I'm living through the most harrowing activism in my life. I've never felt this strongly about a cause, a belief. I was afraid of letting myself believe again in case things turn out badly. It's too late for that. The only real problem is seeing the ridiculous amounts of hate and negativity and bias and misogyny and racism and erasure and misinformation going on. It pisses me off to no end.
So, this situation ends up making me crave more intense experiences. I find that nothing else is really as difficult as this, making those other things feel surmountable in comparison.
It started off -- without me realizing it first -- when I played through Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne again earlier this month. I spent a week straight on it and went on to beat the game, finally seeing the Neutral ending for the first time. I still prefer the True Demon Ending because of how much the devs clearly wanted us to take that path, since everything in the Maniax version (standard NA/EU versions) lead up to TDE against Lucifer. But I found myself enjoying the difficulty during this playthrough instead of just putting up with it like I used to before.
The atmosphere and uniqueness of these games were the main draw before. I've found a new appreciation for the difficult gameplay. It's not all that difficult anymore once you know how to prepare, more so because these are turn-based games.
I had the freedom to do this since I've already cleared this raid tier in Final Fantasy XIV on my dark knight last month. I beat the first three fights during week one and then took my time with the fourth one. Without a static. It wasn't too terrible at all. The only crazy thing was clearing the final fight while subbing as the second tank for a static. They were good and had strong DPS, but kept wiping for stupid reasons over several hours -- aside from acceptable mistakes, the black mage was high, people were hungry and had agreed to make plans to go eat at 3am once we finally cleared, the white mage's internet cut out during a pull, someone's dogs kept begging to go outside, etc. That was a wild night.
All of those inconveniences reminded me of why I don't want a static, though. I'd rather just be on my own and go at my own pace. I don't want to be on anyone else's schedule.
Now, I'm hooked on Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. I originally didn't like it that much. I always loved the precise controls, the skill-based gameplay, and the Japanese setting and the lore surrounding Buddhism and life and death. But I felt like the game was too repetitive. I beat the first actual boss and then dropped it. I didn't play it for a few months until about a week or so ago.
I went back and something finally made sense. I'd never felt that Sekiro was too difficult. It's just that now, with everything else going on, I feel like I can enjoy the rush and the satisfaction that the game has to offer instead of taking it for granted. Beating Genichiro after only a few tries gave me an unforgettable high that I hadn't felt outside of Shin Megami Tensei games. I think I'm about halfway through the game now, going through the Sunken Valley after beating that gimmicky boss with the monkeys. I'm taking my time as I go and I really love it.
I like suffering for my victories.