An Open Letter To Myself: Doubt & Pop Culture

Those who know me on a personal level, and even those from afar, will know of my continuous and ever-growing interest and expressiveness towards pop culture and entertainment media. It may look like I’m a big ol’ nerd and that is likely to be true. However, on the greater scale of things my interests over the last few years have left me in conflict with myself and my personality.

I’ve gotten to a point now in my life where I’ve gone from being ‘the video-game guy’ where a lot of people would ask me questions relating to video game news, to barely picking up a game in the last two years. I wrote a piece before on procrastination and video games, but this seems to have moved beyond that now. I have to ask myself is there a reason I barely play video games now: is it depression? A lack of effort? or am I trying to breakaway from that image of myself? Even with those questions, have I merely just moved from one means of entertainment to another seeing as I have binged a lot of cinema in place of video games.

Video games aren’t the only target in this. I bought a lot of physical media, retro gaming magazines and invested heavily in Pop! Vinyl figurines. I guess even though many around me said I owned too many items (not in a hoarding respect, just a cluttered one), it didn’t really hit me until I had all of my stuff in one place and was trying to move out to my current residence. Part of me went from enjoying displaying everything I owned to wanting to box it all up and hide it away from myself.

I must express that it is a real privilege for me to be able to complain about things of this subject matter, and how a lot of people will probably tell me I don’t need to complain. Half of what gave me an obsession with such pop culture investments I feel was a mixture of depression and capitalistic engagement, and perhaps my theme of work was a sick self-encouragement as well. I emphasise on capitalism for the fact of having income you didn’t previously have can make a human do crazy things.

It was kind of like enclosing myself in a space where the walls were built up of physical media and figurines as ignorant protection. I’ve always had the habit of getting invested in something for a short while before passing it off and moving onto the next thing. I feel this is one of those situations again where I spent a lot of time and money building up a video game collection that spans nearly 40 years to then be like… I don’t want this anymore.

As a general look at entertainment media and my life, I worry I’ve gotten to a point where my conversation skills with friends and acquaintances has deteriorated to relying heavily on making some kind of media reference. I reference The Simpsons in most situations and throw out obscure quotes from things I’ve taken in that a lot of people don’t know or care for. I ask myself whether I think I can have a normal conversation with someone and ask why can’t I just be normal with ‘normal’ interests. By that I’m not trying to say having an interest in media and pop culture isn’t normal, I just worry that it’s taken over any normal aspect of my day-to-day life… if that makes sense.

It’s one of those social media situations where you see people enjoying their lives without feeling the need to post anything about pop culture on their feed, whereas I look at my own and see nothing but that. Are they the boring ones, am I? Or does it even matter and I should just be happy with who I am and my mind’s encyclopedia of interests? This is the conflict I have with myself and the doubt I express for my own person. On top of that the mere assumption of people’s views on me made up in my head, because of the negative doubt I express personally to my interests.

I feel that I am at a crossroads with myself on whether I really do like video games as much as I did before. Nostalgia was such a key influence in my engagement to a lot of video game culture; revisiting a lot of enjoyment in 90’s and early 00’s gaming, as well as experiencing that of my youth and before my time that I never got to enjoy before. Now I feel we’ve had so much reminiscence and nostalgia thrown at us by video game companies (who continue to do so) that I feel burned out from nostalgia as well.

Part of me still wants to sell/remove a lot of what I’ve accumulated and yet at the back of my mind there is a worry of regretting such actions. Surrounding myself with so much physical entertainment is also quite restrictive with my residence move as an example. Imagine moving further away or disappearing to other countries for a few months, where do I leave all of my things as it is rude to just dump them on someone.

Is there much of a conclusion here? Who’s to say? I just wanted to write down about a topic that is highly connected to this blog and something that also concerns me is whether I should be writing about other journalism and not just all of this pop culture news? Endless questions with not many answers, though I would love to hear feedback from those who do and don’t know me on the subjects I have mentioned here and what they think of these situations. Some of my closest friends are huge consumers of pop culture and I wonder if they have had the same thoughts or if this hasn’t crossed their mind?

I know I’ve been quite quiet on this blog as of recent and I think my relationship with video games and pop culture has been a reason for that. I do want to continue blogging, but I think I want to cover other interests or maybe tackle new themes and subjects. Anyway, thank you for reading my negative thoughts and woes. I hope it hasn’t been too self-pitying. Drive safe.


3 thoughts on “An Open Letter To Myself: Doubt & Pop Culture

  1. It’s very interesting reading this because I feel I’ve gone through something very similar in the past.

    I used to obsess over video games but rarely play now, and for me I think maybe that came down to a mixture of boredom and priorities. Boredom because I overplayed games. Rather than just enjoying the ride, I obsessed over completing everything to 100%. And priorities because gaming can be so time consuming that you miss out on so many other things.

    I think your interests and priorities just change and evolve don’t they, and that’s OK. Life is about balance. It doesn’t mean you’re not you or you’ve lost your identity. The best thing about being human is getting to change your mind about everything. And maybe one day you’ll pick up your controller again and it will feel natural, but until then, don’t force it.

    Emma |

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I always say that it’s great to acknowledge your privilege, but understand that your struggles are still valid. I always say this to my friends and family. Your feelings still matter even though things can always be worse. Hope you’re doing well!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A great introspective piece, probably a lot of questions and doubts many people could relate to who have enthused about media culture and now question its sustainability as we age and develop new interests. It would be interesting to see whether your perspective has changed in recent months.

    In defence of capitalism, perhaps its my economics mindset but always find this guilt around purchases a strange notion, certainly you can feel remorse or question the judgement of a particular purchase but the basic tenet of capitalism is assigning value to object then making a decision to buy it or not. If you found value at some point, retrospective moralism is always a harsh mindset to overcome or resolve. I look at a lot of the things I’ve purchase in the last couple of years as I’ve geeked out a little, some in retrospect I question, also others through purchasing also supporting smaller retailers and vendors creating that chain of goods which is paramount in capitalism.

    Sorry, rambling. Anyway, I hope you are in a good space and I guess a varied platform of interests is a healthy one 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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