Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Meaning



His fingers moved rhythmically across the keyboards, tapping on the different keys, like how they did countless times before. They produced long sentences and churned out numbers across the white screen in front of him, which stared boringly back at him. Like how it has always did. Yesterday. The day before yesterday. Last week. Three months ago. It felt that he had always been doing this. It felt like he was going to continue to do this for eternity too.

The typing of reports. The meetings he attend. The clients that he meet. The quota that he is endlessly chasing. The money that he cannot seem to finish earning. 

Unable to focus on the endless columns and rows anymore, he heaved a sigh and rolled his chair into the center of the cubicle. There, he spun his chair around a few times, losing himself in the motion. The dizziness cheered him up somewhat, as it was a break from the dreary routine that he was caught in.

He stole another stare back at the white screen of him computer and wondered why he was feeling so unhappy. Unmotivated. Bored. He felt like a pedestrian standing at the road side, watching uninterestingly as the traffic moved in front of him. His life. Since when he became a spectator of his own life, watching it slowly flow past, day by day, instead of being the person behind the wheel.

He sighed another time, wondering why he was even thinking about this again in the first place, instead of working. All around him, keyboards continued to clatter, the printers busily churned out different papers, while the air-conditioner hummed boringly in the background. Periodic chatter would occasionally break the cycle, but it was not of his colleagues talking to each other, but rather into their phone, arranging with clients on the next meeting, or trying to source for new business.

As he sat there in his black office chair, swaying it back and forth this time, he allowed his thoughts to wander. He tried to remember about a time when he felt much more happier. Much more fulfilled. A time when he didn’t questioned about the purpose of his existence. Where he didn’t dreaded waking up every morning. When he enjoyed his days.

“You’re having a quarter life crisis,” his buddy would casually say when he told him about his feelings. Is this really so much of a crisis that he’s feeling? Of being unsure of what he wants? Or how to deal with this glaringly obvious void that now sits at the center of his being, sucking away all his energy and motivation.

He thought back about his high school and university time. When he was constantly surrounded by friends. The time when they would hang out together after school everyday, chatting happily together about school and their future plans in life. Where everyday was a new day, because it brought to them new knowledge. A place where he participated in tons of different activities, dancing, singing, drama and sports. Even to the extent of travelling for his interests as well. A time when he organized activities and came out with a whole load of crazy ideas for camps, events and performances.

He did what he wanted during those times, without a single worry in his soul. He explored his interests, his loves. He followed his own heart in the things he do. Nowadays, he just follows the directions of his boss and his clients, seldom being able to voice his own opinions. Is this the reason why he missed his pre-work life so much? Because he was able to be himself? Why isn’t he able to be himself right now?

Then he thought about the biggest difference between then and now. Money. He realized that he was much happier last time because money was already provided for him. Someone was looking after his daily expenses. Even though he had to work part time to help pay for some of his meals, he did not have to slog for almost 10 hours daily 

He almost felt sad thinking about his life right now. About how it has boiled down to waiting for his paycheck to arrive at the end of every month and to waiting for the weekends every week. It doesn’t feel as fun anymore. It felt as if life has been drained out of all it’s colour, leaving it in only shades of grey. 

His attention turned towards the framed picture that was lying next to his computer, a picture of him in bright orange jacket, arms around his sherpa guide, with white snowy mountains behind him. They say that they key to happiness is to travel constantly around, which was exactly what he tried to do. Backpacking.

The idea itself, where you carry almost all of your belongings in one huge back and just plant yourself in a foreign place, letting life lead you on, was an idea that is constantly being sold around. Take up a bag, leave everything behind and just travel. What a romantic and idealistic suggestion. It was like the one destination or purpose in life that many has, often glorified to way more than it should be. 

He knows. From all the Facebook posts, discussion among his friends and from writings in the media, it would seem that travelling is like the pinnacle achievement of life. Those who travel are worshipped or looked up upon, seen as more cultured and classy, while those who do not are not viewed as favorably. Which was why he tried. And decided subsequently that travelling was not romantic as people made it sound. Or just not the the sort of long term thing for him.

He started of his trip in Nepal, wanting to climb the Himalayas after climbing different mountains back when he was back in university. He remembered being awestruck by the sheer beauty of the mountain, the whiteness of it, and never has he experienced such a chill before, even under several layers of clothing. It was an experience unlike any other before. It made him feel alive for the first time, being alone on the mountain, cut off from the rest of the world.

It was during his journey afterwards that shook his faith in travelling. He was travelling past Mumbai, on foot, a few weeks after his ascend to the highest point of the world. The sun was fast setting that evening, and he found himself caught uncomfortably near the shady part of town, having earlier lost his way. A tourist with a huge navy blue backpack and eyes covered with sunglasses was a peculiar sight in that part of the neighbourhood, and before long, he felt unwanted stares burning into his back.

By the end of the day, he was sitting in a badly lit police station, with disinterested police officers filling up his report. He was bruised and scared, not only on the outside, and that day was the day he learned about the dark side of travelling no one talks about. The robbery, the killings and the rape. The big bullseye that is painted on you when you're in a foreign land Until today he would still have nightmares about being dragged into a filth filled alley by three burly men, their rough arms firmly gripping on his. Take the belongings, he pleaded, but they wanted more than that.

The policemen told him that he was lucky to be alive, in fact everyone told him that he was lucky to be alive, but a part of him wished that he didn't. A part of him wished that they had just slit his throat after they were done with him. A part of him had already died in that alley that day. He never again wanted to backpack after that. 

Happiness. Purpose. Meaning. How do we actually find that? He certainly didn't find it in the recommendation of others. And he was not the only one The chair gave a final creak, before he pull it back to the table, where the monitor still stood. His phone gave a beep, with a message from his friend. He looked at it, lazily typed "Yes", and turned his attention back to his work With a reluctant sigh, he closed his eyes, and began moving his fingers across the keyboard again. 

A few familiar voices awoken him from his daydream, and he spotted faces that he has not seen in ages. Work has a way of separating friends, and theirs was no different. But after weeks of planning, they finally decided to meet up, in a chic cafe overlooking the river. They shared stories, laughed, and updated each other. It has been too long since he last felt this way. It has been too long since any of them felt this way. They felt happy, just like the old times.

At the end of the day, they promised to meet up again, to not let their friendship break apart. Each of them swore a solemn oath to keep to the promise. And keep it they did. They met for board games, for laser tag and for anything under the sun. It became something that he looked forward to. Different people find meaning in different places. Some find theirs in friendships.

"I heard you're looking for a church," a friend asked when he was shuffling between different friends, getting ready to take their group picture. He nodded in response, and the friend told him that he knew just the answer. He smiled in returned, before turning back to the front. The stranger in front of them counted to three, and the bright flash from the Polaroid camera blinded his eyes for a while.

"Let us welcome the newest member to our group!" a cherry voice announced. He opened his eyes, and looked around him. People like him were sitting in a circle, smiles all upon him. In their hands each held a bible, or a smartphone containing their Bible. He smiled shyly back, before proceeding to introduce himself. They clapped for him after that, before switching their eyes to cheerful looking girl at the front of the group. People clapping to him, that's something that he has not experienced in a long time. They discussed about a chapter in the bible, something about loving your neighbours as yourself. 

"How do you love your neighbours?" the girl asked. The people around said a lot of things. One mentioned that we should do good whenever we can. Yes, the girl said, but she also added that in addition to that, we must love those who do not share the same beliefs as us too. People that we would normally hate. The foreign construction workers, people of a different faith, the transgenders, anyone. Some in the group flinched uncomfortably. After two hours of discussion, the girl asked them to pray and he bowed his head down, closed his eyes. Different people find meaning in different places. Some find theirs in religion.

The sound of monkey calling to its friends startled him. He opened his eyes, still panting away, breathing in the fresh air above him. A few meters in front above him, standing above some concrete made steps amidst the lush greenery, stood a girl. She was dressed in white, in a black FBT shorts. Realizing that he was still far away, she turned towards him, flashing him her signature charming smile. The one that greeted him during one group meeting a few weeks ago.

"Come on faster, you slowpoke!" she teased him. He smiled back, before proceeding to run after her. Different people find meaning in different places. Some find theirs in love.

Is there a definite answer to happiness, to purpose? He found himself thinking again, swiveling on his chair. His thumb and index finger touched the ring on his hand, and twirled it playfully. It was a different chair this time, a different office, and a different computer that faced him. Even amidst all the mundaneness of life, once can always find meaning and purpose, if one looks hard enough.

Some in their hobbies, some in their pursuit of knowledge, some in books, and a whole load more of different reasons. The possibilities are endless, provided if you keep searching. That was what he found out, sitting boringly in his office one day, pressing yes to a invitation. And right now, he was embarking on a new journey, this time with a new path: family.

We can find meaning anywhere. The only things is whether you want it to be found. Or rather would you lose yourself in the endless flow of nothingness? The rat race?

What's your meaning in life?


Monday, July 28, 2014

Twenty Random Thoughts #280714: SMU Voix, Ingress, Kite and Turbo

hey, my name's Turbo, and welcome to Lukey's twenty random thoughts



1. Today was Sunday, the day that I usually get sad, because the next day would be work day. But I was not today, because tomorrow is a PUBLIC HOLIDAY!!! Woohoo! Of course I would still need to go back to work on Tuesday, but right now, who cares?

2. So I've finally got to the social part of Ingress, where you actually meet up with people to do Ingress stuff like capturing portals, leveling and helping people farm. It's kind of eye opening though, to meet real people who are playing the game, and see who they really are

3. The sad thing about the social part of Ingress is that you can't seem to talk about it, which is why I'm like trying to omit details here. They say that people tend to get very hostile and stuff over games like this, with people taking your photos, stalking where you live and shit like that, which is a part that I don't really understand. I mean after all it's just a game, so who cares if your portal gets taken over? I guess when you start mixing personal ego with games you tend to get much more defensive and stuff

4. Anyways, sorta went to train some lower level players today (sounds so nice right) and in the meantime met two opposing faction players as well, who were quite stunned to see us. Kinda amusing how the whole encounter went, sorta like we were going to fight like that

5. I may get shunned or banned for posting this blog post in regards about my Ingress adventures, but I think that if people are so secretive and hostile and stuff like that, I rather fly solo. Because after all Ingress is about fun, and if the other faction wants to push you until you cannot farm and stuff, the worst case scenario is everyone from the bullied faction just stop playing. What's the point of the game when you got no one to fight right?

6. Had the opportunity to attend SMU's Voix 2014 acapella concert, which I must say was surprisingly good in terms of their musical talents and chemistry, and much better than the last acapella concert I went to generally. Enjoyed myself really much listening to those music, plus they had a good mix between different songs as well




7. The only downside was that most songs were not a mashup and I suspect that were not arranged by them, but still the performance was great and entertaining. So I got that going for me, which is nice

8. My only other complain is that I don't get the emcee's act that chose to make fun (I would use the word insult, but that would be too harsh already) of a particular blogger during the show. I admit they were entertaining at times, but I felt that their performance did not highlight the concert that was supposed to be going on (no introduction to the songs or whatsoever) and some of the jokes were done in very bad taste. Like the ones poking fun at the blogger's plastic surgery and private parts #dontgetit

9. Dota: A game where you play til 6 am. And forget about all your appointments tomorrow

10. Watched Turbo. Which turned out to be a surprisingly awesome movie. The jokes were lame enough to make you laugh and the story engaging enough to keep you glued to the screen. Dreamworks is seriously upping their ante in challenging Pixar and Disney, and that's glad to see

11. But then again I can't help but to think of all the stories where the hero wants to be someone that they are not meant to be, or society says that they can't be, and wonder if they apply to life? The snail who wants to race, the panda who wants to learn kungfu, the cute monster who wants to be a scarer and the bad guy who wants to be a hero. All of them despise the role that were given to them, and were shown that if they tried hard enough, they will succeed. Ah the illusion that we feed our kids to make them have a glimmer of hope in life. Such deceive #doge

12. Halfway through Khaled Housseni's Kite Runner and I must say, even though I hate the main character so much and could not understand why I still read the story, I cannot tear myself from it. Page after page I have to just keep flipping. That feeling when the story sucks you in

13. With that being said, I wonder if Icould write an alternative story to the Kite Runner? Where the main character was at least more likeable? But I guess that's how good stories go The main characters are not overly perfect and have flaws in them

14. I promised 20 thoughts. But since it's already close to 7am, I think I should sleep before the sun rises

15. Btw to the person who chose to sing Switchfoot's Dare You to Move in the Voix concert, I implore you to upload the recording to Youtube! That rendition is just so off the charts!

16. Now that we're back to talking about concerts, am I the only one here who hates people who shout like crazy (I mean once or twice is fine, but not to the stage where the performers cannot start because your voice prevents them for sound checking) during concert?  Like the super crazy type like they are getting raped like that? Ugh

17. Okay sleep. Board game tomorrow. Hopefully


Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Most Suitable One



I used to believe in the idea of a perfect soul mate. That somewhere out in the world, there is only one person that is made just for you. As if that when God created us, He created us all in pairs, and that at the end of the day, it is our destiny to be reunited with our pairs and live happily ever after. Quite a romantic idealistic viewpoint, don't you think?

But growing up, I realized that the whole idea of a perfect soul mate is nothing but a story that you cook up when you're high. Or some sort of propaganda you cook up to bluff small kids and make them happy. The idea of a perfect soul mate is no different than the idea of Santa Claus, it is too good to be true. And it's nothing but a myth. There's no such thing as a perfect soul mate. Unless God inserted a programming code that will lead us to our perfect soul mate eventually, the idea of ending up with a perfect someone is nothing but a daydream, a false reality. Like fairy tales.

It's very easy to see actually how the perfect soul mate does not exist just by looking around you. Tons of people get into divorce, tons who end up alone and lonely as well and there are those who get into a marriage only to realize that the person whom they married isn't whom they expected it to be.

There's no such thing as the perfect one. There will not be a person where all of her/his qualities and traits will match perfectly with yours, and that once you get together, it will be a smooth and obstacle free journey. There's no such thing as a forever happily ever after. What you can pick instead, out of the many people who actually makes an appearance in your life, is the most suitable person that you will spend the rest of your life with. The most suitable person meaning that instead of someone who fits your perfectly, you have someone who somewhat fits you. Though there will be areas where you cannot seem to agree with, the person is the one whom you choose to be with, the one whom you said you will commit to despite hiccups here and there, and to make it work.

The most suitable person is not the perfect person, but neither are you. The only thing here is that the both of you choose to be together knowing full well the other person's perks and faults, but yet at the same time you choose to accept both the faults and perks, because he/she is the most suitable one. The most suitable one is not someone who is created out of expectations and Disney fairy tales, but rather a real person filled with their own downsides, but yet at the same time, they have their own unique strengths as well that empowers you. The journey with the most suitable one will be far from smooth sailing, but both of you have agreed that come high or low, both of you agreed to brave it through together.

I don't know, but at least that's how I think it goes. That life would give you a range of people whom you can be with, instead of a perfect one, and you must make a conscious decision of whom to spend the rest of your life with as well. Far from perfect, but at least it's real. Better than living in a make believe world, where you're in a relationship with someone whom you cook up in your mind, instead of the real person itself.

The perfect one? Nothing but a concept use to bluff you to make you happy when you're in a relationship. Or hopelessly single


Thursday, July 24, 2014

I need to, but ohh, a butterfly!



I need to write. But somehow, I just cannot seem to do it. Words seemed pour out from my finge, chalking up the word count as I go, but I am not satisfied. The words felt empty. Like a body without a soul. It felt as if I am not writing anything at all. The words were supposed to make a sentence, and the sentences strung  a story, but somehow, they just seem disjointed and all out of place. Like a car almost out of fuel, spluttering along before giving one last puff and dies.

I am not really writing. I am merely vomiting out words for the sake of words. The words have no meaning, they do not point to anywhere, there’s no grand conclusion or significant plot twist to them. Perhaps the inevitable has finally occurred. That writing has finally become a routine for me. A work that I need to do. Work. Writing, instead of a hobby, has become work. 

I sat staring at the screen, thinking of all the things I could write. A grand story about love, ideals and sacrifice. A tale of an adventure of a lifetime. But somehow, the more I think about it, the harder for me to sustain a story. There are many grand openings that float in my head, stories that start off with a bang, but there were no end in sight for them. I have so many ideas to start so many things, but somehow I have not the slightest clue of how to end them. Like a plot twist, a lesson that I want to teach. But I have none. So all them have a head, but not a tail.

Maybe because my past stories have been a reflection of my story, instead of just a random story that I try to conjure out from nowhere. Those stories had a soul to it. But ain’t writers supposed to be great storytellers as well, crafting out stories that pull you in to the world that the authors created?

Or maybe it's just me. I always start stuff, but I can never seem to finish them. I tend to lose interest halfway in the projects that I start, distracted by other things that appear in life. And that bad habit tend to get reflected here as well.

Maybe it's time to tie myself to the chair, and force some none existent motivation to come into place. To force myself to stay focused, and stick to my goal to the very end.

Or maybe it's time to get myself diagnosed with ADHD.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

My Damsel In Distress

She's the heir to her father's multi-mullion dollar company. But her relatives, seizing upon the opportunity that her father passed away, tried to coerce her into a marriage she did not want, in order to obtain her father's wealth. When she did not bow down, they sent assassins after her, from which she barely escaped. Now fearing for her life, she has reached out to a random person halfway around the globe for help. The story sounds almost like a plot out of an action movie, but it is not. It was indeed from a real girl trapped with nowhere to go, hoping for a kind soul to liberate her.

Luckily, she found me.


her plea for help 


As someone who believes sincerely in helping others, I could not sit idly by and let he greedy relatives take her. Of course I should save her. And so I eagerly typed out this reply.

OMG. Miss Murielle Yeo, I must thank the most benevolent for sparing your life. I mean assassins? That's like the worst thing that family members can do to each other. You must have either been highly trained in the skills of escaping or the assassins must have been really bad at their job, but it is very fortunate for you to have escape from the clutches of death and prevented those stinking relative of yours from taking your father's hard earned money. I too, once had to escape assassins sent to kill me because the rival mafia family was jealous of my dashing good looks, but I am afraid that would be a story for another, once you're happily married in my arms, because the concern as of now is to get you to safety.

Fear not, because you have just come to the correct person. My family runs the the largest underground triad family in Singapore, with professional kungfu bodyguards under our services, and I would be more than happy to assist a damsel in distress. 20 years old is indeed too young to be married to a 71 year old haggard, and you deserve every right to be free. I still remember that back when I was 20, I was still busy training under Ra's al Ghul that would lead me to become who I am today. Keep your money, Miss Murielle, because I am doing this out of my heart's favor. I believe in universal freedom and justice, and I will do the utmost that I can to uphold those values. Do let me know what I can help with, and I would gladly do so.

I could only hope that the assassins would not get to her first before I manage to save her.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Principles. Ideals. 原则

"I will never forsake my my friends for my work. We must all hang out when we graduate okay?"

"I will never have pre-marital sex. I will only give it to my husband/wife after I get married."

"I will never allow money to become my priority in life."

"I will never cheat in a relationship."

"I believe in justice for all, and I will love everyone irregardless of their background."

"I will never ever smoke, because it's bad."

"Gambling only will cause miser, and I will never do that."




Principles. Ideals. 原则. I grew up believing in them. I grew up listening to people saying that they believe in them. And I believed that those people believe in them. I believed that ideals, principles and beliefs are noble, in that they make people who practiced them better persons. I believed that you need to have ideals and principles in life to be a better person. And that having 原则 will ultimately lead to a better life.

One thing about growing up is that you will find out that the things that you believe in do not always turn out to be what you expected them to be. I've seen those who succeeded the most often are often those without ideals, those who are willing to cheat, rob and steal, while those who lives by them are often persecuted and bullied. I've seen countless people who go back on their principles, doing the things that they say that they wound't do, and in the end justifying those actions with some lame reasons.

In a way, I stopped believing in principles and ideals. Believing in a set of unwritten code of conduct wouldn't get you anywhere, it would only get you behind. It would make you lose out in comparison to those who do not have your set of ideals. Unwilling to be corrupt? Those who are willing to be will get away with projects or lighter punishments, while you have to suffer. Don't want to cheat? Those who cheat enjoy the benefits more, as compared to you struggling to make an honest living.

We tell ourselves that there is karma, that those who go against a set of ideals will ultimately get their "punishment" in life. Or that we will be rewarded one way or another when we die? Maybe. Perhaps. That those who stick to their principles might turn out better in life, or have a giant plaque handed to them in heaven, but we never know. No one will ever know. Somehow we just have to believe in that idea.

So have why have ideals anyway? Why strive to stick to principles? I don't know. Perhaps it is to keep society from descending to utter chaos. That you give the masses an illusion to believe in when they have nothing else. Perhaps ideals serve as a placate for you when you don't get as much as the guy next to you.

Can't get the multi million dollar contract? Friends having much more fun sleeping around than you? Got fried from your job because you refuse to cheat? That's okay. Because at least you stuck to your ideals. Right? That's how we console ourselves. To say that everything is alright when things don't turn out according to what your ideals say.

Others, on the other hand, do break our principles. When the temptation and the stakes are high. And at the end of the day, you cook up a reason for yourself in breaking what you believed in. Cognitive dissonance, as how they call it. Once you loudly proclaimed against doing X, but now, you say that X may not be so bad either. Smoking, drugs, clubbing, sleeping around, cheating. All of them have their reasons now, despite how strongly you believed against them in the past. I've seen too many people who have done this.

At the end of the day, I stopped believing in ideals, principles and 原则 a long time ago, because by the end of the day, once you have crossed it, the world doesn't end. You just create a reason for yourself and move on. Because that's life. And it's not governed by a set of unwritten beliefs.


Game Master Lukey Reporting for Duty: My First DnD Adventure

"You enter the cantina, still exhausted from the short dash between your ship and the place where the Bartender was rumored to be. As you survey the dimly lit bar, you saw scantily dressed Twi'lek dancing on the stage, while being oogled upon by the shady looking patrons of the bar. The bartender lazily wipes the surface of the counter, while throwing you a bored stare. Above you, heavy metal bars line the ceiling, while a few ropes hang down from you. Behind the bartender stood a half ajar door that reads "Staff Only", while a curtain blocked path lies next to the stage.

As you decide on what to do, you hear heavy footsteps approaching. Gamorrean thugs! You have only moments to decide your next course action before they barge in the entrance. What would you do?"

And that was the opening sentence that catapulted me into a dizzying game of Dungeon and Dragons ala Star Wars style game today.


starting our Edge of Empire adventure


Ever since finishing Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep, one of Borderlands 2 DLC, I have always wanted to try the good ol' DnD board games for myself. The ones that the guys from Big Bang Theory play, and the kind of game where you usually associate with nerds and geeks.

However, being someone who is used to fixed rules and routines of games, the sudden reign of freedom was initially overwhelming for me. Instead following a fixed set of path and happenings, literally anything can happen. And the choices the players can make is unlimited. Just like the real world and even better than any of the video games. You can make a meteor fall out from the sky if you wanted to. The only limit is your imagination. And your set of dices

It was pretty fun though, being the game master, because I could basically set the entire tone of the story and how the story progresses. Of course, coming up with situations and outcomes to each of the player's choices was intimidating and required a lot of on the ball improvisation. There was once during an encounter with security droids that one of the players, who also happened to be a droid, wanted to hack the security droid by inserting his "USB dongle" into them. And I had to determine how that would turn out. Which somehow ended with the Wookie holding the two droids on the floor while the player droid "inserted" virus into them.

Think we may perhaps created the first droid rape encounter in the board game universe

But nevertheless, I immensely enjoyed the game. While the mechanics are still kind of confusing, because it encompasses almost everything that you would normally see in a RPG game, from items to skills to leveling up, it is the simple complexity that makes it so wonderful to play And you could change the story every time to add to the replay value. We're still far from trying out everything in the game yet, but so far, the first try was actually quite enjoyable. Star Wars: Edge of Empire, The Beginners Game is something that you may want to consider if you're looking to try out the DnD board game universe.

And I think I just signed up for the geek culture.


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Moments in Time I Knew I had become a Gaming Addict



For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a gamer. The first console we had growing up was an Atari 2600. Unfortunately, the only game we had for the system was the now infamous E.T. (yuck!). It wasn’t until years later when we got an NES that I really started to get into gaming.

Since that first console I’ve owned just about all the major systems. My backlog of games are hitting that point where I begin to question if I really love playing games or I just love the idea of games. Often times I find myself reading the industry news or watching speedruns rather than being actually in the game, playing it.

All these little moments have added to my growing addiction to this wonderful thing we call gaming.

I want to share with you a few of those special moments that immediately had me hooked (for better or worse). The moments where I knew gaming was going to be a major part of my life. Maybe some of these are ones you’ve experienced in the same? Let’s get started …

1. Taking up a not-so-traditional instrument

I tried my hand at a lot of instruments growing up like the piano and guitar. None of them really stuck because the music I was learning always felt too lame.

Then Ocarina of Time came out and upon hearing the ocarina for the first time I knew I wanted to give it a try. It wasn’t until a few years later that I was finally able to learn how to play the ocarina.

I did some research and found a cool company, SongBirdOcarina, which makes and sells replicas. It was neat, too, that they had a guide on how to play the ocarina, which let me get right into it (it took me a bit but eventually it caught on).

I don’t get to whip out the ocarina as often as I’d like but it does come in handy whenever I go to video game conventions. It also gets some good responses when you’re in voice chat with guild mates and you suddenly start playing some tunes from OOT.

This is one of those examples that gaming really got the best of me; I knew I was getting a liiittle addicted to the Zelda series at that point.

2. Getting real hyped about clubbing (because they had Mario)

During the prime of my clubbing days (before I started to get burnt out) I was going out Thursday through Sunday catching some of my favorite DJs and meeting up with my party people.

Out of all those different times going out clubbing there are two that have seared their experiences into my head:

Hoing to a video games night at the local industrial club, which required everyone to show up as one of their favorite video game characters (I went as Tanooki Mario). What made the night great was the gigantic 120-inch screen they had running Super Mario 3. Instead of, you know, going around being social and listening to music I was glued to the controller for the entirety of the night.

I was in Berlin on vacation, checking out one of the smaller, off-beat clubs and low-and-behold there was a lounge area in the back that had a projector setup along with a SNES and a copy of Super Mario World. Again, I was glued to the game rather than getting shoved around trying to stay on the dance floor.

It made me realize just how much I loved gaming that I’d forgo the whole clubbing thing in place of playing some of my favorite games, with other fanatics, in the weirdest environment.

3. Battle scars and broken friendships a la N64

Gaming doesn’t always leave you with an impression you reflect fondly of through memories.

Sometimes they leave battle scars!

I still have marks from playing the Shy Guy game in Mario Party 1 where you had to rotate the stick in order for him to fly around the room (that lead to some real nasty blisters).

I have a chipped tooth after getting into a physical fight with my best friend after a serious game of Madden.

I still have to occasionally apologize to my friends about the night we decided to play a ton of 4-player games which lead to an hour long shout-fest, some real nasty words, a bit of pushing, and a week long hiatus from everyone talking to one another.

Basically – we let the games go too far but now, being able to reflect on those times, it’s actually quite hilarious and adds to the overall love and addiction for gaming.

And the game has only just begun …

I’m about to hit 20 years of gaming and I have to honestly say it’s been a wild ride. Going from basic 2D graphics to the prospect of using VR thanks to Oculus is simply mind blowing. I knew the first time I laid my hands on a controller I would forever have love for this entertainment.

I may forget some of the games I’ve played over the years but nothing will make me forget the crazy, unforgettable experiences and lifestyle changes video gaming has brought me.

What about you? Do you have any particular moments in gaming where you knew it was more than just a game?


Post written by Michelle Peterman


Thursday, July 17, 2014

[PN] Crime Rate Soars As People Waits For Their Radio Interview



KUALA LUMPUR, 17 Jan - The whole of Malaysia came to a standstill today when Malaysians realized that the easiest way to score yourself a radio station interview is to be (in)famous. Armed with steering locks and smartphone cameras, people were bashing at cars and other public properties, in hope that their videos would go viral as well. This move came in response to the recent interview conducted by Hitz.fm, Fly.fm, My.fm and Era.fm of Kiki Kamaruddin, who became an overnight sensation when a video of her verbally abusing an old man and hitting his car with a steering lock was posted online.

Lock Steer Ling, one of the thousands of Malaysians who were seen busy bashing up an unsuspecting family's car while her friend filmed her nearby, had this this to say, "I have always tried calling the radio station and going for audition in hopes of appearing on my favorite radio station, but I always get rejected. If I had known that acting like a hooligan would score me an instant interview with not one, but FOUR radio stations, I would have so done this a long time ago. Now I feel stupid for apologizing the last time I got into an accident."

However, most radio stations, surprised with the response that they're getting, said that they are already planning to move in  new direction in order to increase their viewership.

"Unfortunately most of our interview slots now are full for steering lock brandishing ladies, and with so many other radio stations doing it, we are thinking of moving forward," said one Hitz.fm spokesman.

"In order to make our radio station the most hit and trendy one, we are thinking of coming up with a whole new series called the "Hit Series", where we will feature people who hit their kids, hit their spouses, hit their pets and hit anything else. Then we will act as the mediator and get them to say sorry on air, hopefully making our listeners touched with their stories," the Hitz.fm spokesman added, in elaborating the "Hit Series".

In response, Malaysians are already resorting to other crimes such as vandalism, public property abuse and loudly arguing in public, in hopes that some radio station will decide to report their story.

*****

On a more serious note, at the time of writing this post, the radio stations have yet to come up with an official statement in regards to the netizens response about their interview, choosing to remain silent over the whole issue. It has been more than 12 hours since netizens have been in uproar over the incident, but all of the radio stations Facebook page have yet to respond to netizens' general unhappiness. Instead they're just posting usually like nobody's business, ignoring all the tons of negative comments. Fly.fm even has the tendency to attempt to trend the hashtag #ForgiveKiki. What's there to forgive, now that you've made her even more famous?


hitz.fm apparently has chosen to turn a blind eye to all the barrage of negative comments


fly.fm's latest post


I don't know about you, but I find their PR skills to be sadly lacking in response to this matter. Maybe they were caught off guard by the host of negative response, but this ignoring them clearly isn't the way to handle such a situation. One cannot simply ignore the negative comments and hope that people will forget. The lack of response makes people think that you're not caring enough and worse still, your whole attempt at marketing may backfire badly on your company.

But of course, this is not the first time a company in Malaysia has struck the wrong chord with netizens over the social media though, there are numerous other examples, but I am interested to see how the radio stations would react in response to this crisis. And the company that walked away smiling from this entire thing would be DiGi I guess, with their quick response in offering help to the uncle.


DiGi's full of win response


Social media marketing is one tricky business, in that you can never gauge the response of netizens, but if shit does happen, there should a crisis response team to deal with the backlash, because after all, the people are your customers. In terms of social media response, I still find Malaysia's major companies PR team to be lacking in comparison with their Singapore counterparts, especially in light of negative responses.


Le Peugeot

Whew. Gonna be a short post before I head off to sleep.

It's amazing how social media have changed how we should we our actions nowadays, considering the fact that everyone has smartphones now where they can instantaneously take a photo/video of you, craft any caption and upload to they web for the world to see.

Take the recent case of the Kuantan road bully for example, or the lady driver with the CDM 25 white Peugeot. What seemed to be a normal case of road rage quickly spiraled out of control into a collective social media bashing, where netizens banded together to degrade the woman publicly, exposing her name, work and private details of her life.

While I won't argue that what she did was correct, I cannot help but wonder if what we did was wrong, or whether she deserved such a harsh punishment? Or whether social media is perpetuating this sort of kangaroo court of the internet, where we decide whether an action is right or wrong, and met out a punishment (which in this case is a complete boycott of her business and sharing of her personal details), all in a blink an eye?

I think that a line needs to be drawn somewhere in regards to this. I don't deny that the constant possibility of our actions being uploaded online will somehow force us to be more civil and cautious of our action when we are outside, but the bigger question I guess is when do we stop? 

The lady in the video has already come online and pleaded for netizens to leave her life alone, but judging from the replies, the netizens haven't really get enough of talking about the issues yet. There were people who were commenting about how race and religion factors in, about the uncle and even the marketing folks at DiGi did an absolutely awesome PR campaign by capitalizing on the issue. The thing is the issue is still fresh, so like it or not, the lady in the video will still receive a lot of unwanted action in the meantime. I guess that's the price to pay for losing your cool in public nowadays.

The good news is that she's no the first one who is shamed publicly online. Experience shows that sooner or later, people will forget about this issue and move on, the question is that whether she can survive this intense barrage of attention for this short period of time.

But then again, I don't condone people who issues threat or people who go to her Facebook profile and drop her all the vulgar and crazy messages. I mean, who gave you the moral high ground to become a vigilante or a keyboard warrior. Such hypocrisy. Tsk. 

I think one lesson that we should learn from this video, is the importance of being kind and patient in everyday lives, instead of getting all flared up with your self-righteousness. The lessons taught by our parents are sensible after all, in that being able to forget and forgive will help us go a looong way. 

So the next time you wanna explode in public, count to 10 or make sure no one is recording.


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