Robert Chesley

What I WPR’d: Real Life Video Game

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It’s been a while since I wrote something that I feel is more substantial then just the usual news posts or my musings about Magic. I loved my “What I WPR’d” series. Unfortunately, it is really tough to keep it up. So, I guess for now I will keep it as an occasional look at the stuff I am or not doing lately. Also, I would like to make a note here in the beginning. I feel my best writing is that of personal experience, I’ve always written that way. Every word I ever write comes directly from me. Sometimes a lot of my writing can be construed as extremely personal in nature. I feel all writing is personal, even the best works of fiction have drawn upon real life situations. I’m not going to apologize or censor myself when it comes to how I approach writing. My favorite articles on this very site are personal in nature, and it is how I choose to write. This is just one of many stories that I experience, you should enjoy it.

It is tough having to experience change in your life. I don’t think anyone really prepares themselves for it, sometimes it happens naturally, sometimes it is just thrust upon you. As I am experiencing some life changes of my own, some for the better, I’ve been trying to get out and try a bunch of new things. I guess that is what everyone does when they say they want to change their life. Most people don’t actually do anything different than they normally would have done. I suppose I fall into that camp a little bit. I mean I haven’t changed jobs or changed locations, so I mean that part of my life is intact. But I have started to rediscover things that I used to be interested in and finding new hobbies that I’m eager to explore.

One of the things I hadn’t done before that I’ve always wanted to do is just get in my car and drive. Without really a purpose or direction, I got into my car one day with a general location in mind. I started to drive east. For someone who lives in one of the most typical picturesque places in the country, I haven’t seen a lot of it first hand. I mean sure, I’ve “seen” it but I don’t think I’ve really ever experienced it. On my drive I passed old deserted gas stations that reminded me of my days roaming the “Mojave Wasteland” and it got me thinking about how much video games are inspired of where I live. I was barreling down a highway that looks like it came from “Red Dead Redemption”. In fact, I stopped on the side of the road looking for someone to appear out of nowhere and offer me a fight and some whiskey. As I traveled further and further away into the vast nothingness that surrounds my small mountain town, I discovered that the journey is always better than the destination. So, when I got home I loaded up my favored Western sand box on the prowl for bears to hunt. I got my wish, but actually having been inspired to see some of these locations first hand, its hard not to feel completely ripped off by the virtual facsimile.

I’ve been watching a lot more movies lately. As I am now one of the official movie critics for WPR, I am invited to press only screenings. The first of which was “One Day” (you can find the review here). It has been an interesting experience so far. One of the things that caught me off guard initially when I arrived was how often many of the “critics” would arrive late or exactly on time. I, of course, need to travel a greater distance so my day was already half way done by the time I arrived at the theater. Sitting in an outdoor mall before it opens is an interesting things. The quietness is unparalleled. For those of you who have not been to “The Gateway” in Salt Lake City, it is probably the premier shopping center downtown. I’ve spent a lot of time at or near this place most of my life. But there is an eerie quietness that comes with the early morning and sometimes you don’t recognize it unless you are in a city you don’t particularly live in. I’m a big fan of enjoying breakfast and reading outside, so getting some reading in before “going to work” is relaxing to me.

The other fascinating aspect of seeing movies with “critics” is how each of them are kind of friends with one another. I mean it makes sense, I imagine these people see a lot more of each other than they see of me (I’m only free to go to these events on Tuesdays). So, when you get a bunch of these people together and listen to some of the “war stories”, as an outsider or newbie, you feel like they are just being overzealous. The past few weeks I’ve heard tales of mass exodus’s out of “artsy” films or how awful a particular theater was. I’m not judging them but if it were anyone else in the room, I’d feel like they were acting a little pompous and pretentious. But because they are allowed to let their hair down a bit, you get to hear some stories that probably only other film critics can really relate to. According to the unofficial poll in the room “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” was clearly the “best summer film”. I disagreed. Probably because I haven’t seen it, but I didn’t really have an inkling to. Personally, I really enjoyed “X-Men: First Class” for it’s faults, it was the first X-men film that I enjoyed from beginning to end. But to each his own I suppose.

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