Well, I know it’s been a long time since I last wrote on here but I’m not sure introductions are completely necessary, given I’m on first name terms with my small, yet loyal readers of these pages. Of course, there may be a few new people visiting here for the first time. If this is the case, pull up a virtual chair and be prepared for some random musings, rants and general rubbish. And remember, this virtual experience can be recreated in person at your nearest pub for the low, low price of a few pints (travel expenses not included).
So, as you can imagine by my absence that I’ve been somewhat busy of late. That and suffering from terminal laziness, so this place has been a little neglected. Still, a quick spring clean, a throw and a few cushions will make it look as good as new. Sorry about the smell.
I’ve been at a loose end this week, which reflects the end of a game project. After some hectic weeks and late nights, everything is pretty much done and dusted bar the odd bug. The least satisfying part of ending a project is the sense of anti-climax (no pun intended). Projects tend to just fizzle out. Often there’ll be a handful of people left ironing out the last few problems while you’re moved on to your next game. By the time the announcement is made that it’s officially over, you’re left shrugging your shoulders since as far as you are concerned it finished weeks, if not months, ago.
So, stuck in the limbo of not quite finished but next to nothing to do this week, boredom finally pushed me to do something that I’d resisted for a long time.
I joined Facebook.
Of course, it wasn’t just boredom that precipitated this move. I was bribed/blackmailed into it with the promise of pictures of female friends wearing very little at Pride last weekend. No problem, I’ll sign up, have a quick look at the pics and be on my merry way, thought I. But no, it wasn’t that simple. My friend, like a pusher giving out a free rock of crack, knew that once I’d had a taste, I’d be back for more. I should have just nicked his camera instead.
My profile was diligently filled out, pictures added and friends searched for and duly invited. Add-ons added, quizzes taken and games played. I could see what music friends were listening to, At That Very Moment!, films that they were watching, books they were reading, places they'd visited and trawl through the many, many photographs that they had added. Once bored of all this, I’d still be clicking on my page to see if anyone had sent me a new message or done anything interesting in the 10 seconds since I last checked. Even sat in the pub I’d be tempted to have a quick browse on my phone and see what other people were doing. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve checked while writing this.
Oh, someone’s just added ‘Princess Mononoke’ to their favourite movies list.
The ‘wall’ feature is an easy way to chat to friends by adding a comment to their profile page. If you want, you can also make the comment appear on your wall. Of course, no one bothers to do that so you always end up seeing only one side of the conversation. Anyone checking my page yesterday afternoon would have read a series of insults, expletives, outbursts and threats from the same person. Without seeing my replies it appeared to be a virtual form of Tourette’s.
I’ve no idea what the appeal of Facebook is but it’s sucked me in. Maybe it’s just a good way to see what your old friends and colleagues are doing or for quickly and casually organising a night out. Maybe it’s a way of stalking your friends and vicariously living your life through them as you discover the fun they’ve been having while you’re stuck at work in front of a PC. Or maybe it’s just a massive multiplayer online game where you try to convince everyone else that you’re having a better time and have more friends than them.
Anyway, I think I'm winning.
One final word of warning, though. If you’re going to do quizzes that compare your friends to each other and you really must answer questions like ‘Who would you rather sleep with?’ then make sure that you un-tick the box that says ‘notify the winners of the results’.
It tends to be less embarrassing that way.