On Gaming

It’s a whole industry. You can’t go to a mall without spotting at least five advertisements about a game. Regardless of the hardware it needs or the scenario they’re all said to be “latest , best , unmatched”.  I decided to conduct a thorough investigation about the whole idea of gaming. What makes it so special and how it attracts that many people both kids and adults. At first there was nothing unexpected – the people in the store were kind , they gave me all the information I demanded without offering free complimentary tea or candies with possible contain of addictive chemistry inside. And then as I had just started playing I found myself in the middle of a pile of food containers , empty bottles and a vase which was serving as an ashtray and it was not Monday night as I was expecting , it was Sunday and I had no intention to sleep. I had been sucked into the computerized realm where time had values depending on the clicks per minute. I no longer cared for my teeth which were representing an autumn park landscape and my sight had a range measured in centimeters. My mobile phone was begging me to plug it in the socket as a result of the dozens of calls and messages mostly from people that thought I was dead. Yet I was feeling alive , my mates online were with me and I had no need to go outside because all that made sense to me at that very moment was inside the monitor. Eventually I had forgotten to pay my internet provider and I was cut off the Internet. And I am sure that when it happened I had a minor heart attack. The post-gaming 24h sleep which normal people call coma sobered up my brain and the PC had a brief role as a shooting target before heading through the window on its way to the scrapheap. My life was saved but in China for example computer addiction has taken its toll and now there are laws against parallel lives online  alongside clinics that provide professional help to the victims of Blizzard. So the first conclusion is – RPGs of any type may and eventually will cost your life.
Then I moved on to FPS – first person shooters. It was more fun and much less time-consuming given that you can’t possibly be as agile and alert after more than 4 hours on the battlefield. On the other hand I happened to notice that in the local shop I was trying to figure out the best way to cut the throat of the person who took the last box of ice cream. Or was I capable of defending the storage room on my own , using the basic armory of a counter-terrorist. And weirdly a popular spot in my city seemed as a perfect copy of de_aztec and I was cautious for an ambush. Therefore the second conclusion is that FPSs subconsciously make you a real life trooper wannabe and they ingratiate violence.
My last attempt was with sport simulators. And right from the start – EA Sports. Fantastic games with real life data , stats and graphics. In a coupe of hours I was Lebron James , Cristiano Ronaldo and … myself on the field with the rest of the superstars and it was great fun. Then I took part in the Monaco Grand Prix impersonating Michael Schumacher and won the Wimbledon as Federer. And as a result I only wanted to go out and burn all the calories stored on my waist from playing RPGs in sport activities. And the best part is still to come – the ultimate pleasure is to call someone and play against one another and to shout cheerfully in his face when scoring an extra time freekick. Conclusion number three – Sport simulators are safe , great fun and actually good for you because you’ll be willing to run and play outside after lifting the virtual trophies. If not – you’re odd and probably fat and ugly.

Lazy-reader version : PC games can be great fun with the unbelievable graphics and scenarios that can become Hollywood classics but there’s a very thin line between leisure time playing and hardcore addiction. Try to avoid playing for more that two days or you will end up in a hospital. Gaming can make you anti social despite having 100+ “friends” in a chatbox. Try playing simulators. Shooting is fun but keep it on screen and there’s nothing wrong to break the speed limit in a drive simulator. The hero-level up-character-virtual-me games are bad and should be banned. Show the world how much you are worth using the nickname written on your ID card.


On Progress

We all shall be grateful for being part of a generation that has witnessed and actually still is witnessing the gigantic leap of technology. In two decades the prototype of a computer shrank from a garage-sized loud and rather simple calculator to those brand new high-tech portals of binary code named tablets. The phrase “It can’t be done” has been proven wrong countless times. And so far  progress has only served everyone’s interest – no distinctive downsides except obesity. And probably weapons. They are evolving too and despite the fact that alongside with other technologies powerful weapons  can protect us from all the potential doomsday scenarios they are a threat. Especially the nuclear ones. Probably one day an imbecile obsessed with power and in charge of the big red buttons that should never be pressed will decide to play a real life conquer the world game but apart from praying to postpone this insanity nothing more significant can be done. Meanwhile computer multitasking has allowed many people to focus only on the aspects of life and business that can’t be handled by software.  Less running in the wheel like a hamster and more philosophic hours spent as an owl. In most cases this is a convenient and rewarding luxury. Machines are made to ease our everyday lives. Kitchen utensils , mobile phones , photo and video taking and sharing , exploration ,  you name it. Technology has made a dramatic impact in the automotive industry. A modern car has only the wheels and the steering wheel in common with the moving boxes your father drove. You have a map that shows your current location anytime , anywhere and is leading you with gentle voice and animation to the chosen destination , a friend who is telling you how much space you have before hitting the curb when parking , a mechanic that makes full service check every time you turn the ignition key and all of that embedded in your dashboard.  Ingenious systems even make it harder to slip and crash. And it’s not just cars. All other means of transport nowadays are safer , faster , more reliable and affordable to anyone. Medicine has also hugely benefited from the progress. Life expectancy has doubled and it’s just a matter of time to overwhelm the very few still incurable deceases.  Progress has even influenced the way we entertain. People today  listen to music which would have been classified as “annoying noise” in the twentieth century. Photoshop has made everyone perfect and social medias have more devoted users than any of the television giants. Inspiration is everywhere. More and more people are paid to simply think of new improvements of goods and services.  A nostalgic glimpse to the past makes me think that we’re already near the limit. You can’t squeeze two litres of juice out of a single orange. The unimaginable has already happened. How far will this magical progress go? Well I don’t possess the required wisdom to speculate but as I started – I’m grateful for being part of this era even as an average witness.

Lazy-reader version :  Progress is the purpose of intelligence. It educates and makes life safer and easier. It’s achieved by hard work and inspiration. Scientists are exploring the unknown and deliver staggering innovations to the rest of the world. History is happening in front of our very eyes everyday. Maybe it’s just me but I’m feeling special. The opportunity to see how it all happened is something to be valued.

On Work

“I’ll get a job!”.  It all starts with this. Driven by either poverty or clinical boredom everyone sooner or later decides to get a grip on his life and start doing something constructive. The global idea is to start earning  experience and own money and eventually independence. The vague contours of the idea seem reasonable but execution is as easy as swimming 100m underwater. If I was a statistics geek which I am not I bet 90% of the population isn’t actually employed in the desired business area. And at least those 90% are convinced that their labor is underpaid. Why is that happening? Why is everyone thinking that they deserve the CEO’s desk? On the outside it seems quite a sweet job. But be careful what you wish for! The luxury lifestyle and the giant salary are as attractive to the normal employee as is fresh meat to starving piranhas but on the other hand the high-profile executive’s life is a nightmare. They are actually in a position to make the type of mistake that may turn out to be the cause of a pulled trigger. Work has devoured leisure time. And the aging process is noticeable from New Year’s Eve to Christmas. Cliches become so for a reason – “with the big power also goes big resposibility”.
So what happens next? Where should we start? All the ambitions are there but the absence of experience and references overcomes your charm and qualification (men only). And there comes the time for sacrifice – lower your expectations and make the first step of the ladder. From that moment on you start to realize that actually things are not quite like you have imagined. The textbook archives in your brain are useful but are not even half the business. You need to level up in terms of professional skills and overall knowledge. And we all know the leveling up happens as a reward for the gained experience. Although it really is simple most of the people don’t make it.  The most common mistake is to forget your goals set from the beginning. To reach an average step on the ladder and to stay there in safety’s sake. It’s another trigger puller. Not that sharp and sound but very prolonged and boring. Personally I think it’s a blessing to work with passion. Athletes , artists , entertainers , writers and all the others that cash out their talents and hobbies are living a dream. For the rest of us – keep calm and get promoted regularly.

Lazy-reader version : Finding the right job is a quest. No matter what you do your effort is going to be recognized at some point. Qualification is an advantage but not an insurance. Dedication and hard work are the foundations of a successful career. Don’t allow failure to tweak your mind.  Get deeply involved in your business and go for gold.

On Society and Relations

The world is mad. If I wasn’t trying to keep your attention for more than two seconds I’d have declared this article as finished. The world we live in is changing so rapidly that certain trends are out of date even before you finish the  bragging phone call to a friend about how fashionable you are. This also involves the way people interact with each other. Nowadays we must have iphones and go to the gym and wear latest fashion and that’s only after we’ve purchased the brand new cars and have finished a fancy financial degree in a “prestigious” university. And all of this is wrong but keeps driving people madder and madder in fact even obsessed with the idea of being as close as possible to the imaginary idol in mind. Maybe I’m too narrow-minded but I can’t explain those trends to my simple self. There’s nothing more stupid than trying to be someone you  are not. Happiness-seekers will be disappointed even when they  no matter the  price provide the social heaven for themselves. Happiness just isn’t there. Based on everyday observations I can tell that many people lack adequate judgement. The label “fool” or “looser” is put on the forehead of anyone that’s a bit different. Intelligence , humor and reliability are considered less important than ABs , sun tan and clothes. Or at least you need the last three fitting in the “cool” category in order to unveil the rest. And I’m guilty too. Recently I met a guy from the neighborhood who I hadn’t seen for years and the “just say Hi and move on” attitude was brought to my conscious just because of his afro hairstyle. So the question is how to prevent this ludicrous judgement. Obviously you can’t talk to people with holes in their ears which are the size of a swimming pools but that’s an exception. The rest are OK. But when it comes to actually spending time with such individuals it’s up to them to prove you that they don’t need to be under medical surveillance. Any average guy will try to go across the street if he sees a bunch of tall , skin-headed  gentlemen singing songs unappropriate for children after midnight. But when you find yourself abandoned by your siblings at a party and a guy with tattoos on his face expressing violence asks for a lighter you don’t have many options. And then the magic happens 9 out of 10 times he will turn out to be very polite and cool guy who simply lives in the body of a rapist (the worst case scenario is the ER). And you’ll be amazed how often the magazine-cover type of both men and women act like they’ve been raised in a prison. Just monitor the behavior of the upper  social class individuals in a traffic jam or at a queue. They emit hatred. And when they get the same in return you can literally see the shock on their faces. Then the government takes all the blame and if it was a living creature it would have quite a disturbing offspring since they’re suggesting incest. The roots of the problem are deep in our lives. As early as elementary school kids are being exposed to numerable options for attitude to choose from. And the passion for the unknown delivers the outcasts of our present society. It’s an evolution process taking place in every individual and it does not respond to advices and/or control. Eventually everyone will follow their instincts and will shape up to be the genuine Mr/Mrs RealMe. The tricky part is to make it happen sooner and without permanent scars from the exploration period.

Lazy-reader version :  Society today represents a rainbow of different people. Even adults are confused when choosing in which category they have to place their selves. Probably statistics are to be trusted and people with odd interests and activities should be aware they’re not the dominant ones. Or they should watch Bear Grylls and escape from the lookalike-human factories called cities. Educate yourself and then make the decision. The less intervention with nature’s idea of you- the better.

On “the art of being on time”

If you have a lot of  memories about being shouted at because you were late I think it’s time for you to read on carefully and take notes. Being on time is not only important when it regards a job interview. Or a date.  When you’re late you simply give reason for your companion to think over your character’s disadvantages and to generate a recognizable amount of negativism towards your innocent self. No matter what your arguments are I am sure it’s important to be on time. Even an insignificant 5min late arrival for a meeting might cost a lot. Stress and inhumanly busy schedules are excuses I can take but very often people who are not  mother of 2+ children with two jobs at the most separate ends of the city are also late. Then who is to blame? And it’s not a bad habit , it’s low self-esteem and you label yourself as an ignorant by not paying attention to the clock.  I’m not saying that you should be on the arranged spot a week before the event but it’s rather simple to predict the actually inevitable delays you will face during your trip.  To be honest I even feel explanations like “I forgot , I missed the bus , I had to make a phonecall , etc.” like a real-time demonstration of low IQ. And it’s offensive too. How can I be delighted to have a friend who can not even come on time. And excuses just don’t work. It’s impossible to care what made you arrive 20mins after the appointment if it’s -20 degrees and I’ve been there on time. Just don’t bother explaining how you forgot the keys or the wallet or whatever , it will be considered as a parade of stupidity. And when you feel guilty enough to explain why you’re so late then it’s obvious it doesn’t matter anymore and you should just put on the guilty mask on your face and that will do.
Surely there are unpredictable things which might happen and then you can give a call and postpone the rendezvous. But your profile has to be of a person who isn’t late. Then you can afford to hit the 1st serve right into the bottom of the net and yet be forgiven. And let people know how punctual you are.Bring your anger along every time someone makes you walk in a small circle and stare at your watch.There are even people who are actually satisfied with the fact that someone is waiting for them. In their shallow brains the theory is that when they are late on purpose it makes them important. Female dog , please.

Lazy-reader version : Being on time  has to be driven by inner belief. Clever people judge your personality by unconventional means. Being on time is the hygiene of your character. And I’m sure no one wants to be described as  dirty and disgusting. The harms of neglecting the schedule are just not worth the negligence. It’s 19:51:27 (GMT+2) as I finish the article. Cheers.

On Luck

Most people would ignore the existence of luck and will explain it with hard work and dedication. Others would claim that your destiny will somehow manage its way through laziness , ignorance and pessimism and glorious days will come. I’m on both sides. The universe is based on the equilibrium of matter and anti-matter. So what’s so wrong with believing that for every misfortune that happens to you someone else gets blessed with luck or the same way around.  When you find a coin most definitely someone has stepped into the aftermath of a dog’s meal. And luck is not measured with gambling profits or red light surges without an accident. Luck is the magic to experience an event you desire at the right time. With the proper mindset you will be surprised how lucky you can get.It’s time to explain another aspect of the phenomenon called luck – its diversity. Don’t ever believe that the lottery jackpot is your destiny , otherwise people will label you as a fool , except if you actually win it. Then give me a call. But if you are not the one out of millions whose call I’m bound to answer someday don’t feel robbed. Luck is always there even in smaller amounts. If you for example live in a tall building every time the elevator is waiting for you on the ground floor you are lucky. Thus said luck can be explained also with the arrival of an unoccupied taxi when you are in a hurry or with the presence of a person who can speak fluent English in the train when you’ve just realized you are lost in a foreign country. If we approach the topic like market experts the definition will be something like this: there is much more demand than supply of the resource therefore you need to sign up for the waiting list. Luck is unmeasurable. What you secretly pray for at night might seem literally pointless to someone else. And the other fundamental rule is that neither you nor anyone else can force the occurrence of luck. The right strategy is to have faith in luck and to always try to clear its path even on the tiniest scale. Everyone who has tried it will say it works.

Lazy-reader version : Apart from the positive attitude encouragement there are also things that make sense when we explore luck and misfortune from an unbiased perspective. I think there’s a fine line between the two opposing sides , a yin yang composed of happiness and grief and it’s constantly shifting and gets to both ends for a lifetime. Listen to your senses which are actually nature’s voice , whispering “there is your luck , go for it”. and seize every bit of the amazing gifts that life can offer.

On Legends

Not long ago the all-star game took place in Orlando. Unfortunately I wasn’t there to watch it live neither had access to the only TV channel broadcasting it. Pity. The good thing was that I had  Internet connection so I downloaded the file called “Allstar_game.avi” that was kindly provided to me by an anonymous user. Thank you , sir! Plenty of records got re-written that night. But the one that caught my attention the most was the All star game points total. Previously next to #1 in that statistic proudly stood the name of a person who , when was at his best was described as “AIR” Michael Jordan. Now it’s Kobe Bryant , in a decade it’s going to be Kevin Durant. I must say I feel a bit sad about MJ but that’s what statistics and records are all about – being re-evaluated once in a while. It’s clear when you look at the papers that Kobe is a flawless superstar  but the ones that are old enough will remember that Bulls’ 23 was even more of a super athlete. He was the closest thing you can image to superhuman on the basketball court. As simple as that – it was MJ competing against himself for being the best man ever to play the game and if you want some proof  I’ll just mention that he needs more than one hand to put on his championship rings and he did the second streak of three after leaving the NBA for a year of baseball. I’m not trying to convince you that MJ was better than the present Lebron James but I’ll try to sneak the suspicion. Imagine Lebron always making the buzzer-beaters and being way ahead of the competition in the playoffs. That was MJ’s standard. And he also has a statue of himself in Chicago. But those record breaking points of Kobe made me think globally. Outside the NBA there are plenty of examples too.
A decade ago when M.Schumacher won a Grand Prix it was considered something regular. Like the sunrise. He used to win the championships with up to 6 races remaining. And he even won the remaining  as an already crowned champion. Many critics will try to explain his domination with the truly brilliant Ferrari but that was not the case. He had the special something which made him better than the rest. A blend of talent , motivation , courage and magic.
Then comes Federer. Earlier in his career it was quite simply impossible to beat him. He shredded the records book of the sport with ease.  Bookmakers gave a triple digit multiplier against him and there were no bets at all.
In football I think it’s needless to say how much Messi has done recently.
But being a legend doesn’t necessarily mean being the best superstar ever in the sport. Not even close. Let me clarify: Klitschko would most definitely  win against Ali. Or Pele might even not be in the top10 goalscorers of the present days’ Champions league. Being labeled as a living legend means that an athlete  is the current best of the best  in the sport and the competition is so far behind that his/her name deserves a place in history.

Lazy-reader version:  A sports legend is someone who performs off the scale of the known possible. A person who is a lifetime ahead of the rest in the business , an athlete from the future. Every sport has them and no one with a “legendary” status hasn’t got it by chance and I , just like you enjoy watching them at work.