestrate a new film based upon the original story. Hollywood claims it is ‘better’, but really – these stories are shorter, chuck out the original script and take out all the ‘unnecessary’ parts (you know, the story) and riddle it with enough action in the hope of keeping the audience on their toes. Now, this can work; Poseidon and Fright Night were both, in my opinion, terrific re-imaginings of the original film concepts. But still, how do the people involved in the original feature feel when Hollywood markets the re-make as though the original never happened. I remember with Poseidon, which I just complimented by the way, the trailer said it was the first great film from WB and bla, bla, bla, but never in the trailer did they say it was based on the original film, or on the book that the original film was based upon. They said that in the titles, but who honestly reads them anymore? According to statistics in Australia, 40% of the workforce cannot read. And we are a ‘developed’ country. HA! My point is that I was the only person I knew at the time it was an actual remake. Hell, none of the other people I knew had even heard of the tele-movie ‘the New Poseidon Adventure’, let alone the original Poseidon Adventure.

Then there are the remakes that ruin the original films. A great example would have to be Clash of the Titans. The original film stuck to the concept of Greek Gods and the mythology that the ancient culture that believed in them based their religious theories upon. The Gods were mischievous and interfered with the lives of mere mortals. They could care less for humans, and never physically made their way down to the planet to mingle with them, and instead watched their struggles, and, if they became bored, would make said struggles even more forebodingly difficult and treacherous.

In the remake – well, for one, the robotic owl that appeared in the original – is scrapped! The Gods, well, they love humans. Zeus is constantly jumping down to Earth to talk to his half-son Perseus and give him warm advice and offerings and much needed encouragement, which he refuses, which is a first for me. I mean, who is offered a great array of amazing powers and tools, etc, only to say ‘no thanks’?

Then we have the insufferable love story that gets in the way of enjoying the real storyline. I remember when the young lady died (I could care less for the film which is why I forget her name), at the cinema, a little girl sitting not far from me said ‘mummy, is she going to Heaven?’ I felt like leaning over and barking ‘no you little idiot! She’s going to Hades! Now hush!’ My point? Our society has an imbedded ideology of our religious concepts thanks to films and other such factors, and in doing so we have ultimately forgotten where all of the religions began and many seem to think they never occurred at all.

And the ending – typical Hollywood – unable to generate an ending that is anything but happy. For once, I would like to see the hero fail or the loved one perish and never return or some other tragically emotional occurrence.

That leads me to the other issue – sustenance. All of the films made by Hollywood are so nice and sweet that if aliens are really watching these things, they’ll probably invade Earth just based on the principle that humanity seems to be a bunch of sissy’s, no offence. Well, I have offended thee, so let me explain why…the romantic, happy, hero always wins and gets the girl storylines are so far from being realistic that to call them so would be outrageous. In reality, such beautiful storylines are not articulated. Humanity would not survive against an alien force with bigger guns, bigger brains and better technology than us – but in films we always do. In reality the vampire would not be a tragically defeated soul looking for someone to soothe his lonely, wounded heart – but in films, that’s all he ever is, and the idea of sipping blood is suddenly turned into a big ‘no! No!’

I would like to think that people who watch films are intelligent. If that be the case, then intelligent people would expect more from their films than the stereotypical Hollywood jargon that is continuously been promulgated and force fed down our throats. True, we don’t have to watch it, but the thing is, do we have a choice? Australian films are few and far between. Foreign films – well, unless one understands the lingo you ain’t gonna have much fun because the subtitles fly across the screen faster than a Formula One Racing Car. At the end of the day, if we are to endure films to acquire some pleasing entertainment from them, I think we would very much appreciate to gain that entertainment rather than be denied it time and time again.

This leads me to my next argument. Video games that are turned into movies. Okay, I will admit, on occasion, the films in themselves stand alone as not half bad features. They are often action packed, fast hitting and quite enjoyable for a good couple hours. On the other hand however, when in comparison to the actual video games they are ‘based’ upon, I cannot see the resemblance. Take Doom for example. In the original Doom game, the Union Aerospace Corporation is taken over by demons spawned from Hell that kill everyone and leave only one man surviving – the hero the gamer plays as. In the film, the monsters are scientific organisms that were once people and have thus been transformed due to genetic experimentation, and have escaped and are running rampant throughout the scientific facility. Apart from a three minute FPS experience and the fact that a couple monsters looked similar to the ones found in Doom3, I failed to see the resemblance.

Now however, Hollywood has announced that Mass Effect, Just Cause, World of Warcraft, Bioshock and a couple other titles are all on the way to been turned into movies. My question is…why? Games are like movies – you experience them for the entertainment. Games are basically you could say like anime – they are animated features with the exception that the viewer becomes involved in the storyline and is thus further immersed into the world than one ever would in a film, which is beneficial if you ask me. Now, the shortest game I have ever played lasted around 4.5 hours. The longest lasted well over 36. My question – how do you compress all of that story into under 2 hours, cuz, let’s face it, there has never been as movie based on a video game that has gone for longer than 108 minutes!

Of course, there is always the Halo film that is continuously been put on hold by the fact that the directors keep running away from the project as far as their legs can carry them. I would presume they are right to flee from fear of the reprisal that will be brought upon them if the film is anything less than an accurate articulation of the entertainment that was acquired from the original video game.

In conclusion to this section, I find Hollywood’s continued use of turning video games into films proof that they are officially out of ideas, and so instead of creating another lame plot, need to turn an amazing video game experience into a lame plot.

Then there is the Australian film industry. I have spent enough time attacking the American version, so allow me to move onto one that is closer to home. However, this too is linked back to my argument on Hollywood; I blame Hollywood for the current state of the Australian industry. Not in regards to its financial issues or its lack of productivity, but in relation to the fact that Australian films are becoming much more Americanised. The perfect example of what Australian cinema used to be like would have to be the Mad Max films, especially the second in the franchise. Mad Max is the perfect anti-hero, which is what Australian cinema used to be riddled with. Americans have always loved their heroes. In films, their heroes will do anything to save people, country, God and anything else that stands for freedom and liberty just because they can. In Australian cinema, Australians in general used to like their heroes to be a bit dirtier. In regards to Mad Max, he agreed to help the settlers who were under siege from the antagonistic armies; however, he had a price. He wanted a vehicle, fuel and ammunition. If his demands were not met, he was not going to assist them. That is the perfect representation of the anti-hero. However, such an idea seems to have dried up and died with Australian heroes, when there are heroes, often they are now-a-days been articulated as true blue heroic characters that will lay their lives on the line to save anything and everything. The impact of American films on Australia has ultimately rendered our film traditions moot as audiences crave more and more American content that has caused the industry to adapt to the changing face of the Australian audience.

So, after that rant of mine, what does the fair readership of this piece think? Do you believe that Hollywood is still as fantastic as it once was and is spewing out pieces of amazing work? Or do you think that I may be onto something, and that Hollywood is in fact a ravenous monster, keen to devour everything in its path and turn what could be great into quite the opposite?

Thank you for reading,

Naughty Nefarious, signing off!

The way the Video Gaming Industry has Changed

 

Just a heads up – there is a naughty profanity in this piece…somewhere. Don’t remember where though.

Has it changed? Well, you be the judge. What was once a rather unpopular industry is now incredibly well known, with more video games purchased in the US than movies in 2010 alone. I find this to be quite the figure, for it is far easier in my opinion to purchase a film, especially one that is pirated. Now, I ain’t admitting to anything, so any law enforcements officers reading this post should not take my words as those of a person incriminating himself. I am but saying that the copyright protection software on movies is pathetic when in comparison to that which is used for games, with far more in depth programs needed to get past the protection on each disc. So when the statistics say more games were purchased, I find it to be quite the statistic.

Then again, 2010 was a big year for games; Mass Effect 2, Bioshock 2, Bayonetta, Metro 2033, Halo Reach, just to name a few. But this is beside the point. The main issue I want to talk about is the popularity that has exponentially increased over the past few years. Now, more game companies have emerged across the globe, with more and more people from producers, directors and developers all realising the sheer potential behind the gaming market and all vying for the ability to be involved in the business. With more popularity means more customers, which in turn means more profit.

Who can remember when a video game was less than one hundred dollars? (Oz prices) Less than fifty? I remember when my family and I purchased Doom 2 all those many, many years ago on our trip to America, the game then being thirty six dollars if my memory serves me accurately. Thirty six dollars? That is American of course, but in a time when most games start at around one hundred and most leading retailers go all the way to one hundred and seventy five with their prices if it so happens to come in a shiny tin with a couple additional features, which is purely ridiculous for a special edition DVD usually costs fifty dollars, if that, I feel the price to be exorbitant.

On top of that, what you are purchasing has decreased as well. Now yes, I will admit, the graphics are flawless in comparison to where they once started and the experiences are just as incredibly fun, if not more so, with vibrant storylines and fantastic characters to lead you into the fabulous world of the game. However, what once left you with what could have been up to twenty hours of gaming, if not more, is now less than ten, and sometimes six. It took me four hours and thirty six minutes to clock Home Front on hard when it was released in 2011. I completed it the day I bought it. Now, what kind of deal is that? I spend one hundred and six dollars on a product that was yes, entertaining, challenging and engaging, but so short? I just got started and was beginning to enjoy myself when everything was cut short, and so soon?

I remember in 2007 when I played Crysis, I was disappointed that the game did not end the way Far Cry did. Far Cry had twenty levels of mayhem – Crysis, only eleven, with no visible ending in sight. Of course, if it had ended then Crysis 2 which in my opinion was a totally friggin’ amazing piece of gaming would not have been invented, so I guess a ‘thank you’ needs to go out to Crytek for doing what they did, and the franchise would additionally not be continuing on for a third time next year.

My point? And I do have one, is that what once was gaming has changed. This change is not as elaborate as the updated graphics or the famous voice over actors or the change in developers or even the wild and frantic fun that occurs during game play. No, it is money, and I do not mean the large allotments that we, the gamers fork out every year. With Darksiders 2, Far Cry 3 and halo 4 I’m looking to lose two hundred and seventy five dollars at the least, but that is not what concerns me. It is the greed of the industry that does. I remember once, which seems so long ago now, when I could walk into a store, pick up a game box, shake it up and down and hear the disc and the booklet jiggling around on the inside. Now, when I pick up a box and shake it – all I hear is the rising and the falling of the dividend.

Also, many games don’t even come with booklets anymore, another feature gone. Some companies might say they are saving the lungs of the Earth, but what they are really saving is the money they have accumulated from such a massive market.

Adjunctively size, and I do not mean yet again in the length of the game, but the amount of bytes it takes up on your machine as dramatically changed. I remember back in the day with Quake and Hexen which were unanimously a couple MEGABYRES each. I remember how I was unsure at the best of times as to what storage device to put them on – My Documents? Or C? Back in the day the computer only had a 1 gigabyte system so every megabyte spent actually meant something. Quite ridiculous when I come to think about it cuz now a days games are anywhere between 16 to 24 GIGABYTES each! To think back in the day I had to delete one of my games as to have the other installed onto the system cuz there just wasn’t enough space. Now, I have a cool terabyte of space and a portable terabyte which can be used to install all manner of programs onto, so space is never an issue. Back in the day there were around maybe three games on my computer at any given time. Now, there is at least twenty times that amount on my gaming computer alone, not to mention the amount of titles I have on XOBOX 360 and PS3.

Additionally, I remember when gaming was considered weird. Back when the first game was developed by some ‘nerd’ some might say, who thought ‘you know, I could write a program for that computer’ people probably though him to be insane (there was only one well known woman involved in gaming back all those years ago, so calling the guy a ‘him’ is not maliciously sexist). The gaming companies were tiny, I mean, look at Id! What was it? Between six and twelve people were involved in developing Doom, which is considered one of the greatest accomplishments in gaming history – the game that changed it all. Now, there are hundreds of people per company, not to mention everyone else required for the job. And those who played them? Who were they? I’ll tell you! Freaks! Losers! That is what I was branded by my peers and I’m sure others were too. Only a select few participated in playing games back in the early to late nineties. I played my first game was I was only three, when many of my peers were running around the backyard slapping the tap with a plastic spanner, hoping to be the next best plumber. I graduated from learning games like Chess to Heretic, then to Doom, Doom 2, Hexen, Hexen DK, Quake, and so on and so forth. I remember playing games at school, where the teachers prowled the arenas of the learning environment with massive sticks up their arses, hoping to catch that bad student and really make ‘em pay! Right under their noses we played multiplayer matches of Quake and Doom, and later Heavy Gear and Alien vs. Predator. Then in High School, we graduated to playing Quake 3 Arena, Unreal Tournament and Counter Strike, kicking ass in the computer pod, and as soon as the teachers arrived like clockwork, so friggin’ predictable they all were… we had already minimised the game and proceeded with the boring assignment we had been tasked to complete. I remember the girls shaking their heads at us, incapable of understanding how we could be enjoying ourselves whilst staring into a mindless box, whilst now a days they play COD with their boyfriends, well, when their boyfriends get bored from dying so friggin’ often of course. But not all teachers and students were so defiant in their beliefs that we were the freaks. I remember by Media teacher in Year Eleven, he comes in – and he busts us for the first time! He yells at one student, telling him to go back and slave away on his project, and once the student leaves? He sat down in his spot and began to play Counter Strike with us! He had no idea where to put the bomb, and it was funny to call him a ‘dumb cunt’ and have him not know who said it. But it was in this same period of time that others began to play, and play, and play, and as the more gamers entered our world and crowded it with their desires, the game developers began to change the way they made them; they became shorter; more expensive; and money and big business inevitably destroyed the one organisational organism that was yet to be touched by the hand of organisational greed.

‘So long’ I said to my first great, faithful love, of  whom I had plucked from my desk when I was but three and had grown to make sweet, passionate love to on a frequent basis. ‘So long my lovely. I will miss you.’ And just like that, like the many women who had broken my heart over the years, the one I had loved the most was gone – replaced by the new and considered ‘improved’ version, who wanted money and lots of it in replace for a shortened amount of fun.

So is it really a good thing that there are more gamers? If gaming was still unpopular amongst the masses do you think games would be so short and expensive? Or was it but an inevitability?

I prefer the old ways. But the graphics of today and the experiences we have, with characters the likes of Commander Sheperd, Master Chief, the Little Sisters, Alma Wade, Captain Price, Sergeant Fenix, all of it, are absolutely irreplaceable.

So is it a case of take the good with the bad? Perhaps. But like I said, I only wish that maybe it were still less popular. Now, there are so many gamers, and the time when I stood alone in a room, knowing I was unique and different because when I got home I would kill hordes of mutants and horrific alien enemies intent on our destruction – whilst everyone else would go play backyard soccer and maybe even work and do other, you know, boring things. That time has passed, I know, and I have adapted, but the pain is still there.

Damn the changing gaming industry. I only hope you continue to make me happy for the rest of my life. Unlike all the other people I love today (excluding my parents) from my Celeb crushes, to the young woman at university I wish I could confess my feelings towards, you might be the one I will never fall out of favor with, as long as you never fall out of favor with me.  I love you with all my heart video game world. Now please, do not break it once again, for if you change again, I only hope it is into something far more beautiful than what you are now. Hugs and kisses to you.

This is Naughty Nefarious, signing off.

Do men really date women who remind them of their mothers?

I just thought I’d mention – this piece contains some corase language (later on).

Do men really date women who remind them of their mothers? Quite a question indeed, raised in an article I read a couple of years ago from a book that was meant to help me understand the opposite sex. It provided more questions than answers I am afraid.

Now, first off, I am not a professional, just thought I might mention this. I am a twenty something year old man who has perhaps a little too much time on his hands and thus thought about this specific idea. Over half of my friends are women and they often pose to me the question whether or not men find women that remind them of their mother’s attractive. I think this may be because on occasion men may be implied to make jokes the likes of  ‘gee, thanks mum’ when a woman might say something, et al.

I do suppose that the psychological ideals behind this theory would explore how the bond between mother and son is an incredibly close one that is instigated within the womb and carried over as the child takes his first breath in the real world. The shrinks would go on to explain how mothers are the women who are primarily around their sons as they develop, and their bond becomes ever closer, so when a man goes out hunting for a partner, he begins to look for a replacement to his own flesh and blood. After all, the end concept here is to find a woman, settle down and have a family, and what better person to have said family with than a woman who you could trust; a woman who is like the mother who raised you, and who will do the same to your children. Plus, the man is no longer going to have mummy with him twenty four seven and inevitably needs a woman to replace the empty void in his heart.

But that is just gobbedy gook spawned forth from my mind. I guess the reason why I am writing about this is my general fear about it happening to me. Yes, FEAR ladies and gentleman. Now, why would I fear settling down with a woman who reminds me of my mother? After all, she helped raise me, feed me cloth me, and do hundreds of other things throughout my life. Well, you see, it goes something like this; I kind of want to be rid of her. I don’t mean permanently. I just mean she has been somewhat of a permanent fixture in my life since birth and I do not want a woman who will continue to remind me of her in my life for the rest of time, which it will certainly feel like. I want to be free. Now, some might say that being with a woman for life is like having a ball and chain attached to your ankle. The same could be said in my view about my mother. So why would I leave her to be with a woman who looks like her, acts like her and does the same things as her? I would be taking off that ball and chain for but a second, before reattaching it with a lock far more impossible to pick than the last one.

So, how would I describe my mother? Okay, well my mother is quite tall, which is perhaps where I gain my height because she is taller than my father. She is additionally two years younger than my dad. My mother is thin, has short, light brown colored hair, green eyes, fair skin and is seventh generation Australian. Additionally, she is intelligent to the degree of being pretentiously egotistical about it, believing herself to be the smartest person alive. My mother doesn’t always speak her mind, often handling people and situations with kid gloves, has little sense of humor and tends to complain when there is nothing to become rattled about, and is quite possibly the single most negative woman I have ever associated with.

Now, I am going to be perfectly honest here. As far as I can tell, this specific subject is one that women in particular are more interested in than men, so I’ll quickly provide the answer that you may be interested to hear. Do I personally, want to date a woman who reminds me of my mother. No. What kind of woman am I interested in then? To further strengthen my argument on the subject matter, I am going to explain. The kind of woman I am interested in is as follows; petite, shoulder length (or longer) dark brown hair and brown eyes (any color brown, hazel, et al, not fussy). My dream woman will be intelligent, witty and have a great, healthy sense of humor and sarcasm, and a strong personality. She will have a happy, positive demeanor, and is, moreover, not Australian. You read that last part right. I am Australian, born and bred, but I have not ever in my life gone out on a date with an Australian woman. My last girlfriend was Canadian, born in Montreal. So, on this note, my dream girlfriend can be either American, Canadian or European and speaks more than one language. Of course, the implied stigma is that one of these languages will need to be English because I unfortunately do not have the necessary intellect to learn more than one vernacular. On top of this, my dream woman will be between four to twelve years older than me, not younger. I cannot say that I speak for every guy, but I do hope that provides you, dear reader, with some perspective on this argument. On that  note, I can’t seem to imagine a woman who has all of the qualities I just mentioned growing on trees. Wait, let me go check my backyard.

Five minutes pass…

Another two minutes pass…

No, unfortunately not!I guess the point that I am trying to make here is that although some of the characteristics that I wish to find in a partner of mine may be reminiscent of some traits that my mother may have, most of them are not, and are quite the opposite actually. Again, I cannot speak for the entire male gender when I develop this connotation. In my opinion, if I wanted a woman who reminded me of my mother I would never have moved out of my parent’s home.

Now, I might as well bring up the elephant in the room. I do mean of course figuratively, not the real elephant I have sitting in my corner who I stole last Thursday from Australia Zoo. Fools. Haven’t even realised she’s missing yet! Anyway, I digress, because this topic I will discuss now in relation to this post is quite serious. Although I may have my wants and desires when it comes to my dream woman, as does any guy. Additionally, women have their requirements for their dream boyfriend. However, culture today, as it always has, plays a significant role in our choices, as does our parents backgrounds.

The Australian PM goes on quite regularly about how wonderful it is that this country is founded on the principles of a multi-cultural society. I however would have to disagree on that. Now, I don’t mean to come off like a racist son of a bitch, so please, allow me to explain. It might be a bit of an assumption, an ignorant one at that, but I think many could believe me if I were to say that not all of the countries in the world like each other. If they did, then there’d be one less reason for war. We all come from different walks of life; we all have different religions; different beliefs; different cultures, all of which contradict the other. And it is because of that, that these differences that make us who we are, also prevent us from conforming to the lives of others. So, if you put, oh, I don’t know, a cool hundred thousand people from each and every country in the world into one continent, I don’t think it would be too far a stretch to say that not everyone is going to get along. In fact, I can assure you, it is in my belief that they certainly would not.

On top of this, family’s pass down their culture to their children, which keeps it alive throughout the centuries and preserves that way of life. However, it hinders the advancement of it as well. Supposedly, inter-racial relationships were instigated a few decades or so ago. I would disagree by what I see in Australian society today. Parents tell their children not to affiliate with people who are of a certain culture. Hell, in high school I was looked down upon. I went to a school where I was, I swear to you, one of three Anglo-Saxons in my entire year level, and let me tell you, I was looked down upon by some of my peers because of this. A good many of these specific groups of individuals took an instant loathing to me because of my heritage.

Additionally, parents still to this day arrange marriages for their children, wanting them to marry a person who is one hundred per cent a member of their culture. Greeks marry Greeks. Italians marry Italians. Vietnamese marry Vietnamese. Iranians marry Iranians, and so on and so forth. Perhaps there are a couple of marriages dotted across the landscape that might contradict my theory, but I can assure you, not many would. I myself have personal experience of this. In my last year of high school I began a relationship with a woman who had a Turkish background. The ‘relationship’, if you could call it that lasted less than a week. A friend of the young woman I fancied happened to mention to her parents what was happening, and let me assure you, they were less than impressed. The father of the woman I liked had a quick discussion with me when I went to take his daughter out on a date. Well, ‘discussion’ might be too lax a word, since it was him doing most of the talking. Now, I don’t remember everything he said, but one sentence, his final one in fact, is what stands out foremost in my mind, to this very day even. He said, ‘I will not allow my daughter to have a relationship with some stupid fucking Anglo cunt.’

The end point I am attempting to concoct is that inter-racial relationships are probably not ‘in season’ this year, and probably won’t be for quite a while, if ever, at least in this country. Some people say that stereotypical Australians are racist. Maybe they are right. But I think that other cultures may want to wear that banner too, for I would call preventing people from having relationships with one another based on their cultural background to be racist, even if they do not. It would be hypocritical to call one culture racist, only to antagonise them racially after branding them with such a title.

There is of course one more notation I wish to discuss; the notion that I think some women (at least some of my lady friends) believe that they may become a ‘replacement mummy.’ I remember reading this terrible book my parents were given as a wedding gift which talked about what it meant to be married, and it outlined approximately five different circumstances, one I will discuss with you now. This particular concept explored the man and his mother’s meat loaf, and his want for his wife to cook that which he had been fed time and time again. So, the wife asks the mother for the recipe and cooks it for her man once a week. Later, once a month. And later still once a year, before never cooking it again. Basically, the story went something like this; over time, the woman forces her own cooking, living and general styles onto her man who then forgets all about his mother and instead focuses all thoughts onto the new woman in his life. It may take a short while, but it illuminates how it is indeed a possibility.

I guess the end point could be that even if a man picks out a woman who reminds him of his own mother, that in the end, she will try to change him so that she becomes more of what he wants to be. Wait, is that a daddy complex? Then I guess one could argue that women want a man who might remind them of their father? I certainly hope not, cuz I sincerely doubt I could ever live up to such expectations.

This, as always, is simply my opinion. I hope I did not offend too much. I also apologise if you came here thinking you were going to find GOOD information.

Thank you for reading.

Naughty Nefarious, signing off.