Tag Archives: blog

The Beginner’s Guide

I just finished playing “The Beginner’s Guide”

Although it would be difficult to describe it as a “game” in the strictest sense of the word, in certainly left more of an impression on me than most the rest of my Steam library. I won’t go into what it is exactly, as discovering the experience is a huge part of the enjoyment(?), but I’d just like to share some of my thoughts after “playing”.

I cannot remember the last time a piece of media moved me to tears. Partly because I am an emotionless robot with no connection to the human race, but mainly because when I occasionally do feel moved, I am frequently in the company of others and have to choke it back and appear stoic and detached because I’m sure none of my friends or family have realised that I am a real human being, yet. Playing games, however is usually a solitary experience for me which allowed the game to take effect in the way, I suspect, it was intended. It made me think about my creative output (or lack of it) in a new light. It made me think about how precarious creativity is and how carefully we have to walk the tightrope between depression and apathy on one side and disconnected hubris on the other.
While I want to make comedy because I want to make people laugh, it is also do with my own insecurities and doubts and fears. I am plagued by the idea that no-one will ever know my work but I keep doing it because it’s important to me that it gets done, even if it is only for a select few. Not that those few aren’t important, far from it. I know that positive feedback from friends is probably a little (very) biased but it still means a lot and it is always a reason to keep going. But should we be doing these things for the approval of others? Shouldn’t we just make Art (with a capital A) for Art’s sake and the rest of the world be damned? Well, No, I don’t think so. I make things to feel connected. I spend so much time on the outside looking in, trying to work out why there are so few people in my “recent contacts” lists, trying to remember when the last person called me and said “Fancy a pint?”, trying to understand why I can’t just strike up a conversation with people, that sometimes the only way I feel like part of the human race is when people tell me they liked one of my videos.

Can I measure my worth by my YouTube subscriber count (currently, 70)? I hope not. I hope I’m not that shallow but at the same time, how will I know if I’m doing anything of any value if no-one sees it? I could just be spiralling downward into creative oblivion without ever realising. I guess that’s why negative feedback is useful too. Someone who saw my comedy short “Humane“, thought it was actually about the person on-screen, they thought it was about Warlords, and had not grasped the metaphor. Was that something I had done wrong? Possibly. I think other people got it and you can’t please everyone but it’s good to know where you might have gone wrong.

I realise I’m rambling at this point but I need to get it off my chest. I guess that’s always a reason to start something. I need to tell someone something. “The Beginner’s Guide” touched me. It caused me to burst into tears in a way I have not done in years. I’d like to thank Davey Wreden for making it possible for me to experience it.

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Music, Christmas, Reddit and other Stories

Reddit is a hard place to deal with some times. There’s this problem there that people don’t seem to see the difference between creators and consumers. I like hanging out on Reddit but I’m not usually moved to comment or interact too much, I have to say I’m a bit of a lurker in that regard. But, when it comes to posting a link to one of my videos, there doesn’t seem to be any traction. I realise asking someone to watch a 3 minute video, is asking a lot (I’m not being sarcastic, I cringe sometimes when I see the 0:00/3:34 on a YouTube video) but videos that have been posted a hundred times before get 1000s of upvotes. I’m not asking for special treatment and I don’t feel I’m owed a single upvote, but it’s hard to get a gauge on things that might need to change in my work without any feedback. Blah. I don’t know. I’ll keep plugging away at it.

I’ve found a lot of interesting music recently. “Grey Tickles, Black Pressure” by John Grant is an excellent album. He was a guest on Comedy Bang Bang (possibly my favourite podcast) and played the eponymous (titular?) track and I went out and bought the album. It’s fantastic. It reminds me of Queen and David Bowie in the best possible way. “Red” by SONOIO is another great album. It’s been out for years but I’ve only just come across it. Synth heavy pop, very Nine Inch Nails but more positive and “happy”.
Other Music:
“La Di Da Di” by Battles. I loved their other albums but this one really didn’t grab me. I’ll probably try it again and it might grow on me but I really wasn’t feeling it the first time.
“Divers” by Joanna Newsome. Pretty good on repeated listenings but I can’t really see it entering my regular rotation. Unlike “The Milk-Eyed Mender” which I listen to regularly.

So, Christmas is over. I don’t have to deal with that noise for another year. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate Christmas but it is a pain. Although, considering I don’t host anything, I just turn up where I’m requested, eat food and get drunk it really shouldn’t be a hardship. I guess the trouble is that socialising takes a lot out of me and so much all at once is a bit stressful. This year was a pretty good one, as they go. Very relaxed all in all. My brother cooked goose, which was excellent, and then we went and played iPad Charades until 1am with my Girlfriend’s family.

Me and my girlfriend just moved in together which is excellent. It’s going really well so far. We’re still in the process of divvying up the housework but I think we’ll come to a good compromise. I’ve been so used to living alone it’s nice to have someone around to talk to. We just need to find a bit of a balance, because I do need quite a lot of alone time. Also, recording videos might be a bit tricky. We’ll sort something out, I’m sure.

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