Seven Reasons Why I'm Left SIDETRACKED
I'm thanking people in this, I might be thanking you as well, so read. I might just give you a treat~
Hello my beautiful readers, long time no see! As many of you know, I serve as co-host for the popular g1-run podcast, SIDETRACKED – and as you may also know, the first season has come to a close. So what better time to reflect on your history than at a pit stop between seasons – here are seven things I took away from working on such an amazing podcast.
Seven Reasons Why I'm Left SIDETRACKED
7. AN INVESTMENT
Take a look at the premier episode of SIDETRACKED. Now, take a quick listen to the latest episode... Do you notice a difference? When I was first approached by Flapperdoodle and Alpha Unit about this project, one of the first worries was my quality of gadgets. For those who don’t know, I’m a poor university student, who can hardly afford food, let alone pay for my phone bill. My laptop is a piece of poop that likes to disconnect me from the internet and even completely shut down on a whim. My internet itself has a habit of ceasing to exist for hours at time for no reason. And, lastly, my microphone came in a USB package I got from Walmart that hardly worked, let alone stay in one piece. Doesn’t that sound like promising features every podcast co-host should have?
Fortunately, after the first few episodes, my birthday came and went and it left me with a small fortune. In addition to allocating funds towards my bills and student debts, I picked up a brand new universal headset. The quality of sound shot up exponentially which I think also raised the quality of the show as a whole.
Now if I can just replace this blasted laptop...
6. A TEST OF TIME MANAGEMENT
Other than the seldom few who personally know me, I’m what they call a... busy Betsy of sorts. With University, a year-round volunteering position, multiple part-time jobs, a large and very social family, and a new affinity for dance, doing a podcast would not be the first thing to put on your do nothing list. But alas, I can never say no. So I practically grabbed this opportunity, tossed it into the plate balanced over my head and prayed it would find a place to settle, and fortunately it settled, with some effort and overnighters. As a co-host, it was my responsibility to attempt to find some discussion topics as well as communicate with our listeners and find blogs to spotlight. As a student majoring in writing (as well as linguistics and culture) I have a high standard for writing, both in execution and entertainment so I would read for hours, sometimes throughout the entirety of my nights. Though all the blame and lost sleep is squared toward this idiotic obsessive compulsion, it was a fun exercise in time management, that I’ll definitely have to apply to next season, which will be filmed during my fourth year of university studies (apparently, I’m suicidal).
5. FOR THE LOVE OF VIDEO GAMES
I love video games (to the surprise of no one)! I love everything about them. From the methods of gameplay, to technological advances - from the execution of art design and graphical power to the creation of some of the most profound music ever heard, I can never stop talking about my affinity for it. Unfortunately, I did not know many people who shared this love and understanding of video games and I had to hold all the love inside. All of those plot twists and timeline theories I wanted so badly to talk about with someone... just someone, and there was no one. Until SIDETRACKED came along.
Here was an amazing opportunity to get all of this off of my chest. From questionable PR tactics, to praising a game series, I could finally let it all hang loose, and bask in the glory of gaming... and with fellow gamers! When Sunday came around, and I sat down in my chair, prepping up to record, I couldn’t help but become a little excited with expectation of game-filled discussions for an hour and a half a week. A definite highlight was the day we recorded our E3 discussions in which I could discuss and theorize everything that was happening in the gaming community to my heart’s content. Such a joyous feeling to replace the lack of actual gaming I was doing. And speaking of a lack of gaming...
4 . GAMING
Who here is an adult? Who here has a full-time job or volunteering position? Who here is in University?
As a kid, I denied the myths of losing your love of video games when you started secondary and post-secondary schooling. How could I, a girl born to gaming parents, a woman grown around the gaming culture ever become disenchanted with a medium so precious to me? Well, I started high school, and really put my head to the books. I had to get high grades to get into my universities of choice, but I still made time for games – even doing a brief stint as an addicted Perfect World Winged Elf with focus in magic and dexterity.
I graduated from high school with honours and got into my university of choice and even scored an amazing volunteer position and a place as a captain of a varsity sport. That is when I started drifting from video games. It wasn’t because I fell out of love with the medium or because I couldn’t afford it (which I couldn’t, thank whatever higher power there may be for loving parents!), it was because I didn’t have time. With essays, and midterms, and finals, and retreats, and panels and tournaments, I hardly had time to sleep. If sleep became a rare luxury instead of a necessary human action, how could I play video games? Simple answer- just don’t. Don’t play video games, but keep the love for it with you until I can again.
It was during this drought of gaming came the little podcast that could, that filled me on games I never played or heard of - games that I could pick up and play on the go. Back then, I believed you couldn’t get a rich, in depth game on the go, but due to talking to a variety of gamers and having all these titles float about, I picked up my younger siblings’ portable systems and games as well as PC gaming as whole. I played them on my bus rides to campus, to the grueling 7+ hour rides to my tournaments out of town, and even played an indie game via Steam during my off hours between lectures. Portable gaming, a way of gaming I never once considered became the sole method of gaming in my life, thanks to the intelligent people of SIDETRACKED.
3. A PART OF YOUR WORLD
I don’t know about you guys, but I often felt like I didn’t belong to any set group of people, no one truly understood me. I am a highly intelligent (at least I like to think so) and driven woman, but I’m intimidated by the other ambitious students of my university. I am athletic and ridiculously competitive person, but sports are not at the top of my priorities. I love video games, but I hardly have time to play them. So where would I go. I have been a part of the ScrewAttack g1 community since 2008 but I didn’t really become a part of this community until around the time SIDETRACKED began. Here, there were people who were struggling with school, who were settling down with families, who were fighting finances, who were battling their demons, who loved discussing sports stats and of course, loved gaming. Never had I ever stumbled upon such a unique and diverse group of individuals, but how do I weasel into the midst of it.
Well, with SIDETRACKED, we had guest hosts each week in which I would talk to them for thirty to sixty minutes before airing, as a way to start up a rapport. As luck would have it, we would get along, add each other on Skype and become friends. After many weeks on repeat, you then have a small pool of friends you can talk to and help you get into the community. People helped me spell-check my blogs, help me with personal demons and brought me to g1-centric events. It was through this that I discovered more of g1 Features. Movie nights, anime nights, AfterDark chats, and a slew of g1 created content. Here was a tight community of creative and hardworking individuals working off each other’s love for video games. It was g1AfterDark (aka g1AD) that I truly found my home on the site. Here were a group of people from around the world that I could talk to every day about anything (extra emphasis on the anything).
2. TOSS ME THE GREEN POTION
2012 has been quite the test for me physically, mentally and emotionally. I had contracted mono for the second time which forced me to turn down my captaincy and quit my team, leaving me bedridden, craving for a good match. I was beginning to drown under the pressures of university, both academically and socially as the head of Public Representation for a society at my university. And to top it off, I had been thrown back into the depths of a depression and I did not see the point of trying to overcome it. I started alienating myself from my friends and family and stressed over all the things on my plate. I figured there was no point in asking for help or seeking comfort as I figured no one really cared. When Flapperdoodle and Alpha Unit approached me, I was nearing my darkest point and I heavily considered in not even taking part. I was a shy woman with lots of baggage and had a bit of stutter, how would that work for a happy-go-lucky podcast about gaming. I mused the idea for a day or two and figured why not, if I couldn’t handle my real life problems; mind as well see how internet life would treat me.
The first episode of SIDETRACKED I was nervous as hell, trying to force myself to speak up and not stutter over my words as I usually do. As the episodes continued to be recorded, I became more confident and I also began reaching out for some help for all of my issues. With my regaining health, I took up dancing as to replace the chasm that fencing had carved out. I overall became much more open about everything which not only helped my mentally, but all around as the needless stress of keeping everything locked up came out, mostly through sarcasm and jokes but it was beneficial all the same.
I don’t know if this was single-handedly caused by two Americans approaching me for a podcast or just really good timing in my life, but being on SIDETRACKED was a much needed beacon in my life, and help me get out of the shadows.
1. YOUR BEAUTIFUL SELF
When people say SIDETRACKED, most think of the podcast headed by Flapperdoodle, Alpha Unit and JETZ.acx. But the first thing I think of is all the people I have had the honour to work worth and befriend. As a g1 since 2008, I always had my favourites on the main site and the forums. I looked to their writing styles and charisma. I longed to be part of the community and to feel as cherished as those members had. Four years later I couldn’t be happier with my relationship with the g1 community. I may not be that well-known overall but I could care less about that. Now I have legitimate friends on the internet (well, at least I like to think so), which I didn’t think was ever possible to do. And I also have people to thank and mention (I guess you could think of it as my own Sub Saturday of sorts).
This kid right here, despite being six years younger than me, has to be the most driven person I have met on this site. There have been so many times I have seen him tweet about his latest works, either through collaborations with other g1s, his own blogs and SIDETRACKED itself. He could really give me a run for my money in the Busy Betsy category. I would just like to apologize for all the times I make him wait, either for discussion topics, blog choices and even this blog here. You will understand in a couple years when you’re drowning in the sea of paperwork that college all-too generously bestows on you. I look forward to working on Season 2 with you.
These three lovely people are tweeting professionals, and also fantastic friends. None of us have met each other (yet) but they mean the world to me all the same. Why? Well, because they’re always there. Through every depressing, morbid, foolish and enraging tweet, they’re there. They send comforting words, help me with any questions, join my theory discussions and even send me pictures of cute kittens when I’m at my lowest.
Okay, let’s get this straight right here. It is IMPOSSIBLE to name all the people in the group here, there are so many to give accolades to, and even more to list. That aside, I’d just like to thank a few people.
I love these boys right here. What used to be a weekly greeting turned to an every night affair of shenanigans. There are few people of whom I don’t feel awkward around and these guys have made the cut. We do not shy from any topic of discussion and even taken up sharing an alcoholic beverage together every once and a while. Just seeing their faces, hearing their voices or seeing their text brings a smile to my face. From the inside jokes, to the rants on Skype and from the peaceful silences in between, I love these boys more than anything, and I thank them for the help they have given me (even if they didn’t know they had). Not to mention, being around these boys has given me a much needed addition of music for my iPod.
AT THE END OF ALL THINGS~
I just want to give a last thank you for being there for me when I needed it most and putting up with my shenanigans.Thank you for reading my blogs. Thank you for humouring me on twitter. And thank you for watching the podcast. I’ll try to write more often, but I think with this you may understand why I can no longer promise consistent blogging.
And as always, thank you for reading this absurdly long blog, help yourself to these cupcakes. ^_^