Business Casual and Me

I haven’t had a reason to dress up in over three years. The last time I dressed up for an event, it was when I was Best Man in a wedding, back in 2019, before coming out to anyone, back when I was still living under the gender identity I was assigned at birth, in a time that seems almost unreal at this point. Not because I’ve come out in a big way (I’m masculine-presenting for one thing, so not much has changed so far as it feels from day-to-day especially given that I’m also not out at work yet), but because it happened before the pandemic. I almost went to a Roaring Twenties themed New Year’s Even party back in 2019/2020, which would have meant wearing a suit, but I wound up skipping that to stay at home and hang out with my roommates. We played D&D as I pushed them to see how far they could get through one of the starter kit adventures in a single evening. It was a lot of fun, but I kind of regret missing what felt, for a long time, like my last chance to get fancy before becoming the isolated, comfort-focused individual I am today.

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The One Thing I Can’t Escape in Pokémon Violet

I still have a few more plot events to run through in the latest Pokémon game, not to mention about one hundred to one hundred fifty Pokémon still to catch or trade for, but I’ve put a pretty serious dent in the game’s content, met most of the NPCs, finished my classes, and at least briefly visited every major area in the game. I’ve had some fun moments spotting Psyducks glitched into surfaces, finding Garchomps flying around in mountains, discovering that my shiny Psyduck really is visually glitched and I wasn’t just imagining it being weird-looking this entire time (it’s constantly under a “bright-light-making-colors-fade-a-bit” effect when it appears in the world), and getting revenge on the high-powered trainer I accidentally ran into in my first few hours of the game (a cabbie just outside the central hub city on the path to the Elite Four is stronger than most gym leaders). I’ve had a lot of fun exploring the world, searching for new Pokémon to catch, and discovering stuff some of my friends who already finished their Pokédexes never found. It’s been fun. Mostly.

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The Illusion of Choice And Video Games

I started playing Cyberpunk 2077. I have a lot of thoughts about the gameplay (as some of my friends have seen or heard) and even more about the themes of the game, all of which ignores the various controversies of the game from long before it came out, as it was expeirence the last few delays, and then as it crashed and burned during launch. I need to play the game way more than I have to really talk about the first two and the last bit has been written about so much already that I really don’t think I have anything to add (though I will link an article that sums up my feelings pretty neatly without going on a long rant about proper testing and the state of AAA gaming today). What I have to reflect on, a day after discovering that my computer CAN run the game for two hours without an issue when I forget to close it after going to make myself dinner and fold laundry, is how it has made me feel about the idea of open-world gaming.

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