What Will I Do Next

I ran away from home. Now what?
May 24, 2023
6 min

Video games are modeled after the world we live in.

Pokémon has a God, Arceus, who created the universe using Palkia (Space), Dialga (Time), and Giratina (Antimatter). The world’s landmass is built by Groudon, and Kyogre brings its oceans.

Mew was the first Pokémon to be created, and it contains the DNA of every Pokémon. This trait doesn’t imply that it’s a progenitor, but it does confirm that evolution exists in the world of Pokémon.

Humans also exist in the world of Pokémon. There are heroes, villains, and those who remain uninvolved. However, what makes a person a hero or villain depends on your perspective of their objective.

Team Magma, Aqua, Galactic, and Plasma all have non-selfish objectives for existing. However, the end result of that objective would be harmful to the entire world.

The creation of MewTwo by humans stemmed from a scientist’s attempts to clone his dead daughter. However, this creation backfired, as it often does for many humans.

There is a struggle between Truth (Reshiram), Ideology (Zekrom), and a lack thereof (Kyurem). The concept of yin and yang applies here: Absolute truth is not better than absolute ideology and vice-versa, but rather a balance.

The origins of Runescape’s universe are unknown, but from it exists the Elder Gods. These gods are creators that use anima (matter) and shadow anima (antimatter) and function in a manner beyond human comprehension.

The Elder Gods can create other “Gods” that — unlike your physical world — exist as entities that hold large amounts of energy. These powerful entities do not have souls, but those who worship them do. As a result, entities powered by energy cease to exist when said energy is lost: The God becomes an inanimate object (i.e stone).

Those with souls (i.e humans, monkeys, etc) can become undead, because the soul can be separated from the physical body of an entity. In other words, a creature’s spirit is transferable to a physical object, which lets powerful beings create undead creatures.

We can’t forget Runescape’s physical parallels to the real world, either.

  • The Mahjarrat perform sacrificial rituals because their energy is limited.
  • War occurs because resources are limited.
  • Humans live in a civilization with an economy because resources are limited.
  • That economy even impacts the physical world (i.e Venezuela).

But most important of all is that there exists a sense of progression.

What Will I Do Next

Had I continued to play the card game, I could’ve become a competitive Hearthstone player. I didn’t because I quit when — in a $2,000 tournament — I lost to a player who had 1 in a million odds. So it didn’t matter if I chose the best lineup or cards: One unlucky round was all it took to end me.

I wondered if the sole reason for my lack of playtime was due to that incident alone. It wasn’t the first time I was unlucky, but more importantly, I lost my sense of progression. No matter what I did in that game, my success would be based on luck.

So what’s the point in playing when nothing you do matters?

After experimenting with various video games, I would return to Old School Runescape. And while real-world trading makes everything you do in the game potentially profitable, I did NOT real-world trade: It’s against the rules.

So what did Runescape provide me that other games did not?

A sense of progression.

So much so that I became addicted. I would play Runescape in school, going so far as taking a non-advanced class as a Senior in High School to lessen my workload.

I spent the extra time I had on the game. I programmed a bot script for the game. And I was so loyal to the game’s rules that I never even sold the script: Forget using it on a real account.

Most important to the game is that you are constantly gaining experience. Everything you do helps you make progress: There is NOT a single objective you cannot do (with enough work).

I subconsciously picked up on this feature, and it motivated me to play. Unfortunately, life hit me — in a manner unrelated to Runescape — and I was FORCED to spend less time playing.

Though, this lack of play didn’t affect me much. So was it really an addiction?

At that time, I still had hope in other areas of life. Given that I was in college, there was more to do than sit around all day. Yet it’s the same financial situation that forced me from Runescape that would also force me from those opportunities: The opportunities that represented hope that progression is possible.

I got stuck.

I spent way too much time working to succeed in class. I lost the ability to record music for free due to my housing situation. The people around me…

I couldn’t progress further in music without the money to create more. Even as I experienced upsides (i.e GME), I quickly realized that there is no progression in music without money.

It wasn’t clear to me at that point that I only had one option left, and I would waste time figuring it out subconsciously. It wasn’t programming. However, I started programming more in order to get a job.

I created many projects, and I became recognized by many developers. I failed in interviews, then learned from those failures. I was steadily progressing until I aced multiple interviews, only to be rejected for “experience”.

Then 200,000 “experienced workers” were laid off.

I attempted to start a business with the time I had available. However, I had failed before due to funding. So I attempted to acquire funding, then realized that most people receiving funds were already rich in the first place. Of course, many of these people also had degrees: I didn’t yet due to my financial situation, partly caused by pursuing one.

So what now?

Does A Degree Matter?

It’s possible to get a Software Development job without a degree. However, it’s easier to do so with one: I watched with my own eyes as interns who struggled with group projects were paid to join “prestigious” companies.

Those interns became Junior Developers and didn’t know how to code. That’s because HR interviewers value your academic performance for those roles. This behavior is why I applied to Senior Engineering roles, among other factors.

At night, I would read various programming forums and always encounter posts on diversity and inclusion. These posts would include comments about hiring and how these initiatives aren’t needed for multiple reasons. Others call these initiatives racist against the majority.

Yet my demographic fits less than 5% of the entire industry.

What I am about to say doesn’t mean these posts are racist. More so that I am no stranger to racist experiences. Do not forget the hundreds of massacres and “riots” that racists cover-up, only to turn around and call my demographic violent and uneducated.

Of course, my demographic is “violent and uneducated” because those people dislike my demographic: Statistics are only ever used for justification. So when you see similar logic in a comment about hiring, it makes you think.

Even when I prove to be an objectively better programmer, do I get labeled as “advantaged” for being in a demographic that fills 4% of the industry. These people act upon subconscious biases but fail to admit them. So I am not hired because I’m not…

Normal? Job interviews and dating are all the same, and both processes involve a means of selection. Sometimes, I have been selected and unable to recognize it. Other times, I have NOT been selected for factors out of my control. However, I may be told that factors in my control were used to justify the said decision.

These thoughts made me wonder whether I got the funding situation backward.

  • It could be that people are given more money for being rich, while degrees are used as justification for it.
  • It could be that people who are rich are given better training, which allows them to achieve a degree in the first place.
  • It could be that a degree requires the right financial situation, which rich people have.

Yet, in all these cases, all that matters is that you were rich.

I was not born poor. Yet I am also not rich. It doesn’t help that I am not physically normal. Based on my upbringing, I’m not mentally normal either. All of these things are factors that I had no control over.

All of these things are factors that I am judged for.

Chasing Progression

While I understand that there are things that I can do to improve my chances in this game of life, I cannot help but feel that what I do may not matter. So I have lost my sense of progression in real life, but I will continue to make progress or whatever I see as progress… once I learn what that is.

Until then…

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