Art IS Feelings

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Date: June 21st, 2016
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After a long hiatus from blogging and life in general, I’m back!

I’m back in more ways than one. Mentally I’m finally recovered completely from my bout with depression I suffered a little over eight months ago. While I began recovering around late November ish of last year, it certainly took much longer to become fully myself again in every way shape and form.

Life is Strange accelerated my recovery thanks to this site and it’s wonderful community. I was able to find the help that was right for me here. I think it’s easy for people to judge those with depression and not realize that the problem is the reason why they’re depressed is because they need a certain kind of help, that there is a mental barrier for many people giving. People often expect when you’re in trouble that you ‘ask for help’ or tell others exactly what ‘you need’ in order to be helped.

Life is Strange taught me very clearly that waiting for someone to come to you for help is a flawed approach to living. We need to go to those in need and meet them in their need in the way that they need it. That’s why I passionately became involved with this site and it’s a community. I’m a counselor on this site because I believe everyone in life deserves a chance at living. It’s my motto in life to make sure everyone gets a chance, because that’s often the flaw, when we don’t give people chances.

I’m guilty of this too as much as all of us our. It’s our human nature to defend and protect ourselves. I think the key is we have to know when to turn around and come back and try again on people that we can help the most with our time and our effort. We don’t want to give people who hurt us second chances for damn good reasons. We shouldn’t let those people back in a manner that they do cause us harm. In order to fix things we need to get their relationship with us on our terms.

People have so many beautiful ideas out there, we can’t ignore them just because they have awful ones too intermixed in the good.

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A beautiful line from life is strange is the quote “Frame the world as you want to see it.”

I think that’s what it was. I might be mis-quoting it exactly. The point remains the same regardless though. We good people need to stop letting the evil in the world be the thing that frames our view of things. Stop letting the evil in other people, and in ourselves and the shitty people we face everyday be the thing that sticks in our minds and resign ourselves  to living in that kind of a world.

I don’t want the status quo to remain a shitty place for anybody. I really mean that.

I’ve got problems.

Lots of problems. We all do too.

I feel bad sometimes that I don’t have more time to go back and resolve issues people have had with me and I with them. I make a promise with myself that someday I will resolve as many immediate conflicts in my life that will impact the people who are closest and immediately near to me. Starting today I will continue trying to do that.

We all have to prioritize what we choose to work on. For those I do not have enough time for in life, I’m sorry, but I will keep doing my best to make time for you too.

I don’t think any of us here in this community truly wish anyone else ill. Though we may not talk for days or weeks at a time, I feel a special friendship here and a bond like none other I’ve had with people in life.

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This year has been a year of struggles. I sometimes wish I could rewind time like Max. That wouldn’t be learning from the lesson of the game though. The lesson I learned from the game is that we have to accept that our choices are not perfect. They can never be perfect and that we will hurt people. We have to learn how to move on and try to avoid repeating our same mistakes to the best of our ability.

Life is strange to me more than anything is about getting people to truly express themselves. That’s why it is an anagram. Art is Feelings. It means so much more than just a game. It’s a window to an idea of changing the human condition as we know it. Shaping us to be different people than what we believe we can be because society has determined that we cannot express ourselves freely. I see this in so many current issues happening today and it boggles my mind how we are so closed minded to new ideas in so many realms.

The answer isn’t to blame and hate people like so many often do. It’s to project and express ourselves in the most positive and productive manner possible. The hate and conflict we see in the world all happens for a reason. People all have reasons why they feel the way they do. They may be completely wrong in their reasoning from a logical point of view, but that doesn’t matter from a human point of view.

People like the Victoria Chases, Nathan Prescotts and Jeffersons of the world exist for a reason.

Writing those people off as insane or crazy isn’t a good solution, it’s just a method of coping with life. Life is Strange presents a lot of real world heavy questions to us and I think we need to think about them deeply to avoid making the same mistakes we’ve been making as a human race throughout history.

How can we prevent these kinds of people being the ones that control us in society anymore? How to we encourage those who have beautiful and great ideas to move upward in society while discouraging, but not destroying those who have less than helpful attitudes.

These are tough questions, that I don’t have answers for.

We are reaching a point though in human history that I think will be remembered especially however.

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We’re reaching a point where people are able to communicate and share who they are in a way that is safe and allows people to work out their anti-social and destructive tendencies in an okay manner. People having more and more opportunity to express themselves in a manner that is productive instead of destructive.

Yet, we face reality. The reality is that social media for the most part is extremely toxic.

All kinds of communities suffer from these toxicity issues. What I realized though, was that it was a fundamental approach to what we advocate.

Why is the Life is Strange community so different?

Because, for the most part, we all get it, that we’re human beings.

Human beings, with human feelings. We don’t treat each other like robots and we don’t have interactions that are transaction like.

We’re interested in being invested in each other.

Investing in people is our interest. That’s what needs to really change in society.

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Being invested in people gives us an advantage over other communities because we’re not looking at just the work of some particular generic user and going “Oooh cool work user547!”

We get connected instead to the person. We don’t think they’re cool because they do cool work, but because they’re a cool person for sharing that they do things. I think that’s what I really most got out of Life is Strange as an artist and an engineering student. I worry so much about the quality of my work being perfect that I don’t make it MY work truly. I try to fit it into someone else’s idea of what my work should be.

Now from a technical standpoint this makes sense, people have standards and specifications. The real point though is that I value myself and my efforts though. Regardless of how they exactly turn out. Just as we should value others even if we could be a bit nit picky about work, we don’t have to. We can be constructive in our criticism and productive in our discourse and conversation. We can pay it forward and add to their contribution to life. That they’re trying and I’m trying to help them get better at what they do.

Some people respond better to criticism, and of course you’re always going to have to know your audience. They key is in my opinion, to stop whining about people not taking something the extra mile and be thankful they did something at all. Now of course, you have every right to what you pay for when you expect something in return, but this is about people freely sharing things and trying to express themselves and their work.

We don’t have to be comparative to somebody else who did something similar and immediately go “oh well, your effort wasn’t as good as ‘X’s you suck.”

I see that so much on the internet. Trolling is such a problem.

Value each other is what I say. That more than anything is what I learned from Life is Strange.

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Let me return for a moment to why I think this period in history will be remembered especially. I think it’s because we’re seeing a convergence of human issues finally that are being brought to the surface. If we really act on them and really work hard to do something about all of these things I really believe the world can become a better place.

We see in the news so many ‘stories’ and things to worry about…. Really though, I quit paying attention to all that a long time ago. What is important is doing something about the people around us. Making our actions everyday count. That’s what being an everyday hero in my opinion is at heart. Making our actions positively matter. Standing up for that friend when they need moral support, and saying a kind word to those that need it rather than holding it back out of fear.

Expressing ourselves takes guts. Expressing ourselves when the whole world can be watching nowadays takes hella guts.

I say do so though. I say be expressive! Be yourself.

Be that good person inside of you that you desire to be.

I think that we’re at a point that history will remember because I have personally decided that I will live for one purpose. That is to change this attitude and make the people around me see the world in a better way. Everyday I dedicate myself to trying to be an everyday hero. A person dedicated to building others up and investing in people. Finding ways to guide the conversation away from destructive conflict and toward a productive solution for all of us together.

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Now I’m going to get off my high horse of how I think the world should change and get back down to earth. Haha.

I have grand visions and big goals for what I want for people. It’s just how I am as a person. I’ve always been a dreamer.

I’m an artist, a sculptor, a designer, amateur photographer and many more things.

I see the world as my medium to sculpt as I see fit. I use the tools that are available to me to do something toward my goals.

I express myself in what I do, because as warren says, music is math, science is an art. I like to think of myself as a bit of a hipster because I want to bring back cultural ideas that I think go with certain kinds of technology. It’s not always about the pixel count, it is about how we use our medium.

We have so many opportunities daily to express ourselves. I think I have yet to realize all of the options in my life. So don’t think for a moment that you’ve exhausted all the new things in your life. I think we all need to try taking the creative blinders off a bit and expressing ourselves a bit more and in different ways.

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I’m working on creating a journal for one of my friends. I’ve given Life Is Strange to one of my close friends and I plan on giving another one of my close friends a copy of the game this summer when I visit them. I’m super excited for this trip and that I’ll be seeing a good friend of mine soon this summer. I just like to ramble my thoughts our on paper in whatever way helps me move forward with my day. Getting my thoughts on paper just makes me feel something good inside, like I can actually be who I want to be and express myself as a person. I really wish for everyone to be able to do the same with their lives… It’s such a relieving feeling to feel like you’re able to be yourself.

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As I mentioned earlier I found out recently that Life Is Strange is and anagram for Art is Feelings. I thought that was pretty profound really. It always really amazes me how much thought the creators of Life is Strange put into this game. I think it sets a really awesome precedent for what story driven games are all about. Story needs to serve a purpose in games, because everything has a purpose in a game. Life Is Strange is ‘Just A Game’. None of the characters are actual real people, and the events didn’t take place in reality. It’s a work of fiction… but… BUT

This is so much more than just a game.

This literally changed my life. Changed so many people’s lives.

If this is what games and stories have the potential to do if well written and communicated well. I like to think of what direction we can start setting with how we communicate stories and express ourselves with other works of art in our culture. This game for me set a real precedent for what ‘just a game’ can be for me as a person, as a human being.

It didn’t end up being ‘just a game’ in the end. It ended up being so much more than that. A thought experiment, a deep philosophical question, a reflection on life itself and a method of recovering from real depression and anxiety.

Nobody can say Life Is Strange is truly ‘just a game’, because the concept of what it engenders goes beyond game.

This concept of an art medium truly communicating and changing the way we think about the world around us. That’s what Life Is Strange means to me.

That’s power right there.

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Feelings are what make us all human beings at heart. So if we really change the way we approach life and games and mediums of expression I think we can much better connect with the world around us and understand what it is that makes us all humans.

Being human means we constantly change. I think we need to realize that.

We need to embrace that change and embrace it in others that we want them to change too.

I want to not suffer from depression ever again in my life. So because of that from now on I will do my best to freely express myself and my feelings.

I encourage all of you out there to do the same in a constructive manner.

Invest in the people around you. Invest in yourselves.

I love all of the community here in life is strange. I will do my best to support you all as best I can.

Thank you for being my family here.

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With that I leave you this song. I think it fits well to the tune of who we are as a community. We are not the world’s kind of people. We are much more than that. We se through the lies that are so often accepted and we are actually extraordinary people. We are extraordinary people. We are extraordinary people.

Go be one of those extraordinary people. Don’t listen to those who would put you down.

httpss://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KckCsw_JyJI

 

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