Growing up and the media that shaped me

Well, that didn’t take long. I already found a writing prompt from Promptapalooza that I feel compelled to write about. If you don’t know what Promptalooza is, you can find the details of the event here.

The TL,DR version of it is: there will be a writing prompt each day and someone will write about it then link to the next person who will write about a different prompt in the next day. It is kinda like a huge blog crawl during the month of August!

Again, I am not participating in the event in any way or form but I hope nobody will mind if I join in and write something based on a prompt or two.

Anyway, the prompt that spawned this post is one proposed by Mailvatar:

What are some key sources of media (games/movies/etc) that have shaped your worldview?

Please, take the time to read his post too. It is a pretty interesting read.

Tabletop RPGs

One of the earliest medias that I can think that opened my mind to a world of possibilities were Tabletop RPGs. Until then the fiction genres I could think of were pretty limited to pretty much what was on television or I could read at the time. So for example, I’d think of sci-fi as being something like “in the future but with robots and spaceships!” or of horror as just something with monsters and lots of scare-jumps. Even fantasy movies which weren’t all that uncommon back in the 80ies I’d thought more of a grand adventure, like the legends of King Arthur or Robin Hood, not something that was full of magic or a completely different world with a rich lore.

Tabletop RPGs was the door to a lot of genres that I didn’t know existed, at least not in a formal way: cyberpunk, alternate history, victorian fantasy and so many more. Those also led me to some of my favorite fiction writers and all of those together made me think a lot about myself, about life, about the universe and everything in between.

I can only imagine how much more poor my life would have been if I hadn’t stumbled into tabletop RPGs.

Unfortunately for decades I was never able to get a group to play with. All my attempts at it failed, mostly due to my own fault. Fortunately I got invited to play with a group recently and we’ve been playing some games together. It has been a blast and it is nice to finally sate some of that tabletop RPG hunger. 🙂

Anime

Back in the 80ies anime were pretty popular here in Brazil. They were easy to find on rental stores and TV. That is how I got introduced to classics like Macross, Go-Lion, Zillion and a bunch of others whose name I can’t even remember anymore. Time went on and they pretty much disappeared.

At some point in the 90ies they reappeared on TV, becoming even more popular than before. At that point I was a teenager though and I thought anime and cartoons were something for children. Despite that I was still curious enough about them because everybody I knew watched them.

So I watched them in secret, pretending I didn’t know anything about those anime because I didn’t want to be thought of as childish. If anyone has any doubt of how much of an idiot I was as a kid, I will just present this as evidence A.

Anyway, eventually I got into a mailing list (remember those?) for tabletop RPGs which also had a bunch of people who were into anime and fanfiction. Through them I discovered about fansubs and decided it was about time to be less of an idiot and stop pretending I didn’t like anime. So I ordered some VHS tapes (because that is how we got them back in those days) and from there never looked back.

What I learned from it is to just like what you like. As long as you aren’t doing any harm to yourself or anyone else then there is no problem or shame in that. If anyone else says otherwise or try to shame you for it then the problem is with them.

MMORPGs

A long time ago I didn’t have much confidence in my english skills. I did read a lot of stuff in english because most of the interesting sites on those subjects were in that language. But I didn’t have the confidence to write in it, much less have a spoken conversation. I was literally that type of person who writes a perfect sentence in english that would finish it with “Sorry for my bad english”.

Eventually an ex-friend convinced me to try playing MMORPGs. I decided to give it a try and found myself in a situation where I had to read and write in english. It turned out to not be as bad as an experience as I feared and most people didn’t even notice it wasn’t my native language unless I actually mentioned it. So it didn’t take much longer for me to feel comfortable holding a conversation in english as long as it was in text.

My ability to speak and to listen in english is still far behind compared to my ability to write and read but maybe with time and lots of practice it will get better.

If it wasn’t for MMORPGs, I probably wouldn’t be here today writing on this blog, I wouldn’t have met a lot of awesome people and having a pretty good time with them. It also cemented a belief of mine, that people are people no matter where in the world they come from. Everything else are details.

Again, I can only imagine how much more poor my life would have been if I didn’t take that first step into MMORPGs.

Conclusion

Those are probably the media that had the highest impact in my life. I could probably mention video-games and books too but those have been with me for pretty much my entire life that I couldn’t possibly point all the ways they influenced me.

And now that I think about it, it is kinda funny how you just stumble into these things with nothing but curiosity and they end up changing so much of your life.

2 thoughts on “Growing up and the media that shaped me”

  1. “Just like what you like” – Amen to that!

    Also, FWIW (as I’m not a native speaker myself): your English seems pretty much perfect to me. 😉

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