Learning From My Past

When I was a kid, maybe sixth grade, I started getting into writing in a big way. I wrote all the time, any chance I got.

I carried a red folder with me everywhere I went with my first real story, Operation: Lightning. I wrote during free time in class, during lunch. I remember hiding in the back of the band room and working on my story when they rehearsed songs or sections where I didn’t play.
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A History of Gaming: Part 37

On 12/4/2011 I decided to stop gaming. Today, I conclude my History of Gaming series which began after the original announcement.

The End of the Beginning

It is not the end. It is not the beginning of the end. It is the end of the beginning.
– Sherman the Robot, Millennium (1989 film)

That sentiment reflects my feelings after I quit gaming. Gaming has been a huge part of my life, and I want to regard it as such. It’s the end of one era for me, and the influences games have had on my life and voice are readily visible in my creative expression (to me at least).
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Game Over, man!

I’ve been a video gamer almost my entire life, somewhere around 29 years (the uncertainty is the number of years gaming, not number of years living). My relationship with games grew from simple child’s play into a passion that was partially responsible for me pursuing both art and technology professionally.

On December 4th, 2011, the love affair ended. I am not a gamer anymore.
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Envelopes, or: Useless Agonizing Over Unimportant Decisions

I’ve found it’s possible for me to agonize over minor decisions for ridiculous amounts of time for practically no reason at all. Many of my friends know all about this aspect of me. I call it the Envelope issue.

Envelopes

You see, one day I was at Target shopping for some envelopes. I needed to mail some documents, and I was concerned about the security said mail. I went to the office supply area and found two types of envelopes which could possibly work. However, neither had everything I wanted in my envelope. I actually can’t remember the features at issue, but for the sake of the story, let’s pretend one envelope had a peel-away self-adhesive seal while the other had a printed pattern that helped occlude the contents from the view of would-be mail snoopers. Both were called “security” envelopes.

For me, I wanted the envelope with the peel away seal AND the more “security” type printing on it representing the best of both worlds. So what did I do? Did I quickly determine which was more important and pick up the box of envelopes that would get the job done? No.

I sat there for maybe 15 minutes uselessly agonizing over this decision which ultimately was not a big issue. First of all, either envelope advertised it would retain the seal (surely at least for long enough for it to travel a day in the mail). Second, even if it didn’t have the more secure features on it, the practical chance someone mess with a piece of mail that looked like a personal item is pretty low. It wasn’t a check or anything, and it didn’t appear like it might be.

So…?

Of course, I eventually made the BEST decision possible… of course…

Later, I told one of my clients about the silliness, and we both laughed about it. She encouraged me to let go of stuff like that, and I knew she was right. The topic came back up again much later when I was agonizing over an element of a project for which the same client was looking to review. I brought the issue to her to get her thoughts, and she leveled with me: “It’s an envelope,” she said. “Just make a decision and move on. I don’t care.”

We had a bit of a laugh about it, and “envelopes” became sort of a keyword whenever I was starting to sweat the small stuff too much on over an issue that wasn’t really important. Sometimes, a small “this or that” decision can be extremely important. Other times, it’s just like choosing between two similar types of envelopes.