Disorganized Ramblings On 2022

I joined Tumblr on a whim back in 2019, and ever since then, every new year I have posted a recap on my favorite games I played that year to my Tumblr blog. I love doing these little recaps because they kind of act as little time capsules... records of past years and the games I played within them. 2019 wasn't that long ago in the grand scheme of things, but when I look at the games I played and how I emotionally responded to them at the time, it's surprising how far away 2019 was. It feels like an eternity ago. I'm sure one day in the future I'd love to look back at 2022's list of games and see how different I was back then.

...But... I can't really write up a games list this year... so I wrote this whole article instead.

The Games I Played in 2022

The main problem is just that I didn't really play many games this year. And of the games I did play, I hardly finished any. momosdiary was an interesting visual novel I did complete this year, but I'm not sure I want it to represent the year 2022 for me (because of its rather depressing nature). Mima and Nina's Chocolate Workshop was another cute VN I finished this year, and this one isn't even depressing! But still... it doesn't feel like "favorite game this year" material to me.

Looking at more AAA releases, there was that one 3D kirby game that came out, but I only got about 25% of the way through it. Persona 5 finally came to a platform I own, but my backlog is still too big to start a new game. Really the only big AAA game I played throughout this year was Pokémon Legends: Arceus.

I thought Pokémon Legends: Arceus was a fun and fresh take on the franchise. It was very, very obviously derivative of Breath of the Wild, but compared to the modern Pokémon games I've played on the Switch, that's actually a good thing. For the first time, I played a Pokémon game that actually felt like how I imagined future Pokémon games would be like as a kid. I wish more time could have been spent on it, because I think this game was basically treated as a stepping stone to Scarlet and Violet which came out later in the year. I think if Arceus was allowed to be the Pokémon release of this year, it'd be an even stronger game.

Things I Did (And Didn't) Do in 2022

Outside of games, 2022 was a really... interesting year for me. While 2020 was just a chaotic mess, and 2021 was a year full of positive changes, 2022 felt... strange and stuck in a lot of ways?

I didn't end up putting out any games during 2022, after finally getting back into game development in 2020. Instead 2022 was a year of reflecting on the technology I use to build games and practicing with new technologies instead. I guess from that I've built momentum to make more games in 2023 now... but we'll see if I actually get around to that!

What I did do during 2022 was focus on the indie web. Early in 2022, with Bo Burnham's Welcome to the Internet echoing in my head, I finally launched my personal website and redesigned blog (which you're reading right now!). I dove into Neocities and explored a refreshingly free, personal, and lightweight world wide web. I'm so, so happy I finally actually have a personal homepage instead of the blank page that Mew151.net was for the previous 13 years. I think when I reflect back on the year 2022, I'll always remember the memories of exploring Neocities and other parts of the Indie Web. <3

Making a personal website wasn't the only way I turned my back to centralized social media in 2022. I also joined The Fediverse this year, self-hosting my own microblog so my social media presence doesn't have to be owned by a corporation. I've already written enough articles about The Fediverse on my blog as is, so I don't really need to go into details. But I'm glad I finally have it a try! I was so intimidated by Mastodon at first, but I really have grown to love the community ...for the most part. All I'll say is... if you haven't tried it yet, give it a try!

In more touch grass kinds of experiences, I traveled quite a bit in 2022! In May I visited San Francisco to see The Residents' God In Three Persons live show. I loved SF and I hope to visit again some day! Walking to Presidio Theater for the shows was kind of magical, and I did so much in that long weekend I was there. Without a doubt one of my favorite travel experiences and so far still my only solo travel experience!

This year I also visited Austin, South Carolina, and Tucson. Tucson I visited twice and each visit had its own unique (sometimes in bad ways) vibes... but I still have yet to eat a good Sonoran Dog while I'm there. I guess I'll have to try again in 2023.

The Strange Vibes of 2022

Something strange happened to me in 2022. It was something that had been building up for a while the last few years, but it finally hit me with real clarity for the first time in 2022. I had this realization, one that I'm sure most people who are older than me have already had: the realization that the era I grew up in is, to our current culture, an aged and bygone era.

I'm not that old, I'm still in my mid-20's as of writing. But 2022 was the year when I could look at things from the 2000's and see them as aged artifacts that you don't see anymore. I stared at a purple Gamecube controller in my hands and realized how... Y2K it looked? They would never make a controller like this today (if it weren't for Smash Bros, anyway).

I get this feeling with the actual game software of this era as well. Animal Crossing has certain elements to it that have been polished out of its more modern releases. There is a certain... je ne sais quoi to the UI of a lot of sixth-generation console games that just... doesn't exist anymore. And it's hard to explain exactly what that is. They just don't make games like that anymore.

There is a certain Gamecube-era aesthetic I find truly breathtaking, but I don't even know how to describe it. Maybe 2023 will be the year I'll find the words for it and do a write-up on it.

I also bought an old digital camera this year. And yes, it's most definitely related to the previous existential feelings I just talked about. I'm absolutely floored by the look of photos from old digital cameras. I assume this is how older folks felt about retro polaroid filters when those came out on the Instagrams and such. There is something so haunting about seeing these pictures and the realization that I used to see pictures that looked like this all the time and... I no longer do? My brain still gets tripped up when I take a picture of modern technology with these old cameras.

In other words... back in MY day, stuff looked different! And now it looks weird and old! That's it.

So... It's 2023

I want to focus more on actually doing more in 2023. While I did do a lot in 2022, I didn't really enter the year with any goals and just stumbled into things I ended up doing. This year I want to accomplish more specific things and I do have some goals for the year.

Yeah... there's a lot of focus on Game Development this year and less of a focus on my personal website. I still want to work on that too, but after taking a break from game dev for most of 2022, I really want to get back into it and work on some more stuff!

Anyway... hope your 2022 was good, and I hope everyone has a good 2023! This was an unorganized rant, and I'm off to chase after the sun in this new year!