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QP: Fun and frustration.

So I've been playing a lot of Dead Cells, and while it's been crazy fun, it's also been crazy frustrating.

Dead Cells is a roguelike or rogue-lite metroidvania from Motion Twin... Basically, you explore and battle through this ever-changing, randomly generated castle, and when you die you start over. But it's never the same twice, and you improve as you go—new weapons, new tricks, and so on.

I know part of the problem is I lack or am at least weak in some of the basic skills necessary, such as timing and strategy and such. I keep forgetting to dodge or get hit by stupid attacks and all that, and it gets really frustrating.

Frustration aside, I'm having fun when things go well...which is a good chunk of the time, I guess. What sucks is how hard it is for me to let go of that frustration and how unwilling I am to look at things objectively. 

What I think I need to do—and this isn't easy, at all—is reframe my losses as something other than failure and either deemphasize the frustration, reemphasize the fun, or both. This is a game; it's supposed to be fun. Challenging, but fun. And it's mostly that.

The risks and challenges—learning to dodge, for example—are part of the fun, even if it's probably harder for me than it would be for other players who come to this with more of the basic skills in place. And, like, I also need to remember that this was never going to be an easy game, but I am probably improving, albeit understandably slowly. This is supposed to be tough even for those seasoned players!!

Worst case scenario, I give up. I'd hate to, really, and not just because I spent money. I am enjoying it, and I want to enjoy it, but it's true—sometimes the challenges are too great, and it stops being fun. Alternatively, I may set the game aside now and then (play other things, do other stuff) so I can cool off, maybe process, and come back refreshed and ready.

I'm gonna maybe try out these "quickposts" once in a while in which I share about something relatively briefly—or with relatively low effort put in. It's not that I don't love you, dear reader; it's that sometimes these posts take way, way too much time and energy, so hopefully this will help bring more content to the table? I should probably revise this blurb and reuse it when I do these, yup, especially once I formalize my expectations for them.


Other things that might interest you...

This moment: A tattoo.

So I read Mrs. Dalloway in high school, and it was perhaps the most beautiful thing I'd ever read. One passage in particular, very early in the book, hit me hard with my first experience of the sublime, and stayed with me—and led at last to my first tattoo.
In people’s eyes, in the swing, tramp, and trudge; in the bellow and the uproar; the carriages, motor cars, omnibuses, vans, sandwich men shuffling and swinging; brass bands; barrel organs; in the triumph and the jingle and the strange high singing of some aeroplane overhead was what she loved; life; London; this moment of June.  (Emphasis added; full paragraph included below. From the full text of the novel as made available by the University of Adelaide.)

The paragraph this is from, the 4th paragraph of the novel, is the 1st passage with the stream of consciousness the book is famous for; although self-limited here, the flow is no less gorgeous. In the passage, Clarissa is walking on a street to get those famous flowers herse…

Losing Doolittle.

I recently got to spend a few days at the lake house my family used to visit through most of my childhood; we no longer own it, and it turns out I missed it more deeply than I realized.

Anthony and I both got the week before NYC Pride off this year, so I contrived to get us a little time there. The cousins who own Greenshore gave Anthony and me permission to relax there for several days rather than just the 1 or 2 I had expected. Good god, I'm grateful for that.

I missed this place. Standing on the balcony, the porch, or the dock and looking out over the lake, I was reminded of the beauty and tranquility this lake represents for me. The meaning and memories, too.

This was always a place of solace and stability for me. We moved around a lot when I was a kid, but we always came back to this place. It had been in our family for generations before I was even born—if we'd been able to keep it, it would have been a solid 4 generations including mine. This was where I figured out I w…

Sarracenia 'Palmerpink.'

So I posted the other day about my rekindled carnivorous plant obsession—I mean, hobby. I mentioned, in passing, that I had "discovered" a possible cultivar, so here's the lowdown on what that means and what I meant.

The term "cultivar" is short for "cultivated variety," and signifies that a particular plant is so desirable and interesting that people want exact copies of it rather than simply seed from it. Some famous American pitcher plant (Sarracenia) cultivars include the legendary Adrian Slack, the massive Leah Wilkerson, and the classic Judith Hindle.

Part of how these come about is that, unlike horses x donkeys = mules and certain other hybrids, Sarracenia hybrids aren't sterile and can be crossed and recrossed without limit. Further, random chance can create crazy combinations of genes such that even hybrids between the same species—heck, even the same parents—can demonstrate quite the variety. More on that elsewhere.

Depending on how easy…