Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving! Thanks Time!

Depending on where you sit, actually celebrating Thanksgiving by talking about what we're thankful for is either cliché or appropriate and, as you might've guessed, this year I'm falling in the latter camp.  I usually don't really spend a lot of time thinking about being 'thankful' for a lot of things, which might just be the last year clouding my thoughts, but after last year's Thanksgiving...I'm realizing that this year was better, even only just so, so it sort of put things into a new light.  Regardless, I'm intending to be properly nerdy here as well, since the first thing I'm going to mention here is all the game-related things I'm thankful for.

First and foremost, I'm thankful that the PS3 I have has managed to not crap out and die on me yet (though I am in a constant state of expecting it to do so, as you may know) since it's meant that I've had quite a lot of enjoyable gaming going on this year.  Yakuza, Dynasty Warriors, LittleBigPlanet, Uncharted, these are all series that I've been able to enjoy thanks to having a working PS3, which in turn means that I have had a lot of different places to go this year when I just needed to do so.  Not saying like an 'escape', but sometimes just playing something and really getting immersed in that other universe, helps, I'm sure you can understand.

By that measure, I'm also thankful to the studios that have brought us these delightful games since obviously without them, we wouldn't have gotten them.  What is now Yakuza Studios, W-Omega Force, Media Molecule, Naughty Dog and more have put a lot of their own time and effort into producing something that we can proudly call our hobby and I think sometimes that it's more their efforts and passions, rather than simple design or presentation, that can push a game from "good" to "Great" and hopefully more and more people are noticing these nowadays.  It's only because these people go so far that we get these experiences that really can't be represented anywhere else, in any other form of media and I think that oftentimes gets lost in the "It's just video games" mentality, so pointing it out sometimes is a little nice I think.

Switching gears though, I think what I'm really thankful for most of all are, obviously, my friends.  It's been a rough year, as I've alluded to a few times (but don't plan on elaborating on) so I've had quite a few occasions where I just needed to lean on friends like I've never had to before and the ones I've kept around have stepped up and done that everytime I needed it which I will likely be eternally grateful for.  This kind of thing is probably the only really challenge I have in terms of writing something out as, well, I don't really write about people that often, if you've noticed, and I think we're all just sort of 'wired' to not really try and put our thoughts about people out there in simple words, since they're always harder to describe than just that.  Still, I should try.

Haplo's a good friend of mine from down under who's been around forever when I really think of it, even if he ends up being off and away for long periods at a time.  Still, everytime he pops back up he's a joy to be around and talk with even if most nights we don't hold out real conversations.  He's been one of the biggest supporters of mine for this blog which has really helped, as if I didn't have him around to bounce ideas/paranoias off of, I don't know how well it would've fared by now.  I like to think it would be, y'know, mostly the same, but credit where credit's due, he's made it a ton easier.  And even outside of anything to do with the blog, he's just fun to talk to if just for the times where we basically talk about something the other is guaranteed to know nothing about, for the fun of explaining it.

Kaseius has been a stalwart bud of mine for quite a while and it really feels like just yesterday when we got to know one another, but in truth it's been at little over two years if I'm not mistaken (I got to know him through his Let's Play of Blood Will Tell which started in February of 2009, and I just happened to start watching fairly close to when it started).  Since then, we've run the gambit of ups and personal downs on both ends (we've never been at odds thankfully), and I like to think I've helped him through his and I know he's done a lot for mine.  Plus, there's something to be said for someone who can make just any game fun and/or funny to play, as several of his LPs will show that he is more than capable of doing.  There's something else to be said for him because without him I likely wouldn't have met...

Sakura.  There's not a lot I can say here that I haven't already told her several times over, but Saki-Chan has been really really important to me even though we haven't known each other too terribly long.  It's hard to explain really, but sometimes you just meet somebody and everything just clicks and you know you and that person are going to go far, which I obviously said because it really feels like that's the situation with her and I.  From our humble beginnings at just sort of bonding over similar interests (history, mostly) to eventually just talking like every night and having some of the most fun conversations I've had in recent years, getting to know her has just been a pleasure unlike anything else.  She's been fantastically reliable for me in the last few months which is exactly what I've needed and there's no getting around it.

There's really no other way to say it other than saying, simply, that Saki-Chan has made me happy, which is impossible to quantify or express the real true extent of that or just how much it means to me, but I'll leave that to your imaginations I suppose.  I'm hopeful that it's possible to understand that I don't mean a laugh here, a pleasant conversation there, but just that feeling, even just for a moment, where you're just unable to be bothered by anything, even the most pressing of life's concerns is what I mean here.  So it's for that, if nothing else, that I'm really glad to sit here and point out to express my thanks for this year.

Hopefully you all have something similar that you can think of, even if you're not in the states and thus don't have a 'day of thanks', because it truly is special.

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