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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