The video game industry, more so today than ever, is allabout creating and maintaining illusion. Now this is somewhat true of any form ofentertainment media from ancient oral folklore onward but its ironic that with all this gadgetry, were focusing more andmore on the means Photorealisticgraphics! Gut wrenching sound! --rather than the end: i.e., providing entertainment and enjoyment for the player.
No, I wont pass a value judgment on this blog after all, saidindustry does pay my bills and lets me be here. ;) Andits certainly not unique: from advertising to investment banking to politics, themeans employed by their practitionersare ultimately designed to artfully create and manipulate perception of atarget audience in order that some end can come about.
But I think I can say this as an insider: its really alljust smoke and mirrors even with todays hardware and realistic games. A modern game graphics engine is designed andarchitected with one primary goal in mind: finding ways to create visual illusions not in a way thats remotely real or scientific but rather for thelaziest amount of effort and energy so that the critics and the players arewowed.
Sometimes I just want to sceam to everyone that oogle overour graphics listen up you fanboys! Its not magic! You think that your $300 crappy mass-producedconsole you got at WalMart can really handle a finite-element form-factor based
But never mind cause well get that extra half-point inthe GameSpot rankings and get those reviewers all worked up, thats for sure!
And thus with that treatise, the stage is set to continue myrecent bout of introspection, for illusion has been a major aspect of life heretoo
No matter what your occupation, being in
And perhaps most importantly, you see it in the people. Especially with its transience, SH seems tohave a drought of real relationships so they, in effect, become a second currency and ametric of worth.
Its hardly just an expat thing, for Chinese social and business culture (theand is largely unnecessary the two are pretty much one) it's always been aboutnetworking, and 关系guanxi relationships. Being here, I oftenimagine that the social scene is a live version of Friendster or LinkedIn. People meet people at mixers, at dinners,parties; clubs; new friends later introduce their friends, ad infinitum its almost a scripted routine:
Oh, hi, Im Joe Expat! From
As with video games, people seem to give more credit thanits worth when people say that I or anyone else knows a whole lot ofpeople
its a natural result of just going with the flow. As people, strangers in a strange land, wenaturally seek and are attracted to people wearing our same shoes. This is of course, universal for any location,but
And yet, much of this is also external illusion -- the averageexpat's cellphone probably has hundreds of entries, the majority whom will be calledonce or twice, if at all. People come tome, shout out Hi Mark! and I have honestly no idea who they are... "Do Iknow you? Ummm... yeah, maybe! What was it again?"
The stark fact is that tons of people here I could call myacquaintances and even friends, but I can probably count on one hand those with whom I can share anything without reservations issues ofjob, faith, the opposite sex, life goals. What is hard are parlayingthese connections to something deep. Quality vs quantity an almost daunting task when it's so transient andpeople come in and out all the time.
Whether locals or expats, people often focus on the means of increase but not thinking of the end goal of these relationships, andFather only knows that Ive fallen victim into this mentality as well; continuingin a vicious cycle of breadth over depth, and often making my words and actionsbe for earning the praise of men (or women
I realize that more than sheer numbers or any popularitymetric, I admire my friends who are honest and genuine not because Inecessarily agree with their ideas, but because I admire their courage to goagainst the flow and stick with their convictions -- and thus I want to make itso too... be open, honest, transparent in this world where its to easy fornoble goals to be subjugated by the pursuit of waibiao and guanxi.
I remember something that Min hyungtold me during a GrX mens session at Mikeys old pad
that in our one on ones,we should be focusing on life transformation, not just catching up... ultimatelysharing Truth and being bold. That isthe end. In my desire to getplugged into
And I can attest that the need for fellowship of depth is a need that even non likemindedexpats have. Its an interesting fact that often my non-likemindedfriends are more willing and able to do, say, dinner on a moments notice, orwho are looking for a small group -- perhaps deep and authentic life on life is what people here arereally unconsciously needing, regardless of creed.
This was what attracted me so much to GrX initially can weemulate at least this aspect here in this unique environment? It all starts small
This is my thought, my request to break this mold and togo deep. To be set apart from the crowdby showing genuine interest.
Such is are one of the main challenges in living here for agreater Purpose and such is my request in my thoughts