Living Let’s Play: On Gaming

The original idea of Desdenada was to combine video games with real life. Today we return to our roots.

The Struggle

I’ve talked before about the struggle that led to the conception of Desdenada. My struggle to live with one foot in two worlds. Growing up I was caught mainly between two social circles: people who take real life seriously and people who take fantasy seriously. In my experience, the overlap between the two crowds is a very small Venn diagram.

Part of this is a social factor. Especially in high school, the artificial lines between “nerds” and “jocks” and “geeks” and “preps” were enough to keep most people in their lane. In my quest to transcend these barriers, I’ve come across a very real and very valid obstacle to having the best of all worlds: time.

If I had to describe Desdenada in the simplest possible terms, it would be a brand for the kind of person who would happily run a marathon one day and then play a 12-hour marathon World of Warcraft session the next.

Of course, there’s only so much time in the day, and activities like Warcraft and training for a marathon both suck up large amounts of this. Any time I try to work out a schedule, I’m dissatisfied with the amount of time I have to devote to each of my varied passions.

The traditional advice would be to pick one thing to really focus on and accept that you can’t do everything. As usual, I disregarded the conventional wisdom and looked for a better way.

The Best of All Worlds

If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. That’s an aphorism about following your passion, but doubles as a principle about time management. Say your hobby is writing, and you work an office job to pay the bills. Even if you don’t mind your job, you’re sinking 40 hours a week into something that isn’t pursuing your end goal.

I write for a living, although not the kind of writing I want to do. Still, even though my job takes time away from writing the novels I ultimately hope to make a career around, I’m still spending time practicing and developing as a writer. Previously, I might have allotted eight hours for work and two hours for writing. Now I can allot eight hours for work and ten hours for writing and still only use up ten hours of my day.

This overlap is key to getting everything you want to out of life. This blog post I’m writing right now is a way for me to practice my writing and simultaneously work toward building a brand. The game this column will focus on at first, which we’re getting to, involves a lot of mythology and history which ties in to a novel I’m writing. That’s how I have time in my schedule to work, write, blog, podcast, do research, and play video games.

Living the Creed

We’ll kick off this column with Assassin’s Creed. Note the lack of colon. As someone who has never played the franchise, I’m heading back to 2007 to experience the game that started it all.

Unfortunately, my internet situation is still not good enough for me to stream my play, at least not with a quality anybody would want to watch. I’ll try to at least record some key moments and put up the videos, but it won’t be a traditional Let’s Play. The main focus is the content I’ll create around the game itself.

The Living Let’s Play, which hereafter will be titled “Living the Creed” (so when I play new games in the future I won’t have to double up on the colon with Living Let’s Play: The Elder Scrolls VI: Topic of the Day), is split into two parts. Each Friday, I’ll post about the game itself, or thoughts related to the game, such as research into relevant history or meditations on the game’s themes.

Tomorrow I’ll break down the Saturday column, which will involve content that is a bit more real

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