Sunday, January 6, 2008

Day 1 - "A long time ago, we used to be friends..."

I've decided to give up video games for a year starting on my 29th birthday (delayed by a day to allow myself a nice "send-off weekend"), and this blog will chronicle my time spent away from them. complete and utter failure to resist their seductive lure.

Video games and I have a long, tumultuous history:
  • I've owned just about every major system that's ever been released since the Atari 2600 (excluding the ones that no one else wanted - sorry, Jaguar)
  • I've played - to completion - well over 300* games, and dabbled in hundreds more. The average video game takes approximately 15-20 hours to complete. The average video game also costs approximately $50. That's 5,250 hours and $15,000 if you are a fan of calculating general numbers - like I clearly am.
  • I competed in the Nintendo World Championships when I was 11, though I did not advance very far. I was not very good, apparently, at Rad Racer.
  • In 2004 I started my own video game company, GameChoice, which rented games out through the mail, a la Netflix. Due to intense competition, a restrictive wholesale market, major shipping issues, and the fact that I chose to play my many, many games over learning how to solve the aforementioned problems led to it's eventual failure. Despite my lack of business acumen, I did manage to win the hearts of some people.
  • I stood in line for 16 hours on a cold, wet, November night waiting for an Xbox 360.
  • I took a job when I was 27 working for approximately $8/hr. at a "modern-day arcade" called NYCLAN, where my job was literally to set up and then play video games with people all day long. Unfortunately, I quickly realized that I was making less than I was 10 years ago when I was working at Wendy's*, and I was once again living at home with my mother. I decided maybe the dream life I thought up when I was 12 wasn't quite what it was cracked up to be. So I quit. To be fair though, this was probably the greatest job I've ever had.
  • I wrote and starred in a one man show last year called "Multiplayer" which was a video game-themed piece that gave the audience a window into the lives of four neurotic, narcissistic, emotional gamers whose passion for playing left them socially inept in the real world. It was essentially a thinly-veiled autobiography.
So why do it? Why remove something that - if the above image is of any indication - I clearly love from my life?

To prove a point? That I can put the controller down at any time?

To finally have something unique and interesting to blog about? (My previous attempt at blogging - 'bLOgST: A Dedicated Fan's "Lost" Blog,' has, to date, garnered very little attention)

To see what I do with all that extra free time I have on my hands?

The answer is yes, no*, yes. I'm going to see what a man can do when is freed from the shackles of highly entertaining interactive media, and he opens his eyes to a non-virtual world.

This year I plan to accomplish the following:
  1. Write more/start a blog [Check!]
  2. Join a gym and run a half marathon
  3. Read at least 5 books (this may sound low to you, but really, that's just you being a dick)
  4. Learn how to cook at least 5 new meals
  5. Travel to 5 places I've never been before*
Obsessions with the number 5 aside, I think this is a pretty good list. If I wind up finishing everything by February, I'll be sure to add to it. I'm sure plenty of things will come about due to boredom and newfound sensations in my feet and lower body that I can't even predict at the moment.

So here's to the first day of the rest of my life! Until my 30th birthday, when I can finally retire back to my beloved games...

364 days to go.


Yeah, but I'd still rather be playing: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Amazing game that for some reason I put down, and kept getting distracted from getting back to it. The first and only true Zelda title that I haven't beaten. I am going to get back to this game if it's the last thing I do. Although, if that was the last thing I did, how sad would that be?

*I'm going to find the list I made a while ago, or just remake it and post this at some point, I promise. Because I know how badly you want to read it.
*I only lasted 2 weeks here, but man did I get my fill of Spicy Chicken Sandwiches!
*P.S.: I still have faith in bLOgST. This year I'm adding some Hurly 'off-island' fan-fiction!
*This was loosely worded intentionally. I may never leave my neighborhood, so I want to make sure "Popeye's on Nostrand Ave" counts, just in case.


Marcy said...

We are going to Charleston...that's some place new. And it's amazing you are a very accomplish pathetic nerd. The highest honor of pathic people.

Nate Westheimer said...

Marcy is right. Pathetic ;-P

I mean, I'm proud of your too, warrior.

ryu said...

Nice blog, Matt! But the Lost fan blog does sound even more interesting, where I can I read that?

Whitney said...

It's ok to be a nerd, I heard some girls like nerds.

RennaissanceTriathlete said...

Wow!!! I'm so psyched for your resolutions!!! It will be an adventure:) esp the gym & half marathon part- Happy New Year!

Rolando said...

So much for Day 1. How about Days 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6?

Liz Remus said...

Hey, I found your blog from my husband who found your blog from who knows where.

I thought this was really inspiring and so I am reading from the very beginning.

If you have a billion comments in your inbox when you wake up, I apologize because my husband is on a overnight schedule currently and so am I.

Also, do you have a link to your web videos? It sounds a lot like The Guild.


Anonymous said...

Our PS3 just died, and my husband, a regular gamer for years now, took an interesting and unexpected stance on the matter, seeing it as a sign that maybe he needs to quit gaming for awhile. I went online to see if/how others had handled such a task and found your blog. I'm going to recommend that he take a look and I look forward to reading through your experience for myself!