TL;DR: You know. That goose-bumpy, hair-standing-on-its-end, never felt quite like this before and yet.
Originally Written: 11-Jul-2021
Word Count: 1320
Read Time: 4.4 minutes
I get straight up goosebumps when I listen to tracks from games like Horizon Zero Dawn, Final Fantasy, and even Halo.
Am I weird?
Yes. You should know this by now if you're even bothering at this point.
Now, on with my point.
Video game music is the first genre of music I ever sank my teeth into and felt immensely connected to what I heard.
That, and pop music. But that is beside the point.
When I touch into the sounds of music from games I have fully immersed my thoughts into, I feel something.
In another life, I had a girlfriend who made fun of me for fawning over the masterpiece that is Final Fantasy 7.
"I have never heard you talk about anyone or anything, including me, like you do about just a game."
Just a game?
She was sadly mistaken.
Games are for kids, this is something different
In the olden days, or ancient times, or back in our cave-dwelling days, our ancestors shared in a tradition carrying on today: story-telling.
Story-telling is how one knows to build a house of brick-and-mortar if one is to keep a roof over their heads in a storm.
Story-telling is how we inspire one another to believe in the impossible as something just within our grasp, if we just try.
Story-telling is how we motivate an entire nation of people to believe wearing a mask is an infringement of your rights.
Story-telling is how our ego decides to judge the data coming in by drawing conclusions on evidence provided.
We are all story-tellers.
Some of us are better than others, others worse.
Some of us are quick to the bit, others slow to start.
Some of us are straight to the point.
Myself, a jester in wordplay.
Stories are important. More important than I think people realize.
When you watch a commercial, the top-line content itself is itself a story.
Once upon a time, a person couldn't sleep well and it was negatively impacting their life.
That is, until one day, when a mattress so amazing came into this person's life that they felt invigorated. Anew.
Not only had their nights plagued with jarring insomnia, violent tossing, and terrors gone away, they felt restored.
Brought back from the brink of their personal hell.
Wow, a casual viewer thinks. If this bed do this for a person with such issues, what could it do for me?
So we buy the bed.
Not only do we buy the bed, we buy accessories for it and premium version too, because it's 20% off.
We spend money. Money earned from the time we put in each day to the work that produces our bounties.
The mattress comes in, it feels good. It feels alright.
You sleep on it a few nights and your shine from your purchase dims as you acquiesce to the fact it's just a bed.
It's just a bed and whatever problems you thought it was going to solve are not gone.
You have fallen for a story. A story that led you astray from your focus on your story.
You watched a story that used a caricature of a human and over-emphasized results to compel you into action.
This action was forged in earnest of achieving a feeling in mind. A feeling portrayed through this story.
"If this bed do this for a person with such issues, what could it do for me?"
We fall victim to thinking our lives will turn out the same way as a story told to us that we believed.
Disappointed, but in the hole with our purchase, we move on.
On to the next story that pulls us into action with credit card in hand.
Or maybe not.
We are not one to be fooled so easily, or are we?
We all have our moments of weakness. So, when those moments do come, what our minds reach for are the stories we've seen since our last moment of weakness and choose from what we've been trained to think we need next in our lives.
And such is the system of influencing perception that is called marketing.
Marketing is one of the most powerful industries in the world.
Marketing is the science of convincing someone to do something, namely something you want them to do.
Marketing is how we get fooled on a repeated basis to lean into impulse buys,
It is how we are made to feel unworthy to others for not having enough or being enough.
Such that we fall for the same tricks, ad nauseum.
Because we don't believe enough in the story we are telling ourselves when we say I don't need something external of myself in order to feel happy.
We think that sounds good.
In theory, one ought to be able to refine their next step to take by looking to their internal True North.
But when we are repeatedly sold on various ways of being, it's hard to find our own True North amidst the noise.
That is where stories come in.
What kind of story do you want to be able to tell about yourself?
Is it good?
What about now? Are you proud of the story you tell yourself?
Is it legendary? Meek? Troublesome? Inspiring?
What if it's not? What does one do if they don't have good story to tell about themselves?
They write a new one. One where they come out on top of their issues, one way or another.
We all do, inevitably.
But it doesn't feel that way. It never does.
We all want our passage through time to be met with ease, comfort, acceptance, and glory.
If I never went a single day for the rest of my life having to wait at a stoplight, it would be a good life enough.
But I want more. Humans always want more.
I don't think that's a consequence of being selfish. I just think humans can be impatient to having what they perceive in their heads as possible and deserved for themselves.
Otherwise, it's impossible. Out of reach. Pointless. Not worth the effort. Best left for someone else to figure out.
But our stories are ours to figure out and ours to experiment with.
Through trial and error, we become the heroes to our own trials eventually.
But this is real life, there are no heroes. No swords clashing in battle. No penultimate evil for us to face.
Just the evil within our minds and the ways in which we tend to them.
So, if one is to take up arms in battle, it is more likely than not they will be shouldering a sword in the mind.
This sword is but one's perspective, forged by the context of the day and dulled by our attempts to use it.
Anyone can have a perspective, but owning our perspective requires reaching for it whenever the need strikes.
If you have a sword and do not use it for any purpose whatsoever, you don't have a perspective. You have a prop.
Your perspective is then but a decoration put over the mantle to observe and take pride in, having never tested it.
Look at it, so shiny and sharp. Such potential.
Such potential, squandered.
Swords do not become swords of legend by acting as something commemorative. They become legendary for the blood they spill and the enemies they have vanquished in battle.
They are not something for us to muse over, they are for us to have and use.
Used in ways that would shock our current selves so much, we get frisson from the very thought of being so awesome.
That, now that is a story I want to be telling one day.
But for now, here I say: the story I am writing today is tomorrow's legends of yesterday.
Or a tall tale, who knows?
Only time will tell.