So Weak and So What: Diary of a Gamer

I had an epiphany while playing the online game Forbidden Kingdom Online. Perhaps I belong to another kind of gamer school of thought, but it saddens me that in this too-fast-too-furious vacuum and gamer logic universe (die and you’re a piece of shit, live and you are god), I have observed that very few people actually take the time to know and understand the story of the game.

Of course and as expected, most of the population are caught up with leveling and making their characters so badass (no one wants to be called a noob) that really, now that almost everyone is already on their way to reaching the maximum level (the level cap is 60; majority of the players are now in the 45-54 bracket), some have already thought of giving up because 1) it’s getting boring, same thing everyday; 2) it’s difficult to upgrade and reforge gears, effort-wise and financially, because they’re based on random chances; and 3) truth be told, the game sucks with regards to its gazillion tech issues. The competition is just so fierce (as like any other online game) among those who spent a lot of moolah for the game, those who spent not so much financially but much more on the effort of finding and hunting character-developing materials, and those who are doing one hell of a combination of both. The act of relying on luck and chances just to be able to make your character one of the most kickass is just too much to bear sometimes. The game is a whirlwind of frustrations and anxiety- most especially for those who are really eyeing the prize to be on top and those who are striving to remain on top. And yes, it is also an El Dorado for trashtalkers.

There’s an in-game quiz bee activity in which players have to answer questions (all-around queries from game play to story line) with either a yes or no, and it’s called Imperial Academy. The story line neglect is so bad, players have to get a cheat sheet just so they can perfect the test.

It reminds me so much of what we are doing in real life, that, you know, games (and real life is a motherfucking survival game) are not always about winning. This is not to denounce competition; competition is generally healthy, makes us survive as a species, and gives us a sense of achievement. But there are a lot of instances where we are too preoccupied pushing ourselves up ladders (social, corporate, financial, you name it), especially mundane ones, that we forget what we are here for, why we are here.

I’d like to slow down my leveling and take the time to savor the story quests and the game play itself. I don’t want to reach level 60 and feel like it’s over too soon. I do not want to be a game zombie, just looking at the computer screen with my eyes glazed and my fingers pressing the same old keys and using the same routine strategies in battlefields and instances/events. I don’t want to be in the summit when I have been drugged the whole time I climbed. I want to be in the sixtieth level with a knowing smirk that I have conquered the game for what games are really for – to be well-enjoyed, well-experienced, and well-understood WITHOUT NEGLECTING ANY PART OF MY REAL LIFE.

I want to grow old having savored the weaving of my very own personal tale.

(Honestly, this is too much contemplation for someone who is just playing a game and not taking it seriously)

Forget the forlorn expression. LOOK AT MY WINGS!
Forget the forlorn expression. LOOK AT MY WINGS!
Ha, I'm fighting monsters with high heels.
Ha, I’m fighting monsters with high heels.
Shame on you. You call these statistics? WEAK. Hahahah :D
Shame on you. You call these statistics? WEAK. Hahahah 😀

(c) 2013
Vivien Marie Lopez

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SILENCE

I have accepted the challenge to partake in the grueling task to write tales of a genre that I have never touched (due to pride, prejudice, and disdain), my very Achilles’ Heel.

How does a poem-padded, lyric-lured, gore-grinding, macabre-marrying, creep-consuming, testosterone-toed idiot with SciFi beginnings and philosophical and psychological misgivings weave a series of chick literature badassery? (Seriously, it’s an endless estrogen vacuum.)

I hope that this acrobatic venture becomes a strength, and that with developed grace, becomes versatility.

(And basically, that’s the reason why I have not updated Spit Or Swallow for ages. But the quiet beat is temporary.)

And though I loathe every aspect of the genre I have been assigned to, I find myself strangely very happy. 🙂

I would greatly appreciate tips from all the amazing writers here, I really do suck at chick literature/romance/erotic stories.

Sincerely,

Vivien Marie Lopez-Jorillo

The Author

Spit Or Swallow

Sweeney *Thud*

The last time I sported a short haircut was when I was in second grade. From that time on, I couldn’t live without my long hair.

And now just look at this. This happened two weeks ago.

There shall be no regrets, only high maintenance.
There shall be no regrets, only high maintenance.

It was a rather impulsive decision. I just woke up one morning and told my husband I’m cutting my hair for a drastic new look and that I’m giving him my hair for his dreadlocks. And I just went right ahead.

Voila!
Voila!

I cannot say how much I had surprised myself in doing such a thing. I actually screamed when the woman with the scissors went for the kill.

For the next few minutes I was an irritating, ADHD manic pixie dream girl trope. I kept on bugging everyone if I looked okay. My husband kept on telling me it’s not just okay, it’s fantastic. I wouldn’t shut up. I cancelled a photoshoot. I pictured out a whole wardrobe change.

Only when my husband and I went back to our lovenest and he started making my lost hair into dreadlocks did I finally let out an honest, hearty laugh and a very, very wide smile.

It was sort of like seeing myself die and having my organs donated to people who need them and saw them benefit from it. (Okay, that was NOT probably the best analogy.)

But on a more personal level, I think it was a lesson in letting go.

That’s what we’re like when we lose something we didn’t know if it’s for the better or for the worse, aren’t we?

—-

Vivien Marie Lopez
2013

February 14

1.24.2013
I think people have been mistaken to believe that love comes from the heart or the hypothalamus. I don’t see love as merely an emotion, for emotions change. I don’t see love being confined only to the naivete of bliss, or love being thrown away when the shit hits the fan because happiness is not the absence of pain but a balance and acceptance and a sense of serenity among the good and the bad and the beautiful and the ugly. I don’t see love as a noun, it is a verb. I think the mainstream perception of love is skewed, conditional, finite, shallow, bullcrap.

I think – well, I know. Love, mad and authentic and eternal, springs from the soul.

2.13.2013
Oh, the hype. It’s St. Valentine’s feast day tomorrow, not love per se. Not even the feast of Eros/Cupid or Aphrodite.
I love my husband every single day, and that makes each sunrise a celebration of that.

02.14.2013
Valentine’s Day should be renamed Thou-Must-Have-A-Date-Or-Thou-Shall-Be-A-Smelly-Loser Day or Date-Or-Death Day, because that’s what society thinks it’s all about.

Also, that heart shape is actually a butt.
And that the organ that is most sensitive to our feelings and emotions and whatsits is not actually the heart, but the gut.
And I also said in my previous status that love belongs to the soul, not the heart. But because I also said that love is not merely an emotion but a series of actions and a continuous connection, I rest my case.

So I’m going to give my husband a model of the stomach on Soul’s Day. But I will also give him a heart shape… thing, because I also give him my butt. Haha. Here -> ♥

To end on a serious note, none matters except who matters. Holidays and timestamps are irrelevant. Though it never hurts to celebrate Valentine’s Day, just let me remind all those who have posted in their news feed that need a date or don’t have one or something of that bitter sort. Love happens everyday, as natural as the planet’s rotation on its axis, constant and 24/7, never to stop, never to take a recess, never to complain, never to fail in giving someone’s night and day, regardless of time zone. All that while maintaining to revolve around that which we find light in a sea of darkness and chaos, all that with a plethora of conundrums (whether mundane or insane) living and dying inside, all that in a dance with gravity.

So to my king and husband, that paragraph above – that’s what it means when I tell you that you mean the world to me, just as I am to you. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH, ALWAYS AND FOR THE STRETCH OF ETERNITY. ♥

Semper Fidelis,
Vivien Marie Lopez Jorillo

—————————-

I would like to greet everyone here a Happy Love Day, not just for Valentine’s, but everyday. May you see always how beautiful it is to give to others the most wonderful you thing you have and have it given back, a gift that never stops giving.

For the self, for close circles, and for the world.

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Random: 2/13/2013

Lately:

1. I got an online writing job, hence the rare posts.
2. I have immersed myself in the hardcore gaming universe.

After proudly patting myself in the back for never being a game addict (uh, there are those times when I play The Sims 2 or 3 or Medieval for three days with neither sleep nor shower, only food via room service a.k.a. screaming that you’re hungry so your mom/dad/helper would hear your pitiful cry and bring you your replenishment; and yes, I have also maxed my level in Prince Of Qin, and had lasted around three months in a game called Legend of the Golden Plume), I have eaten its very apple.

This fruit is called Forbidden Kingdom Online, and last week, I lost three days to just playing the game and leveling up.

I have five (hopefully valid) reasons:
1. I am in love with the landscape.
2. The heroes/characters/classes are adorable. My character, for one, is just beautiful and sexy (nevermind a noob; I named it after my husband and is a Naga; my husband used my name as his character’s, a very lovely little girl in the Kitsune class).
3. It’s quest-based, so I don’t get bored and I can follow the story line (unlike some other online games where all you do is kill and kill and kill)
4. I get to understand the hardcore gamer in my husband.
5. I am with my husband in this.

If you want to take a peek at the game or have the urge to download it, click this very sentence.

I’m also playing in an internet cafe/gaming station, because to download it into my laptop/pc is to deviate me from my work. It’s a good thing because playing in a public place means more friends to shout at and scream with when you are forming a party or an alliance and killing monsters and bosses.

But then, it also means that I will get confused, because there’s one thing about hardcore gamers that I really don’t quite get.

A game is just a game right? It’s virtual. It’s not actual reality. It’s not personal. I’m not going to be proud of my character when it becomes too strong to handle or whatever. After all, you’re just clicking the mouse and touching very few keys repeatedly. I also don’t care if someone calls me a noob. When I get killed, I am contented with the fact that game people are phoenixes, they live again.

But my husband and friends? Apparently they don’t share my this-is-just-a-game-so-I-am-nonchalant school of thought, because these are the things that happen when we’re all in that virtual battlefield:

1. Really hostile trash talking
2. Real-life envy
3. Financial bankruptcy due to in-game spending (top-ups)
4. Sending hate mail to GM’s every time the server is down even though they seem to be actually doing their job
5. Destroying and wreaking havoc all over the internet cafe because of an in-game bad news or loss

And I don’t see the point. Why would you compromise your real-life friendship and health and wealth just for an online game? While this is actually true for any kind of addiction, I don’t think these guys are addicted to it yet, they don’t pass the criteria.

I don’t see the point why you should act all arrogant about your character, and when someone “weak” passes by, you just bully the person right away. I don’t understand why all the pride at something that is actually non-existent. I don’t believe that it’s some kind of compensation for insecurity because these guys are actually awesome. My husband is a painter/tattoo apprentice/graphic designer/musician/vocalist/genius.

Well. This makes me a bit scared and worried now. Is this because they have higher testosterone levels? Does this have something to do with that and only that? What am I talking about? OK, pardon me, I have to cut you short, I don’t know what to say anymore, I want to play Forbidden Kingdom now, I can’t resist the urge.

Goodbye for now. TTYL.
(ohgodshelpmemaytheynotteareachotherapartlater)

My Father’s An Ex-Priest and I Have No Religion But Love

I’m tired of hearing some priests selling heaven for the price of a) good deeds, b) faith/fervor, c) church attendance, d) absolute religious loyalty.

I don’t want to think of heaven as payment or control and conditioning to my actions. I’d like to think that what I do is out of respect and love for my co-humans, not because there is a promise of a five-star hotel after I’d check in my coffin, and certainly not because some higher being is giving you a right-minus-wrong exam. I can have heaven here on earth with the people I love. I’d like to think that even if there is no such thing as a super deity who goes all Santa when you’ve been a good little human, I have treated people well (or not) because I want to, from my own volition and will.

And stop blaming Satan for the so-called temptations. We all know it’s just ourselves messing with us.

—-

Also: is there such thing as a happy god?

I’ve heard of jealous and vengeful gods, and gods who made martyrs out of themselves, and loving gods and creator-destroyer gods and insecure worship-hungry gods, but how about a really happy god? They say it’s lonely on top. Does perfection naturally come with happiness, or is that something not inside the package and even gods have to go look for that? Do they even need such a state of being?

2.03.2013
Vivien Marie Lopez

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A Letter For A Girl Who Wants The Same Person As I Do

Posted as a Facebook status:

Dear Damsel In Profound Distress,

I know you must be lonely and desperate as I can gather from your FB About page, but I hope you do realize that what you’re doing is getting you nowhere but your untimely mortal departure and your possibly unmarked grave. Surely, batting your eyelashes to my husband’s direction is an exercise in futility because I have longer, thicker ones. LOL.

You’re a finesse-devoid coquette and YOU CANNOT AFFORD MY BRAND OF ROMANCIN’ MY MAN. Give it up. I can read and see all your communication attempts, we are practicing absolute transparency here.

Sincerely he’s not yours,
Vivien Marie Lopez Jorillo

(You know who you are. Like this within 24 hours and I will not tag you.)

—-
PS: YES, THE GIRL LIKED THIS STATUS.