Decemberween: Shelf!

It’s weird that I’ve been doing Decemberween enough that I thought, surely I’ve talked about this before now, but uh, apparently not?

Through this year I resolved to, in part, stop treating my effort as a pure product. I have looked at my older material, my older articles, and have repurposed bits of them to make into new things, for other audiences, and even just to take a second parse at them. This can be seen, if you like to check it, in my article about Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, The Board Game, and Hyperinterextuality in The Legend Of Zelda.

One article of mine that I’ve thought about revisiting and representing this way is the Game Pile article on Overwhelm, in part because it’s an excellent game and in part because more than anything else, it’s one of those articles where I really had to scrutinise myself, and it was a game that made me do it. Or more appropriately: a friend, who knew something about games, talked to me about it, and in so doing, I re-examined myself.

You may remember that I wrote an article, two years ago now, about the best-written romance I’ve ever seen in a game, the story of the Iron Angel. That is, a friend of mine wrote a character who was interesting and deep and romantically engaging and just incredible, and I have, on and off, been engaging with this romantic story of a neurodivergent superheroine for ten years.

It’s the same friend.

It’s this one friend, who I’ve talked about and who I’ve shared stories with and who has, occasionally, given me advice and suggestions and helped me improve my life and my outlook and my willingness to care about people. This friend has given me time and attention and a nearly constant willingnes to be emotionally present, even when that’s hard. And that’s for someone who isn’t as openly emotional as me.

A portion of my life, simply put, is lived on the internet, and in public. For a boy who largely never leaves the house, certainly this past year, I am a person who puts a lot of my own life and experience out in online spaces. It is interesting to me therefore, that there are things, projects, ideas where they are not known, they are not made content per se.

I love this friendly dearly, and… like, I realise that I haven’t like, put that in this blog. Because this year, with this year’s challenges, has had some moments where more than anything else, I wanted that friend to know that love, and for that to be somewhere. Somewhere where I can look back on it and go ‘oh yeah, goddamn, 2021? That fucking sucked, but I’m glad I could lean on a Shelf.’

Shelf isn’t like, an Online Content Creator. I don’t think I need to do anything to get Shelf the attention Shelf wants, because well, Shelf doesn’t strike me as the sort who wants that. But that’s okay. It’s great to have Shelf in my life. If you have a friend who you blink and go ‘oh wait, you’ve been super important to me for a long time,’ consider telling them, and letting them know. It can be easy to let these things slip the memory over time.