Media Fast FAIL, Poverty and the SWTOR Beta – Day 22

So, follow through on this media fast thing continues to be a horrible struggle. Self-discovery continues to pour in from the attempt but I’m at the verge of abandoning it.

Why? Quite simply, I game to connect with people.

Yeah, yeah, it’s sad. Cue typical gamer images of an overweight overgrown boy in his parent’s basement. I’m neither overweight nor a boy, however I would be living in my parent’s basement if I had parents and if they had a basement. So I do fit the stereotype that much: I don’t get out much, I’m sick a lot, and the sun, it is bright. Very. Ouch.

Daily meditations get missed when I’m sick. It happens. Getting back into them when I found out that SWTOR lifted NDA and is having a big beta stress test this weekend? Goood luck with that.

There are no purple Twi’lek in SWTOR:

Actually I’m pretty thankful for this. It gives me an excuse to not buy the game when I can’t afford to anyway. So I’ll just be testing, evaluating from the viewpoint of someone who is a Bioware fan and a mild Star Wars fan, someone who loved KOTOR and KOTOR II. But I’m not going to have to give up Rift to get a subscription, because there’s no purple Twi’lek and I can’t make the character I’d want to make in it because of that.

Some guildies really love it so far, preordered, and are leaving Rift for it. Other guildies are NOT coming from the attitude of fanboi squeee and aren’t very impressed at all.

It would have been an amazing game 4-5 years ago. I’m feeling that Bioware’s inexperience actually making MMOs has combined in a bad way with EA’s general… um… well it’s EA. Douchiness is a word right?

Just from reading about it, there’s a few things I do like. One, all healing is capable. Two, all tanking is mitigation, with variances in playstyles more than in tanking capability. Three, force lightning is JUST AWESOME.

But, no purple Twi’lek. No va.

Soooo Media Fast? Meditation? Hellloooo!

During all this, I feel guilty for falling off the schedule I set for myself. For logging on Saturdays for guild runs, then Saturdays and Tuesdays. For spending one whole day (a Monday!) reading up on SWTOR races and classes and gameplay styles, and arranging on Twitter for preparations to play together once the upcoming beta test actually starts.

But each time I fail in this task I set for myself, it’s telling me what’s really important to me. And it’s also telling me I don’t have enough of that in the “real life” part of things.

My guildies, my games, they mean a ton. That’s why I was crying at what happened to Codex at The Guild‘s Season 5 Finale, because I can relate, but also because I’m sad that can never happen to me. If it did I’d have to say I’m too sick to do it.

On to the Occupy Movement:

To not be too sick anymore? First off I don’t even know if that’s possible. If it were, well, here’s the costs to live a basic contributing life where I am, that someone with a job would have to spend in order to get the job, keep the job, and de-stress from the job.

Rent (even just a room is usually 850-1600!): $950
Telecommunications: 120
Transportation (in a city where you don’t need a car but can’t bike): 140
Looking to other people like I respect myself and take good care of myself (AKA clothing, makeup, shaving, haircuts, hygiene): 80
Food (I eat like a bird now, but if I was more active I’d need more calories): 300
Being fit and healthy (supplements, gym memberships or equipment, gym clothes, dental work): 100
Entertaining locally (going out for dinner, throwing parties, omgpeople, occasional pedicures, gifts): 120
Gaming (one mmo sub, savings for new games): 20

That’s $1830 for a regular gamer kind of life, which means an income of $2000 a month to be able to pay taxes. $24k a year doesn’t sound like a lot does it? It’s not, it’s the poverty line in Canada for a single person.

On assistance, the maximum a single person can get is $640 a month, that’s if their rent is $350 or greater and they’re well enough to volunteer. People on assistance can’t even afford to eat, look for work, or look like they care about themselves. Much less make or connect with friends by going out to dinner or the movies, entertaining with parties, or giving gifts.

On top of that, good luck finding a room for rent for less than $700 a month. Yes, that’s more than most people even get in total. So they’re forced to the streets and shelters because they can’t even rent a room.

Where’s the poverty line compared to that amount? Can you even afford to look for work? What about getting a haircut, a manicure, something to show your employers they’re getting someone with self-respect and attention to detail? What about food?

What about dignity?

No chance.

This is why I support the 99%, because I’m personally in the 2% at the bottom of the 99%. The 2% lowest income in the world. I live on a third world income in a first world country, despite being smart enough to figure out how to work a computer. I’m sure it’d be luxury over there. Here, I have luxury of rich people’s castoff stuff, but I can’t afford food and gave up having a phone. Again, how do you look for work when you’re too sick to volunteer, not sick enough for disability, and you don’t even have a phone?

Welfare is the modern world government’s answer to the PR disaster of concentration camps. It’s Auschwitz without walls, without gas chambers, without guards.

You can walk out of it any time, but where do you go?