Life as a Game

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Fundamentals and Concepts

Here’s a short complimentary video. It’s my first one doing it for blogs. I won’t do it for every blog nor will every vlog will have a blog post. Let me know what you think! If you don’t like video scroll all the way down.

It was a hot day. The platoon stood in absolute silence as their drill instructor sighed, irritated by whatever news his colleague gave. Some recruits were pale as ghosts as they tried to hide the fact that they were wriggling in their boots. The recruits were exhausted, having been woken up for an early run followed by the last three hours of drill instruction. They were interrupted when another staff member came to the instructor and whispered something in his ears. Whatever it was, it was among hushed lips. He gave out a very loud sigh and marched briskly back to his place in front of the platoon. He was not a man who would berate his own troops. It was back to business, starting with more loud instructions. Little did the recruits know that they had their barracks turned upside down, beds flipped and stuffed overall dummies made just because someone had forgotten to lock their closet.

This sounded like it was a scene from Full Metal Jacket. It sort of is, but this actually happened to my platoon a couple of times when I took basic training when I first enlisted in the navy. In my ten years that I had been around, I had heard the same comments from various people, first when I was a Non-Commissioned Member, then as a strapping young junior Officer. “Basic (training) is really just a game. Play by their rules and you’ll see yourself through.”

How does this relate to video games or even early retirement? I did not see my life as a giant magical picture, instead I saw it as a real MMO. That’s right. I went there. Real Life WAS the first real massive multiplayer online game. Instead of being a knight in shining armor that took Kill X Monster quests, I was the protagonist taking the journey to become something. Life was The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, but set in the world of today and I was not an adult awaiting execution. The game started from when I was conceived in my mommy’s womb.

How I Came Up with this Philosophy

I never thought that the conversation about Basic Training would be important in my life. What was stranger was that I believed in this since I started becoming super competitive on Mario Kart 64. I had no idea how to put my ideas together not to mention how put it into words. That conversation finally put the words that I needed to lay out how I functioned in life.

Most things in life can be explained by certain game mechanics. Most tasks you had to do throughout in life is like quests in famous RPGs. Any big tumultuous moment in life can be a boss battle you had to go through. Doing stupid things often had consequences, where this world’s equivalent to walking in front of a high level monster was like pissing off a biker at a bar. You earned money like a reward for doing tasks, similar to working. Interaction with other people seemed like a real life party finder at times. Also, whatever skills you needed to level, like cooking and writing, had to be worked on. This sounded like a real MMO to me. Does this make you wonder if you’re now like the character in your favorite MMO? Inception!

Think of playing The Game of Life (a board game), or one of those mobile life simulators you saw on Google Play. There was something uncanny about how those games worked and applying it to yourself. Think about it, you had different strategies from early game (childhood) and end game (death). Anything that you wanted to achieve, whether you wanted to be the richest person on earth, being a pro athlete, or even just vegging out at the end of the day was a result of your quests of the day. You could strive to be super competitive, or even be the laziest bum. It was a net result of what tasks you set yourself as the protagonist. This philosophy was made to give you the ultimate power and the ultimate responsibility.

Rules of the Game

What were my rules of the game? Based on these rules, this was how I mostly functioned.

  1. Have fun in whatever I wanted to do.
  2. Be super awesome at above task.
  3. Whatever I do, DO NOT take myself out of the game by any means necessary.

Have fun in whatever I wanted to do.

Ever since I was eight years old, holding my first Nintendo 64 controller, I knew I wanted to do something cool and fun. I told myself that I would pick a cool job, and that was becoming an astronaut. That changed over the years, until I finally settled on being a computer engineer. A lot of things I did in life was based on me liking and having fun with the task. Even though there were tasks that bore me to death (like school), I learned to cope by selecting things that I had genuine interest in and looked forward to spending time learning it to perfection. If it wasn’t fun anymore, I dropped the subject like a hot potato.

Be super awesome at the above.

In order to have fun, I had to get good. I spent so many hours trying to get good. As long I saw progress (even if it was minuscule), I called it a good day. That dedication showed at my prowess at the subject I had decided to dedicate myself to. Other people were my competition, so I had to get better to get myself out there. But I never chased for their approval. In fact, the harshest judge was myself. While that had its own set of problems, it was a very good motivator for me to get good at what I wanted to do.

Never take yourself out of the game.

I had a hard time trying to understand why I never gave up. The words above in big bold letters suggested to me that resilience. Not once in my life had I contemplated suicide. I saw that as taking myself out of the game. This was the ultimatum I gave to myself (although I don’t know when or how I gave myself that) to keep on living. I guess it was a reflection that I wanted to be an honorable person and let something else take me when I’m about to go out for real. I would rather to lose to someone else; it showed their skill in besting me (even though it was hard to admit that).

How did it help me?

By having these three rules, I was able to place some sort of structure in my chaotic life. Don’t get me wrong, there always were and will be down times, and dark hours in the game. It was the driving factor for a lot of my decisions and it will continue to be my source of inspiration and motive for the life I strove for.

Have fun.

Most things in my life derived from me having the long term goal of being awesome and fun. I always believed in having fun in both the destination and in the journey. Even though I hated studying math, I knew that studying math would lead me to becoming a good engineer. I also knew that if I no longer had any fun, it would fashion my decisions towards getting out and moving onto the next thing. I always had a long term goal for myself, even though the steps to get there were initially just two steps, later to be fleshed out to have 20 or so steps in the process. To me, this rule provided the purpose in my life.

Being awesome.

This was my motivator. A fun thing can have ways to grate you to the point of giving up. Sometimes that was the driving force for me not continuing cool things. It helped me realize the true value of myself (even though I sometimes couldn’t believe it) by having something tangible in front of my eyes. It was the reason why I strove for beyond above average, and closer to expertise. This was mostly done only if you keep on repeating the thing you wanted to be good at and improving on the past.

Never take myself out.

This was my anchor. This kept me grounded during my darkest hours of anguish and pain. I always believed that I was responsible for a lot of things in life. I also knew I would cut myself short if I decided to give up and take myself out of the equation. Even though this had led me to paths where I thought I was walking on forever with no end in sight, I knew that there was something at the end of it (hopefully).

How to Implement Game Mechanics for Yourself

Life the Game can be played once you knew what the rules were, even if they were super vague. These were rules you had to set for yourself. My set of rules could be good examples, but only you could determine that. Only by setting your own rules and limits, you could surpass them. Limits were made to be broken, but if they were not defined, it would be very hard to find progress.

Here’s a good quote from a game called NieR.

Rules do not exist to bind you. They exist so you may know your freedoms.

Once you determined the rules and limits, now you had to figure out tasks that would enable you to keep yourself within the rules and break limits. The rules were made so that you would not accidentally delete yourself from your game. They were also there to help you determine how you should and act (even by that definition is subjective). The limits were set to give you goals and to determine your quest list. If you wanted to be a bodybuilder, you had to make quests for yourself to level up your exercise skills and your body stats.

Like in any party finder, people were and always will be the biggest factor in becoming a winner of this game. Not only did you have to surround yourself with people who would be behind you 100% (like a guild), you also had to find mentors. Your elders had records, whether it be written record, verbal stories or even just talking with them could impart you knowledge, skills and quests for you to level you as a character. And finally there would always be jerks on the field. There would always be people saying (or yelling) at your direction at every waking moment. You couldn’t control what they did or say, but you could control your reaction. Your interaction with people could break or make you. Play your cards correctly and you could come out on top of whatever you wanted to do.

Life as a Real Life MMO

Have you ever thought why games were Role Playing Games were popular? They always put you in the shoes of another person. I suppose it was irony that life is a reflection of ourselves in a game. If we were playing someone else in a video game, where does this put us as in another perspective? Weird thoughts, indeed.

But I did not write about this to contemplate about our own existence. I wrote this to explain how I functioned, and I thought this philosophy could help others. A lot of people told me that my resilience was something to be admired but I could not figure out why that particular stat of mine was high. It wasn’t until someone explained to me that a particular phase in life was something I could relate to was when I could finally put words to the philosophy I believed in.

By treating my own life as a video game, I was able to determine what I needed to do next for myself. My rules, my scenario, and my own dreams were all things that I could determine myself. While other people (other players) could determine who I hung out with, who were my biggest influencers, and who I would follow were big factors, none of them could write this story for me. This story was for myself and only I could write it.

How else did video games shape your life? Did they influence you in some shape or form? What do you think? Leave a comment and share. 🙂

Believe it or Not! Gamers need to be Healthy!

Posted 24 CommentsPosted in Fundamentals and Concepts, Tips 'N Tricks

Remember all the memes with fat D.Va eating Dorito Chips and Mountain Dew? Or how about the fat neck-bearded fedora nerd? All of these are the prime images of a gamer.

The truth is that gamers come in many shapes and colors. Now the unfortunate thing is that many people are fat (at least in North America). (I’m not fat-shaming. Just stating the truth.) This is the sad reality with the kind of lifestyle we tend to follow; sedentary, unhealthy and expensive consumerism.

How did we get there in the first place?

I’ll tell you a bit of a story. I mostly stayed at home, didn’t go out, didn’t even work out… I was a lonely hermit living in my room. Not only that, I also lived on a diet of instant ramen, beer and KD. I spent at least 20 hours a week playing video games, studying, more video games… But mostly studying. It wasn’t until I went to work that summer I found that one of my favorite blue shirts didn’t fit me anymore that I realized I needed to make a change.

But Murasa, this doesn’t tell me how we got to this sad depressing state!

Ok, so if you didn’t draw any conclusions from my story, here are some key factors:

  • I didn’t really move my body much
  • My diet is bloody awful
  • I was actually stuck in a state where I was doing nothing
  • Because of the above, no progress = depression!

The fact that I was sedentary, with no movement in mind, body and spirit was what caused me to become fat. I know, I’m getting all philosophical here, but really, it’s how I got fat. That summer, I was 160 lbs! I’m only 5’2″! That actually made me overweight!

The thing here is that we all need to realize that we are not taking care of ourselves. At that point in my life, I had let myself go. What made it worse was that I didn’t do anything about it for the longest time. We all go through that mode in life (several times, actually) where we just feel stuck in a rut and it’s just utter despair.

There are a lot of consequences to being fat.

Being fat can be costly!

Did you know that being fat costs us money?

Because of my need to feel whole again, I bought a lot of things that (like my terrible diet, for example) satisfied some of my cravings. Video games also filled a hole in my social and mental state. I was stuck studying a subject that I saw no way out of and it sucked my soul away. Since I ate a lot of bad foods and got into a vegetative state between two tedious things (I think the games I got into were time-consuming… It got into a grind I didn’t want to do), I had no energy to move. The cycle repeated itself when I just did nothing to fix it.

When I started doing research to make myself become better, I soon realized that I have more reasons to become more healthy. I wanted to show my granny that I was a functioning living person, I also realized that being fat is also really bad for the health. My family is plagued with obesity and there are many health complications for being fat. If I end up toeing a medical condition just because of my gait, there was something wrong.

There’s also direct costs of being fat.

Did you know that your insurance premiums increase the more fat you are? Not only that, you can have more costly fees trying to fix your medical problems. It’s also really bad that you can lose potentially lose days being sick just because of more health problems, which means you lose time earning money. Money that you can use for your future!

Also, being fat really does increase that stigma we have for being gamers. We don’t look really good and pretty depressing. Fat people are the epitome of gamers, nerds and geeks. We were the losers in the social circle, even though gaming is now becoming very mainstream.

How we can fix it

There are several ways of doing fixing our problem. We should always strive to have a happy and balanced life. Believe it or not, folks, even too much gaming can be bad for you!

So how do we get more fit?

Your diet is the biggest factor in this. 80% of your success in being fit lies within your diet. You can significantly control how much and what goes in your body and it is significantly harder to work that off. While food can be very costly, you can still be frugal about it and still eat healthily.  Remember that you are the one in control!

Working out is the other 20%. It doesn’t matter what you do to work out; the point is that you must give it your all, not half-ass it, and more importantly start! Because I’m more goal oriented and I like seeing numbers go up, I take up weightlifting. Hell, you can go into running, hiking and even joining your local muggle Quidditch League!

Some people have even incorporated video games into their workouts! There are mobile applications, modifications and even gadgets that let you play games as you run! (Really, button mashing while on an elliptical is a good way of working out. 😉 ) Heck, even playing Dance Dance Revolution can work you up a sweat!

This is very true with the introduction of Virtual Reality! Thanks to the VR sets like Occulus Rift and HTC Vive, you can work out while actually playing a game. Someone also has created a very interesting way of being an actual paperboy! (Affiliate links for the VR sets, but hey I actually picked up a VR set because we’re getting close to implementing games with reality… Like Star Trek’s Holodeck! )

Again, it’s very important that you start!

Lots of good reasons to be nice and fit!

As I have mentioned before, being fit and healthy will make you happier and can give you some purpose in life. It can also remove the stigma that you’re a depressing, anti-social, no-lifer hiding in your mom’s basement. And not only that, your mind, body and even your wallet is going to thank you for not being an overweight slob.

To take it to the next level, if you also want to compete with the best competitive players, you have to start living like one. (Note: don’t do it if you’re not ready or willing to be competitive. This can be expensive!) In a recent study from German Sports University, eSports Athletes are real athletes! They need to have a clear mind, lightning speed reflexes (comes from practice!) and a healthy heart to compete at such a high level. Yes, it’s actually more complex than mashing keys.

It’s easier to live a happy, balanced life

As I have said before, it is much easier to live a happy and balanced life. Doing too much of one thing can be very bad. Having too much pizza is bad. Sitting still to play video games all day is bad. Not doing anything about your poor state of health is bad. All of these things that can lead to being unhealthy and fat.

If you’re happy and healthy, you can make better sound decisions about yourself, which includes saving for your future. Being happy and healthy can lead to a lifestyle that you want to have full control over, even if it’s just playing video games. Gamers can come in many shapes and sizes, but it is much more about being happy and whole. That’s what we try to aspire to and inspire.

Being a healthy gamer is a pretty good deal, if you ask me.

How to Make Money Playing Video Games

Posted 12 CommentsPosted in Fundamentals and Concepts

I grew up on video games. I went through many stages of life thinking about what I wanted to do when I grew up, and that also included the elusive Astronaut job (which I quickly turned down after I found out that they drink their own pee (figuratively)). There was one thing that was constant though: I always wanted to make my job around video games. Well, my thought progress about jobs had always revolved around getting cool experiences.

Cool Experiences = something to talk about or to share

I went through thinking I could become an artist, a graphics designer, a programmer, a developer, a software engineer, a journalist… Lots of jobs to go through. My parents scoffed at the prospect of gaming as a career. But with the advent of the internet, I can now make video games an actual career.

Not sure what I mean? Let’s start by pressing A to the next topic.

Understanding Income

Wages, income, revenue streams are all words describing how someone can earn money. It can be simply be divided into two categories: passive and active.

Active income is the constant effort made to create something to bring you money. A very good example is our 9-5 job. You are constantly working in exchange for cash. You earn either a wage, or a salary depending on the work you do. This can be on a contract-by-contract basis, where you earn money for a task you complete. Or you can come in every day, work X amount of hours and you get paid by the hour. Both of these will outline how much you earn on your contract to your job.

Passive income requires an initial time or money investment. While it is popular, understand the fact that nothing can come to you for free, you need either one or the other or even both before you it can bring you consistent revenue. There’s even revenue streams that can even earn you money while you sleep! But again, you need blood, sweat and tears before you see something in return.

Before we start though, I must warn you that this requires a lot of hard work and investment. If this doesn’t turn well for you, you must always have a plan B. Don’t simply quit your job today just because you said you want to be a full-time YouTuber. If you are going to quit your job to fully commit to it, I highly suggest you have at least enough money in your bank to live off for a year or two.

Now let’s see how we can turn our favorite hobby into a side-hustle! (And eventually, our work!)

Active Streams

These streams require constant work. There are several ways of doing this.

Creating Art/Music/Story

Now I know these are all different methods, but no matter your discipline you follow, it is important to see that your favorite hobby actually helps you build your skills! I’m not talking just about improving your craft (writing skills, certain drawing techniques, new tech to make your jobs easier, etc.), you must be inspired and be up to date with the latest trends! A game can be inspiring by how the music sets the tone for a particular scene, or The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker’s cel-shading style has inspired a number of games with similar style. Chris Rockwood, from Hi-Rez Studios, states how important it is to keep up to date to a game’s development stage to see where you can contribute. Instead of playing mindlessly on your game, sit down and admire all the details, it can inspire you! Also, network with your fellow creators, they can get you a foot into the industry. But until then, you have to settle doing freelance jobs, networking on social media and getting your name out there before landing a job with your passion.

Streaming

Streaming, believe it or not, is a full-time job. If you want to earn money playing games live to a watching audience, you have to dedicate the time to do so. Surprisingly enough, those subscription numbers on Twitch by themselves are not enough to keep a streamer fed and happy. They also network a lot to garner those views and to get sponsorship from companies who love video games as much as you do who want some screen time with you. The good news is, it is pretty easy to get into streaming; you need a computer to output to your stream, internet and a game to play. Unfortunately, because of that, streaming is very saturated. You need to do something else to stand out or you won’t see a following.

Video Game Development

There are stages in the development of a video game, but most of the time it requires a lot of people to develop a game of all disciplines. Programmers and designers are needed to take a concept to reality. Marketers are needed to advertise and sell the game. These are all 9-5 jobs here and there are many positions in a company you can fill. It is highly recommended that you play games for not just product quality, but to keep up with the latest trends and to understand how your consumers react as well as testing the grounds for new niches for your game. Think of if this way; you are creating something for your customers to take. It’s just that this time you decided to follow your dream instead of deciding to be stuck in a rut.

Or, if you’re not so keen in being in a large game studio (more on that later), you can verge off on your own and become an independent developer. You are creating all aspects of the game. Story, setting, levels, interaction, music, and even art are all parts of your creation! This will take a ton of time, money and elbow grease to see your creation come to fruition. Then right after that, you also have to work to get your game out there for someone to see your game and even play it. Fortunately there are a lot of avenues for this, which includes the Google Play Store and iTunes Store for mobile developers and more famously, Steam for PC developers.

Video Game Tester

I didn’t know about this before, but there are development teams looking for testers all the time. They want you to play certain sequences over and over and in different ways so that they can see that their games work. Having a background in programming helps, but it isn’t really necessary. You are hired to play games and provide feedback for developers to follow up on so that they can deliver the best product possible.

Video Game Journalism

As a journalist, you cover the latest in video gaming. You also put out reviews for parts, accessories, and even games themselves. There’s also news coverage on aspects of the gaming communities, opinionated editorials and even news on development of games. One has to start networking in order to get the foot in the door. You also have to build up your portfolio as a writer, which includes freelance writing to other outlets.

A night of competitive gaming
Are you prepared for nights like this?

Professional Gaming

Do you want to compete with the best of the best a game has to offer? Better get really good. Professional gaming is on the rise with people tuning into world tournaments and leagues like League of Legends World Championships and Evolution Championship series (Or EVO, which is the world’s largest fighting game tournament). These people are the best of the best and they are often looking for the next fight. Of course, they are also sponsored by companies that come to these events too. Expect a lifestyle similar to that of a professional athlete; spend many hours getting good at a game.

Passive Streams

These are targeted towards creating valuable content such that lasts over a long time people will still come to view it. If people come to view it, there is potential in creating revenue. This requires a lot of time and money initially before you see any return from it.

Blogging

Blogging can be about anything! Even on the topics we have mentioned earlier. It is frankly easy to get in but hard to keep consistent. To start you need a hosting service (which does cost money if you want a better chance of being found and more control over your website) and dedication. It takes a while to get going, but creating content that others can read and find value will net you a business. This can then work on affiliate marketing to promote goods that you like to others and get a commission on it, or put advertisements about stuff that you like to have people click and you get paid for it.

YouTube Videos

Just like blogging, you can create videos on YouTube about anything! It can be a boon because a lot of people are visual learners. They like to see things and they click when they are interested. Just like blogging, you can sell through affiliate marketing or paid advertisements (Thanks to YouTube’s monetization method). However, be wary that you also need to be consistent in your uploads as well. Google’s algorithms want to keep checking that you are relevant and fresh and thus you need to consistently put up content for the search bots to keep finding you.

Creating Guides

People are consistently looking for guides for about anything. This includes getting good at your particular game. This can turn this into an eBook or a series of blog posts. Amazon provides an easy outlet to publish your eBook if you’re looking to get started. Either way, this can lead into a venture where you can actively help others by coaching.

The Mindset of Success

As I have mentioned before, it is important to have the right mindset. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication and even an initial investment in both time and money before you can reach a point you can be happy. It is the process of getting good that is the most rewarding. The journey is the most rewarding part, but hey the perks at the end isn’t so bad either!

It is most important that you have a plan before you try. Knowledge is power and it is key to success. It is also important to have something to fall back on when things get out of hand. Plan to be consistent; reaching success is a marathon, not a race. And finally my best advice to you is to get started; nothing won’t change unless you do something about it.

It isn't waiting for you!
It isn’t waiting for you!

Have You Considered Gaming to be a Career?

What do you guys think? Do you think it’s still worth scoffing about? Share your comments below!

The Fundamentals of Gamers on FIRE – Retire Early and Happy!

Posted 4 CommentsPosted in Fundamentals and Concepts

So I just introduced the idea of being financially independent to you. That is, the concept of having enough money to do (mostly) whatever you want. That includes playing video games all day. This means if you want to do that, you need to retire from your 9-5 job. The next question is: How do I get there?

I’m glad you asked! Let’s get started.

Step One: Find out how much you are spending and where.

We can’t start without a baseline. In fact if you look up a lot of other websites about finances, they will tell you to start finding out how much you are spending and what you are spending on. As soon as you have a situational awareness of your financial situation we can start on some of the most troublesome problems.

There are several ways of doing it, some of which include programs, applications and even back to old school spreadsheets.

I personally use Mint because it’s free and I can carry it everywhere on my phone app. I also can’t be asked to sit down and manually break it down. (I don’t exactly have full control but the amount of information it spits out at me is rather enough for I wanted.)

This might be a big shock to you about finding out how much you spent. Brace for it.

Step Two: Target Problem Spending Areas

Were you surprised that you were spending over $1000 going out to eat? Yeah, that was me when I first started doing this as well. Don’t feel bad. So now we find all the problem spending habits we have and tackle it with a plan. Let’s take going out to eat as an example.

Going out to eat was one of my biggest areas. I’ve resolved to start making my own food at home, even though it was more time-consuming.

So here’s the thing. You must look objectively at how much you are spending in each area and then resolve to make a plan. From then on you have to figure out that plan and execute it. Don’t look at it with “Oh man, I think I might need this!” but rather “Do I really need it now?”. Using your car to get to work can fall into those grey areas, but really, look at it. If you have to, make a budget. Mint is actually pretty good in this place.

Unfortunately splurging on our video games fall into this area. But don’t worry, I’m here to help you make better decisions.

Step Three: Where do I put this extra money now?

So you now find that you have extra money. Congratulations!

But wait. Don’t spend it on that game you wanted just yet!

Here’s the deal. We’re going to get ahead of the competition by investing it. Your money should be working for you. But you also need to find where you need to put this money. You can’t just dump this money in a high-savings account anymore. The return on that is abysmal!

Find out what tax free savings/investments accounts are available in your country and put it in there. If you have a retirement savings plan available, put it in there! If you don’t have one, start one! Start contributing early. The earlier you start, the better! In the US, this is called a 401k. However, I’m in Canada so this is called a Tax-Free Savings Account. (I only have basic knowledge so there’s much more out there to look into!) It doesn’t hurt to have a both a Retirement Savings Plan and a Tax-Free Savings Account. Just be aware about the limitations or the taxes will come and bite you in the back.

However, despite all of this, my dad also parted me with this good advice: “Life is too short. Don’t be afraid to spend it once in a while to increase your happiness.”

So here’s what I do, and I think it’s a good plan so I’ll share it with you. I put in contributions from my paycheck into my investments. I also give myself reminders that by the end of the month I will put in half of my paycheck into my investments. Anything I have left over will be for my fun, entertainment and other small things that suddenly come up. I’m proud to say that I still buy a couple of games (but not monthly! $60-$70 a month is still too much!) every year and still come up positive in savings.

Step Four: Work at Getting Good and Watch your Money Grow

There’s usually more things aside from just this. There’s stuff like optimizing your cash flow, legally getting around the system, but usually that needs some time for research and actually getting to it. Your money in that account won’t sit around and do nothing. Those bucks are going forward and working their butts off for you. You’ll be able to see it grow especially if you have Mint installed.

So if you’re like me, who’s still working a good time of the day, this is pretty much all there is there to it. I also spend more time trying to get my stuff together to get good at my game. I spend a good amount of time getting good at a game I’m focusing on but I also work on working on my content. This is all a patience game. Your money works for you while you work on your skills so you are armed and prepared for when you decide to leave your job.

There’s a huge sense of accomplishment and progress for becoming good at what you do. This to me, is my secret to happiness. I have a ton of ongoing projects going on that I am working towards finishing becoming super good at. By getting good at whatever you choose to do, your next path is chosen. For me, that’s video games. For you, well, that’s canvas for you to fill.

So What now?

These are just the basics! There’s so much more in this realm that we are talking about and covering. It’s like trying to learn how to aim in Counter-Strike. Can’t get good unless you have a good understanding of the fundamentals.

So what were your biggest spending areas?

The Fundamentals of Gamers on FIRE – Financial Independence, Retire Early

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Fundamentals and Concepts

Do you remember how your parents scoffed you for saying you want to do anything with video games when you were growing up? That would’ve been true twenty years ago and they were right. Fast forward to now. The internet has given us this awesome gift; sharing content has never been so much easier. It is now a more lucrative business with just not the game itself but with the content being shared.

It’s going to be hard, believe me. I want you guys to follow on this trail of thought. It all starts with the tried and true (mostly) thinking that your parents tried to steer you on.

The Problem with Today’s Working Standard

Here’s what parents were telling us since we were young:

  • Go to school and graduate high school
  • Get a diploma at a university
  • Get a good job and get enough money to retire

Now there are so many problems related to this, starting with the school system to eventually the job part. (If you want me to cover that, that’s for another time, another place.)

School can be pretty stressful! Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash.

What I found was that this made me unhappy. Here are the reasons why:

  • I’m told what to do and when to do that
  • I don’t get to do what I want to do (not just because of people telling me, but because of exhaustion, time, etc.)
  • If I tried to voice my concerns I have to end up dealing with it because of _______ reason

I found that this really stripped my morale and my reason to do work. I don’t mind grinding out the suck, but I should be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Or rather, a reason. This is where video games come in. To many of us, we are given a reason to drive forward in the concept of a game. It may not be the game called “Real Life” where we are not progressing, but it does give us a sense of progression nonetheless. It is an escape from that grind in life. However, that leads to another problem.

Video Games and Consumerism

The lead-in to this current topic is pretty scary! Unfortunately, I can’t sugar coat the truth; video games are becoming more expensive and we are being compelled to buy more to fulfill our desire to feel progression. That’s actually really bad! We have people thinking that video games are an addiction and a waste of time. (I do not deny that video game addiction can be a bad thing; but this is also a matter of perspective. It matters how you channel that in order to become more productive.)

I want to get the following idea in your head: The goal here is to get you on a path where you are comfortable, happy and whole.

This doesn’t matter if you decide to retire from video games and move onto something else or if you do decide to make it fully into the video game industry. You are the most important person here; what you decide is important.

Bridging back to the topic at hand, we are constantly bombarded with messages that we are not enough; you are not good enough, you will be happy if you buy _____, and other scummy messages to make us feel awful about ourselves. For me, I used video games to escape from that. Because apparently I’m not good enough, I am often whisked away playing as someone who is good enough to struggle though those problems without taking risks ourselves. Unfortunately unlike games ten years ago, there is a lot of bullshit going around in the game which does not give us the full happy package. Stuff like: “in order to get the full story, buy this extra package” or “packages that accelerate your progress”. We want to feel finished and happy with our purchases, but even that is taken away now.

But OK, let me be frank. It is a cheaper hobby to get into than some other hobbies I know of.

This doesn’t mean you should stop playing because I just let out the Boogeyman. I’m saying that you can control that, or better yet, turn this into a weapon to get you further ahead of the competition.

Introducing the Concept of Financially Independent/Retiring Early

So why is being Financially Independent and Retiring Early (FIRE) important to Gamers on FIRE?

FIRE allows us to:

  • not worry about money for the more important things (roof over our heads, food, bills, etc.)
  • have more time to “git gud” and be passionate about our work (IE: games)
  • not be restricted by others

So here’s the thing about this idea. It is always about yourself first. If you’re always concerned about making sure you make this month’s rent on time, you should not be thinking about the next Call of Duty game coming out. Your priority is making sure you have a place to live, food and other necessities. (I mean, we all need internet and electricity to play games anyway!)

If we don’t worry about the necessities, we will then have more time to focus on honing our craft. Whether that is working on your YouTube video about game theories, programming your indie game project or working towards going pro in League of Legends. If you can hone your craft, you can work towards earning for your efforts.

And finally, once you’re free from thinking about money, you can be free. Free from schedules, your oppressive bosses, anything, really. You are your own boss, you should act like it.

What next?

It’s the beginning of a new day here. I have a lot of ground to cover but let’s first lay down the fundamentals. This isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme; it’s a lifestyle. I’m glad you’re here. Let’s jump down the next pipe!