Domain Expansion

I’ve been pushing the boundaries of my preferred interests. I read non-fiction now. I listen to K-pop. I’ve been playing *different* games, and I’m enjoying myself while doing it.

I’ve decided that it’s time to bring the barriers down, after all, I was the one who set them up. I’ve gone so long in my life with a predisposed disdain for things. Partly out of an obligation to “stay in my lane” of preferred interests (in a genuine effort to find more media that I enjoy), but also because I believed that these things define me. Believe*d* in the past tense because I’ve regained control of this. Instead of letting my interests and influences define who I am, I use them to define myself. There isn’t tons of difference there; it’s mostly me mentally returning control to myself to broaden my horizons. For example: instead of being someone who likes K-Pop, I choose to like K-Pop. If you just read that and thought: “that’s the same thing” or “this doesn’t make any sense,” count your blessings because it’s taken me a lot of time, effort, and reflection to convince my brain that this okay.

In the past, I’d steer myself clear of huge categories of media within a certain interest; I didn’t read non-fiction because up until this point I’d only read fiction, so I might not like anything else. I only listened to certain music because it’s the only type of music I knew. I only played specific genres of games because– you get the picture. I won’t say that I’m 100% free of boxing myself in with this mentality, but I’ve come a long way over the last year.

This post is about “old games.”

Something I’ve been (attempting) to work on, is self-admittance. I spent a lot of time with me, myself, and my thoughts in 2020 as did we all. I tried to meditate more, reflect more, understand more. A big part of all of those themes, and what became a commonality, was admittance. Admitting when I’m wrong, especially to myself. Admitting my failures, but also admitting and allowing enjoyment in my success. Admitting to myself “hey, it’s okay to branch out and try new things.” Especially when those things can only bring joy, and if they don’t add joy to my life, I can easily move on without any negative repercussions. I’ve grown. I’m officially here to say, to whoever wants or needs to hear it (myself included); I was wrong about old games.

Like many of the above examples, my disdain for old games was born from a place of ignorance. “How could a game from 1995 be any good? Only games from [insert current year] can be fun.” Considering that my stance on solving almost any problem in the world is “diversifying” retroactively speaking, that should have been my first step. Instead, I opted to shove my foot into my mouth. I’m attempting to remove it now.

The 3DS provided me with a massive eye-opening moment. It was monumental in my journey towards understanding that there is enjoyment to be gleaned from older games. “I love this handheld, and it’s old. If these games are old, what about other games?” — a very simplified version of the thought process that allowed me to arrive at my current destination. Coupled with people (who I respect) online posting their genuine enjoyment with older titles made me curious about what I might be missing. So I went back, I started diving deeper into games from yesteryear, and realizing that some of my favorite games are old; it’s a simple matter of perspective. Now that I’m “enlightened,” I choose to see things from multiple perspectives instead of one singular view that I was forcing onto myself.

A happy coincidence to this newfound lifestyle is frugality. I’m not all that cheap, but trying to keep up with the blistering pace of twitter’s gameplay schedule is a surefire way for me to drain my bank account. Not that I did that before this, but it is helping curb the feeling of FOMO. I enjoy being in my world and allowing others to share in that world with me. Following the theme of domain expansion, I’m taking my time back from the internet and encouraging myself to create conversations around the things that interest me within a timeframe that works for me. Playing games to their fullest extent is my preferred way of playing, and it takes time. Even if I entertained the idea of remaining current with whatever is new, I’d undoubtedly fall behind from frequent stops to smell the flowers.

So yeah, freedom from oneself is a good feeling. It’s a strange thing to be confined by silly ideas, but I also try to understand that sometimes these thoughts aren’t something I can control. I am working on implementing this way of thinking into other areas of my life, always hoping to grow and challenge myself.

This is a lot of pretext to say: Earthbound = good.

PS: If you have been wondering, yes the title is a Jujutsu Kaisen reference.

Published by

Benji

Language arts advocate

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