Later Levels: one big oxymoron

Hands, video game, controller, gamepadIn March, Matt from Normal Happenings tagged Later Levels in one of his Daily Inkling posts. The series provides inspiration for bloggers to use as literary clay for moulding into whatever form they wish. This entry was titled ‘Personal Oxymoron’ and asked: “Based on your personality, what is something you would expect yourself to like, but just can’t seem to get into?”

I can respond to that question succinctly using only three words: Later Levels itself. But the answer is so much more than that and requires a little explanation. In certain respects this blog is a contradiction and therefore perhaps shouldn’t exist – maybe I’m putting the entire universe at risk simply by writing this – but I’m incredibly glad it does and that I’ve found my little space on the internet. What follows are some of the reasons why this site is one big, cuddly oxymoron.

Older females don’t play video games

Rezzed, video games, gaming, expo, Impact Winter, KimAn older female who plays video games? Well I never! I’m one of the more ‘mature’ bloggers on the block (let’s use that term loosely) and on top of that I’m a woman, so there are some out there who’d think I’m far too much of a grown-up to play video games or even be interested in them. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m more likely to pick up a game than any other form of media, and I couldn’t picture myself blogging about any other subject. In fact I don’t ever see myself not playing video games.

Adventure fans love Daedalic titles

It’s pretty obvious from most of the posts I write that I have a huge fondness for the adventure genre; and the titles by Daedalic Entertainment are some of the most loved. So it should therefore follow that I’m a fan of the developer, right? Wrong. I really don’t enjoy Daedalic’s games; I think I’ve only completed three and have abandoned all others halfway through. There’s just something about the characters they choose for their protagonists which doesn’t appeal to me and most end up grinding my gears.

Certain personality types enjoy My Little Pony

Years ago I undertook a blogging project to find out more about the My Little Pony community and publish a series about the people I’d met. I found out that a certain personality type was attracted to the show; and you can guess which type I turned out to be when I took my own Myers-Briggs test. I watched a few of the cartoons for research, to understand why its fans enjoyed it so much, but I just didn’t get it. The project was however an interesting experience and a lot of very kind people gave me an insight into their world.

Bloggers love being social

EGX, video gamesBlogging is a very social activity. To do it well, you need to open yourself up to interaction, meeting new people and instigating discussions with them. The truth its that I suck at all of those things and find it hard to be social: I’m ok in one-one situations but when the group grows to more than five, I have trouble following the conversation and feel anxious about saying the wrong thing. That doesn’t mean I’ll stop blogging however, because it’s the perfect way to push myself outside of my comfort zone.

Positive people promote positivity

Hands, video game, controller, gamepadI’ve always tried to use Later Levels as a platform to promote positivity, be that in ourselves as individuals or in the gaming community as a whole. But March was quite a difficult month and my mental health has taken knock so sometimes I feel the opposite of positive myself. But optimism breeds optimism and you’ve got to keep pushing forward. If you talk about what’s going on in your head with those you trust, and keep telling yourself and others that a brighter day is on its way, then it will arrive very soon.

There we go, five reasons why this blog is an oxymoron. Thank you once again to Matt for his Daily Inkling tag and giving me the opportunity to write this post! Now over you you: what makes you an oxymoron?

Bad blood: worst jobs in video games

Last month I was challenged by Matt from Normal Happenings to write a Daily Inkling post. The nominated subject was bad ventures: business ideas dreamt up as a child which seemed brilliant when young, but are now clearly terrible when viewed through by adult eyes.

Unfortunately I can’t recall any such brainwaves but I do remember a certain career aspiration which could have been disastrous for everyone involved. I’d wanted to be a nurse when I was about eight-years old. A noble profession yet one which I would have been so bad at. I’m an absolute wimp: I’ve passed out while watching a friend give blood; fainted during a first-aid course when the instructor told the class fractured pelvises; and didn’t get my ears pierced until my early 30s because I really don’t like needles. I think it’s safer for everybody if I stay away from hospitals and patients.

Thankfully things turned out ok and I ended up making a much more suitable career choice when I was older. Unfortunately for certain video games however, they weren’t so lucky. Following on from a post back in June 2017 and in honour of the Daily Inkling series (to put a gaming twist on things!), here’s an article dedicated to Matt about some of the worst jobs in gaming.

Janitor

Some who visit the attractions in RollerCoaster Tycoon just can’t handle the excitement and intensity of the rides. Their lunch ends up being thrown all over the park as a result – along with burger wrappers and popped balloons so carelessly discarded along paths – and it’s the Janitor’s responsibility to clean up all that mess. You might get a payrise if you seem unhappy, but job security isn’t great and you can be replaced at the click of a button. If only the guests had stronger stomachs and better manners.

Professional Writer

Many bloggers view their hobby as a potential route to achieving their dream of becoming a professional writer but after seeing what happens to a best-selling novelist in Alan Wake, they may sensibly opt for an alternative career path. When you realise that events from the plot in your latest book (one you don’t remember writing, may I add) are happening in real life, your wife is mysteriously missing and shadowy figures are trying to kill you, it’s definitely time to consider changing to different profession.

Treasure Hunter

Travelling to exotic locations all around the world and hunting for valuable relics in the Uncharted series may sound like the perfect job to those who crave excitement. But there’s just one thing standing in the way of you and career-happiness: pirates. They’re everywhere you go, hiding behind crates with their guns and busting into the scene in armoured tanks, and you just can’t seem to get rid of them all. A stable office job may seem boring on comparison but at least the only thing you’ll get shot at with is a stapler.

Test Subject

A lot of employees don’t think of their boss too highly. But when yours is an increasingly- malicious artificial intelligence with murderous tendencies who always promises cake and then cruelly snatches that possibility away, you know you’re going to have a bad day at the office. Sure, getting to mess around with a Portal gun all day sounds like fun; but when it comes to career satisfaction, finding a job with a manager who doesn’t want to kill you on a daily basis could be more fulfilling.

Dragon Killer

Many people are animal lovers who dream of working with creatures, perhaps at a zoo or vetinary centre. But a job where it’s your responsibility to deal with some seriously p****d-off dragons is a whole different ball-game. Forget unhappy pets and minor scratches – in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim you’re looking at being stomped to death, painfully set on fire or eaten alive by flying lizards. You’re better off re-training and accepting a junior position on an entirely different career path.

I’m not sure which is worse: taking on one of the careers above or the thought of me being a nurse. Tell us in the comments below about any bad business ideas you had as a kid, or video game characters who should have thought more wisely about their profession choice!