Day 3 – Free Books & Lifetime Movies

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I remember when I was a kid, always wanting to be the last one awake at a slumber party. Not because I thought anything bad would happen, but because I didn’t want to miss out on anything good, even if it was just listening to the other girls gossip about which boy was cute.

I think in a way, my constantly scanning for new books, movies, and games is an adult version of the same concept. I don’t want to miss out on the next exciting story.

Which… I suppose is a little bit weird, considering that stories can be easily consumed after-the-fact.

Although there is definitely something intoxicating about riding the wave as it’s happening. Waiting with everyone else for the next Harry Potter book, or discussing with people between seasons about what Lost really is all about. It’s this collective experience that we experience alone.

If that makes any sense.


In other news, I started browsing the Kindle free books today. Does it count as buying stuff if it’s free?

There are quite a few first-in-series especially, that are just discounted momentarily to get you hooked. Most are not at all popular books, so we’ll see if they’re any good.

It actually kind of reminded me of the days that I didn’t have access to every book in the world (because I grew up in the 80’s before Amazon and Google were a thing). Instead I just picked whichever book looked interesting on the shelves of my small town library. There’s something oddly calming about having so little books to choose from.


I was also browsing my already-purchased iTunes library today and realized I had a bunch of Lifetime movies that I hadn’t watched. I watched one today called Stockholm Pennsylvania, which turned out to be extremely creepy. I’ll probably do a review of it later this week.

Still it was cool to feel like I might as well watch these random tv movies because… why not? I have the time. I don’t need to be watching the newest thing. Plus I already own it.


Is it weird that I feel both calmed by the lack of choice I’m forcing myself into and at the same time slightly afraid I’ll miss something really awesome in the coming months?

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Day 2 – Maybe I’ll Just Watch Final Fantasy Cut-Scenes

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I was cataloguing the books, movies, and games I’ve purchased recently. It kind of amazes me how much I’ve collected, just in the last couple months alone. On the one hand, I’m grateful to have a job that finally affords me to buy cool stuff. On the other hand, I wonder sometimes if I’m turning into a hoarder. Not really, but….

It kind of freaks me out a little to think about not acquiring any more for a year. I know that sounds weird. It’s almost like I’ve gone into prison and have to rely solely on what I’ve brought in with me (if prisoners could bring stuff in with them). In a small way, it actually sounds fun. Promising, even. The space and permission to actually relax and take in all the stuff I’ve collected.

Maybe that’s what it’s been about for me. Growing up poor, I was never really able to just buy stuff when it looked good or sounded intriguing. Maybe that’s what I’ve been over-compensating for?

Or maybe I’m just over-thinking this.


Confessions:

I was this close to buying all the current Final Fantasy games today (PS3 and newer). I’ve never played them and the art style has always called to me. Instead, I watched a good hour of gameplay on YouTube and realized I had no patience for Pokemon-style fighting every 10 minutes.

The story however… that is something that intrigues me. The cut scenes were very compelling (at least what I’ve watched so far), and way more interesting than playing through a click-click-choose-this-weapon style of game.

That’s why YouTube is so awesome…. there are actually uploads of entire games’ cut-scenes! Movie-style. While I would never watch that much of a game I intend to play some day, I would totally watch all the cut-scenes of a game I would probably hate the game-play of. So… yeah… add that to my list of cool stuff I get to do this year of no buying stuff.

 

First Impressions: Jessica Jones

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This week I’ve been watching Jessica Jones on Netflix. I hadn’t even really seen it advertised before it appeared on the front page of Netflix, but the art style of the cover intrigued me and the first episode sucked me in. I’m 9 episodes deep now and it’s seriously blowing my mind. This show is so good.

Part noir, part superhero, part just really good drama, this show is very addicting, very interesting, and best of all, created by Netflix, which means I can binge-watch it. (When will the rest of the networks wake up and realize this is the best way to guarantee die-hard fans?).


Recommended For:

Adults who favor a long-arc mystery drama. Technically this is a Marvel property, but bares little resemblance to any other super-hero movie or show I’ve seen. I’d actually liken it closer to Walking Dead, as an example of an absolutely stunning work of dramatic television stemming from a comic book series.


Content Warnings:

This is an MA-rated show.

Violence: Moderate amount. Not in every episode, but when it’s there, it can be quite bloody and / or cold-hearted.

Scary Factor: None really. It’s more of a mystery than a thriller.

Sex / Nudity: Some sex, but zero nudity so far. Definitely intended for mature audiences though.

Language: Quite a bit of language. Not the worst I’ve heard, but they don’t shy away from it.

First Impressions: Fallout 4

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So far, I am loving this game. I originally dismissed it because I thought it was a first-person-shooter, a genre I tend to find really boring. But when I learned that it was more of an RPG survival post-apocalyptic sandbox game, I had to try it.

I bought it last weekend and have “only” played about 12 hours so far. Considering the game has only been out 2 weeks total, that may sound like a lot, but I know of people who have already put in a good 80-100 hours already. Comparatively speaking, I’m still quite early on in this game.


Gameplay:

Basically this is a survival, adventure, stealth game with occasional shooting. But it’s very sandbox-y, so you could totally play it as an FPS if you really wanted to. It also has a shelter-building feature which reminds me a bit of Minecraft in this post-apocalyptic setting. Which is a very very cool aspect of this game for me.


My Thoughts So Far:

I’ve only played a couple missions and have just started on my first shelter, but so far I really like the world of this game. It hits a lot of beats for me as far as what I tend to look for in games: survival horror, crafting, building, open-world, first-person perspective, atmospheric art style.

I’m trying not to think about just how open and non-linear this game is, though. While I like that aspect, it can also be overwhelming, just in terms of figuring out what to do next.

I’ve never played a huge game like this before, so it’s taking some getting used to. Traditionally, I’ve only played games that are either strictly sandbox, with zero storyline (like Minecraft or Sims), or 10-12 hour games that are all storyline (like Until Dawn or Beyond: Two Souls). So having a sandbox game that has a storyline, missions, and an end-game goal is quite different for me, but still really cool. I think I’ll definitely have to try more of this style in the future.


Recommended For:

Just about any older teen or adult who enjoys games. There are a lot of ways to play this game, so you can really make it what you want.


Content Warnings:

This is an M-rated game.

Violence: Mild violence. Occasional gore / close-ups of killings. Killing is very much allowed in the game, but is not really a main element in the gameplay unless you want it to be.

Scary Factor: Mildly creepy bugs / animals in some parts. No real jump scares. Not really a scary game, per say, but occasionally a bad guy can sneak attack you, which could be considered scary.

Sex / Nudity: No nudity or sex that I’ve seen so far. It is possible to see your character in just his / her underwear, though not really a recommended way to play the game, since you need armor to survive any attacks you might get.

Language: Mild language. I haven’t noticed it much at all, to be honest. I think there are occasional bad words, but it definitely isn’t an f-bomb factory.

To Buy: Lyne – iOS Game

For no particular reason, other than I heard about this game yesterday and forgot to buy it before my ban started, I’m putting this first on my list to buy after the ban.

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It looks like the perfect iOS game, mesmerizing yet simple. The kind I could totally lose hours zoning out to.

I was totally going to buy it yesterday too, which I’m now kicking myself for not doing. But… tis the season to be thankful for what I already have, right?

Day 1 – Pangs of Withdrawal

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At the risk of sounding like a spoiled first-worlder, I woke up this morning with the thought of “What did I get myself into?”. Can I really go a whole year without buying any fun stuff? Despite owning tons of titles I have yet to delve into, I seem to be feeling minor withdrawal symptoms.

I’m definitely going to miss the aspect of searching for, discovering, and acquiring new content. I do that a LOT. Like every day. I don’t necessarily buy every day, but I’ve made a sport out of scouring YouTube and gaming podcasts to learn about my next favorite game. I watch the latest movie and television trailers to figure out which upcoming stories are sure to give me a fantastic world to obsess over and feel emotionally connected to. I spend hours on GoodReads reading reviews and studying series and authors to see what might be a fun adventure to delve into next.

I think even though I look forward to actually playing / reading / watching what I’ve already spent hours finding, part of me will miss the hunt. I plan on making lists of items I intend to buy next Thanksgiving. Hopefully by then I’ll be finished with enough of what I own that it’ll actually be a refreshing cornucopia of new stuff, rather than just heaping on more and more that will sit on my to-do pile (which is more what I do now).


What do you say?

What are your coping strategies for dealing with a self-imposed fast of some kind. Do you still “window-shop” the items you can’t partake in, or do you steer well away from them?

Day 0 – Why I Decided To Stop Buying Media

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Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, which has absolutely nothing to do with anything, except that I’d like to remember that that’s when I decided to start my fast. I was realizing today that I have way too many books, movies, and video games, but have barely finished any of them. (Well okay, I’ve seen 95% of the movies I own, but I rarely re-watch them). It’s like I love the chase, the collecting, the ability to have the option of consuming this media whenever I want it… even if I buy it much faster than I actually consume it.

Hence the fast.

To clarify, I’m not fasting so much from playing, reading, or watching, but from spending. I have a goal to not buy any more consumable media until next Thanksgiving. Notable exceptions that are allowed include going anywhere to participate in a mass consumption (i.e.: spending money to go to a movie theater or a concert), as well as any subscriptions I already have (Netflix, Spotify, etc) or spending any gift cards I might get for a birthday or Christmas. Also I’m not specifically including music on my banned list, since I rarely, if ever, purchase it (thank you, Spotify). Excluded from this also is anything I’ve already pre-ordered (I’m looking at you, Sims 4: Get Together).

Oh… and digital definitely counts as something I’m not allowed to buy this year. Digital games on Steam or PSN are strictly forbidden, as are Kindle books and iTunes movies (including rentals). I already have enough of any of these categories to last me 12 lifetimes. I plan to use this year instead to finish a bunch of this stuff, instead of buying more.


Goals For This Year:

  • Finish the games I’ve already started but not finished on PS3, PS4, and Steam (more detailed count to come in a later post).
  • Finish the books I’ve already started but not finished, both real or Kindle (more detailed count to come in a later post).
  • Watch any unwatched movies I own.
  • Play and finish at least 3 games that I own but have never started.
  • Start and finish at least 10 books that I own but have never started.
  • Re-watch at least 20 movies that I own.

It’s Your Turn To Talk!
Let’s get the conversation started! I’d love to hear your thoughts on this or similar topics.

I’m curious how other people handle their media consumption and buying habits. Is this something you struggle with? Have you ever imposed a buying ban on yourself? Why or why not? Could you do it if you put your mind to it?