That's it ... I can't handle it any longer, I must have one NOW!!
The ultimate fashion accessory ... They're sooo sexy, so shiny and so slim. They're everywhere I look and it would seem that everyone has one now. I want to be able to update my facebook profile on the fly and avoid asking for directions when I don't know where I'm going. A two year contract really is a small price to pay for happiness.
Last night I saw a guy taking photos of the menu in a restaurant on his iPhone(TM) and I was so envious ... the other people at his table looked so impressed by his new toy that they just had to avoid looking at him. I want to be able to write "I'm at a fancy indian restaurant" complete with a picture on my facebook profile in real-time. I'll bet he has at least 150 friends on facebook.
I want to be able to blend my virtual world with my real world. There's no difference between the two for me now, they're both equally as important to me. My 'reality' friends will understand when I need to divert to my iPhone(TM) mid-conversation to check if I have any application updates.
I don't want to wait until I get home to check my email, I want to be connected 24-7. I want a device that says alot about my socio-economic status when I'm walking down the street. I want people to look at me and think wow, he must have a good job and lots of money.
Most of all, I want to appear as normal. It's unusual not to have an iPhone(TM) when you're young and have a disposable income... almost everyone I know has one now. If I were at a table with two women and one had an iPhone(TM) and the other had a crappy old Nokia, I would probably be more attracted to the iPhone(TM) girl because she's obviously more fashionable than the other girl. Being different and anti-establishment isn't very attractive in my opinion.
I read the other day that Apple are developing a pair of glasses that will allow you to see where you are going in map-view whilst you are walking! Imagine that, everyone walking around aimlessly with the same pair of glasses, looking all samey and hip in their cool iGlasses(TM) ... I can't wait till I can pre-order a pair!
Why oh why didn't I opt to pay $40 extra a month over two years when I got my crappy phone that's only good for ... calling people. I'm so upset I could order a Bigmac(TM) from MacDonalds(TM)(R). That's it ... I can't handle it anymore! I have to go out and buy one NOW!!
I've been addicted to gaming for well over 20 years now and I'm certain it's one of the main reasons why I'm a graphic designer today. For as long as I can remember I've always been excited by the fast-paced action and over-the-top design of games. There's nothing more visually appealing than a good explosion combined with some glossy, unrestrained typography. Like good graphic design, gameplay has the ability to teleport you to another place where you are the hero. I love the fantasy of being able to assume a different identity, the strategy of being able to command an army and the thrill of destroying everything in your path ... there's nothing more cathartic for me.
My obsession for gaming started way back in the mid 1980's when my dad brought our very first home computer, a Commodore 64 with a one-button joypad and VGA monitor. We were fortunate to have an acquaintance who would occasionally copy games onto audio tapes for us. I can still fondly remember the high pitched whirring sound the tape drive would make after typing LOAD "FILENAME", 8, 1 and how excruciating the wait was before the game loaded.
Game playing back then required alot of imagination. Characters were defined by a series of blocks, the 320 x 200px 16 color platform environments were mostly linear and actions were defined by a bleeping sound at best. Nonetheless I remember how immersed I used to be in those game environments; driving around a New York map catching ghosts in Ghostbusters looked amazing and jumping from platform to platform in Impossible Mission was a real challenge!
Fast forward 8 years and dad brought home our first IBM PC. It was state of the art for its time, an 8-Bit IBM 086 with a 3½ inch and 5¼ inch floppy disk drive and pre-loaded with DOS. Loading games on the 086 required a basic knowledge of DOS commands such as >C:dir/p (or list the contents of the hard disk and stop at the end of each page) which was no easy feat for a young child but essential to experience the wonders of Prince of Persia, Wolfenstein and Commander Keen. Games had advanced considerably by this stage with 256 colours (!!!) and a better sense of dimension. The character movement was also more fluid and watching the Prince move in Prince of Persia for example looked incredible to me.
The Nintendo Entertainment System was the 'must have' gaming console for kids of my generation when it was released in Australia in 1987. I was fortunate to have a friend who owned a Nintendo soon after its release and I can remember how blown away I was to be able to play with a controller as opposed to a keyboard.
The game cartridges were big, grey tangible things that were awesome to touch for someone as addicted to gaming as I was at that age. My friend also had the NES Zapper which made it possible to shoot ducks with a gun pointed at the screen in Duck Hunt.I was fortunate to finally get my own Nintendo from my parents when I was 13. I still have fond memories of sitting cross-legged on the floor playing Mario Bros., Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Mega Man for hours on end (or until mum yelled out "turn off that game, it's time for dinner"). The enemies were so big and daunting, the platform environments were massive and the action was so addictive for me.
Sega Master System II was the other gaming console in direct competition with Nintendo and I used to hire the console out for a week at a time from our local video store so to play games like Mortal Kombat and Sonic the Hedgehog. Being able to do finishing moves like ripping a guys head (spine attached) from an opponent was the coolest thing, especially when I was playing against a friend ... it was so real it hurts lol!
The release of Windows saw games advance rapidly on the PC platform in a very short amount of time. I convinced my parents that I needed a newer PC for school and combined a birthday and christmas present with a few hundred dollars I had saved pumping petrol at the local General Store to get a flashy new Pentium 286 Windows 95 PC. My favourite game by far was MechWarrior which saw you control a robot fighting machine in the first person. When I first saw the introduction clip I was in heaven, I had never seen 3D animation as detailed before. Seeing it now still sends shivers down my spine.
By this stage in my life, I was so inspired by the cover artwork of my favourite games that I decided I wanted to become an image-maker. My dream job was to work for a company like Sony Playstation or Nintendo designing game cover artwork. In my university years I was able to combine gaming with the usual debauchery that goes with sharing in a six bedroom house. We would play Goldeneye in multiplayer mode ... four very drunk and excited university students would take turns at killing each other. It was the best party game we could ever have hoped for.
Another favourite of ours was the Chunky Cup. Each of us created our own soccer team on Fifa and once every month or so we would get together and battle it out for the illusive Chunky Cup, a second hand soccer trophy that was re-appropriated with a ball of grass where the football used to be.
When I started working full-time, gaming became a vehicle for releasing all the pent up frustrations of the working day. I acquired a love of shoot-em-ups and slasher games and would love nothing more than to come home from a hard day at work and ... well ... you know where I'm going with this. With my newfound wealth I bought an XBox and would regularly buy games to treat myself after a hard week of work. I loved Ninja Gaiden and Black and any game that allowed you to wreak havoc with a weapon.
In my time in London I upgraded to an XBox 360 but found it difficult to find quality time with only one television in the house. My favourite thing was to come home and find the house empty so I could order a pizza and lock in some serious one-on-one time with a flashy new game I had brought from my regular in Oxford Street.
These days I also have a Playstation 3 but am increasingly finding it difficult to dedicate time to my favourite past-time with other commitments (otherwise known as a life lol). Nonetheless, games these days have become so immersive with improved artificial intelligence and high definition television that it's (almost) possible to play in a completely photorealistic environment.
I'm really excited about where the gaming industry is headed in the future and thankful for its influence on my career. I love nothing more than throwing an extra sheen on a bit of type or adjusting the motion blur on a moving object till it looks just right. And you just never know, I might still fulfil my dream of creating the cover artwork for my favourite games ... this blog entry would be a great selling point for me!
I'm at a bit of a crossroads at the moment and have some fairly big decisions to make over the next couple of months. I've settled back into Melbourne life, found the job and am now ready to start thinking about moving out of my temporary accommodation into a new address.
There are a number of factors which are making my decision (on where I decide to live) a bit more difficult though ... You see, I'm very close to finally being able to put a deposit on a house. Property prices here in Melbourne just keep getting higher and higher and owning a house/flat would be a great investment for me. The money I would otherwise be handing over for rent would be going into my own place and if ever I decided to move back overseas I could rent my place out and have someone else pay the majority of my mortgage. I could probably just bite the bullet and buy now but there is something that's holding me back from signing on the dotted line until I'm in more of a comfortable financial situation.
So if I don't buy a place now, I would really like to just rent a place by myself so that I can focus on my painting and generally do what I want in my own space. The downside is that the cost of doing so will affect my ability to save more money by next year. Also, I'm a little reluctant to sign a year long lease because ... well you just never know what happens between now and next year.
The other option is that I house-share which will be a great way to meet new people and the low cost of living will allow me to save alot more money. Another positive is that I might be able to rent an art studio space with some of the money that I save from sharing. On the flip-side, there's the usual annoyances that go with sharing ... chasing rent and bills, dealing with peoples' bad habits, the lack of privacy etc etc.
Another factor is that I'm going to Japan later this year and planning on heading back to Europe for a holiday next year which will inevitable be expensive.
I wish there weren't so many factors to consider but I guess it's a big decision for me and one that needs careful thought. I'll keep you posted.