yippee, almost my bday (on the 14th). aging once more and admittedly feeling quite solid. it has been pretty apparent to me that the older i am getting the better i am feeling, technically. and its really just because i keep living and keep going through things. and im able to say that i Get It. im happy to age alongside my friends who are also finding more stability and we can be together!

okay past the quick little notice of aging, things have been kinda weird on the general front of what i am up to. i have been in a strong gripe of a fixation for months now and its really consumed me far more than i wish it did. it is of course, baldur's gate 3, and i dont really mean this in a fandom consumption kinda way (im not touching the fandom). this happened some months back when i wasnt writing blogs with another media (LISA rpg), and the summary is i get obsessive over media where i attach to some kind of character i relate to. To where it takes over my daily life-- while doing things like drawing or writing or playing/watching it constantly is expected, the other part of it is analyzing the hell out of it. i mean like, thousands of words over and over tearing it/the character apart. This may not seem like a bad thing and technically it isnt, but in my head its me trying to constantly insert my present brain into something that isnt the present, and further engross myself emotionally to where i become way too affected by the feelings i "share". which keeps the cycle going, and because the characters i relate to are because of trauma, this cycle can get a bit unhealthy in my head with the fact i get obsessive and at times depending on what it is, adds compulsions/rituals to my day.

And here I am to analyze why i do This lol.... No not really. but i fell head first into BG3 around late august and have played roughly 600 hours at this point, which some people may very easily have more than that but the only game i had broken 100 hours with was Spore (sitting at 500 on steam-- i specify steam because i have waaay more outside of it). i have a bit of a love/hate relationship with this game in terms of the gameplay issues (bugs. bugs. bugs. the game's story and general workings are so unfinished in so many places. BUGS....!!!) but said issues don't get rid of the fact this game has some well written characters and plot with a LOT of playtime to get you invested. And rpgs with romances??? Yeah i go for it. I loved the dragon age series so having something comparable had me hyped. And for this brain of mine, video games are the form of media that consume me hardest because when i make a character it means i get to project into them and live in the world! So i jumped into the game with little impressions, except i was aware of that white ass elf being a vampire-- i think its impossible to not see him, look at the art a bit longer, and come to that conclusion lmao... to keep this short as possible, i got super into the game. i took way too long to finish due to all the bugs and whatnot (i have sour impressions of this game, genuinely. my review on steam is negative and it will stay that way forever) BUT i beat it twice, one normal and one dark urge. both of them i romanced astarion (one for each path).

Not unlike every other character i have attached to it was no different with astarion, getting into him because of his backstory. RPGs like this make it harder to pull myself away due to immersing yourself into a world and like this game, giving you a fuck ton of content. so that said-- i have romanced him multiple times and havent finished any other romances (only started two new ones). The obsession with the characters and game has lead me to other things too-- new hobby that has me further engrossed....

Virtual photography. it is what it sounds like, its photography in a game. Not just hitting 'print screen' and calling it a day. There are fully fledged camera mods with detailed settings to help, and of course people use Reshade to get better looks. On top of that though theres all kinds of editing to images you do, and this doesnt even account for the work done in game. loading saves, searching for the right scenes, getting characters doing things at the right moment, modding the game to swap characters so they can animate different cut scenes for specific expressions!!! and dont even get me started on the wardrobe changes. dressing up these little guys every time. So yeah, its become quite a thing for me now and its been another reason to just stay in the game. But, the longer this has gone on (i made a tumblr for this in October) while doing... almost nothing else, the more I hate how consumed I am.

the amount of drawing i have done, and some writing, has decreased. i think this wasnt helped by my surgery in december either. and i do know full why this has taken more over drawing... it IS creative. its a creative act. and its much easier than drawing or writing. and i am glad i can have this as an easier creative outlet! but in my head there is this "this is what we do everyday now, because we want to be inside that fictional world so much. load up the game and play and take pictures!!". its a pull i struggle to deny and all the feelings just add up to more fatigue about drawing or writing at all. im very aware as to how these feelings add up to the way they do, the cycle of Feel Bad Man. so i am trying to be mindful, and have been for the most part, but as an artist I know myself and many others struggle to avoid the "youre not working on the Thing, you gotta work on the Thing!". life got crazy after the summer last year and i have been having a good time, but it took a lot of energy and time away from the sorts of projects i hoped to work on. to make a game in the summer and ten not touch anything like that since feels kinda bad, because i DO feel like something entirely unrelated and "not productive" (playing a video game) has taken place of more important original projects.

The even worse and bigger issue that comes of this is "this doesnt feel productive... so maybe i should turn this into something so it will be". As in.. make it a Thing. gain a follow? produce it as content For People? Get Numbers Get Big Get Noticed etc etc. i have started to learn modding and my brain keeps going "and so this will have to lead to something actually productive, right? youll get good at blender and make cool things and youll blow up now!" Allllll of this is just one big web of you are not being productive, feel bad, and find a way to turn everything into something productive. And I think we all know how bad the internet is nowadays with making indie artists feel like they must monetize and gain traction so quickly.

okay, this is kind of going and going into a more extended issue. POINT IS.... i have been having a good time doing things i enjoy, but i also get mega consumed in all forms of media i get into. it love it and i love how it inspires me, but currently i havent touched anything else. i have been chipping away at Penrose again, giving it another makeover and able to organize my things using Zim which has been a lifesaver. and i am glad that i ache to write for it, like i DO have ideas, so when i sit down i know what to start with. but oof. the balance, the validity. its only even stronger because i havent been this intensely into something for this long in ages probably. video games are my favorite form of media but they can keep you occupied forever, really lol. i hate that toxic ass vampire twink.