I’ve been hyped up for Wreck-It Ralph ever since I saw the first trailer. While Scott Pilgrim vs. the World was a fun ride, it was more geared toward the NES kids that are just a hair younger than I am. Tron and Reboot gave us a look into the ‘world inside the computer’ but Wreck-It Ralph is a love letter to the arcade games many of us dropped numerous quarters into back in the 70s and 80s.
The story centers on the titular Wreck-It Ralph, a “bad guy” from a fictional early 1980s arcade game who has grown tired of playing that role for the last 30 years. He attends group sessions with other bad guys including such heavyweights as Zangief from Street Fighter, Kano from Mortal Kombat, Neff from Altered Beast and even Clyde (the orange ghost) from Pac-Man. In an effort to become a hero he jumps into other games, eventually putting the arcade in jeopardy.
Disney has even gone through the trouble of making fictional posters, TV commercials and even real “Fix-It Felix Jr.” arcade machines. I can’t wait, because the movie just feels right based on what I’ve seen in the trailers. Those of us old enough to remember when arcade games were video games should probably watch this movie, it looks to be a fun one.
“If you don’t have enough time, stop watching TV,” the saying goes. The phrase comes from the Holstee Manifesto, which in itself is a pretty good read. I don’t quite agree with it completely, but that’s a discussion for another time. At first, I thought: ‘Well, that phrase could also apply to video games these days.’ I got wound up and prepared to write a blog post about how people need to turn off their consoles, unsubscribe from whatever MMORPG they had become addicted to, get off their duffs, and start doing something.
The more I thought about it, the more heavy-handed I knew it was going to be. Before I could start writing, though, I thought about the phrase just a little more, particularly in relation to my own creative life.
I had cut back on watching television several years ago; it was one of the consequences of having worked the phones at a cable company listening to TV addicts wail and gnash their teeth for 40 hours a week. My television watching had been reduced to news, weather and sports.
A few years after that, I joined a couple of other San Antonio folks in starting what came to be known as First Storm Manga. I also started writing fiction; I had long wanted to write a book about my experiences in technical support, but had never attempted to write fiction before. I liked it, and eventually decided to try my hand at self-publishing my stories in ebook format.
Unfortunately, I also ended up taking on various ‘side projects.’ I joined a band, became editor of a video game website, and First Storm began to take up more of my time. At the same time, I was trying to keep up a blog, podcast, and work on my writing. I eventually found myself spending more time on other people’s projects and less time pursuing my own.
A few months ago, I decided to cut back on those “side projects.” I had already left First Storm, so I quit the band, left a group that was putting an event together, and reduced my role at the game website. My focus would be on my own writing, and that would be it.
I will be stepping down as editor of Original-Gamer.com at the end of November, and I wish OG and the crew nothing but success as I pursue my goal of being a writer full-time.
Back to the saying. I thought it over, and felt it would be a bit hypocritical of me to say ‘stop playing videogames’ when I still play them myself. I also still watch television, just not as much. Then it came to me:
It isn’t a matter of “stop watching TV” or “stop playing video games.”
It’s a matter of “Stop letting other things get in the way of your dreams.”
One of the bigger challenges of my trip to Oklacon is going to be the drive: according to Yahoo Maps, the shortest route from San Antonio is more-or-less a 500 mile straight shot up US Highway 281 to Roman Nose State Park. While I will be bypassing the messes to be found in Austin and the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, there will instead be lots of stopping at lots of small towns along the way.
Being from a small town myself, I’m okay with that. It is going to be nice to be out on the road seeing things besides gas stations and fast-food joints. Also, given my intolerance for spending long times in the car, there will also be plenty of opportunities to stop for rest, drink, food, and attending to certain biological needs. 🙂
This will be the first true test of my new vehicle. Just going to Houston was a pain in my 2005 Dodge Neon (aka The Reliant) and I was not looking forward to taking longer trips in it. I’m hoping that the increased interior space and more comfortable seating found in my 2012 Honda CR-V (aka The Excelsior) will make the trip more pleasant.
The thought of the fun to be had at my destination should be enough to keep me going, but if all else fails, there’s always coffee.