Lexd's Blog

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Millennial Relations: Creepy or Normal? April 27, 2010

Filed under: social media — lexd @ 2:25 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

This weekend I was poking around on Facebook and plowing through my Google Reader when BF walked behind me and said something along the lines of, “Are you seriously on there again? You are too involved with other people’s lives.”

I started to protest, and then I realized he was right. And then I began to shock myself a little bit. At any given time on any given day, I can check in to Facebook and see what any number of my friends are thinking or doing. I can see that my boss went to Orlando GreekFest this weekend and was uncomfortably full afterward from all the food he ate. I can see that my friend is flying cross-country to Boston, and can’t decide what to pack. I can see that a sorority sister I had minimal interaction with in college got married on Sunday, and that the first batch of her wedding pictures are up.

This in itself sort of creeps me out. And, it gets even worse. I know there’s a number of blogs that are built on this premise, but I know more about Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point, Kath at Kath Eats Real Food, Tina at Carrots ‘n’ Cake, Angela at Oh She Glows, Julie at Peanut Butter Fingers, Gina at The Fitnessista and Ree at The Pioneer Woman than I’d like to admit. And the creepiest part? I have never actually met any of these women. I feel so voyeuristic right now.

All told, I am intimately familiar with the lives of a lot of people, and I got to thinking … it never used to be this way. When I was younger, I had actual pen pals (as in written letters), and the phone was my primary method of communication with people outside of my family. I mostly met people through sports and school. All of this being said, I should point out that I first used the Internet in 5th grade, back in 1995. I know things change (especially with technology), but in 15 years, I’ve managed to increase my network exponentially. The very idea that I’m so knowledgeable on the lives of people I don’t even really know would shock 5th grade me.

I guess I’m sort of awed at how the Internet (because really, it was all due to the Internet) widened my circle of influence so dramatically. It used to be a circle mostly centered on Redmond, Washington. I knew few people outside of Western Washington, much less Washington state as a whole.

Today I am on conversational terms with hundreds of people across the country — even the globe. And, none of them think it’s weird that we are conversational, yet I’ve only met a small percentage of them.

I attribute most of this to being a “Millennial.” Although I sort of chafe at these generational titles, it’s no secret that my network is far different from that of my parents, and that I interact with it in a far different way. Not all Millennials are as involved as I am (example: BF), and I do realize that I was an early adopter. Hell, once I found the Internet, I found myself some bulletin boards and made friends in a few days (one of which I am still very close with — I’m actually attending her wedding this fall).

I guess it’s just a little crazy to me that I have this much access to the people I know (or “know,” if you want to get snarky), when 10-15 years ago, this was pretty much unheard of. And, it’s considered normal!

Currently loving: The Pioneer Woman’s landscape photography competition, Yoga, “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Ingrid Michaelson

letter image from Pink Sherbet Photography

gen y image from darth87

 

Nostalgia and Video Games April 19, 2010

Filed under: gaming — lexd @ 6:52 pm
Tags: , , ,

There’s a lot of conversation in the video game industry about the value and quality of more vintage (read: older) games.  Many of today’s gamers — particularly the RPG type, including myself — tend to put older games on a pedestal of sorts … and many of us are pretty disappointed with what’s coming out lately. Personally, I started to get disillusioned with Final Fantasy around the time that FFX came out. They just didn’t have that magic that I was accustomed to.

Gamasutra‘s Leigh Alexander, is another example of this trend. At the beginning of this month, she wrote an article about how she — a hardcore RPG player who cried when Aeris died in FFVII — was completely unattached to the characters in the early stages of playing the much-lauded FFXIII. The article explores Leigh’s musings on this — have we as gamers changed as we aged, or are the games themselves just not as engaging as those we played when we were younger? Are young people (read: kids) more inclined to be attached to games than we are as adults? Do we love these older games because they were the hook into a hobby that has doubtless cost us thousands of dollars and hours of our lives?

I read this article shortly after I’d ordered Final Fantasy VI Advance, so I figured I’d use my reaction to it as a very unscientific example to answer these questions. Even though Final Fantasy VI is my favorite video game of all time, I think it’s a fair example because I never actually played all the way through the remastered release for Playstation. (Not even my love for that game could make me play through it … IT RAN SO SLOW.)

So, here I am, an aged gamer, experienced in a variety of games I’ve bought in the 15 or so years since I first experienced Final Fantasy VI (which was one of my first RPGs, BTW). I haven’t played it on a console since high school, and haven’t played it at all for at least four years. The game arrived Friday, and I plugged it into my DS on Saturday.

Would it compel me the way it did the first time I played it in fourth grade?

I’d say so. I PLAYED IT FOR MORE THAN FIVE HOURS STRAIGHT.

While this doesn’t necessarily prove anything (there’s so many variables here), I think it’s pretty telling that I can enjoy a game released in 1994 more than a lot of games released today. I can’t honestly remember the last time I spent that long playing a video game. This is a game I’ve played at least 10 times before, and I couldn’t put it down. (Parts of the game have been re-translated, so I admit that’s part of the appeal. No more awkwardly-translated dialogues.)

To be honest, I was kind of worried that I’d ruin FFVI by trying to play it today (I’ve heard this a lot about FFVII, actually). It’s the same way that movies we 80s kids watched were incredible to us then … but when we watch them now, it’s kind of a letdown. That’s what I was expecting.

Instead? Why yes, I did bring my DS to work with me today to play at lunch. Thank you for asking 🙂

Currently loving: Final Fantasy VI Advance, how today is flying by, getting back to the gym (free trial sessions FTW!)

images from Wikipedia

 

How I know I am getting old April 1, 2009

Filed under: other — lexd @ 8:18 pm
Tags: , ,

It’s been a creeping suspicion of mine that I am what they call “an old soul.” Unfortunately I am not the kind of “old soul” that possesses infinite amounts of wisdom. I am still a spaz. I think I am the kind that is just super crotchety. Case in point:

  • My joints (esp. my right knee) really hurt when the weather is crappy. I would like to point out that I turned 24 in January. Something is wrong here.
  • I constantly find myself wishing that people would just grow up already.
  • I caulked the bathtub in my apartment this weekend, and I am still excited about it (seriously, I leave my shower curtain open so I can see it every time I walk in).
  • I am convinced I have an ulcer. I thought only old people got those?
  • I keep my car ridiculously clean. 
  • Not only do I use a desk calendar (which, it has been pointed out, is absurd since I consider myself pretty tech-savvy), but I love my desk calendar. I color-code it. Pink is personal. Blue is client meetings (code for: wear a suit). Yellow is a recurring responsibility. I know. I am pathetic.
  • I go to sleep by 10 each night, if not earlier. I also wake up automatically at 5:53 every morning. It’s creepy, I know.

That’s pretty much it, but for a 24 year-old? I think that’s sort of intense.