Sunday, December 3, 2017
High among the various subjects I am occasionally obsessed with, but never much discuss here, is gaming, as in video gaming, or computer gaming, or virtual reality, or RPGs, or... well, I could go on for awhile, but won't, because I can't bear all the polite interest. If you know what I mean.
I understand how you feel. Sort of. Depending on who you are. So let me assure you, while we are going to talk a wee bit here about gaming here today, it will only venture into the shallow end of it. You will only need to get your feet wet. You might not even need to take off your shoes if you have thick soles. And even then this very shallow discussion of gaming is merely an entree to talking about politics...
which we also try not to talk about very much here.
But don't worry, the talking about politics, and gaming, is just an excuse to talk about language, which we talk about all the time here without anyone breaking into tears, well, except for that one person many years ago who who went crazy over my casual use of the word "crazy", but I like to think I've learned my lesson there.
So, anyway, one of the few unfortunate things about gaming's pariah existence is that it offers some useful cultural concepts. One I've historically enjoyed, and probably discussed here, is its morality construction. Sadly this has even faded away in most contemporary games, but it was a wonderful breakdown, a two-axis morality system where one can be good, neutral, or evil, and one can also be lawful, neutral, or chaotic. I think this has many useful applications in thinking about real life. I am particularly keen on the chaotic good here at my job at my library, and I like nothing more than truly, genuinely helping a person in a way that is against the rules of my managers or the institution. Stolen virtue is the sweetest virtue. As Jesus said:
"Perform acts of good like they are a crime, boldly and with fear of getting caught."
Recently I have discovered another useful phrase from the world of gaming. This one involves a point where a game is so difficult, and irritating, and punishing, that it causes one to "Rage quit". One hurls the controller, slams the power switch, quits in a rage. I recently realized that I don't have to be playing some crappy video game to rage quit. I rage quit all the time. I just never had a term for it.
It's always nice to have a term for things. I vote for more words, not less.
I have rage quit trying to fix things. I am prone to rage quitting filling out forms. But the most common thing I rage quit is politics. I'll read some article on the Internet, or be in the car listening to NPR talking about the truly malicious new tax bill (interesting side note: some of the problems between Trump and the Republican Congress has had to do with morality differences; Trump clearly is chaotic evil, whereas the congress gravitates towards lawful evil. Democrats are mostly neutral neutral), and then bam, in a burst of anger, I rage quit. I close the browser in a fit of anger. I angrily turn the radio station over to... jazz.
I have never rage quit jazz, after all, what is jazz but pure, chaotic good.