I've been without steady work for a while, and I've finally started to get my feet underneath me via the application of my own talents. As a Web-based freelance designer and developer, I answer to no one. On the one hand, this frees me up to be my own boss. On the other hand, this frees me up to be my own boss. If I want to make money, I have to force myself to sit at the screen and do things that might become monotonous and tedious, and many talents in the online freelance world are grossly underrated. Writing, in particular; content writing, creative writing, these things are widely taken for granted and are seldom treated fairly. Many freelancing Websites don't even have a category for writers, but they'll have half a dozen for different types of visual art. 

So, I've taken to playing video games as a hobby. I like action games with a strong, distinctive storyline to them. Among my favorites so far are the Mass Effect series and the Dead Space series, and I think that these games are grossly underrated as far as their artistic element and their overall quality. 

So. Some weeks, I go without eating for a day or two. It sucks. Other times I'm late on bills. I've had the internet and my electricity shut off, and had to make the rounds pleading for a quick cash infusion to get them turned back on. Without the internet, I don't work; without electricity, I can't legally stay in my apartment. Also, I don't work, for obvious reasons. A game, once purchased, offers dozens of hours of enjoyment, as well as far more replayability than a movie.

I've hit a point in Dead Space 2 that I can't get past. Now, I love these games, and I realize that this is a silly thing to focus on, but it feels like all of my built-up frustration and disappointment is coming to a head. It's been slow going on the professional scene, and this, these games? They're what I do for fun. I do them to relax. These are larger-than-life characters, and things like "repeatedly failing because I forgot which button does what" frustrate me enormously at the end of an already rough day. You don't see this in other media; a book doesn't challenge you to understand the underlying message which the author is trying to convey, and prevent you from continuing past chapter four if you just don't get it yet. 

I broke a keyboard in half, the other day. I slammed it down over my knee after failing to move past the same point in Dead Space 2 fifty-three times. Died. Died. Died. Died. DIED. DIED. DIED. DIED. I was starting to see the word "failure" hovering in the air in front of me, and honestly... other people have no trouble with this. I came to video games a little late in life, so what does that say about me? Am I old? Am I slow? Am I just stupid?

I probably just need more practice. I feel like the game should be taking it a little easier on me, but without looking like it does; life is already full of challenges. There should be a "filthy casual" mode for every video game. Dozens of failures at the same spot on easy? I'm not that dumb. This is not as obvious as it should be.

A game has a lot more to it than a typical story told through a movie, and is more interactive and personally immersive than what's in a book. I've got ample appreciation for either of those in my life, but sometimes, I want to be the heroic spaceman. I'd just appreciate it if there was a little more heroic, and a little less spaced involved. 

If you're still here, thanks for bearing with me. Honestly, I've got much bigger problems right now than video games, and this place is full of stories about other peoples' serious, deeply sympathetic problems. This was just what happened to be weighing on me right now. I needed to clear my head so that I could get back to work. If you read this, please know that I'm very much appreciative.

User Comments

It sounds like you enjoy your hobby very much, but you're having trouble experiencing new games for the first time. I can see how that would be frustrating, given a situation where few things seem particularly reliable or supportive. I hope you made it past that point in the game, and that you were able to clear your head; best of luck with finding additional work, freelancing is rough!


ever thought about trying out to be one of those youtube gamer channel? it's loose change really, but hey, least you can squeeze something out of it. 

And maybe since you're not tied down with anything, should be a perfect time to do something you really wanted to try or learn. might not even have to be anything related to design or development. 

Just something to think about. i know, easier said than done but, all you need is that small step fwd.


You should check out the freelance websites out there, and look into writing online. If you sign up for work in a few different places, you can make enough to get by while you look for something better. Over time, you'll develop a reputation, and get better-paying work.