Let’s Discuss: Retro

What is it exactly? Officially, the term refers to something in reference from the recent past. I feel however that the term is more subjective than merely reference to a past era.

This is because ‘recent’ is also subjective. We wouldn’t consider Henry VIII to be a retro-period for instance. Perhaps however, we would consider the 80’s as the ultra-decade of where true-retro began (at least in my interpretation).

Flares? Elvis? Disco balls? Atari? What does ‘retro’ mean to you?ajeet-mestry-UBhpOIHnazM-unsplash

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Choice.

The freedom to have a choice is one of great independence but it can also be a tremendous hinderance.

Do you ever find yourself, for instance, perusing a book store and finding yourself taking so long that you eventually end up making a rushed decision or forbid, leave the shop with no purchase? Too much choice encumbers our senses to the point where we just can’t make a decision.

Having choice is a great thing and I would rather have it, than not. It does make me think however about the way content is distributed to the masses and if there is any better, more personalised or segregated way in which this can be achieved.

With all this said, I could spend hours in a book store with a coffee in-hand quite happily anyway. Perhaps I need to become a book store clerk.

Back at it..

It’s a strange feeling to come back to something (for example, a neglected blog) and remind yourself on the thoughts and focus areas you had at that time.

Today, I move forward but leave the blog of the past there.

Writing. The passion. The frustration. The procrastination. The self-doubt and the self-worth. Let the journey continue.

The Point & Click Adventure

I have recently had a craving for nostalgia in gaming. Specifically with those old-style point and click adventures that seem much more rare these days.

There are many to choose from these days, but there was always something quite different about the old-style of play. Less 3D with more mystery, where if felt like an achievement just to progress to the next screen/scene of new animations and drawings. The three I hold dearly are:

Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars

Memorable characters and a story that you want to continue through to the end. This being achieved with humour, a great art-style, an intriguing story and interesting locales.

Discworld 2

Humour is key in this title. Although it does offer a similar art direction and gameplay mechanic than Broken Sword. The story is altogether different, whilst offering a different kind of humour too.

Myst

Mysterious, yet charming. Myst lands you on a barren rock with countless areas to explore, conquer before moving you onto different plains through the power of ‘interactive’ books. I found that this game offered a creepy feel to it, due to the way you traverse the world, which adds to its overall charm.


Each of the above holds its own different premise but all have that classic point and click premise.

What games do you miss? Have you got any other recommendations, given the above?

Writers and Coffee Shops.

For the most-part and somewhat in a stereotypical sense, these two go hand in hand.

Personally, I feel that if I walk into a coffee shop and there is somebody relentlessly bashing away on a keyboard then it is only right. It feels right. Even if it does make me feel rather inadequate and that I really should be getting on with my own projects more.

Recently in the news however, it was mentioned about those who come to coffee shops to work, with laptops and such. It mentioned that by doing so, there must be certain rules in place to govern such activity. After all, why should you be able to spend four hours in a coffee shop, when you have only bought yourself a small latte over that time.

It makes business sense, but is it punishing those who are perhaps the biggest fans of the good-old coffee shop? Is it unfair on the business, is it being exploited?

Let me know your thoughts. Should rules be implemented within coffee shops? If so, what should the rules dictate? Perhaps rules already exist in your local shop or large chain. If so, what are they?

Procrastination

We all know the word. Some may know it better than others. Certainly myself.

Yes, its one of the biggest challenges to overcome when trying to be creative, but how do we combat it? Well to me, it’s all about:

1. Dedicating a particular time, where possible to your craft. Spontinuity, whilst it can work, is unlikely to get those larger projects completed.

2. Setting a target.

3. Ensuring to set a marker so you know exactly what the task at hand will be the next time you return to your work. This way you’re not ‘winging it’ every time to get back to it.

4. Find inspiration through whatever means you have. Inspiration can be from completely different things, for each one of us.

5. Where possible, define a specific space for your work. Heck, plaster it with inspirational trinkets and posters (if you want).

How do you overcome the lure of procrastination? Maybe you write blog posts about procrastination? Equally, how do you combat it, do you have any tips to share?

“Only glance at the past. Do not stare.”

I found this quote recently and found it quite interesting and apt. To consider both generally in life but also specifically at our particular failings.

Namely myself, as an avid over-thinker, I always consider perhaps way too many potential avenues to any given past, current or future situation. I, however, can spend too much time dwelling and not enough time acting on these thoughts.

For example when it comes to writing. I think as writer’s we are very critical of our work which can then cause detriment to the work in the long run. Take rejection, take failure, but do not dwell in it. All we can do is learn from it and much forward.

Freedom Of Speech

Given the current social climate, it has got me thinking a little more lately about the term ‘freedom of speech’.

I wonder whether such a term is an illusion, or whether it truly exists in the here and now.

Yes. Freedom of speech has given us a lot of movement in many different areas, progressing us to become a more open-minded populous. So with this, freedom of speech has done a lot for the good of all.

Where I hesitate slightly however is with the literal meaning of freedom of speech. Now, I don’t pretend to know anything about the legal meaning of this term. I do however, in a more literal sense, think that there are certain elements to expressing our opinions that can sometimes be repressed for the sake of offending others.

Whilst it is right to always consider your audience and limit offence, often offence cannot be avoided and so, why limit our opinions. Surely the best way forward is for all to express their opinions truly. This would open us up to be a more open-minded world in the longer term.

Equally, those who disagree have the right to disagree. I think the key here is that any topics are both discussed and reacted to in a fair and constructive manner. Not in an aggressive or negative manner. However, does this cause conflict with ‘freedom of speech’.

I am not saying it’s an easy topic. As I write this, I realise the multitude of avenues the topic can take and the complexity of it begins to unravel. I do think however that in this period of social interaction whereby such freedoms are expressed but also abused, it is certainly a topic to be considered. Especially as social media will only expand into the near future.

#AmReading – My Thoughts – ‘Ready Player One’

This was my first read of 2018 and what a start it was. In summary, I found this book to be a great joy to read. A real page turner. Whilst I do admit that it may not be for everybody.

The premise of Ready Player One, whilst set in a virtual reality world for the most-part, makes me ask real-world questions about the future of a developing technology and how this could change the world for the better, or perhaps for the worse. It creates a vision of the future which isn’t so implausible. I find it intriguing when a sci-fi premise can ripple hints of realness in the not so distant future. A feeling that maybe one day, this could all be possible and I believe that is very much the case here.

Seriousness aside, Ready Player One fits perfectly into my demographic, being both a tech and gaming enthusiast so I am perhaps more bias here than others may be. I do however feel that all things considered, its ultimate plot-line can be enjoyed by the majority, especially in 2018 as this is a very topical and influential area of focus.

Like with anything however and due to the overarching premise of the book based around a virtual reality environment, this would invariably turn certain people away and quite rightly so. I would urge anybody who is debating this however to take the plunge and join the Oasis.

Here’s to the film-adaptation that is just around the corner (although we all know that the film is never as good as the book, but you never know…).

 

December and Me..

I find this month, more than most, that I begin to reflect. Not only on my life, but that of the world as a whole. From our very existence, to the individual, personal touches such as acts of kindness that we actively take/see each day.

The problem is, is that I have become quite the sinic lately. With the advent of social media and technology, it has never been easier for people to portray a false view of themselves to satisfy their own need of self-importance. This falseness often sending the wrong message to others who may then feel the burden to live up to such awe-inspiring idealisms.

Perhaps this is over-thinking. Something I know I do quite often, which brings me to my next thought, social anxiety. 

December of course brings this in the bucket-load. From the awkward encounters with family members you haven’t seen in quite some time, to the general overwhelming feeling of social pressure. You must per-severe however!

I love Christmas. I think it is a fabulous time of the year which really serves to bring out the best in people, for the most-part. I feel it’s purpose has been fogged however by the very things it is against.

Christmas is about so much more than a social media update, or how much you got from under the tree. It is about being with those closest to you, without the desire to post about it. It is about having those real connections and getting to know each-other, aside from tapping away on a phone.

Rant over. I hope you all have a fabulous Christmas from me, a grumpy sod from time to time.