Since I'm nocturnal, I made the executive decision to start IMW when I wake up Saturday evening instead of midnight on Saturday morning. It wouldn't make a lot of sense for it to start in the middle of my day. It'll be the first day of my weekend, so I can start it off on the right foot in the comfort of my home. Everyone's going to have their own idea of what they want to avoid and what they want to focus on, so here are my main rules for myself: 1. Podcasts are okay while I'm walking or riding the bus. That's time I couldn't really spend on anything else. I guess I could listen to an audiobook or something, but since I'll be reading books all week, I probably shouldn't split my attention like that. Plus I'd be stopping and starting listening at awkward times, in the middle of chapters, etc. Podcasts are best for an hour-long walk. 2. I also don't like reading in silence, so having music on in the background while I read is acceptable. I can also listen to music while I play games, if I don't like the in-game music. However, 3. No listening to podcasts or streams while I play games. This is a crutch I rely on way too often; neither thing would be interesting enough in its own right, but I can spend hours listening to someone play an RPG while I play another (bad) RPG. If a game is worth playing, it's worth giving my full attention. 4. If someone says "hey check out this funny video" and it's like 5 minutes long, I won't tell them no. I'm not gonna be a jerk. 5. If Shaun uploads his Bell Curve video this week, I'll watch it. It's a topic I'm interested in and not commentary about other media (well, it is, but I imagine it'll be more about the idea of the bell curve and Charles Murray himself than specifically just the book) so it's not in the category of stuff I want to avoid. Other than the above, I don't plan on watching or listening to any youtube, twitch, or podcasts. Or Giant Bomb, which is the only other place I typically watch videos. Here's the media I intend to consume instead: Books: I want to finish A Confederacy of Dunces (recently started re-reading it, but got distracted.) I read The Dispossessed recently and want to read more LeGuin, so I'll probably check out the first Earthsea book and more books in the Hainish cycle. I also found out that a couple of Haruki Murakami's early books were recently reprinted in English (they haven't been in print since the 80s and were pretty much impossible to find), so I'll check those out. I also want to read Hard-Boiled Wonderland, which is the only big Murakami novel I haven't read yet. Movies: I want to watch some of the old dumb action movies I've never seen. I haven't watched Terminator, Robocop, Die Hard, etc. There are also a few recent dramas Red Letter Media have discussed that sound interesting. (Imagine, actually watching movies instead of just watching people talk about them!) The books I should be able to find just fine on libgen. I don't know where the movies I want to watch are streaming, but I have all of my credits for Kanopy and Hoopla for this month, and I have access to Netflix and Hulu thanks to the kindness of a friend. I may be willing to sign up for Starz or something for a month. However, I also finally signed up for a VPN, so it'll be easier to obtain movies that I have trouble finding elsewhere. (I think the huge number of streaming services we have to contend with now has made internet TV just as bad as regular TV; instead of deciding to watch something and being able to do so for a reasonable price, we're stuck just "watching whatever's on" the one or two streaming services we have access to. The a la carte TV future we imagined was, as always, co-opted by capitalism and turned back into the thing we wanted to get away from. It's not a surprise that peer-to-peer filesharing is making a comeback, and as long as I can do it safely, I'm happy to jump back on board. Or back on deck, if you will. Arr, matey.) Games: There aren't really any games I can play the moment that I'm super interested in! Wish I could try Death Stranding, but that won't be out on PC for at LEAST another year. I tried Outer Wilds, but it's a first person game with a really weird, distorted, fish-eye perspective that makes me kind of motion sick. I kinda want to try Outer Worlds, and might be able to borrow that from my VPN friends, but I'm not expecting it to grab me. I debated whether or not I should forgo streaming games myself during IMW. It seems hypocritical to contribute to the type of media that I'm trying to avoid. But I figure the people watching me aren't going to have the same brain problems as me, and hey, I never play a game more intentionally than when I'm streaming and talking about it. I plan to show off The Wizard's Lair, which is a simple streamlined roguelike that reminds me of Fatal Labyrinth, which I streamed recently. Other than that, I'm not sure if anything interests me at the moment. I may finish showing off the Kingsway endings, or at the very least show off the main "good" ending. I don't really have time to stream during the workweek, so this will mainly be a Saturday-Monday thing. I plan on avoiding all non-fediverse websites. A lot of my unconscious media consumption, which I haven't really talked about, is just extremely aimless clicking around stuff I see on social media and looking at random websites. I'll read my feed, I'll post, but I won't go clicking around to anything that'll be too much of a distraction. Etc: It's not really media-related, but I want to poke around at Mr. Teal and make some progress on my VVVVVV level. My aimless media consumption has definitely contributed to dawdling on the personal projects I care about, and I want to at least do something to motivate myself to continue working on them. I recently bought all the Bloom County comics from a humble sale and wanted to use Mr. Teal to read it, but I was too annoyed at some limitations of the current version and the bugs in the 2.0 version I'm working on. So I guess it is media-related in the sense that I want to yak-shave my way to eventually reading some comics. That's all I intend to do at the moment! I'll probably post daily updates about what I'm doing, cause why not, I'll have time. It'll probably be a lot of game-streaming over the weekend and a lot of book-reading for the rest of the week, since that's the media best suited for home and work, respectively.
An initiative by RC and matt
So RC and I were talking, and we both feel like too much of what we watch and listen to is comfortable, conversational media like youtube, twitch, and podcasts that we don't engage with that deeply. There's nothing wrong with any of these, of course, but we're worried that relying too much on this kind of media and doing it automatically is inhibiting our imaginations.
So, RC suggested we make a pact, I suggested some possible names, and Intentional Media Week was created. From November 16-22, we want to watch, read, and listen to media with intent. This isn't about asceticism, we're not punishing ourselves, and it's not a competition; we just feel like we could benefit from a break in routine and a widening of our view, and we're more likely to succeed if we encourage each other.
Do you feel trapped in your RSS feed? Do you consume more Reddit posts than any human should? Are you feeling burned out from your MMO grind? Do you regret how many hours a day you spend refreshing social media? Then join us, friend! We'll be talking about things we read and watch and listen to on the fediverse with the #IMW tag. Talk about new books or movies you're checking out, ask for recommendations, brag about the thing you're finally working on again, commiserate, encourage.
Let's All Consume Media With Intent! #IMW
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I've been taking a break from blogging for a bit to focus on other projects.
Which is disingenuous, because the projects are all things that I can do while continuing to also write in a blog, and I'm actually doing less now than I have while actively blogging in the past, but
shrug we live in disingenuous times.
I've been streaming on a semi-regular basis over at the ol' video dump, including a full play of Phantasy Star IV which, at just over 24 hours, sets the all-time slowrun world record. Nobody is on record as having finished the game more slowly than I did. I enjoyed it, and now that the weather's getting cooler, I'll hopefully be streaming on an even more semi-regular basis in the near future.
I'm chasing down a really annoying bug in Mr. Teal, but version 2.0 should finally be ready by the new year. 2.0 in 2-0-2-0.
I've been trying to read a lot more, which isn't a project, but it makes my brain feel better than most other stuff I've been doing. I'm very grateful to the Library Genesis project for their valuable work in curating a digital library, since it's harder for me to find time to get to the physical library recently, and lighting conditions in my office aren't optimal for comfortable reading, so an e-ink reader with a frontlight has been a great investment.
I've been struggling with a job that occupies 48 hours of my week and leaves me too emotionally and mentally drained to do much else, and leaves my life too logistically complicated to do much else too. At the same time, it's the only job I've ever had where I don't dread and resent going in to work every day, because I feel like I'm doing something that actually helps people, so I can't picture myself going back to another bullshit job with normal hours, but because I'm not up when the sun is up, I'm not welcome in society. I don't know what the solution is. Find fulfillment outside of society somehow, I guess.
I haven't been playing many games other than what I've been streaming. I got a roguelike itch and have been poking around at nethack again, which was a mistake. Game blows. I briefly got re-addicted to a crappy free MMO I played for a couple months a couple years ago, but I wasn't actually addicted to or invested in the game itself in any way, it was just something to fill time and watch numbers go up while I listened to podcasts and streams. There aren't any games I'm super excited about coming out. I'm most excited about continuing to stream Kingsway, a game from 2 years ago that I've finished pretty thoroughly. I plan to go back through all the endings on-stream, this time rolling random starting characters and items to make it more challenging. It's not the most thrilling game in the world, but it's one that I like, and I like sharing it with people.
It happens sometimes, I go through phases where I'm more or less interested in things. Lately it's been less. I've been really tired. But the ebb will flow again, or something.
Version 2 of my Doom mechanical mod "Hoofin' It" is now available on its project page. See the changelog at the bottom of the page for details.