liralen: Finch Painting (Finch)
Yes, it has occurred to me that the whole year's worth of pursuing gaming was actually my running away from something else.

Immersing myself within game worlds, with people I could probably never see face-to-face, whom I didn't even know the real names of, was incredibly like the early Usenet in some ways. Handles like MonkeyMasterB8, Synchronous Heartbeat, ExtraOrdinary, Randomizer, ToastGhoast, and my favorite EvilDeath1234 were all a part of it. Most people felt it mildly rude to be looking for real names, though, eventually, with all the time in conversation, we would start to talk about our real lives.

Pursuing, if not perfection, at least excellence, with those whose sole purpose was to get better at the game, was intoxicating, and playing with people who did little but play video games for all their time off filtered for those for whom this was their life for now. And it turns out a lot of us really are walking away from life for a while, for various reasons.

And I had my own reasons... )
liralen: On the road (road)
Four of the guys who were regulars, either as substitutes or as main players, have said that they won't go forward with the team. Merek, the one with the most experience in competitive, who had gotten into ESEA open teams that were quite good, said explicitly that he wasn't going to play with the team if I wasn't playing anymore.

He said that he'd had so much experience in competitive that it wasn't about winning anymore, it was about the people he was playing with. And if they weren't fun to play with, then it wasn't worth doing. And if I wasn't going to be playing with him, then he didn't want to play anymore.

When I told Joanne that they'd had to have an ex-plat medic to replace me, she interrupted and said, "They can't replace you. No one can replace you." She was right.

And I have to hear them both... )
liralen: sfm of my medic (my_medic)
I started in October, at the very last minute putting an ad up on the UGC LFP forums for the NA Iron teams. There were, as I understood it, five divisions, the lowest being Iron, then Steel, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. And the teams that placed in the top so many spots of each division could move up.

I honestly didn't think I could even get into Iron... I only had 700 hours in the game, and barely 60 of them were as a Medic. I'd mostly played Pyro, Engie, Heavy, and Medic was my fourth-most played class. But Medic was the one class I thought I might be able to play in the 6's meta, which really only allowed for medics, soldiers, scouts, and demomen.

I had no idea how bad I really was... )
liralen: (Urahara)
I have rarely, in my life, been so without a long-term plan for where I was going or what it was that I was going to do. With work, there had always been a plan; with the books, there was the finishing of them; with the painting, there were the shows; and with the church, there was a clear agenda of what had to be done.

But, ever since May, I've been going forward into this gaming world like a blind man moving without even a cane to figure out where the next step even was. I'd just feel my way forward with each day; and things happened to me, sometimes without my really consciously choosing what it was I was going to do, who it was that I was going to seek out, or even a very clear idea as to what it was I was even attempting to accomplish. I would blindly ask and then I would receive the unexpected. Like going to TPF and asking to learn how to play with other people and being gifted with people well beyond what I thought was my ability to play against. Going into competitive TF2 and suddenly being given a team, of all things. And then going and doing what I thought might be best for the team, with the advice of my most experienced comp player who was all of 16-years-old, and we now have a good chance at going into the playoffs.

And I've been given the most amazing of gifts... )
liralen: (trouble)
Lots of things have been happening, some of them looked bad when they happened, but some of it has turned out all right.

Our 20-year-old Passat died a complete death, I've had periodontal problems, and my old overuse problems with my hands and arms have come back with the competitive video gaming. None of those things were particularly surprises, per se, but they haven't been that much fun.

Coping has had a few good side effects... )
liralen: (Ukitake Tea)
... I did nothing but exist.

It was 9 F (-13 C) outside, and I stood there, watching through the open garage door all the tiny flakes dance down out of a white sky onto a landscape blanketed in light and limned in sepia and shadow. Every breath bit cold at the linings of my nose and the back of my throat.

I stole the moment because I was helpless.

There was nothing I could do, so I did nothing but exist.

I had an 11 am appointment that I was going to miss. I'd left my keys in John's car, and he'd found them there, and was running them back to me in order to rescue me, taking time from his meetings and calls and arrangements, making me a priority ahead of the rest of his plans. I was grateful.

I'd called the chiropractor to tell them I was late, and they would tell my massage therapist. We would just have to wait and see how things played out.

So I just breathed and saw and felt.

And it was good.

John was happy about being able to help me, and I was grateful to him for the help. I ended up being half an hour late, but both my therapists moved their times around for me this time. I'd done the same for them in the past, with as little fuss, but it seemed a miracle for me. *laughs* I thanked them, and got taken care of by them, and was, again, grateful.

With their help I'll be able to scrim tonight with my team. I'd found a scrim partner the night before, and another captain gave me their spreadsheet for organizing scrims, and another captain said that they'd love to fight us again: we were a good challenge. My pocket soldier talked with me about strategies and personal mottoes during his off period in high school. My medic mentor took some time to go over a demo with me between his college classes and performance periods.

I am being helped all the time. An exercise I hadn't consciously undertaken, but it was one I needed. I was horrible at asking for help before all this TF2 stuff, and now I'm asking for help all the time, and it's all from people who don't get asked that often by someone like me, either. It's good for them, too, to know that they should be respected for their abilities, patience, and authority--for their agency in someone else's life.

I ice every night, to save my hands for a little longer, to let myself play a little more. I know my hands will go, my reflexes fade, my hard-won muscle memory will, one day, be nothing but memory; but, for now, I fight as hard as I can, learn as quickly as I can, do the best I can for the people I'm with.

And it's enough.

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