Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Thank God For Three Cold Nights

For most people the weekend is the perfect chance to go out, party, meet new people, and wake up with a half-naked girl in your arms. Not much there to complain about, but...call me crazy...but then there are those times when all you wanna do is be a shut-in for the weekend and play Playstation. Now most people may think of this as being Anti-Social and I can't really argue with that statement, but I can explain my reason for feeling the need to be Anti-Social this particular weekend.

When I was a child I thought the idea of a game where you could play in a world which was populated by thousands upon millions of other players around the world was the greatest concept. Now also being a big comic book nerd as a kid, I was a huge fan of DC comics. "The Death of Superman" series was a huge favorite of mine as a kid which I read countless of times and it even introduced me to my favorite super hero, the Green Lantern. As a child I dreamed of fighting along side the likes of Superman and Batman, not just this iconic duo, but the lesser know heroes such as Green Arrow, Nightwing, and Hawkman. I remember my friends and I would  At the time the only super-hero video games around were the horrible Superman 64 game and the awful Batman and Robin game for the Playstation.

Even though such games like Everquest and World of Warcraft did become popular for being the first to create a MMO (Massively multiplayer online) game, they both were unable to obtain my interest from the get go. Being pressured into playing World of Warcraft by my friends, I constantly kept being told, "Don't worry, it gets better." It wasn't long before I soon lost interest in the game and continued to wait for the search of a MMO game that I could enjoy from the very start and not have to play 20 hours just to get to the meat of the course. 

Finally in 2008, Sony revealed their plans to take a concept I thought of being impossible and turning it into a reality. A Massive Multiplayer Online game that took place in a fictional universe that I was all too familiar with calling it DC Universe Online. I couldn't believe my eyes. When it was announced the game would be released on September 25th, 2009, I counted the days until I would find it sitting on the shelves at my local GameStop. In an attempt to enjoy the game at its fullest, I resisted all temptations and refused to read any new updates or features added to the game. I wanted to be enjoyably surprised by every aspect of the game. Finally when the day arrived, I waited all day at school in anticipation for the final bell to ring. I knew as soon as it did, I would be on my way to GameStop to pick up my copy of the computer game of my dreams. By the end of the day I found myself looking up at the clock every two minutes whilst I focused on one thought in my head, "Hurry up!" I tried to convince myself that if I concentrated hard enough, the clock would go faster and I would be out the door and in the store. With only 5 minutes to go, I couldn't take it anymore, I hopped on the classroom computer to check the official game website only to find that DC Universe Online wouldn't be released for another year. At first I dismissed this new discovery, thinking they must be referring to the UK release, but as soon as I got on my own computer at home, I realized that it was true. The game I had waited all year for had been delayed, but what crushed me the most was the fact that there was no confirmed release date at all now. Like Highlander The Game, it seemed to me like this was one game that may never see the light of day.

Finally on January 11, 2011, DC Universe Online is released on PC and PS3, good thing too because I traded in my PC for a Mac a year ago. The only problem was I was currently out of money, none of the stores in my area carried the game, and the closest stores that carried it were half an hour away. So for the rest of the week I was once again playing the waiting game as I reminded of how bad ass the game is by of all my Marvel fanboy friend Ryan of all people. My plan was at midnight on Thursday I would drive 30 miles up to Wal Mart in Tyler so I could acquire my copy of the game. Unfortunately unlike Dallas, Wal Marts out in the middle of East Texas have a closing time which I was unaware when I drove all the way out there. So the next morning I once again headed out to Wal Mart in Tyler to obtain my copy of DC Universe Online. After going to three different Wal Marts, I emerged out of each one empty handed and with my head hung low. Luckily right next to the last Wal Mart on my list, stood a building with big bold red Target on it's side. Immediately my spirits were lifted and I began to strut on down to the electronics. Back in the big city of Dallas, if Wal Mart didn't have what you were looking for, then Target sure as hell did. Sadly I was once again reminded that this isn't Dallas and Target was also sold out. Since GameStop was still closed at this time I found myself driving up and down the road, pondering on what other store would have it. Then out of the corner of my eye I saw a big yellow tag with the words Best Buy written across. Expecting the store to be closed, I was surprised to find the neon Open sign radiating in the window. I walked inside anticipating another let down, but unlike my failed ventures to Wal Mart and Target, there resting upon the racks of PS3 games laid one last copy of DC Universe Online. Without a moment's hesitation I seized the box and clasped it to my chest. Realizing the game was still technically the store's property, I quickly made my way up to the cash register and in exchange for $60.00 of my own hard earned cash, DC Universe Online was now in my possession.

As I drove home, I couldn't help but constantly look over in the passenger seat where my game lay and reflect to myself, "After 2 years of waiting, I had finally obtained DC Universe Online." As soon as I got home and popped the disc into my system, the first thought that went through my head is, "How long is the update gonna take?" because I knew if I had had this many delays up to this point, there were surely a few more to come. I was expecting the game to at the least take an hour or two to set up, but not 10 hours! At this point in time I had basically accepted the fact that this game was put on this earth to torture my patience

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Defining The Pragmatist

Before any story can be lifted off the ground, whether it be film, television, or literature, the central character of the tale must be examined. I believe that the choices in life we are presented with as people cannot be defined simply as being "black or white." I believe all the choices we make in life in beliefs and opportunities are a direct result of our surroundings, our upbringing, our society, and those we choose to admire. Every person's actions have a reason and for every different person's reason, there is a different story for how they acquired their own personal way of thinking.

It is because of this that I feel the need to share a bit of my personal history before making any other posts on this blog that would be associated with my own views and beliefs. I was born in Nacadoches, Tx on August 3rd, 1990, a day after my father's birthday. I was named Robert Edward Morris IV and was raised in a little town called Henderson until I was about 5 years old. We moved right after I had finished Kindergarden and such would be the routine I would grow accustomed to, finish a grade, then move schools. It wasn't until I reached the 3rd grade that I finally was able to stay at a single school for more than one year. The school was located in Hughes Springs, a town virtually invisible on the map and a community overwhelmed by Christian beliefs, but I made many friends there. I even became somewhat popular, but as soon as I finished elementary school, once again I was on the road to a new town and new school, except this time it was different; this time we were moving to the big city of Dallas and my father wasn't coming with us.

My father and I never really connected, due to the fact that he never took time out of his schedule for me and assumed that I was a big enough boy to understand. The fact is I never understood and to be honest I still don't understand. How could a person completely neglect his entire family all so he could keep working on his farm or shop or school. The only way I was ever able to get to spend some time with my father was showing cows at the stock show he would take his students to. Truth is I hated stock shows, I hated showing cows, I hated the environment, I hated everything about the stock shows, but I stuck with it for three grueling years just so I could see the slightest hint of approval from my father.

When my mother and I arrived to Lewisville, a town just on the outskirts of Dallas, we stayed in an apartment for the next year. Being used to living in a big house with wide open pastures and now living in a 2 bedroom apartment, I found it very difficult to comprehend why our lives have changed so drastically. It didn't really come as a surprise when I heard the news of my parents divorce, but I was very surprised at the sudden interest my dad was taking in me. My dad was taking me to places like Six Flags and even to the movies, but instead of being stricken with joy, all I could think about was that it took a whole damn divorce just for my father to take an interest in me. Even though I could have accepted his offer, I could have moved back to our big house, and get to go to school with all my friends, but even at age 12 I knew he wouldn't keep true to his promises. I knew that all he wanted was to thwart my mom in something and I was merely the tool he needed, nothing more.

After a year and a half, my mom met another man named Mike who at first I was very hesitant at getting to know, but once I did, I realized he was a very kind person and the kind of father I always wished my dad was. His kids on the other hand did not give me the best of first impressions. His son was a redneck from the city who was obsessed with the Marines and the C.S.A., but did have very good taste in movies I will admit. His daughter was a girl who believed that women were incapable of achieving all the things a man could and seemed to be destined to be nothing more than a cut out of a 50's housewife, but like me was able to identify the quirks of our family. It took a few years before I could get used to idea of a new siblings, but when I finally did they were no longer strangers, but now the rest of my family.

As a result of all this change in such a short period of time, school did not go very smoothly and I was unable to aquire most of the social skills that I would require in high school, leaving me socially awkward throughout all of middle school and until my senior year in High School. I was constantly ridiculed as being ugly, weird, odd, scary, creepy, as well as gay, but it wasn't until I searched for activities not associated within my town that I began to become my own individual rather than trying to be what everyone wanted me to be. Having a bit of training in television, I was offered a job for XCW Wrestling as a camera operator. After paying my dues, the producer Howie took me under his wing and taught me everything I know. He taught me so much in fact, I became his replacement when he moved away. Seeing this as the most important thing in my life at the time, I slowly began to disregard all of my class work at college. Little did I know this would be a huge mistake.

With little to no assistance, I was the new technical director in charge of all the cameras, lighting, videos, and music. Seeing this as the most important thing in my life at the time, I disregarded all of my class work at college. At first I loved it, the feeling of being in charge of something important absolutely thrilled me, but also at the same time when I wasn't working for XCW, I was out on the town indulging in things I'd always been to scared to do. I was going to new places every weekend and meeting several different girls, but soon things got worse. In a future post I may further examine this deeply significant time in my life, but for right now its just too painful to share.

By the next year when March rolled around, I had ruined my chances at college and knew it was time to begin searching for a job. At first my pride got the best of me, I couldn't see myself working fast food or at a coffee shop. I saw myself working as an editor, a technical director, but eventually I had to come face to face with the fact that even though I had an extensive amount of experience working for XCW, PCW, and XKO, no one was really that interested in hiring a 19 year old kid. It wasn't long before my standards were lowered and I was employed at the Chevron Gas Station working graveyard 40 hours a week.

Seeing that I was still quite disappointed with how poorly I had done in school, my mom proposed the idea of saving enough money to get back into school and once I had the money, I could go back to school full-time. For the next several months I worked long grueling hours, never missing a day of work, but once I saw $1000 and a little extra in my account, I knew it was all worth it.

I strongly believe that these events and people have deeply impacted my life, not just by the path I now walk on, but by the way my perception has been carefully crafted by the milestones of my journeys.