Sharing Privilege

When we stand together, united, we need to question where privilege comes from.  Where does the time go while we wait for the answer to come?  We know the answer, and now it’s time to execute a solution. I never had a day where I didn’t have food on my plate, even if the food was unappealing. I learned to eat my vegetables and appreciate every meal.  As I saw each piece of fruit, vegetable, grain, legume, or whatever presented in front of me, I knew this food came from someone’s labor. The only thing I could hope for is the person who helped bring this meal to me was given a better life.

Understanding where our food comes from is very important, an infectious virus could hurt food supplies, or even the people who help feed us all. Food is important, and it’s actually pretty cheap if you look at it seed by seed. It’s also a gateway to learning about the world and where food comes from. As a vegan I started to really dive into my privilege and found that I didn’t know how to show the value of the food I made or had made for me. A simple thank you goes a long way, but it doesn’t fill everyone’s bank.  I started questioning where my food came from, and wanted to know, who’s the asshole?

The Hero and the Battle with ID.

Everyday we wake up to a new day, and the problems we face are all around us. The one we can try and manage is the internal struggle with ourselves. Growing up being bullied, I acquired a new ability, the power of destruction through a misunderstanding with myself.

There was nothing inherently wrong with myself, it was just a long journey of pulling apart the pieces of childhood and reassembling them until the picture was clear. Bullying is an abuse of power, when empathy, logic, negotiation, and understanding were the solutions all along. Nothing came good of retaliation, but just the deepest scars, even the ones I had brought to my own body. Pure hatred and misunderstanding instead of empathy. “Bullying” is an emotional intelligence that is inherently evil and is a huge problem in society today.

Holding a theoretical meat eaters club is basically a dinner club, but it excludes vegetarians, vegans, and pescatarians. Holding a vegan dinner club and not including carnivores makes you an asshole and is self empowering. It’s basically bullying on both sides instead of coming together and forming an agreement. IDs clashing. If a vegan truly loves animals, they would understand that we’re all connected in some way. Don’t be the asshole.

Update: eating animals is not cool.

Video Games and the Cognitive Dilemma

Throughout my life I’ve spent countless hours on a console. If it’s one thing I’ve learned it’s cognitive dissonance, an emotional intelligence. People have the ability to turn on or off cognitive dissonance. Something I used to struggle with as a vegan was fighting or using animals in a simulation. I turn that off and enjoy the experience. The problem is the experience in a video game simulation has become too real, and that’s where the big picture comes into play. Not everyone responds the same to stimuli.

A developer creates a product that is intended to entertain, but can really root out some deep internal frustrations, sadness, hunger, and even manifest anger. The developer or artist creates a narrative that one can follow or try and choose their own path, depending on how the sandbox they are in is built. Ex: You’re attacked by a trained dog that the only objective for that dog is to try and deal damage to you. By default, you may hesitate. After a few different dogs attack you, you learn that the dogs will always attack you so you throw in some cognitive dissonance and dissociate the dog from being a friendly creature. I’m glad there’s more games that let you pet animals.

Through countless battles and deaths one internalizes defeat and can become very frustrated. It’s ones internal failure that manifests this anger, strong enough to snap a controller in two. One of my personal goals is to remember that video games are intended for entertainment and to tell a story. Trying to laugh off a defeat is likely more healthy than externalizing a defeat and using a destructive behavior.

There’s a lot to be learned and understood in the Gamindustri. Entertainment is an excellent opportunity for self reflection and understanding. There’s also a lot of young undeveloped minds who partake in the same experiences. I can’t fathom how some of the simulations impact other players emotions and behaviors.

Update: Playstation, Nintendo, and Microsoft are formerly addressing some of the issues in online gaming like bullying and harassment. You can read more about this on Xbox’s News website.

There goes the Spider-Man

I’ve started playing Spider-Man for PS4, and honestly it’s tough.  I feel like artists have been trying to send a message about corruption for a  long time.  I think this is how Marvel continues to send a message.  Things need improvement. Corruption in our government, businesses, and even charitable organizations.  It’s a constant battle to keep lethal drugs off the street, prevent crimes such as robberies, or hit and runs, or so far keep Fisk Industries from corrupting the city.

So as I go through the story, (Spoilers)  the first thing I do in-game is re-sync the cell tower frequencies in New York City, and that’s when it hit me. There’s either fake  I’m enjoying the heck out of the freedom to swing above traffic and see a beautiful rendition of a metropolis that I could enjoy for about $65.00 (upon launch) and make a difference. The thought stays with me that I’m not able to do a lot to make a positive impact. Towers are on the legitimate police radio frequency. Well that will make their jobs easier.

There’s also a ton of backpacks that belong to Peter Parker* (*Major Spoiler*AKA Spider-Man if you didn’t know) webbed to walls and ceilings everywhere. It’s a nice touch to get a feel for your character and have more objectives to complete in the game to give it more longevity. Oh a robbery?  Man ADHD me loves this game.  One of the jewelry stores is being held up by multiple gunmen and men wielding night sticks and electrified batons.

Combat is fluid, with a lot of button mashing and plenty of combos.  You can actually use your web slinging abilities to your full advantage while downing Fisk’s forces. I just don’t enjoy fighting the large brute like baddies.  They strong-arm you over and over again, and it’s almost frustrating.  So I just cover them in spiderweb and dodge around them while laying on some tough right hooks. After the enemies are downed you get a sort of token that’s used as micro currency in the game.  Enjoy collecting those to unlock suit powers, new suits, or enhance your web slinger.

Update:  I beat it.  Really looking forward to web-slinging as Miles Morales.