(Un)Paused F.A.Q.

by Matt Shafeek

1) (Un)Paused? What the heck is this blog all about? 

Glad you asked, frequently asking questioner. Here's the skinny - for most of my life I've been a pretty big gamer. As such, until recently I had always made it a point to carve out a significant portion of my time to play video games. In 2007, I'd gotten busier than usual, and had gotten to the point where I was barely playing anything at all. I felt pretty productive, and good. So, on something of a whim, I decided to see if I could go a whole year without playing video games of any kind. And so I did. I went from January 6th, 2008 (a few days after my birthday/one final 'hurrah') - January 6th, 2009 without playing a single video game. While this would be a minor/insignificant accomplishment to many, it was a HUGE life changing event for me.

To make good use of my free time during that year, I opted to read more, write more, exercise more, travel more, and cook more. I managed to run the NYC Half Marathon in 2008, I read a book a month, I managed to do a fair amount of travelling, cooking and of course, I wrote in this blog regularly (which I started the day I gave up games) and have been going strong to this day.

If you're interested in more details about my year off from games - I was interviewed about it by a gaming site, and a  gaming-related (that's a great listen even for non-gamers) podcast that I think will cure what ails ya, which in this case, is clearly 'Matt Shafeek information starvation.'

2) Ok - but this was a while ago - what are you blogging about now? 

The blog has always been more of a general life blog - not so much about my day to day, but more just about my personal musings. I live in New York City, and I write. To that end, I've got a large variety of post topics that I've dabbled in over the years, such as:

-Gaming-related stuff, as seen herehere, and here
-Silly lists and bits, as seen herehere and here
-Videos I've done or been featured in, seen herehere and here
-Personal stories, seen here and here and here
-Storytelling, which I've recently started doing, and can be found herehere and here

(Side note - the word "here" just starting becoming "her-e" to me for some reason, and it's freaking me out)

3) So you're playing games again now? I thought you were getting so much done before!

The year I took off from games was a life-changing event, no question. And during the first half of 2009 (during which time I was also unemployed) I gorged quite a bit on games, making up for lost time - since then I have cut back quite a bit, and have made gaming something that I indulge in when I have a bit of spare time, but will always take a back seat to some of my bigger projects and goals, something that was flipped in the past.

It's important to me that I not give up this hobby that I truly enjoy because it can be a time sink and it's considered a huge waste of time by others. So to that end, finding the right balance of game time is something I'm still working on to this day.

4) Very interesting. You seem like a pretty cool guy, Matt Shafeek. Who are you, anyway? And surely you must have other fascinating creative outlets besides this blog.

My oh my - flattery will get you everywhere, my frequent-asking questioneer. I'm a New York native, currently residing in Queens, NY, where I've spent most of my life. By day I work a day job I specifically avoid naming or discussing here (not because I hate it, but just to avoid the possibility of it ever getting me into any kind of trouble), and by night I study, teach and perform at a local improv hotspot known the Magnet Theater several nights a week. Besides gaming, comedy is my other, bigger passion, and I truly love the thrill of performing in front of an audience with no script and no idea what the hell is going to happen. If you're even in town and want to check out one of my shows, I perform with a team called Phooka once a week (usually) on Wednesday nights. 

5) I have more questions that I can't think of right now. What do I do!?! Help!!

No need to panic, friend. I'm easily reachable at matt (dot) shafeek (at) gmail (dot) com. Feel free to contact me at anytime. You can also follow me on twitter at @mattshafeek - I'm actually getting better now about posting things besides links back to this blog. And thanks for reading!