Saturday, December 7, 2019

All My Obsessions: Vol. 1

As my wife will probably tell you, I have a tendency to be just a little obsessive when it comes to things in my life. All my Grateful Dead music has to put into chronological order, with all the notes for the songs played on that particular date neatly written on blue index cards. There are literally blue cards and CDs everywhere. And I listen to them in order of concert. I keep a log of all the books I’ve read, and I keep a list of what I still want to read. One of my most annoying tendencies, even to me, is that I have to have complete collections of everything.

The best examples I have of that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the DC shows on the CW. I must have all the movies for the MCU, and then I can watch them in the Marvel chronology rather than release. (Yes, they are quite different.) As for the CW shows, I don’t watch them until they show up on Netflix. Once they do, I set up a playlist so I can watch all four (now five) shows in the order that they were broadcast. So, if a The Flash episode aired right after Supergirl, I watch Supergirl and then The Flash. I do this for the whole season. It works out really well, especially when you get to the crossover episodes. It sure makes it less confusing.
Interior of my hockey arena in creative.

My latest obsession is Minecraft. I love playing it. I used to play in Creative only so that I could build a hockey arena or Egyptian gates. In the past several months, I have learned to love Survival even more. If I’m not careful, I could play for hours. And then nothing gets done. Nothing. I’ve fallen behind on things because of that.

Besides working on Minecraft, I like watching the experts building amazing things on YouTube. Some of my favorites to follow are Python, Killa Drone, Pixlriffs, and Mumbo Jumbo. I follow Mumbo on the Hermitcraft projects, which is a multi-player server in the same world. It’s interesting to follow them, but the practical jokes on Hermitcraft would drive me out of my mind. One of the rules we have at our house is that no one can destroy anyone else’s project. I stand firm to that. It takes too much time to do these things to have someone else screw it up by trying to be funny. That’s just me, though. If you’re into that, good for you. Have fun. It is a game.

I really try to limit my time on the game. Otherwise, the time would get totally away from me. So, in order to make sure I keep my time to an absolute minimum and still give me a chance to play, I have created a world that I will occasionally update here on the blog. My plan is to play 30-60 minutes a day, although there is almost no possibility that I will play every day. I should get at least three days a week to get a little progress.

Exterior of my hockey arena and tiki-bar outside the arena.
Let’s not fool ourselves. Those slick videos on YouTube are full day sessions edited down to 20-30 minutes. I will never be able to compete with that. I simply don’t have the time for that, and I’m old. (Today, in fact, is my 46th birthday.) These games really cater to younger audiences, but I do enjoy playing the game. It’s like a limitless, electronic version of playing with Legos, which was one of my favorite things to do as a kid. 

One of the reasons I like to play is that I like the creativity associated with it. Add in the survival aspect and it can be thrilling to try to create masterpieces while being chased by creepers and zombies. Another reason I like playing Minecraft is it’s relaxing for me after a day of making sure all the kids get to the various places they need to be. After spending a couple hours recording or editing podcasts, it’s a way to settle me down after those highs. 

I’m playing the Windows 10 version of the game, and I’ve set up a game that spawned me next to a deserted village. I’ve looked around the general area to see what else is there. There’s a lot of desert and another village a couple hundred blocks away. For now, I’m sticking around the first village to gauge the lay of the land, raid some freebies from the villagers and explore a little to see if I want to stay in that biome. It’s a slow start, for sure, but once I get started, there will be a lot more progress. 

Start of a village square in my first survival world.
I figure if I can get some good work in each week I’ll keep a blog update rolling about as often. It’s just something to do, and writing about it is fun. I haven’t figured out how to do a video of my game play yet, and I probably would never go that far unless I talked my podcast pals into playing a game to be recorded. That would be a very odd video - a trio of 40-somethings attempting to play Minecraft. Two of the three have never played. I guarantee no one would watch us bumbling around trying to escape creepers and building crude shelters.

In the meantime, I plan on spending a little of my birthday playing around on Minecraft with my daughters. One of them won’t play when I do because she says I build things better than she does. I think she’s wrong. It’s all a matter of perspective. Each of us have our own talents and imagination. Our creations are great. If you’re into Minecraft, have fun! For now, I’m concentrating on my newest obsession.

Craig Bacon not only keeps track of the books he reads, but when he read them and how many pages were in each book. Yes, that is obsession.