This post has not been edited by the GamesBeat staff. Opinions by GamesBeat community writers do not necessarily reflect those of the staff.
This post is full on 'fed up angst' mode, people. Don't expect pure reason and objectivity here. This is just my personal perspective on a lot of things that are weighing me down. If you don't care about what I think about my life and my interaction with Bitmob or why I think it, I'd appreciate you moving along and letting me vent in peace. Everyone who actually gives a care about what I think, I'd love to hear your opinion on the mess.
If there is one thing people would do well to know about me, it's that I'm not an emotionally stable person. For as long as I can remember I have felt as if everything around me was created to sabotage me for being imperfect.
I have never had a mother figure that didn't think the best way to show a child you care is to make sure they know how wrong they are about everything. I have never had a father figure that showed any positive attention without me demanding it. I have never attempted a pursuit and been completely successful at it.
My social life, meanwhile, has been dogged by humiliation and disappointment as well. In my high school I was notorious as a 'whiner'. My inability to deal with my emotions quietly branded me as an outcast and someone to be poked to watch them squirm. I was insulted often and the only advice anyone could give was to ignore it. Sadly my mind isn't capable of ignoring such things. Whenever someone speaks about me, I internalize it. No matter who is saying it, weather it's petty or helpful, positive or negative, I take what they say and I have to find a place for it in my mind. I need to decide how to feel about it and how to compose myself with that being something someone thinks about me. I just can't act like it didn't get said.
This made school…painful. Having to reconcile your identity as a human being with the dehumanizing insults of the petty and immature, even if you eventually decided to ignore it, made my self esteem non existent. Combine this with me actually being abnormal, with my brain still in the process of sorting out my gender identity issues at the time. I felt like the insults of those around me was actually them sensing that I was actually different from them and that humanity in general was hostile toward my strangeness. I was not a good looking or well spoken kid, and inside I was not a confident or happy one.
The less said about romantic relationships the better. I was the kid girls made fun of each other by saying 'you like Jeff!'. It hasn't gotten any better in subsequent years other then me being around less crowds.
So I naturally tried to gravitate toward being intelligent to compensate for my lack of other positive traits. That only worked out in theory. As far as I have been told by people who claim to know, I have a high IQ, a good creative mind, and a reasonable amount of wisdom when it comes to making life choices. The problem is I don't apply any of these supposedly positive traits in any way society wants. I never did particularly well with grades because studying and focus were overwhelming sources of tension for me, and my mind naturally resisted them.
Matters of responsibility when it came to basic things like learning to drive and finding jobs were also problems for me. If someone thinks I 'should' be doing something, my mind spends more time wondering why I 'should' then how I could. Then when I eventually end up doing it I am usually glad I did it, but the process of getting there is always full of emotional baggage for me. I 'over think' things as so many people say, but then I see those same people do things that sicken and disappoint me because I feel they under think things. So I feel unable and unwilling to do things their way for fear of gaining their negative qualities and losing the few positive ones I feel I have cultivated.
You might think I am being overly dramatic. I would point you to my first sentence in this article. Still I would assure you that I do have a very negative experience with life. I have looked outside of myself, attempted to judge everything objectively, and still reached the same conclusion. My life does not provide me with the positive experiences and emotional support I need to thrive as a human being.
I wish I could then say that my love of games, or my love of writing, or my love of anything made it all worth while, but not everyone gets to write feel good articles about their lives, children.
Games cause me just as much anxiety as life. The industry's obsession with 'challenge' leaves the average game as not a tool of escapism or fun for me as a player, but as another harsh judge of my self worth. I can sometimes find a groove with a game where I mesh well with it and never have any problems, but many games I end up yelling at and treating as hostile due to constantly getting stuck and feeling as if the game just hates my play style.
I have often said that I hold games responsible for my negative experiences with difficulty. This is due to my belief that if a game is doing it's job right, it's teaching me to play so well that I never get stuck so much that it's frustrating. Sadly very few games get this right.
When you move onto competitive games, it gets better, and worse at the same time. Some competitive games, like shooters, I can rise to the challenge, and my relative skill vs other players due to cleverness and practice ends up as one of the few validations of my way of handling things I get in life.
Still, when I do fall in those games I fall hard, stifling (or failing to stifle) explosive rage at what seem to be vastly unfair circumstances that are robbing me of my good time. I apologize if you ever have, or ever will, play with me in a game where I am losing in a frustrating enough way that I start running my mouth loudly. It's embarrassing to say the least, but not entirely under my control. My mindset when playing games is a very relaxed and improvisational sort of mode. That also leads to me not keeping my emotions in check very well.
Move into competitive games that I'm not good at, like fighting games, and I pretty much start out at explosive rage and never feel rewarded for any progress. Then end up quitting before I can hit my stride due to confusion, frustration, and boredom. It's a shame, because I really genuinely like a lot of these games despite my frustration with them.
So life isn't fulfilling, games aren't fulfilling. So it must be writing that keeps me going right?….nope.
Don't get me wrong. Expressing myself through writing has become an important part of maintaining my sanity, but I have few positive experiences with it. I have trouble finishing things and the few things I finish are, for all intents and purposes, ignored. In my time on Bitmob, for example. I started out modestly. A few spotlights, a few positive comments. As I grew more ambitious and aggressive with such limited success I grew more aware of my limitations. It took me until two months ago to be in communication with the community enough to realize that my comment and view numbers didn't just make me C list. I was F list.
Bitmob as a community does not take me seriously due to my lack of commitment to editing, people are fed up with my critiquing of how the site is run, and specific elements in the site hate me for more personal reasons involving my stand offish attitude.
I personally am not surprised. Each of these problems has plenty of precedent.
I have a long history of not being dedicated enough to writing as a craft. I did not go to college for it due to thinking that grammar ability was not worth mortgaging my future for. Learning such things by doing is a problem as well due to my problems with focus, responsibility, and self esteem. I find it torture to spend more then a few hours on any one piece. I end up crushing all of my enthusiasm for my ideas and execution under a tide of self doubt.
As for why I give Bitmob's dedicated editing staff such a hard time fielding my controversy and complaining, It's due to an intense mistrust of authority and a deep seeded hatred for anything I perceive to be unfair. I have never met an authority figure personally that I didn't see missing a huge problem with what they were running and I have been marginalized and disappointed for so much of my life I tend to get very angry when I see anyone else having to go through the same experience in any fashion. I try not to transfer this onto the people involved in Bitmob. They work hard and seem to have good intentions. Still, Bitmob can't please everyone, I'm sure they know that by now.
The reason why I'm so vocal about the ways in which they aren't pleasing me is because I have been told by others and can observe that I am not the only person with grievances, and I believe that it's important for people to speak up. Bitmob can't attempt to please people it does not know are upset, and the average person who is upset seems to just leave a place rather then complain. So I tried to be the one who sticks around to belly ache because I have a long history of making myself look like an idiot fighting battles no one else would fight. I have no real dignity or self esteem so I have less to lose when doing that sort of thing.
I also have the dubious advantage among people on this site of not expecting my efforts on this site to ever lead me to a career. My anxiety over perfection and other people's expectations means I would never be an editor of other people's work, and I personally find the idea of games writing being force fed 'journalism' standards to be a relic of the old magazine days.Those views combined with my crappy attitude regulates me to the cheap seats. So I thought I might as well make use of it by telling Bitmob how the weather is up here….and in case you haven't read my whining on the site, the weather isn't that grand.
The problem is some people took that personally. They seem to think that my attempts to tell people how Bitmob can be a negative experience as a selfish act made by an individual with their own nefarious goals. I would like to know exactly what doing all of this has actually gained me that they seem to think I'm so desperate for.
It would be a relief to get anything positive from my actions but I haven't gained respectability,money, popularity, attention, or a solution to any of the problems I pointed out. If I'm a selfish individual out for personal gain I'm really awful at it. I like to think that my goals are to try and help people see things they need to understand. It's much more fun to think I'm fighting the good fight then to think I'm an inept social climber.
So my experience with Bitmob has devolved into hesitating to post on the site due to self doubt and frustration (hey. I see a pattern here!) and it has gone from being one of the life lines in my life to yet another part of my life that feeds into my negative spiral of self hatred and dissatisfaction.
Even Mi, my fiction writing project that was an attempt to write about games from a more comfortable place as a storyteller and engage the community in a creative way, became nothing more then an ignored blip on the radar, the only times it garnered attention were usually cluster screws where people insulted what I was doing with the project to try and get to me emotionally.
There are a few people that have been very supportive on the site. I'm sure they all know who they are because they are the people I actually talk to rather regularly. I really do appreciate anyones attempts to encourage me and tolerate my moods but it's more of a band aid on the wound. You can't really undo damage that's been done.
So, in completely lacking anything in my life that I can say is completely positive outside of a few supportive friends, I am supposed to stride into adult hood (late to the party, as usual) by moving out on my own soon. I have very few things in my life to keep me going through what is looking to be the biggest test of my ability to control and manage my own anxiety and depression I have ever faced.
I have no career prospects, (aside from my wild fantasies of becoming a writer and/or an Internet based entertainer.) I have no financial cushion. I have no serious emotional tethers (both the concepts of love and family have been run through a grinder so many times in my life I sort of have a built in disinterest in them now).
I stand before the people of Bitmob to admit that I have no place in modern society as my last attempt to explain my actions of the past and actions in the future. The point of this post is to underscore that I am not normal. I have never been normal. I will probably never be normal. If that isn't good enough an explanation I don't know what to tell you. I didn't live the same life as you so I handle things differently from you.
I don't even really know why I'm posting this. It's not really going to accomplish anything but the only advice I've ever been given when it comes to dealing with social situations that make me upset is to 'get a thick skin'. Telling this to someone that has the anxiety problems I have feels to me like the equivalent of asking me to just flip a switch and be normal. It works for other people, I'm sure, but I am not other people. So I decided to tackle my problems by putting them out in the open and taking the consequences as they come. So the long and short of it is that Bitmob has completely lost it's luster in my situation.
I may post on Bitmob in the future, but as it stands right now I am not dedicated to Bitmob. I really like and respect many people here but I no longer feel as if the site itself wants me here and so I will not waste effort and ideas that I could use in other venues just to have it get 200 views or less and no comments and then feel like I've been judged unworthy by some nameless entity behind the scenes. Rational or irrational as my view may seem to you it is objectively a waste of my time and my dwindling well of irrational hope for the future to continue placing my effort here.
I may not have a thick skin, but I have a high tolerance for the emotional pain that having a thin skin causes to come back to the well this many times. So I'm willing to make use of it by actually discussing this change in my attitude with others and see where it goes.
Any thoughts from you guys? What exactly am I supposed to do with this site? I certainly can't keep doing the same thing I have been doing and I am personally incapable of handling it in the way everyone else is handling it. If I'm going to do anything with this site other then use it as a means to one of my other ends then I need to find actual common ground to stand on instead of lurking in the background and popping my head out once in a while to fail and feel miserable.