For those of us who grew up in a mostly physical world, there are some virtual curiosities that cause us to pause and ponder. One of the most fascinating to me is how people relate to one another through games and social tools. One of my talents in real life is the ability to read nonverbal cues and adjust to the social situation accordingly. Since most virtual worlds are devoid of such cues, I have at times been left in difficult, sometimes even embarrassing situations. Suffice it to say, I’m still learning how to interact with other people through the electronic tools that are now so pervasive in our lives.
I am a Christian.
It took me a long time to say that on this blog. Not because I’m ashamed of the fact, nor that I’m unsure of it, but because I was worried about being perceived as something I’m not. Afraid of being improperly categorized due to someone’s preconceived notions of what that label means. And let’s not pretend that it doesn’t happen. Simply by saying the word “Christian” I’ve placed a picture in your mind of someone, or an idea of someone, based on your past experiences or education. Same as if I were to say “Cowboy” or “Blue Collar” or “Politician”. Those words carry with them pictures, attitudes, and the temptation to reach down into the toolbox, pull out the broad brush, and paint an entire landscape of individuals with the same color. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s how the human brain makes sense of the world. The problem is, even within our own specific category, we’re not all the same, are we? There are some Cowboys that even other Cowboys, true Cowboys, don’t want to be associated with. Like Roy Rogers.
In the United States, it’s once again the time of year when we gather around a veritable feast, enjoy (or endure) conversation with family and fall asleep in front of a football game. In recent years, Thanksgiving and the concept of colonizing the states and the subsequent effects on the native populations has come under increasing fire, or at least scrutiny, in the name of political posturing and social justice. Those who do so are overlooking the larger picture. Thanksgiving is about being thankful for the good things in life. It’s about reflecting on the past twelve months and seeking those times when we have been blessed beyond what we deserve – which is true for every blessing, come to think of it. While food and football are traditions, the act of reflecting on the positive aspects in life require neither, and is probably healthier than both!
In the last episode of Burton and Scrooge, resident “scrooge” Brian was talking about getting back into Star Wars: The Old Republic now that the latest expansion has dropped. I’ve played SWTOR very briefly in the past as a free-to-play player, and enjoyed it quite a bit. My frustration with the game was purely technical, as every 2nd time I booted the game launcher, it would go through a “reorganizing data” phase which lasted upwards of three hours. I tried a few Internet fixes, none of which worked, and eventually decided that a free game that only worked 50% of the time was not as appealing as other options. It’s an unfortunate situation when you’ve got a great game, but you can’t get out of your own way to be able to deliver it to a potential customer!