From the beginning, I had hated school- or maybe just the other kids. Even in first grade, I sat alone on the playground and drew comics. In second grade I misspelled the word "neighbor" in front of the class and they all laughed- It was the first mistake I had made. During recess another student framed me by making me hold my tongue and say "apple" to the teacher. I sat by myself during recess and drew elaborate torture dungeons with an assembly line treadmill running through "acid rooms" and "fire rooms" and armies of massive tanks covered in bazookas and spikes.
In the fourth and fifth grade, I made a series of games ("Smiley's Adventure" 1-6) in HyperStudio instead of doing homework. I hid in the library during recess and played a portable magnetic chess board against myself. One of the teachers found me and grabbed the board, sending the pieces flying under the library shelves. I ran home crying. In the sixth grade, I used some simple workaround to get into the admin control panel and change the network password. They had the DARE officer come get me out of class and change it back. At the time, I wondered how they knew it was me.
[HyperStudio, Magnetic chess board, The Cool Guy]
Around that time, I rode my bike to the recycling center down the street and found a paper grocery bag full of old Penthouse porn magazines in the newspaper section, and hid them in the woods. I took one back and hid it under my mattress, because it was a stereotype that the television had told me was a normal thing to do. I can't remember what happened to it. I think my Mom probably found it and took it away, and I just pretended it didn't happen. From that day on, everything felt a little off. My parents didn't feel like my real parents.
I'm not exactly sure where things went wrong. I had a great childhood, and my parents were amazing. I went on ski trips, camping with Boy Scouts, and a cruise to the Bahamas. I even went to Space Camp! I remember being in my next door neighbor's basement and finding a single of Nine Inch Nails "Closer," left there by one of his older siblings. I picked it up and was mesmerized by the cover, immediately wanting to listen to it. Perhaps that's "when the devil got in." It's difficult to know! (It wasn't Trent Reznor's fault, I think he got it from David Bowie, who got it from...)
I had always been insecure. I wet the bed until about age 8, I think- a major sign of psychopathy. I have an uneven jawline and a crooked smile. When I was younger it was more pronounced and I looked really gimpy. One of my earliest memories is of my Mom bringing me into the bathroom and telling me that I was different than the other kids. I hadn't known. I think part of me must have blamed her. From that moment on, I was the smartest. I tried the hardest. I refused to talk to any of the other kids.
When I was young, I searched through all my parents things, looking for any weakness I could find. Any reason to not respect them, to not have to listen to their strict rules. I couldn't find anything. I was disappointed that my Dad didn't have any porn like some of my friends' Dads. I kept searching the house, the attic, the basement. He had to have some! The TV said so! There was something magical about those pictures, they were almost sparkling. They got in my brain and did something weird to it. It created a war between me and my parents. It gave me attention problems. It infected my brain and stole years from my childhood. It made me dream of riches and power. It distracted me from my schoolwork and from doing the things I loved to do. It created a rift between me and my mother, a woman who I now resented for getting between me and sex.
I had been an altar boy at the local megachurch, and one day while bored sitting in mass, I read Revelations in the Bible and looked around in awe, astounded that all of these adults actually believed this nonsense about beasts with sixty thousand horns. Nobody bothered to explain to me that as we get older, we start tripping our balls off and it is describing the imagination of the subconscious.
After church one day my Mom tried to get me to memorize a Lutheran catechism. I could tell that they were programming my brain somehow, and I despised it so much that I threw a huge tantrum, throwing the book across the room, repeatedly smashing my face into my mattress, and grabbing a red metal coin bank and scratching "HATE" into the back of it. I think this was probably the beginning of my fall from grace. I refused to let my Mom into my heart.
The Master Sorcerer Steve Jobs came into our home around this point, his power glowing from the tiny CRT monitor on a Mac Performa 630. It had 8 megabytes of RAM and a 33 mhz processor. My brother showed me how to use ZTerm to dial into a local BBS. From that moment, I was hooked. Stereotypically, I racked up a $1000 phone bill calling long distance BBSs. I downloaded the Anarchist Cookbook from somewhere and printed it out, taking it to school and showing it to another kid, not knowing any better. It's a miracle I wasn't expelled.
I played Legend Of The Red Dragon each day after school, and after my BBS time ran out played WarCraft 2, Marathon, Dark Forces, DOOM 2, and went through one of those "1000 Shareware Games" CDs looking for anything fun. At some point, I begged my parents for a Mac game programming book, and they bought it for me after I assured them I would learn from it. It was expensive and heavy. I didn't understand any of it, and got frustrated after only a few days of trying to make sense of the QuickDraw code. I shamefully put it on the bookshelf, never to be opened again.
[Dark Forces, DOOM 2]
We got a Super Nintendo. I played Super Mario World over and over, getting to the Star World. We got a Super Scope and I played Battle Clash and Metal Combat. Me and my next door neighbor would sit in the basement and play Legend of the Mystical Ninja for hours, using Game Genie. I played Zelda for SNES when home sick from school, but I never beat it. I tried every single fatality in Mortal Kombat II. I was obsessed with my brother's collection of Nintendo Power and EGM.
[SMW Star World, Zelda, Mortal Kombat II, Nintendo Power, EGM]
We got an N64. I spent a summer vacation in the basement eating giant bowls of black cherry ice cream and getting 120 stars in Mario 64 over and over. It always felt strange and lonely when I finally got onto the castle roof, so I would start over again. My brother was usually in his room playing Final Fantasy III and Secret of Mana on the Super NES, the haunting melodies constantly audible outside his door. I got almost all the gold medals in Blast Corps.
[Blast Corps, Final Fantasy 3, Secret of Mana]
I spent middle school playing Marathon 2 deathmatch against my Science and Social Studies teachers and playing with a Tetris keychain. My Science teacher ended up getting reprimanded for it, but it helped me cope with school. In the eighth grade, the "gifted" kids had been set aside and given a list of classes they would be taking in high school, in a program called MST (Math, Science, Tech). I leaned over to my friend, pointed to the C++ class, and said "I'm taking that, and then I'm out of here." I didn't really think I had the balls to go through with it, but that's exactly what I ended up doing.
[Marathon 2, Tetris keychain]
A year later, in high school, the genius kids took the short bus to the "gifted" center, none of us really realizing that we were abnormal. I liked the Pascal (and later C++) teacher, Mr. Konrad Dzwonkiewicz. I really only ever had liked a few teachers, and he had the patience to put up with me the most. He told me I was "like Steve Jobs." In ninth grade, my final Pascal project was an DOS graphics-mode adventure game that had a player sprite follow the mouse cursor. Mr. Dzwonkiewicz came and asked if I had really made it- surprised since I had never turned in any homework. I had made it in a single night on an insanely slow DOS emulator running Turbo Pascal on my Mac at home.
I begged my Mom to order me a CD64 from China. She didn't know what it was, of course. It arrived, and I stared at the N64 expansion port, wondering how it was possible anyone could figure such a thing out. Surely they must be aliens! I spent days wiggling the cheap connectors trying to get it to boot up. Once in a while it actually worked, and I played as many N64 games as I could, finally having the chance to see imported and rare games. Most of the time, however, I played F-Zero X, amazed by the smooth 60 FPS movement.
A girl approached me in high school with a note, "asking me out." At last, my chance had arrived to "get laid," just like I had read and heard. I thought it was a normal thing to do, but some part of me knew it was wrong. My morals had been corrupted. Her father had a heavy drinking problem, and she was attracted to my problems- it's strange how these things work out. We're just puppets on a big automatic chessboard- "all the world's a stage." My brother bought me the first KoRn CD and I listened to it on my KOSS CD Player. I got obsessed with the band and drew the logo on my backpack. I didn't quite understand the lyrics, or what "crystal meth" was, but it sounded cool. For some reason I started getting more emotionally unstable and aggressive.
[KoRN CD, KOSS CD player]
In the tenth grade, the Great Wizard Bill Gates infiltrated his way into our family. I had convinced my parents to buy me a Windows laptop, promising that it would help with my homework. I dialed into NetZero and used a program to block the popup ad window every ten minutes. I spent my time on ICQ, IRC, and read horrible websites like Something Awful and Stile Project. I played Quake II and Thief and Carmageddon. I listened to The Fragile by Nine Inch Nails (A young warlock named Trent Reznor)- which my Mom had bought me, and I blasted it out my bedroom window, making my Dad angry. "He's just taking advantage of your emotions," he said to me. He was right. It was awesome. (Thanks, Mom!)
[Thief, Carmageddon, laptop, Bill Gates windows logo]
I read 2600 magazine and ate up all the Internet rhetoric- written by anarchists and libertarian conspiracy theorists living in trailers, no doubt, but I didn't know that at the time. I didn't need college, it was a waste of my time! I should become an entrepreneur! To be honest, I doubt I would have gotten much out of school anyhow. I didn't have the self control or discipline to get much from the actual knowledge, due to the porn habit- and now especially the girl.
It was the dot-com boom and I signed up for everything I could. There was a whole world to conquer on the little screen in my bedroom, and I was desperate to be an adult and get a piece of the action. I applied for credit cards until I somehow got one, "accidentally" putting in the wrong birth date. (My credit is still a disaster because of this.) I got a NetFlix account and rented a terrible DVD of ladies playing nude football which I never returned. I got a Diamond Rio MP3 player and was automatically signed up for a monthly Audible subscription. I got a CueCat. I got free groceries, free trials, and free samples. I somehow got eight cases of Dr. Pepper shipped to our door just for clicking and typing. My parent's mailbox quickly filled up with scammy MLM and pyramid scheme advertisements under the fake names I had used. They didn't say a thing. (Thanks Dad!) (But they did sit me down at the dinner table and ask why I had signed up for a free email address, "firstname.lastname@example.org". "'Punkass' isn't something you want to call yourself," my Dad said. Of course, I didn't understand. (I had chosen the name from a KoRn CD album art and misspelled it.))
Around grade eleven, while taking the C++ class, I figured out various ways around the protection software they had installed and got suspended for installing Command and Conquer: Red Alert on the network. I played 16-player Quake back at the normal high school with some older wild computer kids, who talked about "MDMA" and "Burning Man" and "FreeBSD." I of course couldn't realize it yet, but we were the criminals, the antisocial students- the insecure ones. I tried to build some desktop computers for my relatives to make some extra money. I bought the cheapest parts from pricewatch.com and went to the local Gibraltar Trading Center computer show, buying a couple of terrible Cyrix CPUs. The computers barely worked and were very unstable, but they booted, and it "wasn't my problem." I felt awful at my failure but pushed it out of my mind.
[Cyrix CPU, Quake, C&C Red Alert]
My girlfriend and I became "sexually active." Afraid to get her pregnant, and with no condoms, we had anal sex. She pretended not to mind and didn't say anything, because she had seen her Dad's porno channel. Our parents found our dirty emails and colluded, and my Mom tried to control me by humiliating me, making me wear pink shirts to school and getting me a job putting shoes on old ladies at Crowley's in the mall. She bought me a shirt that said "BUGGER" on it and had me wear it to school. My Chemistry teacher stopped me and asked me if I knew what it meant. It was subconscious mind control, deception, and it shoved me into a haze- but I fought back, instinctively.
My girlfriend's father started drinking again after trying to chase me out of the house. A few months later, he went on a really hard "bender" and died from alcohol poisoning. Her father ended up dying because of me. I caused her great damage and I regret that most of all. I didn't want to believe it, but part of me knew I wasn't innocent. At the time, we both justified it- it was his fault, he was weak, etc- but I wasn't blameless. After all, I was just as weak! I started going insane. Deep down, I thought of myself as secretly evil. A few months later, I coldly and cruelly dumped her, unable to deal with the guilt. Immediately after, probably due to the pink shirts and humiliating jobs, I went online and for some reason tried to get fucked by a guy. I went over some guy's house and sucked his dick for about two seconds, then ran out and drove back home shaking. My Mom had publicly subconsciously humiliated me in front of my peers, but since I had no choice but to continue to rely and trust my parents, it shoved me into mental confusion. I had been manipulated into a double bind where I lost all my self respect and self worth, and was driven into self-humiliation. This is the foundation for taming humans- it frustrates us into submission.
To restore my self respect, I had to either cut off the relationship and slam the door on my parents (start a war), or withstand the frustration and make myself much stronger. I instinctively chose the former, not understanding that there was another choice. I gave up trying in school, frustrated, addicted, unable to focus. I became more and more impulsive and self destructive, and started skipping classes. I started making as much trouble as I could, seeing how far I could stretch the rules. I started wearing all black and listening to Nine Inch Nails, Underworld, Marilyn Manson, and KMFDM on my Diamond Rio. I become obsessed with The Matrix and watched the scene where they storm into the building over and over on a pirated VCD rip that had taken several days to download. I started playing paintball, thinking I was tough for coming home with welts all over my back.
[Underworld, Marilyn Manson, KMFDM, The Matrix, paintball gun]
Columbine happened and the shooters were like heroes to me in my insecure and angry state. (There is something fascinating and morbidly cool about Columbine, but it is absolutely not cool that it actually happened, it is terrifying and incredibly tragic. I had no measure to understand the pain it had caused.) I used the opportunity to play up the black clothing, and almost got expelled for making a mock "hit list" full of fake names. It worked in a way- everyone started leaving me alone.
My friends banded together and cut off their friendship with me. I felt betrayed and reacted by conquering the school- "with me or against me!" I was a warmonger- forcing a divide. I hid in the Principal's administration bathroom while skipping classes, playing Worms Armageddon and Quake II on my laptop. I threw stuff out of the bus window at passing cars. I nabbed a fetal pig from the biology lab and stuffed it in my locker. (I still think this is a bit funny, though disturbing.)
I was self destructing and I didn't care. I became emotionally unstable and decided I didn't want to live, and I ordered some potassium cyanide from a research chemical site. My Dad intercepted the package, covered with orange warning stickers. He was clearly angry, but he didn't say anything. Walking home from school, I stole a traffic statistics device from the side of the road, and the police, who had seen me from down the street, rolled up to our driveway at the very moment my Dad was pulling in. I could not have been more frustrating, but my Dad bore it all with great patience.
Digital cameras were just coming out, and I walked into Montgomery Wards and ripped one off the display shelf, walking out with it as the alarm went off. I stole an 'HTML For Dummies' book from the library I had loved as a child. I got caught shoplifting awful hentai videos (La Blue Girl!) from FYE in the mall (That store is demonic and they deserved it!) and had to attend a shrinkage prevention class. My parents started taking me to a psychologist, who agreed with me that it was my parents' fault for punishing me for things I couldn't help doing. It didn't matter, because my parents couldn't help reacting to my behavior any more than I could help doing it- and it was my fault to begin with. I was surrounded with evil that I didn't have the wisdom or strength to resist, and surrounded with all the justification I needed to accept that it was normal. We're taught to be helpless victims.
[Digital Camera, HTML For Dummies, La Blue Girl]
I should have went jogging, lifted weights, done something- but I didn't know. I didn't understand. Physical will power is directly connected to mental will power. Physical fitness is just as- or more important- than intelligence. But I was a genius and I knew it- Geniuses take over the world with their mind, they don't lift weights!
In school, I was approached by a new girl. Her mother had put her on birth control (a wise decision) to her father's dismay. She had discovered the power of lust with her first boyfriend and was all too willing to let me do whatever I wanted. Suddenly I couldn't handle the prison of school or my parent's house, naturally. I didn't care how I got out. Instinctively, to spite my Mom, I printed out a giant poster of the girl's picture I had taken with the digital camera I had stolen from Montgomery Wards and hung it on my bedroom wall.
Eleventh grade ended, and it was summer vacation. Somehow, I got involved with another kid from my school, whose parents were going through a divorce. Without a solid home to keep him under control, and angry at his father, he got into computers, shaved his head, and became obsessed with first person shooters and tactical military gear. I had found a partner in crime, and we chatted online and researched stun guns together.
I rented a bunch of cult movies and horror films from the corner video store, Taxi Driver, Pulp Fiction, and the like. I got into Howard Stern and George Carlin. I started listening to angrier music, Eminem and ICP. The criminals had gotten in, and were quickly making me into one of them, stealing away any morals I had left and making me into a psychopath. I made an awful blog called "ih8.net" and tried to get my brother's friends involved, but with nothing interesting to say I just posted pictures of Asian porno on it. My Mom got angry and took away my laptop and kicked me in an angry fit. I was incredibly manipulative and used it as emotional leverage- I had every right to be furious- why, she had ruined my business! It was abuse! I had to stand up for myself! I used the credit card to buy a jelly vagina masturbator.
[Taxi Driver, Eminem, ICP, jelly masturbator]
My 'girlfriend' introduced me to one of her friends, a guy with a face piercing who smoked clove cigarettes and had his own apartment. I went over his apartment and downloaded KMFDM MP3s from Napster on his Comcast cable modem. Realizing I could escape, I started researching apartments online, desperate to find a way out, desperate to have a place to have sex with my girlfriend.
I decided to quit school, and then I decided that I was going to prove that religion was nonsense. I didn't know why, but something about it just bothered me. I had seen the truth of reality- why, it was all gore and porn! Morality was overrated and these people were all getting suckered! Knowing I was not a legal adult, I snuck out at night with my friend and slipped into a few local churches just to prove that nothing would happen. I was angry, for some reason, that the church was taking people's money. If anything, I thought, it should be used to help me! I didn't get caught, but it was in the newspaper, and I think there were even some copycats. I didn't do much damage, but the damage was done to me.
I had just turned 17 years old. My girlfriend was going on a trip somewhere and she wanted a ride home. My Dad refused to let me drive her, because it was an opportunity for us to have sex, and he was trying to save my soul. My conniving mind claimed innocence, as it was "only a ride home," and we got into a fight. I had a chip on my shoulder and was instinctively pushing my parents' buttons, trying to manipulate them into getting angry so I had a reason to leave. Of course, I had no idea I was doing this- it was all automatic! It worked, I had frustrated my Dad. He grabbed my neck and yelled at me, and I immediately ran to the phone and called the police, telling them he had strangled me. The police came, looked at my unblemished neck, chuckled, and left. My Dad told me to "get out of this house!" and I yelled back "I will!"
I was powerless, he was a lot bigger than me, and I only reacted naturally- but it was my fault. I was actually innocent in a way- It was because of the sins of those before me, the sins of the criminals and pornographers and the media that justified it. But at every junction, I had a choice- it was my fault for letting them. That's the paradox of personal responsibility. We are in a predatory world, completely surrounded by mind control designed to "steal our souls," or sap away our self control, morality, and sense of self, but there is no way for us to truly know this until we're victimized by it- and yet it's our fault for not knowing. "Listen to your parents" is about all the advice we get, without an explanation of why.
Fueled by lust and desperation, I printed a terrible fake ID on a Lexmark printer in my bedroom, and went out and walked into every apartment complex I could find, filling out applications and bullshitting my way through the process, telling them I was a website programmer. I finally got approved for one- I don't even think they looked at the ID before photocopying it and handing it back. Unfortunately, the only thing I could get was a townhouse way more expensive than I could afford. I paid the deposit with money we had stolen from the church.
I slipped out of my parent's house at night, taking a garbage bag full of clothes and hastily writing a note informing my parents that they had "heads like a hole," and that "I would rather die than give them control." Me and my 'friend' moved into the empty townhouse. There was a cheap rubber ball from Walmart and a unicycle in the middle of the downstairs floor for weeks and nothing else.
The principal of my school called my prepaid cell phone one of the first nights I moved in and asked me to come back to school. I refused, my mind shimmering with cognitive dissonance. I maxed out a credit card buying a blow up bondage bed and some sex toys. I was completely free, for the first time. I was a wild man. I knew it wouldn't last, but I didn't care. There was no more pressure on my heart, and I suddenly felt like I could do anything. I was an animal and a monster. I spanked my girlfriend until she had bruises and welts, then took pictures of it with the stolen digital camera, claiming my territory. She cheated on me with one of my rivals from high school and then dumped me, stabbing me in the heart with disrespect. I was furious and thrown into a rage at the betrayal, and after days of pacing and losing my mind, I started smoking cigarettes at my neighbor's advice. It was definitely not good advice! It worked, but it only repressed the emotional pain, which I would eventually have to deal with, only exponentially worse.
[Bondage Bed, Winston S2]
We walked around at night and climbed on top of buildings. Once, we pushed over an air conditioner unit on top of a building, cut a hole in the insulation underneath, and repelled down into it. Having successfully pulled off the Hollywood stunt, we climbed out and left, leaving no trace. They were real crimes, but we weren't real criminals- we were two suburb kids pretending to be tough. We needed money, however, and neither of us had any ideas, nor the balls to commit any serious heists. I came up with an idea for a few quasi-legal online schemes, and tried to create a fake address to pull one of them off by installing a new mailbox next to some existing ones and tacking on a "B" address. It didn't work, the property owner just removed it. I came up with a somewhat good idea for relisting badly written eBay auctions, buying the original, and keeping the price difference, but it was even more tedious than a "real job." I quickly learned there was no way to get rich quick, even if I had total freedom.
The freedom was attractive, and several of my high school peers came and visited. It was strange how distant they seemed- I was in a whole different world. I was proud of myself and had great confidence, though I was repressing terrible fear and shame. I invited over a few girls from high school on AOL Instant Messenger, and awkwardly slept with two of them and made out with two others. There was one girl I knew from my church youth group on my AIM list that I had had a big crush on when I was much younger, and for some reason, chatting with her made me feel really bad. I got briefly involved with a pregnant girl and slept with her twice, once walking to her apartment complex in the middle of the night. I found a Game Boy Color with Pokemon Blue in it sitting outside somewhere in her apartment complex and picked it up. Later, I felt very guilty I had taken it, realizing she was in low-income housing, and it was some poor kid's. I played Pokemon Blue on it and got obsessed. I got a big poster and memorized all the Pokemon.
My roommate got picked up by his mother after a month or two. I drove over his father's house and angrily demanded rent payment, but he said he was broke. It was probably a bluff, but it worked and I didn't put up a fight. I never saw my 'friend' again. I applied for more credit cards, thinking I could juggle the balances to pay my rent. It didn't work- I just wasn't responsible enough to pull it off, and I maxed them all out within a month or two. The police probably knew or suspected that I was up to no good, and several times there were police cars strangely parked in front of my apartment, probably just to send a subconscious message and strike some fear into me. I didn't realize it at the time, of course, but it worked. I stopped committing crimes, and got into drugs instead.
I tried smoking weed for the first time at my neighbor's house. I was hesitant at first, but I figured "I had already destroyed my life, so how much worse could it get?" We watched the Pokemon Movie and giggled the whole time. I remember everything sparkling and feeling very floaty, and after the first time all my apprehension about it was gone. It tends to have that effect, which is why it quickly becomes a habit. It made me less aggressive, but also confused and more afraid of what I had gotten myself into. It became an escape from what I had done, giving me back an illusion of the childhood I had just abandoned.
For a few months I worked at a small dot com bubble startup with my friends Phil and Steve, making a scammy health food website called "Dr Health." I told the guy we should ditch that site and make a "social hub" website called "Popple" where you could see what your friends were up to, basically Friendster or an early MySpace (in 2002). I had drawn up a bunch of papers and insisted it was a good idea. He didn't like the idea. After he ran out of funding, I eventually sold him my laptop to pay my rent.
Two years passed, somehow. I got some new roommates. My apartment was soon full of local runaways, kids with tattoos and piercings who smoked cigarettes and weed, who I had no idea how I had gotten involved with. I got drunk and smoked pot at my neighbors, playing Super Smash Bros on N64 for months. I always played as Samus and I always won. We watched Dragon Ball Z, and I bleached my hair and put glue in it to make myself "Super Saiyan." I went to a few raves and took "Pikachu" ecstasy. I tried ketamine, cocaine, and opium once each with some of my roommate's friends, thinking it was the chance of a lifetime to find something so rare. It was stupid- they are everywhere, and none of them are very good. I cut a hole in the wall and tapped into the neighbor's phone line, dialing into NetZero in the middle of the night. I started listening to weird synthpop music- Apoptygma Berzerk and VNV Nation- that I had downloaded from AudioGalaxy. For some reason, as soon as I heard it I immediately knew it was the kind of music I liked. It wasn't aggressive and angry like the music I had listened to before, it was just weird and made me feel like an alien.
[Super Smash Bros, Dragon Ball Z, Pikachu MDMA]
I got a kitten, named it Mew, and accidentally killed it the first night I had it. I was stoned, and it woke me up somehow. I got angry and put it in a big plastic bucket in the closet, half asleep and confused. In the morning, it was dead- it had suffocated. I panicked and told my roommate I had stepped on it. I felt absolutely horrible about it and pushed it out of my mind, trying to forget what a monster I was. It shoved me further into a haze.
I had somehow found a way each month to scrape together the rent, but I was fighting a losing battle and I knew it. After a year or two of odd jobs and various schemes, one of my roommates got me a job working at the Walmart across the street. My apartment was at the top of a long hill, and each morning I imagined flying down the hill with one giant jump. I worked out some rough estimates and decided it would take about 30 garbage bags full of helium to be nearly buoyant. (I have no idea if this is correct, but I'd still like to figure it out.) I wish I would have tried it, though I most likely would have gotten hurt. I played Zelda Ocarina of Time on an emulator on my lunch break.
It was November, 2002. I was 19 years old.
I worked in the Walmart Tire and Lube Express, changing oil on old Chevy Astro vans with leaky, rusted out oil plugs. I stayed in the underground oil-change pit all day wearing a dark blue jumpsuit and scribbled startup ideas for a Napster killer and a Phoenix (later named Firefox) bookmark sync plugin (amongst many others) on oil-stained napkins. (Notice I called my sync plugin "FireBar." I wouldn't realize until much later that I was clairvoyant. ("clear vision.") )
I decided one Saturday night to go with some friends to an industrial dance club in Detroit called Leland City Club. Of course, I stayed out way too late and was too tired to make it into work, so I called in. I didn't have a good excuse, so I told my manager that I had been out dancing, and then added that I had sprained my ankle. The next day I got an ACE bandage and some blue ink and faked a sprained ankle, even though nobody would have cared to look. I wasn't good at lying. A few days later I stopped going in, probably out of embarrassment.
My electricity had just gotten shut off. I realized the power company guy had simply rotated the electric meter to an "off position" and fastened it with a piece of thin wire. I cranked it back, and the lights turned on. I was sure I was going to be dead soon, so I didn't consider the consequences.
I hid in my bedroom and sat on my Walmart futon with a cheetah print comforter and played through Super Metroid on an emulator on my patchwork PC cobbled together from salvaged parts, with the first and only bag of weed I had ever purchased sitting on the table next to me. I had no idea what I was going to do. I just sort of assumed that my life would end, as if my power would shut off as soon as I ran completely out of money. I had all but given up and was waiting for the end.
The police came into my apartment the night I was stoned and playing Super Metroid. Apparently someone had broken into a Subway across the street, and they were looking for a stolen safe. They came into my bedroom, checked the closet, and told me they didn't care about my weed. I beat Super Metroid, alone in a giant puzzle world. It was the greatest experience I had ever had. It was also, by that point, pretty much all I had.
My neighbor got me a job as a janitor at the Great Indoors for a week. I snorted crushed up Ritalin out of a pen in the bathroom that my roommate had gotten from his little brother. I stopped going in, and my roommate moved out with his girlfriend.
I was alone.
A miracle happened. And another, and another. I just couldn't see it.
I don't know how, but an old friend from high school met up with me, telling me there was a new arcade game I'd like at his work, Dave and Busters. I went to Dave and Busters with him and played Pump It Up, which started my obsession for dance games. Within weeks I was playing burned Dance Dance Revolution CDs on a borrowed Playstation using a Pro Action Replay, on a soft DDR pad I had ordered from Lik-Sang. I wondered what kind of insane Japanese person could possibly read the Maniac steps.
Again, somehow, another guy I went to high school with came over. He brought over an NES and Super Mario Bros 3 and we played through it overnight. We went to City Club together. He gave me a 54mg Concerta and said "don't let this be the end of Bob Pelloni." I held onto it and remembered those words. He got me a job with him at Jo-Ann Fabrics working temp shelf construction. I went to the interview stoned and got the job anyway. For two weeks I rode there on my bike and listened to VNV Nation on my Diamond Rio. "I'm not alone, I'm not afraid, I'm not unhappy." I met a Red-Haired Lady there who also went to City Club, who moved into my apartment with her boyfriend a few weeks later.
[Super Mario Bros 3]
The couple was sleeping on a queen sized bed on the lower floor of my apartment. A few nights later, the Red-Haired Lady sort-of seduced me and I slept with her once. She had indoctrinated me into a new family. My parents came to visit my apartment for the first time, perhaps sensing this, and the couple answered the door.
One day I was in Target with my roommate, and the power went out. The store went totally dark! I was in the video game section, and I took the opportunity to grab an original pink translucent GBA, the kind without a backlight that was nearly unplayable inside. I took it as some sort of sign and walked out with it, holding the box in my hand.
A week or two later, there was an eviction notice on my door. I laughed in despair and threw a hammer through the wall. We went to City Club. Miraculously, the couple decided to get another apartment in the same apartment complex and they offered to let me live there. I was there for a few days and bought a GameCube with Super Mario Sunshine, and played it ferociously on an old blurry CRT TV that cut off half the text and life meter.
A local arcade got Dance Dance Revolution MAX2 and I got good. I played Stepmania on my PC with my fingers. I beat MAXX Unlimited on "Maniac" in the arcade. DDR Extreme came out and I beat The Legend of Max. It was saving my life and ruining my life at the same time. I didn't know what was happening, but I was becoming a Dance God and Dance Dance Revolution was taking me to heaven. I was truly proud of a skill that I had for the first time, and it gave me self esteem at a time when I had none.
It was November, 2002.
Metroid Fusion was leaked online and I played through it in a single night in VisualBoy Advance. I bought Metroid Prime a few days later and played it in the dark over the next few nights. A few days later, a girl came to visit, a friend of the couple. I thought that she was maybe the hottest girl I had ever seen. She sat on the couch next to me that night as I was playing Super Monkey Ball on the blurry TV, and a few hours later was sleeping in my futon.
Suddenly, I had a girlfriend, and a hot, smart one at that. At once I had the motivation to do something with my life, and I was certain what I was destined to do. I knew I couldn't make a GameCube game or a PC game like Quake, but I could probably make something pretty good for the Game Boy Advance. It made sense at the time!
It was 2003.
I forgot everything that happened. My mind repressed it all and replaced it with a permanent veil of innocence. I was a new person with a new identity. God had answered my prayers and sent me an angel, and I was going to make it right. I had a chance to start over.
I downloaded an open source development kit for the GBA and got a dot moving on the screen of an emulator. This was the first serious program I had ever written. Super Metroid had somehow pulled me out of a hopeless disaster and brought me opportunity. I knew this was what I was going to do with my life. I just didn't yet know the difference between an open source homebrew toolchain and a commercial development kit. Everyone has to start somewhere!
I had taken that C++ class in High School before dropping out, and had the confidence that it was enough. I knew I was smart- that I was really smart, and I was desperate. I had to figure out how to keep this girl. I had to do something! One night when she couldn't come over, I ate the 54mg Concerta that my friend left at my old place and covered my bedroom floor with scribbled papers, dissecting Super Metroid movement animations frame by frame and making measurements to try and reverse engineer the physics.
[Super Metroid papers]
In one night, I had a ripped Samus sprite jumping on the screen with animation. I had convinced myself that I could make a game. I copied the code to a new directory and started working on a simple game, "like Zelda, but with guns and drugs like GTA," called "Zeldrug." (It probably would have sold well!) I got on AOL Instant Messenger and messaged my friend Phil, asking him to start a video game company with me. My enthusiasm and determination convinced him and he got on board. We called the company "PNBSoft," until we thought of something better.
Suddenly empowered by the new relationship, I had confidence and pride, and it was time to create my criminal empire! I walked to my parents house in the snow, listening to weird synthpop on my Diamond Rio, and once there, realizing they weren't home, I got angry and kicked in the garage door. I took a box of coins, a few dollars, and a Palm Pilot. I sold the coins for a carton of cigarettes on the way back home.
[Cigarettes, Palm Pilot]
A few weeks later, I showed up at my parents house again, stormed in, and announced that I was an evil person all along, and asked them if they would help me make a business. I knew if I had their resources I could be successful. Miraculously, my Dad agreed to help me. I tried not to look at the broken garage door. They didn't say anything, and I gradually forgot about it completely.
I moved out of the couple's apartment with my girlfriend in a dramatic gesture. The Red-Haired Lady was upset that her new family was broken, and I coldly cut her off, without really realizing what I was doing. I had started my own family! I was a man!
My girlfriend and I got an apartment in a very cheap, shoddy apartment complex. There was black mold running up one of the walls, and the apartment across the hall's ceiling caved in because of a water leak, but we didn't care. I started borrowing money from my parents after showing them some demos. My Dad agreed to give me about $500 a month to pay rent. They were undoubtedly worried about my apparent madness and refusal to deal with reality, and perhaps my Dad saw a bit of himself in my ambition.
I printed out long articles from Gamasutra about game development and the game industry, hole punched them, and put them in binders. I learned about being a "Lone Wolf" and about post mortems and how to deal with publisher negotiations. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, but I was sure I could figure it out. (I am pretty sure now that those people didn't know what they were doing either.) I convinced Phil that we only had to make a tech demo and we could convince publishers to give us funding. I had no idea what I was talking about, but a few plastic binders with economy-printed hole-punched articles was all I had to believe in. My Don Quixote journey had begun!
The Game Boy Advance SP came out and we each got one- for testing purposes, of course. I ordered a couple of GBA flash carts from Lan-Kwei. We used the HAM high level GBA library along with DevKitARM, which was buggy and not quite finished but usable enough. This project was the one thing I had going for me, and I stubbornly held on long after we started to run into problems.
Phil came over and we had a brainstorm session. I came up with what I thought was the greatest game idea ever: an Adventure RPG set in a modern suburb where you fight in minigame battles instead of typical RPG battles. Phil liked the idea and "RPG with Minigames" stayed on the whiteboard from that moment on. After some time, we called it "Button Mash." We decided to rename the company to "Monkeys On Keyboards."
Each day, Phil drove up with some Hot 'n Now cheeseburgers for us and hacked on a Marble Madness clone in one of the bedrooms with me. I was probably the worst person in the world to work with, and Phil was a champion for putting up with me as long as he did. I sat there chain smoking with a fan in the window (at his request!), playing obnoxious techno music, trying to force myself to pretend I knew what I was doing enough to make a Tetris clone.
At night I played pirated GBA games on my flash cart. During the day I browsed through lots of Super Nintendo ROMs on ZSNES with a Lik-Sang PSX controller adapter, on my cobbled together PC running pirated Windows XP. Phil kept his legit Windows box on the desk like a trophy. I had no such integrity (yet).
Phil was a far better programmer than I was, starting in high school and having gone to Michigan Tech for the past few years, and I struggled to keep up. It's incredible that he stuck around as long as he did. I somehow finished the Tetris clone in a week or two and began working on a clone of Puyo Puyo. Phil finished his Marble Madness clone and made Checkers, a Slide Puzzle, and then a Cameltry clone, amongst a few others. I started working on a DDR clone.
[ROM download links for games]
I covered the windows with black plastic. We lived in a cave and it was paradise. My girlfriend played Earthbound on a PC emulator and Zelda Wind Waker for GameCube on the couch. I got through Extra Expert mode on Super Monkey Ball and saved recordings of my best trick stage clears to the memory card. I got to the final boss in Luigi's Mansion. I had 6 more blue coins to find in Super Mario Sunshine. I built a terrible homemade wooden DDR platform. I bought a real copy of Super Metroid, even though I didn't have a Super Nintendo. Each night we watched anime which I had downloaded from DC++ laying on a futon mattress on the floor, going through dozens of series.
Unable to find any decent public tileset tools, Phil started working on a tileset graphics editor in Java, which he had learned at Michigan Tech. I told him I would make the whole game if he did that. I started working on the RPG engine. Within a few months he had a fully functional tile editor, with layers that matched the GBA hardware. Phil was hardcore! It was all inside one huge .java file he had written in notepad. He was adding in network support and making it self-compiling, and I told him to take a break, and I would do the rest in six months. (It took me a lot longer than six months. (My Dad was right.))
(Phil's editor is still the basis of my game editing tools to this day. I offered to give him half of what "bob's game" makes, but he refused, true to his champion nature. I'll probably try to give him half anyway if it makes a lot. Phil is a great friend!)
There was a blackout, and we had no power for several days. I played the just-released Japanese NES Classics Metroid ROM on my GBA SP with my girlfriend on the couch in the dark. It was one of the best times of my life.
Our futon got black mold underneath it. An obese man moved in above us and the ceiling bent and creaked dangerously wherever he walked. After a few days without sleep, I went up and started yelling at him. He laughed. We went to the main office and demanded a different apartment. We should have moved to a less cheap complex. Maybe I should have gotten a job. It was too late. I was already on my journey, and holding on to my dream at all costs.
They gave us a new apartment, a mirror image of our previous one in another building. We moved everything over. This one had a guy living next door who was trying to be the next Eminem. He watched us move in all our stuff, and glared at me every time I walked past. We should have been nicer to the apartment staff, lack of sleep or not.
It was 2004.
I worked on graphics in Phil's tile editor and programmed the RPG engine during the day.
We bought Pokemon Channel, got stoned, and cackled at Pikachu. My girlfriend played Harvest Moon on the GameCube. I played Dragon Warrior 4 on a GBA NES emulator on the flash cart on the toilet until my legs fell asleep and I stumbled off onto the floor. I bought a Beatmania IIDX controller and started practicing. We watched anime at night. I sent an email to John Carmack and he gave a short reply, making me certain I was the next video game superstar... if only I could make the game.
I went to go play DDR with my friend a few weeks later, and had a sinking feeling the whole night. My girlfriend called his cell phone and told us someone had broken in and stolen the GameCube and my PC. We went to the nearest GameStop and they had my games on the shelf. We showed them the receipt with the GameCube serial number on it and they got the security tape with the neighbor selling the games. They found my PC in our neighbor's apartment, but the police confiscated it for evidence. (I wish he had become the next Eminem! I hope he has recovered and I feel bad about it now.)
My memory card was already sold, and I never found the last six blue coins. To this day I never beat Luigi's Mansion. (I will do these things as soon as I get a PC and some free time.) My Super Monkey Ball replays were forever lost.
I went to court, but didn't get my PC back. Feeling victimized, I became paranoid and stored everything left at my parents' house, becoming minimalistic and only using an old Dell laptop. I needed vindication. I wrote an NPC engine with dozens of unnecessary movement types, implementing every kind of NPC behavior I had seen in any other game. I wrote a formatted text engine and drew half a dozen fonts for it pixel by pixel. My game started becoming my identity, and I started getting completely lost in it. I became obsessed. I couldn't work hard enough. I worked at nights, leaving my girlfriend to play Harvest Moon alone. I took the laptop outside and walked around until I found open Wifi, and downloaded some porn for the first time in years.
I kept drawing my childhood, trying to remember...
Our lease ran out and we moved to a nicer but smaller apartment. I selfishly took the bedroom as my office. We got Comcast internet and I got re-addicted to internet porn. I listened to comedy albums all day and drew graphics while stoned.
The Nintendo DS came out. I was terrified by it, realizing I was out of time. After reading news that GBA games would be ported to it I felt a tinge of hope. I ordered the first pass-through flash device available for it. It was hand-made and had #7 written on it with a Sharpie. I began to port my GBA RPG engine to it after a few months, using the PAlib library in place of HAMlib. I had the strangest feeling that PAlib was somehow being developed to save my life.
Using my parents' money, I filed to trademark "Button Mash." I read "Atlas Shrugged" on a homebrew text reader on my GBA SP in bed next to my girlfriend, and then started sleeping alone on the floor of the office. Cave Story was released and I became furiously jealous that I wasn't the first one-man game. I forced myself to keep working even harder, drawing terrible graphics. Life became a blur. I was becoming completely mad. I saw the potential, even if nobody else did, and my defensiveness only made those around me more critical, making me more defensive.
I started gaining weight. I lost my self discipline and self control and developed an ego instead. I stopped playing DDR, and instead smoked too much pot and too many cigarettes. I became paranoid and lost all my self esteem. I became jealous, possessive, and reclusive. I started writing myself notes and tacking them on the walls, reminding me to be nice, to cheer up, to stay motivated. It only made it worse, of course.
It was 2005.
My girlfriend and I constantly argued and I downloaded a massive porn collection. I became increasingly more insecure about my failure to produce the game which I had made my identity. I got a strange growth on my right index finger. My girlfriend bought me "Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg," and I played it once and never touched it again. I was spoiled. I was selfish. I was enslaved by my addictions. I was confused and I could not understand- I was on my way to hell.
Phil wanted his desk back, and I argued with him and haughtily dropped it off at his house. I started avoiding my girlfriend completely, only coming out for my now-hourly glass of coffee. She finally had enough and started staying out late with friends, then other guys, trying to get my attention. I tried to quit smoking. I was filled with rage. I started putting up notes on the wall telling myself to be nicer, then as soon I saw her I would be overcome with anger and march back into the room, slamming the door. She giggled at me and threw a party with friends from her work. I threw a tantrum and knocked a monitor onto the floor.
I moved out in a dramatic act, moving to Lansing into an old converted college dorm room for $250 a month. I sealed up the door with foam to keep out the noise and keep myself in, after stocking up on canned food and coffee.
Spending weeks at a time in the tiny dungeon I had created, I forced myself to keep clicking. After a month, my girlfriend emailed me, saying it was over- I hadn't had the spine to officially break it off myself. The finality of it hit me and I went into despair.
Depressed out of my mind and trying to stay motivated, I covered the walls completely with notes and quotes. I got stoned, drew graphics, watched anime, and sat in the tiny shower stall with an umbrella, pretending it was raining.
I tried to bake bread in a toaster oven after watching "Yakitate Japan," and almost set the place on fire. There was an infestation of beetles that came through the window. I masturbated to my huge porn collection until it hurt, and finally tossed the DVD spindles into a dumpster in an attempt to kick it for good. I played pretend DDR on the floor without a pad, and began to subject myself to an unrealistic workout schedule. My cheeks became gaunt and pale. I listened to comedy and weird synthpop and tried to quit smoking again, packing tobacco into a weed pipe once the loneliness had overcome my will power.
I was in that room for six months, and then my parents cut me off. I had created a massive world. It was ugly, but it was real.
It was 2006.
With nowhere to go, I moved into my friend's rented house basement with asbestos insulation everywhere, setting up a plastic tent in the midst of my despair. It was freezing. I took the bus and donated blood plasma for money, coming back and playing DDR until I passed out. I felt my consciousness and self control coming back. I kept refining the graphics. I hacked on Phil's editor, adding features, trying to make it my own.
It was a college town. As soon as I got some momentum, there was another girl that appeared, somehow- I think it was at Denny's. I rebounded on her immediately. I tried to quit smoking again, and failed. Later I would find out that she was cheating on her fiancee- I might as well have been kicking myself in the balls. It wasn't really her fault- he had gotten selfish and she needed somebody to fill the void, she didn't really care about me. We had sex in the plastic tent in the basement. I was broken and confused.
My Dad picked me up in his truck at some point. All I remember is him yelling at me to "Get Normal!" He was trying to knock some sense into me, to get me to understand I didn't need to do it this way. I didn't understand. My game was all that mattered, and I didn't have time to change my methods.
Over the next few days, I obsessively searched for apartments online. I found the cheapest place I could, an hour away from my parent's house in an urban sprawl town a half hour away.
I was in some kind of terrifying autopilot. I somehow sat my parents down and convinced them to pay for one more year, that this was my career, that it would all be worth it.
I moved in with my beat up desk and a cobbled together PC. It was a 1.2Ghz Duron with 256MB RAM. This is what I wrote most of my game on. The power supply didn't fit in the case, so I duct taped it inside the desk. My parents bought me a used loveseat, probably hoping that I would get a new girlfriend. I set my desk up in the bedroom and set up a DDR station in the main room, at first honoring my parents' request that I keep my apartment looking normal.
I soon tacked all my notes and motivational quotes I had collected along the way onto the wall and covered the window with black plastic, labeling the door with "Motivation Room." I put a mirror in front of my computer so that I had someone to talk to, commanding myself to "Be The Hero."
I had no phone, no car (I still didn't have a driver's license!), no internet, no money, and nobody that I knew within a half hour. I was completely isolated. It took a few weeks to adjust. Unable to focus and still heartbroken, I walked around searching for free Wifi on my DS, and sent emails to the girl from Lansing. She never replied. I walked two miles to get my groceries. I chain smoked tobacco in filter tubes. I walked to the library with a USB stick to check my email and get new versions of PAlib. I smoked small bits of weed out of a tiny bowl I had made from parts from ACE Hardware.
Once I adjusted, I got back to clicking. It was a fresh start, so I made a new logo and decided to rename the company to "Densetsusoft." I really didn't like the name of the game anymore, and the "bob's game" concept had begun to form in my mind.
I got on food stamps and started making one giant pot of food substance, a lot of frozen vegetables, spaghetti sauce, noodles, and chicken or tuna. I ate the same thing every day, scooping out a bowl of the awful-tasting mixture and microwaving it. Eventually I started eating it cold out of the pot straight from the fridge. I went down to 130 pounds.
I spent a couple of months drawing the massive outside areas for 16 hours a day, and another few months cleaning up and adding layers of detail to the existing graphics. It still wasn't good enough. I moved my desk into the middle of the larger main room and covered the sliding glass door with black plastic.
To keep myself inside and focused, I screwed some boards in across the door to make it annoying to open, covered it in black plastic, and piled up everything I wasn't using against it. I stayed inside for sometimes over a month or two. The first four days were always really tough and I found myself inventing excuses to leave, but after that I was on autopilot and I had the time of my life.
I got my self discipline back. I read through an offline Wikipedia copy I had and tried to learn how to become a noble and good person. My heart was open and I knew the work I was doing was good.
I got good at Beatmania IIDX. I got pretty good at C and Java, switching between the RPG engine and the heavily modified editor. I got good at graphics. I got good at making tracker music. I played through newly released DS ROMs each night laying in the mattress next to my desk, learning from the designs. I filled notebooks with ideas, scribbles, rants, and drawings- some of it brilliant, some of it neurotic. I wrote entries each day in a massive journal.
I was still fighting against my addictions, but I was starting to win. It was lonely, and the porn I had became like gold. I deleted it all, and then undeleted what I could the next day. I flushed packs of cigarettes and wrote notes on the door declaring I would never touch them again, cracking within hours and running to the tobacco store.
Thanksgiving came, and I went back to my parents' house. It was boring, so I met up with some friends at Denny's, along with a girl from high school I chatted with on AOL Instant Messenger who lived down the street. I showed her my game running on the DS, proud of what I had made. For some reason, I wanted to prove that I wasn't the dropout loser she took me for, but I have no idea why I thought that.
My parents brought me a new pair of shoes for Christmas.
It was 2007.
I worked through the new year, going to bed early after playing some "Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker."
The stress I was going through, along with the weed, lack of self-esteem, and extreme isolation made me psychotic. I screamed at the walls and paced back and forth between the desk and the bathroom mirror. I listened to the same song on a loop for weeks or months, sometimes even while sleeping. I covered the mirror with insane Expo marker rantings and then covered it in black plastic, not seeing my reflection for weeks. I experimented with all the variables, and removed everything but the goal.
I got a postcard in the mail from the girl in high school who I had hung out with on Thanksgiving- she had gone on a road trip with a friend. She must have asked for my address at some point. There was something strange about the postcard, and after staring at it and wondering, I left it on the floor next to my laptop until it got shuffled into the piles of random clutter.
It was dangerous, and it was hell- but it was working. That's all that mattered. My favorite motivational quote, "A bad game is bad forever. A delayed game is eventually good. - Shigeru Miyamoto," was taped up in the corner, giving me hope.
My productivity increased every day until I was a machine. It began to happen the way I had imagined. It was working, and though it was a constant torture, I had never felt more satisfied.
I went through the list of characters I had come up with, drawing 8 full sprite sheets every day, and then going over them all again. I drew hundreds of sprites without stopping. I went through each room methodically and scripted the NPC placement and behaviors, hard coding it all in C. The engine was shaping up into a solid, professional piece of work. It still had some bugs, but it was stable enough to walk around the whole world and run all the NPC behavior overnight without crashing.
My game was real. I had written nearly an entire retail quality RPG by myself. I was 23 years old. It was the happiest I had ever been in my life. I felt satisfied that I was becoming the person I wanted to be. It felt as if I was getting somewhere, I was going to make it.
I was a guy like Leonardo da Vinci.
I felt powerful, as if I had been reaching for something and nearly gained it. Something within me knew that I would have the leverage I needed to do anything, to change the world the way I needed to. My Dad came to visit, and asked me if I could invent a way to improve Detroit. I came up with an idea for a school desk with a touchscreen in it, with automated interactive lessons and a worldwide educational tournament network. I was sure that I was going to be the one to revolutionize education.
Over the next two weeks, there was an odd phenomenon. By some strange coincidence, my few remaining friends spontaneously came over to visit, and I showed them what I had made. One by one they mocked it, got angry, and stopped coming over. I didn't understand. Wasn't it good? Why would they get angry? I boarded the door back up and angrily wrote notes on it, saying "Fuck these people, I don't need them!" It was me versus the world.
My parents came over and I showed them what I had made. They were amazed and impressed, for a day. I was so proud, and more motivated than ever. Then things got strange. They started pointing out the tiniest flaws in what I had made. I couldn't understand why, but it hurt. I would obsess over their words for days. I mentioned it to them several times, and they offered no explanation. Why couldn't they just be proud of me? I didn't understand then that the problem was in myself, not them.
My Mom got a bit weird and kept insisting that I get a cell phone. I tried explaining my situation to her, that I couldn't afford any compromise, that it was too difficult for me to resist the temptation. I would call a girl. She kept pushing and sort of forced it on me. I broke it, and then lied and told her I had dropped it. She immediately got me a new one.
I broke all the numbers off the cell phone, and then stabbed the board underneath with a screwdriver until there was no way I could dial with it. I found a way anyhow. I called the girl from high school in total compulsion, as if possessed. I think I asked her how her trip was, and then hung up.
When I was in Kindergarten, I drew a picture in crayon which was made into a dinner plate. My parents always served me food on it, even as a young adult. They would always ask me what it meant, and I never knew. It appears to be me in a room painting and listening to music, sweating bullets at a knock on the door which has come to interrupt me. The door is in my heart.
There was a knock on the door. I was taking a shower, and there is no way I could have heard it, but I felt it, somehow. I opened the door wearing a towel, expecting nobody to be there. The girl was standing there, wearing a nice outfit and fresh makeup. She informed me that she was housesitting for her sister with the whole place to herself, and invited me to come hang out.
Things got weird. I sat on her sister's couch and said "I'm not going to sleep with you." She got neurotic, snapped "I've had enough of you!" and drove me back, slamming the car door on me.
No problem. I was tough, and had closed all my weaknesses. I finally had control over myself, and I could handle this. I decided to try and quit smoking again. It was probably the biggest mistake of my life (so far).
I failed, and my will shattered. I was walking down the street, and the next thing I knew I was on the phone, humiliating myself, crying, apologizing. She made fun of me and hung up.
I couldn't redeem myself. I was broken. I couldn't think. I couldn't focus. My heart was shattered. I suddenly felt like I was wearing a thousand pound weight. I had climbed out of the well of despair and become my own master, and somehow, like a thief, she had seen that light and was overcome with the compulsion to grab it. She had stolen my heart the very moment I had freed it!
I had been tearing through my To-Do list at lightning speed. My changelog had been racking up pages each day. I had been a machine. Suddenly, I was completely useless. I tried to focus, and got immediately frustrated, knocking my monitor off the desk in rage.
I couldn't comprehend it! I went to the store with my Dad the next day. I told him what had happened, and that I didn't understand. He said "you'll figure it out." It sounded sinister and sly when he said it.
I was confused and I couldn't understand. I didn't know how to cope. I had no control and I was grabbing onto anything I could. I remembered in the sixth grade they had recommended Ritalin. I had refused to take it. My Mom had begged, but didn't force me. First I went on Wellbutrin, trying to quit smoking, then, remembering that first night with the Metroid, I tried Concerta again, then Adderall, then generic Ritalin. My Dad only said "I guess if you need it..." in a mysterious tone. I damaged my health and my heart. I was sure that my dreams were ruined, but I was so close- and there was no way I could give up.
In my mind, I couldn't understand why someone would do this to me. I was the youngest person to have written something like I had. It was all I had. It was the largest thing I had ever seen written by one person. My dreams were right there in front of me, and was watching them fall to pieces. I had done it! I had struggled through hell and back and lived through a complete nightmare and sacrificed everything!
Why would they hurt me? Why were people around me attacking me and not supporting me?
I didn't understand. I had been defeated, but not fairly! I was defeated by a dirty trick, not honest work, which was intensely more frustrating. How could I respect such an approach? It was my own fault, my own weakness, but I didn't know how to overcome it.
I couldn't do it. Instead, I got worse. I wasted months in that apartment. I walked in circles. I screamed. I broke everything. I couldn't focus- my heart was closed and nothing would come out. I was frustrated to shreds. I got obsessed with myself, trying to find myself again. I started recording everything. I took pictures. I documented everything. I got increasingly weird, imagining myself standing up for homeless people. I screamed at the store manager when I saw him berate an employee. I walked outside in the snow for miles without a coat, amped up on Adderall, not feeling the cold.
I still forced myself to draw graphics, even at a slow, frustrated pace. I developed an ego and drew a forest with my signature in it. I made some weird music in Reason and emailed it to a radio station, and then lashed out at them when they said it wasn't good enough. I sent weird, embarrassing emails to friends. I spammed that girl with hundreds of humiliating emails, even proposing marriage. She never once replied. She knew I was lying, even if I didn't.
I called her house and her Mom answered with a sigh. She put her daughter on, who mocked me and hung up. She moved out of state shortly after, her only online presence was an Amazon wishlist full of shoes and diamonds. Somehow, seeing it put me into a haze of fear, like a curtain had been closed over my consciousness.
It was Mind Control - The Uncomfortable Truth About Humans. We control each other's minds.
We are psychic beings!
I didn't know that then, and it took me years to understand. By now, I've realized that I hadn't been any better, that I was just passing blame. I had showed her my game, not knowing the meaning of the act. I needed to learn to respect women. I had to kick the addictions and master my own will, but I didn't know that they had bound my mind. I wasn't capable of understanding! Eventually, I figured it out- just like my Dad had said. (Thanks, Dad!)
I had slept with her friend, back when I first got my apartment. I had forgotten.
She had crushed me because I had hacked into her heart and mind by showing her my game, and did everything she could to prevent me from reaching any kind of redemption to save her own soul. Why? Because I didn't respect women, so she didn't respect me, and had done what she needed to get out from under my control. She had the natural advantage of power, because she had beauty and I was full of lust. To her, my tactics must have seemed just as unfair and dirty, since I smoked cigarettes instead of proper coping methods. No matter what I achieved, in her mind it wasn't respectable.
I borrowed a bike that was on the lawn next door to get groceries. The neighbor was waiting for me when I got back, seemingly high on cocaine. He punched me in the head when I dropped the bike back off. To be fair, it was his kid's bike, and I hadn't asked. I ran away as fast as I could, and came back to my apartment, terrified. I packed all my stuff into boxes, and then unpacked it again. I felt more defeated than ever before.
My parents cut me off again the next month, refusing to renew my lease, which was already past a year and on month-to-month. My Dad took me to a restaurant, and after the meal handed me a card to a psychiatrist, saying that I had no choice. I stood my ground, but I was quickly running out of options. They were closing the trap on me and I knew it.
I had to move back to my parents' house for the first time since I was 17.
My parents bought me and my brother a Wii for Christmas. I played Super Mario Galaxy, standing up in the living room, playing on the family TV.
It was 2008.
My Dad bought me a new computer, desk, and chair, probably trying to cheer me up. It was a dual core AMD machine with an integrated Radeon. It wasn't top of the line, but it was the best computer I had ever had by far. Unfortunately, I was completely useless. I stayed for a few weeks in my old bedroom with no self control, staving off The Fear by popping Ritalin, masturbating to porn, reading 4chan, and trying desperately to make money through online scam sites, clicking on banner ads and signing up for spam email lists for $5 prepaid debit cards. I played Metroid Prime 3 on a CRT monitor on my desk, barely comprehending what I was doing through my stimulant haze. Nothing was enjoyable.
I had to get out of there. Despite definitely not being ready, I emailed Nintendo in desperation, being as assertive as I could. Somehow, with great persistence, I made my way to a business guy there. I needed help- I needed someone to take me seriously, because I couldn't with a broken heart and broken will.
Out of options and coked up on Ritalin, I kept emailing. After a week or two of back and forth emails, things seemed to be getting nowhere. Frustrated, I lashed out at the business guy and sent him a psychotic mess of an email, trying to stave off the massive depression and feeling of being crushed. I apologized, and miraculously, the business guy agreed to meet me anyway- after I showed him my game running on the DS through a video conference. My Mom had to take me to a local library to use their video conference setup. After that, he said he would look at my game at the upcoming GDC. He probably just wanted to make sure I wasn't dangerous first.
Honestly, all I wanted was the development kit, so I could keep programming. Deep down inside, I could sense there was a way I could scratch my way out of the hole I had been shoved in. I needed that SDK as a sort of leverage, so I had some kind of official approval- some kind of endorsement to show the people around me to shut them up, to keep them from trying to discourage me.
In retrospect, it might not have helped that much. It may have even made them fight against me harder. The truth about humans is that we are all in a giant psychic dog pile, scrambling to tear each other down and claim the throne.
The meaning of insecurity is that it is an opening in the door inside our heart.
To be a truly great leader, one must earn the respect and love of others- not just conquer them.
I went to GDC. I had never cared about conferences and had no interest in it. It was my first plane trip by myself, and my first time away from Michigan. I was a total noob there. I saw the Fez guy standing at his booth. I said something like "That looks neat, it's like Cave Story with a 3D mechanic." It was supposed to be a compliment, but he seemed to take offense to it. (It did look like Cave Story, and I'm glad he finished it!)
I stayed in the Vagabond Inn in a cheap part of San Francisco. I saw the police raid a house while walking to find my hotel, and when I arrived there were two male dwarfs in BDSM gear staying across the hall from me, which was a big culture shock. I ordered some Chinese food to my hotel room, and it was the best I had ever had. I ate about a quarter of it and crammed the rest in the miniature fridge.
The Nintendo guy delayed my meeting until the very last time slot of the very last day. I showed up to the meeting with my luggage, because my plane was leaving right after. They were starting to close down the exhibits. There were 3 people in a white booth. The business guy and two Japanese developers in expensive looking shiny suits, one woman and one man. He asked me if I enjoyed seeing GDC. I told him that I mostly was in my hotel room working on the demo. I had spent most of the week just cutting out all the cutscenes and anything that looked buggy, leaving a very sparse and barebones world. It would be the last time I would touch the code for nearly a year.
I had taken too much Ritalin and I was extremely nervous. I stammered through all my sentences. My demo was terrible. The Japanese woman walked around in the demo a bit while the business guy asked me questions about the game. My answers were vague and confused. The Japanese woman laughed at getting hit by a car (which made me feel great), and then the demo crashed at a dinner table scene that wasn't finished.
He asked me if I would be willing to work with my own team within Nintendo. Without even considering it, I immediately said no. He looked angry at this. I immediately felt half stupid and half impressed with myself. After a few more questions, I remember him saying "sadly, I don't think your game will ever be released." I got really angry at that, and it stuck with me for a long time. (I used it in my later "Stage 80" demo.)
I suppose the reason I got so angry is both because I was insecure about my unfinished game and because I believed that game development should be done by a shut-in lunatic man-child. Isn't that what an artist is? In retrospect, I am pretty sure I was just way too sensitive. I am sure I looked insane, but I'm not sure if he was testing my resolve, just being a jerk, or it was his honest assessment of the loony kid with a buggy demo. It doesn't matter.
I kept asking about the SDK and saying that's all I wanted, that I just wanted to keep developing. He said he would do what he could, but he didn't sound confident about it. I knew deep down that it was never going to happen.
The meeting was completely useless. I wasn't even close to capable of handling it and I had no confidence. After five minutes it was over, and I turned around while walking out and yelled "I want that SDK!" He looked impressed with that for a split second, and once again I felt immediately half stupid and half proud of myself.
I walked out and across the expo floor. The conference was over and they were taking the booths down. I then turned around and walked back to the Nintendo booth, found the guy, and asked him one last question: "Can I do another pitch?" He hesitated for a moment, and then said I could. (This would become very important later on...)
I flew home and immediately told my parents that Nintendo had offered me my own development team. It was enough to escape.
My friend and I got an office a few streets away from my parent's house. I set up my computer and listened to very angry industrial music there. He played the drums in the next room. I slept there at night, only going back to my parents' to take a shower every few days.
My ID had expired, so I went to go renew it at the DMV. They handed me a driver's license instead of an ID. I didn't know how to drive. My Mom got a new car and gave me her 2000 Chrysler Sebring convertible, and I sort of figured it out by driving around at night.
After a month or two, I came back to my parent's house and they stopped me in the living room. They handed me a check from a Tennessee bank, in a city I recognized from childhood trips. I had apparently inherited $100,000 from my Great Aunt who had passed away. I was a trust fund baby and had never known it.
My parents looked sad giving it to me, and I somehow knew it was going to ruin my life. I tried to give it back to my Dad. I said I didn't want it. He took me to Charles Schwab and had his friend there deposit it into a managed account. It was the first time in my life I had more than a couple hundred bucks.
Suddenly, I had the resources to make my game happen and everything was in place, but I still had a broken heart. I couldn't think. I couldn't focus. I was chomping Ritalin and chain smoking, trying to pick myself back up, unaware that I was only keeping myself held down. In my mind, that horrible girl had ruined my dreams and there was nothing I could do. It was my fault, of course. I know that now. I wasn't strong enough. I had no self control. I didn't have the will power and I didn't know how to get back up.
I went to dinner with my friend's family, and his father told me to put a video of my game online. I told him I was going to splice in footage of how hard I tried, of the scratchings on the walls. He told me it wasn't necessary.
I came back and made a terrible barebones website talking about how I had locked myself in a room and put 15,000 hours into this game, which was more or less the truth. It was the first time I had ever touched HTML.
I put a video of my game online with a hastily cut together video and added captions to it on YouTube, with my friend playing drums in the next room over of the office. A few major gaming websites picked it up, and things started looking up.
My friend bought the iPhone 3G. It was interesting but still too slow and frustrating.
At the request of my fans, I reluctantly made a gameplay video showing some of the first quest in my game. It wasn't worth it, as I thought. I did some interviews for small websites. I didn't know how to deal with the journalist requests and tried to please everyone.
I started emailing with a small publisher for the DS. I signed their NDA. They told me to apply for Nintendo licensing, and their guys would rewrite the game for me to make it marketable. It was the most depressing email exchange I had ever had in my life.
The App Store was released for the iPhone.
My friend brought some of his college buddies to the office. We ate psilocybin mushrooms and LSD a few times, and one time both at once! Suddenly, I remembered and fully understood what I was making. It woke me back up and opened my heart, gaining my memories and thoughts back, if only temporarily. I didn't yet understand what had happened, but it had worked.
I made some weirder videos, putting in everything I wanted. I put in a time-elapsed segment of me being shirtless (and masturbating in one frame) from the time in the apartment I had gotten obsessed with recording myself. I put an elaborate stop motion segment of the creation of my sprites, put together manually from backups. It took me a month of solid work. It was art. Half of the YouTube comments were "why is there a shirtless guy?" I didn't care.
I was starting to become functional again, Ritalin (and cigarettes) or not.
I bought a kitten, a Persian Munchkin girl which I named Midi.
I had become interested in watching the stock market and noticed that it had inclined to a peak for a long time and had started to decline. Trusting my gut, I emailed the financial guy at Schwab and sent him screenshots, saying I think the stock market is going to crash. He assured me that wasn't possible. A week or two later the stock market crashed and I lost a big chunk of the money I had just inherited.
I bought the first Android Phone, the G1. It was awful and unusable, but I knew it was definitely the future.
With the excuse of moving near the publisher available to me (but of course I just wanted to get the heck out of Michigan), I moved to New Jersey with my friend, telling my Mom it was only temporary. It was really hard to get away! We packed a U-Haul trailer and set off, my friend towing the trailer in the rain behind his SUV, me following in my Mom's Chrysler Sebring convertible. I still barely knew how to drive, having had access to a car for only a month or two.
Once we arrived, we somehow managed to find a duplex that would approve us. I took the upstairs bedroom, my friend took the downstairs. I covered the walls of the room with black plastic. We got internet access.
I had the funds that I needed. I had a commercial office (back in Michigan), a registered company, a Tax ID, and I had a place to live right near the publisher I was talking to. All I needed was the license from Nintendo to get a copy of the SDK and get back to programming.
I waited for the response on the application. I emailed back and forth with a licensing rep who said it was definitely a unique case. They stopped responding. A couple of weeks passed. It was past the deadline. I was frantic. I couldn't handle the stress. I was confused, angry, and frustrated. I was so close to getting myself back! I wrote a genuine, desperate plea on my website. I deleted it. I put it back. An idea was forming in my mind. I wanted to stand up for myself, somehow.
If Super Mario Bros. had taught me anything when I was 4 years old, it was that I needed to eat a power-up to smash through the ceiling.
We drank psilocybin tea made with ten grams of cubensis mushrooms.
Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails had recently done his "Year Zero" ARG where he had a fake SWAT team raid a concert venue and arrest the concert goers, a sort of pseudo meta-protest with an obviously real-world meaning.
[Link to Year Zero article]
I could do something just as creative using only a website and courage. Nobody in the video game industry had ever done such a unique thing. All publicity is good publicity, and I knew this was going to get some attention. We went to Target and bought a crappy Wireless IP Cam and a rotating disco ball.
I had been given permission by the business guy to give Nintendo one more pitch. I was going to become the Nine Inch Nails of video games- It was going to be the coolest thing anyone had ever done in video game history!
On top of what I had already done- the largest game ever made by a single person, having gone through hell and back, it would make me a legend! My friend played the drums, and I chanted a speech straight out of my heart. I was going to change the world. The next generation of children would all be super-smart, thanks to the internet, and I would guide them. I would seize the leverage I needed to revolutionize the education system. I was going to reset society.
But first, I was going to play the villain - I was going to become "bob."
I laid in bed and realized that God is the voice in my head, that we are all an extension of the same being, and that all truth comes from the heart.
I learned that we are in the Matrix, we are beings made of voxels made of pure energy in a divine simulation which we cannot possibly comprehend.
I learned that the force that keeps everyone from reaching their own potential is their ego, insecurity, and acts motivated by jealousy in others.
Everyone is capable of becoming Godlike if you decide to become what you are, if you don't let the hurtful words of the jealous stop you. Agents can take over anyone at any time.
I realized that I AM a guy like Jesus. (We all are capable of it!) It was Year Zero.
I realized that I AM God- and I AM playing my own game.
Something was missing. I express ordered an LED sign board.
It was 2009.
It was a confused, messy "protest." It was ridiculous and awesome, and I knew it. I just typed random nonsense into a plastic box and cackled like a maniac.
I emailed the business guy at Nintendo and told him that I was making my pitch, as promised. I was doing something big, something important and original, and I was going to do it my way, on my own terms. Better to ask for forgiveness later than permission!
It began with the concept that I was trapped in a green room. This had something to do with being trapped in my own insecurity, something to do with the "Viridian Room" web game that had been popular recently, and mainly had to do with going along with the theme of being locked in a room, since that's what I had been doing for most of the previous 5 years- Unfortunately, while the people who were already following my game realized that, most new people coming in didn't get the associations.
It did get the attention that I wanted though. I wasn't sure whether to call it a "viral ad" or a "meta protest" or even a real protest, but it was certainly all of the above and somewhere in between- and I definitely did it to get attention for the game. I had already assumed I was turned down for the license and that it was a lost cause. I should not have been so hasty, it was still technically possible they were debating it. I just lost hope and decided to move on, turning the rejection into publicity.
It worked. The internet was infuriated. There were threads in every gaming forum that had erupted with frantic arguments between people who "got it" and people who were obviously frustrated to tears by it. "Someone is doing something without reservation, without regard for the social norm or political rules! It's cheating!"
I emailed a few hilariously insane letters to the contacts I had at Nintendo, telling them if they didn't make an open App Store they were doomed to become like Sega within a few years. I didn't get any replies, but I didn't care- I knew I was right. I got some "Out of Office" replies, cackled like a maniac, and added them to the email chain. I was tripping my balls off and didn't care in the slightest- as I was able to see that power is all in the imagination.
I announced that I was the greatest game developer that had ever lived. I was, of course, half serious and half joking, or perhaps completely serious and completely joking, and ran in the next room choking with laughter, telling my friend what I had just typed. "That is probably the most inflammatory statement ever made," he said, while playing with Final Cut Pro and Ableton Live on his Mac.
An Encyclopedia Dramatica page was quickly created by someone who would probably never again feel a shred of freedom to be themselves. Although annoyed by it at first, once I understood the circumstances that compel people to antagonize others, I felt sorry for them. (Once you submit to peer pressure, you become enslaved by it!) It turned out to be a German guy who had written a Virtual Boy emulator. I understood at once that he was a great fan who was simply uncomfortable with showing it, and to be honest, the page was pretty good and took quite a bit of effort to make.
Some possessed individual, likely a jealous aspiring game developer, put together a slanted Wikipedia article, shaping my words to paint the story the way they wanted to perceive it. I couldn't believe someone would put so much effort into caring about someone else, but I appreciated the fact that I had a Wikipedia article now.
My friend had driven back to Michigan for a few days. We had brainstormed a big list of concepts, and it was time for a big one.
I decided I was going to "trash the room" and fake my own death, transitioning into a Batman-esque supervillain. I froze the camera and very carefully overturned all my furniture. As a finishing flourish I took a stack of blank printer paper and tossed it in the air.
I laid on the ground to get a few good camera frames of myself looking good and dead and called my Mom.
"Hi Mom, I'm not dead, don't worry. If anyone asks where I am, don't tell them, OK?"
I put the feed on a loop of the frames of me laying on the floor and went to sleep.
A worried kid in Europe called the police. They read the website, didn't know what to make of it, and went to my parent's house asking where they could find me. My Mom gave me up in about two seconds, of course, and they contacted the local police in New Jersey, who came and kicked in my door. (They were just following protocol.)
They woke me up from sleeping happily in my futon behind the camera and asked if I was alright. I sat up in bed and immediately said "oh, darn it! I knew this would happen." I showed them my spiked shoulderpads and tried to explain that I was doing a comic-book transition from a mild-mannered hero into an egomaniacal video game villain.
They said that when a threat of self-harm is reported, they are obligated to either take me in for a quick voluntary evaluation or they had to arrest me. They asked me to put a caption at the top of my website saying I was OK and I agreed. I complained that it was breaking the flow, to no avail.
I had weed sitting out on the table and I think they pretended not to notice. At some point I quickly laid a piece of paper over it while I was showing the officers that none of my stuff was broken and all the papers were completely blank.
One officer went in the other room where there was a bag of mushrooms sitting inside one of those cube storage seats where the cushion comes off. There was a table with some candles and a small battery operated rock fountain, the room was otherwise empty. I realized he had gone in there and grabbed my coat, rushing in. I swung my coat around to catch his attention, put it on, and said "I'm ready, let's go!" I have no idea if he had looked in the compartment, but I wasn't going to give him any more time.
Leaving the door broken and hanging open, the officers took me to the nearest psychiatric ward.
I explained the situation to the staff there and they went to my website and laughed. They sat me in a waiting room with a girl who kept screaming and banging on the glass, until a lady with a clipboard came in and asked me a few questions. Did I have a girlfriend? "No." Did I have anything to look forward to? "I wrote a huge video game which is currently getting a huge amount of attention due to an online campaign where I faked my own death and got escorted to a psych ward."
Then she brought me into the staff section and asked for my autograph.
Shortly after, I was certified Officially Sane by the State of New Jersey, given a document to prove it, and was free to go. My friend was on the way back, and he came and picked me up. The apartment staff fixed the door, and I continued, a bit annoyed but more or less OK.
[Picture of New Jersey document]
I continued updating the site with nonsense, fueled by the artificial focus of Ritalin, slightly stoned, and smoking cigarettes. I wore a bathrobe with some cardboard spikes tapes onto them. I kept a laptop in the bathroom with some JAV porn on it, and for some reason started to feel a little guilty about the Japanese ladies on screen.
I regularly turned off the light and went out with my friend to the store, and a couple times we ventured into a local strip club. I felt a bit guilty about not sticking to the lock-in 100%, but it wasn't supposed to be that serious to begin with. "I am trapped in my own subconscious room of envy, trying to aspire to tear down my idols and become my own God."
"They broke into my house! They installed keyloggers! They are the Yakuza!" I was half serious and reaching for deep metaphor, and half just being plain outrageous. It was supposed to be referring to trolls breaking into my psyche and using my words against me. I am pretty sure Nintendo is an old Yakuza company- though I am also quite sure that they have cut those ties the best they could. (I'm still not sure about how Gunpei Yokoi died though.)
[Screenshot of page]
The biggest problem with half the stuff I typed is that it was way too deep for anyone to understand, even myself. My forum quickly filled up with 15 year old geniuses and prodigies, the only people on the internet who understood what the heck I was doing.
I ordered some posters and business cards. They arrived after a week. I had gotten four huge boxes of business cards just to be safe. It was way more than I had thought.
I got stoned and talked with my friend about how hilarious it would be to go and put posters all over the Nintendo World Store and put my game on the shelf there. "And with a whole bunch of hot Japanese babes, like at E3!" Sort of a way of pissing on their territory, I suppose. Of course, I was serious about wanting to, but there was no way I would actually do it. I went to sleep.
He woke me up, letting me know that he had booked a bunch of Asian models from Craigslist. He had initially asked for Japanese models, but not enough had replied. I wasn't sure if this would be offensive or not, but it was too late. I was not prepared for this whatsoever, and to be honest I hadn't been completely serious about going through with it, but I didn't have the heart to turn it down. We went and got some spiked boots from a gothic clothing store. We stopped in the Nintendo World Store to case the place out. I talked with one of the guys there about the Gulf War Game Boy, and he told me if you thought about it, it is pretty obvious they replaced the screen. I thought about it, and he was right. I bought a Princess Peach coffee mug.
We met with the Craigslist Asian models at a coffee shop across the street. They had absolutely no idea what we were doing, nor did we. I had been up for about 20 hours at that point and was in no condition or prepared for a public event. We went in about 10 AM when the store was completely empty. We taped some posters to the outside of the store, and then removed them, leaving one or two. I put a few copies of my game box on the shelf. I slipped some business cards in the game racks and under some T-Shirts. The manager came out with his wallet chain swinging and told us to leave. I told him that we had permission and slipped him the Nintendo executive's card from the GDC meeting to buy us some time. He immediately got on the phone, but it was 7 AM in California. After we were done, I turned around and yelled "welcome to bob's game!" into the empty store while a guy standing on a ladder putting up a banner just stared at me blankly. We left.
Back at home, I recorded dumping a couple of boxes of business cards out on the hardwood floor next to my boots, and taped a poster to the wall and signed it.
I spliced in some police sirens to the video.
It really needed music, and I knew it. It just wasn't exciting enough. I shipped it anyway. This was one of my biggest mistakes- I should have trusted my gut. It needed music! The internet hated the video and it just got smeared instantly as "jaded developer vandalizes store!!" by the gaming tabloids. I was pretty upset by this, because I felt that I had been framed in a way. Unfortunately, even after I provided proof of the hack, nobody bothered to retract it either. So much for professional games journalism!
Nintendo finally emailed me the rejection letter. I suppose that they had taken the protest seriously enough to where me leaving the room was the leverage they needed. It was nice to have a real answer, and the "protest" was at least a success in that I actually forced a response out of them. It was obvious to me (at the time) that they would never have approved a one-man developer- even though that may have been my own haste and pessimism, and perhaps I should have taken myself more seriously! I threw a party with the disco ball in response to the rejection letter, finally having gotten some closure at the very least.
The Stage 80 video was fun to make, but was not factually accurate. I believe I captured the spirit of an independent developer and the emotions I had felt, but the guy on the other side of the table was a young executive, not a balding businessman. A few of the phrases were, however, verbatim as I remembered them.
I made one last serious video, attempting to document my goals and explain the whole thing one last time to the best extent I could. It got reported nowhere and got very few views. It was a masterpiece. I talked about the sorcerer Iwata controlling the audience with his magic puppet strings. I thought I was joking. I didn't know where the knowledge came from.
I didn't know that I had actually discovered the real truth... (More on this later.)
The "power-ups" were wearing off and the constant trolling was starting to get to me. They couldn't outwit me, so they were stooping to lower tactics. I hadn't anticipated that. I was getting huge amounts of hate mail with badly spelled insults. I was getting tired of giving the same explanations over and over to people who refused to believe them. My web host dropped me and I had to move my site. Some guy in Thailand was sending me literally millions of spam hate mails that said simply "fuck u faggot" that ruined my inbox. I switched to Google Apps with Gmail to fix the problem, which ended up being way better anyhow.
The DSi, obviously inspired by the iPhone, was to be officially announced at GDC, which my meta-protest/campaign/viral ad ended on.
I had assumed that they would announce an open game store. I was wrong. The rumors came out that it was to be as closed as ever. What was the point?
I emailed my impromptu mailing list again, saying they had a chance to catch up to the iPhone. They could have quickly announced an open platform. I knew they wouldn't do it. They dropped the ball.
I was upset. They had completely left me hanging. Well, it was my own fault. I had never really respected Nintendo of America much, knowing that they were mostly business and marketing and didn't actually make any games there. It was just people doing their job- most of them probably didn't care what they sold. Most likely, nobody there even had the authority to approve what I was doing!
It didn't matter that they didn't reply. It didn't matter that it didn't work.
What mattered was that everything I predicted eventually came true.
I could see the future, but I didn't yet understand or believe.
A young Steve Jobs had been obsessed with IBM not caring about the home computer market. I got obsessed with Nintendo not caring about independent developers. What was the next generation of game developers going to do? It was obvious, they would all jump on the iPhone.
I went and bought a PSP, my first non-Nintendo video game device. I spent a few days navigating the tumbleweed disaster maze of PSP hacking instructions and installed custom firmware by cutting a wire on the battery. I played Final Fantasy 7 for the first time, hated it, and considered being the first to livestream playing through all Final Fantasies in a row lying in bed with a monitor installed over my face.
I was tired and I had to focus. I had to get back to development and port my game, since it was never going to happen on a Nintendo system and I had no other choice but to keep moving forward. I had "threatened" to release my own flash card with my game on it, but there was no point without the SDK. I would never have the passion for continuing development.
Some of my fans had started a forum. I didn't want a forum, but now it was there, and I made it part of the site. It was fun to play around with, but it went against what I was trying to do.
I really was not ready to release a demo but more and more people were demanding it. Pressured by my fans and against my own wishes, I ordered a variety of flash cards, and when they arrived I spent a few days trying to make what I had work on all of them. The first demo I released was fairly buggy, and I ended up having to pull an all-nighter replacing the sound system to get it to work.
I have no idea how many people downloaded it. My five years of painstaking work to make a retail quality game had been officially rejected and delegated as "homebrew." I didn't want to create the "indie scene." I didn't consider myself "homebrew." I was trying to make a retail product with an official SDK.
The protest officially ended on the first day of GDC, one hundred days exactly. I had wrongly assumed that Nintendo was going to announce an App Store for the DSi there.
After registering, the staff had a security guy grab me and take me to a conference room, where the heads of GDC sat around a table and interviewed me. There were probably people from Nintendo there too. I answered their questions honestly, and they seemed to like me.
I told them I was just doing something unique, that I had invented the first real-time internet soap opera protest, and I was just running it like an improv TV show, adding something interesting and crazy each day. Suddenly a police officer showed up and asked if he could search my bag just in case I had a katana or something in there, and I let him. I had nothing, of course. Afterwards I wondered if he was actually a real officer, not that it would have mattered.
The director lady of the conference asked "What will you do if your dreams don't come true?" I thought about it for a half a second and said "Nothing, I guess." I didn't have a better answer.
They were satisfied I was not dangerous and let me free to explore the conference, but insisted that a security guard go with me to see Iwata give the keynote. Honestly, if the guard wasn't there, I might have gotten up and screamed something, but I doubt I would have had the balls.
I flew back to New Jersey and went back to the apartment.
I had been compromised. I regressed back into a simple consumer, defeated. I shaved my head in submission, not realizing the meaning of the act.
For a few weeks I kept going to the arcade and playing In The Groove 2. I would get $20 of tokens, play a few games, and give the handful of tokens to some kid. It was worth it making a memory for someone. I almost (but not quite) passed Summer Speedy Mix in the arcade.
I played PSP and watched Game Center CX and some TED talks and thought about what to do next. I had to be alone for a while, and I decided to move to Austin, Texas, which I had read was an "industry hub" where a lot of creative types lived.
I packed up my car and took off alone, telling my friend I would go scope it out first.
I drove to Austin and stayed at a hotel for a few days while I looked for an apartment complex that would take me. I found a place for $700 a month, signed the lease, and unpacked my car.
A few trips to Target and Ikea later and I had covered the windows with black plastic, put together some wire shelves, and had a mattress on the floor.
I drove back to New Jersey and helped my friend move to Dallas to stay with one of his former band members, a few hours north of where I was staying. We packed another U-Haul and got the rest of my stuff and my cat.
I got Comcast internet access and rented a private server at a hosting company. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it yet, but my forum had convinced my it was a good idea.
Unfortunately, the reality of single-man development is that it is slow and time consuming. Having internet access was a mistake, and the server turned out to be mostly a waste of money, though it was a good learning experience.
I spent a month working on an iPhone port, got a very basic version working, and decided to put it on hold. I hated working in XCode on Mac OS, having been a lifetime Windows guy, and I had no motivation to work on a platform where I knew the controls would be terrible.
I decided to target PC instead. I taught myself SDL and some basic OpenGL. I implemented some funky HQ2X filters to make things look nicer, and then removed them.
I was motivated and enthusiastic, but still didn't feel like myself again.
Once things calmed down again, I decided to email the producer guy at Nintendo and apologize.
I didn't get any response. In fact, my email address had been blocked, so I sent it again from a different GMail account. This was really frustrating to me, since I was ambitious and being as creative as possible, and this was a company that prided itself on its creativity, passion, and personality.
After I sent the email, I felt like I lost half of my energy. I had submit, even though it was something I really felt that I should have stood up for. Did I really do anything that terrible?
Once again, it was something that I didn't understand at the time, but eventually came to understand why. They were still a cold hard business underneath the friendly facade, like every company must be. They had offered me a job and I had declined it. It wasn't my company to create for.
If I wanted to put my personality and passion into my products, I couldn't do it on the back of a Nintendo system.
It was the first time I had really been alone in a city, and I wasn't too comfortable with venturing out of my apartment. I thought it would be a good idea while I had the chance to experience a bit of it. That's why I moved there, wasn't it?
I didn't know where to start, so I went to go check out a small industrial club in downtown Austin called "Elysium." I had never really drank alcohol, other than drinking until I puked a few times when I was 17 or so, but I ordered a Tecate and tried to talk to some people. I eventually met a group of regulars there and we exchanged phone numbers.
I released another demo, this time for the PC. I had been really motivated, enthusiastic, and amped up on coffee and Ritalin, and posted something like 'full release.' I think I had been trying to motivate myself to stay locked in and keep working, and was going to release a story about the makings of the game. I decided against it, and figured the demo was good enough.
The demo was pretty good, but it was far from a full release and I don't think people were really thrilled with it. I was really proud that I had ported my code to SDL and actually had a tangible desktop client. Unfortunately, the code was a disaster, I had essentially written a layer simulating the DS functions. All the events and scenarios and maps were hard coded.
I just wanted to start over from scratch, but I knew I didn't have time.
I also wasn't going to just take the full game and put it online for free. I had to make some money. This was my career and I had invested years of my life into it. Freed from the constraints of the Nintendo hardware, I suddenly had to find a real way to sell the game.
I applied for Steam. It was declined, probably by a temp worker who decided he just didn't like me. This was years before the Greenlight system.
Shortly after I went to GDC Austin. It was smaller than the normal GDC and kind of boring. I went to the Sony booth and the guy there knew who I was. He gave me his card and told me to apply for PSP licensing, ensuring me that I would definitely be approved.
I came back home and applied. They declined the application.
I went to a panel where the Fez guy was giving a presentation with the World of Goo guys. They asked if I was in the room. I didn't say anything. Then they ripped on my trailer for a few minutes. I showed my badge to the guy next to me and shook my head.
I wore my 'bob' industrial villain costume with the spiked goth boots I had bought in New York to a big GDC party that night. There I met my friend Alex Peake, of Code Hero fame, who came up to me and complimented the outfit. He told me I should move to the San Francisco Bay Area, SIlicon Valley.
I drove around Austin in my Mom's convertible blasting hardcore German industrial music with Alex and Robin Arnott.
I went to the goth club to try and shake the feeling of overwhelming hopelessness. I started going more regularly. I went and saw a bunch of the industrial bands I liked play. At the very least, Austin was a good place to see live music.
Soon I was getting invited to after parties where people were snorting lines of cocaine, apparently a popular thing due to being near the border. I tried it, and decided it was the stupidest drug on the planet. It was like really expensive Ritalin that only lasted 20 minutes. I didn't even like Ritalin.
I started amassing a collection of Japanese porn torrents from 4chan /t/. I was becoming a depraved person and I didn't care.
I went to a party and snorted a tiny dot of white crystal methamphetamine. It felt like I had taken a dozen Ritalins. If anything, it motivated me to get the heck out of there.
I decided immediately that I needed to leave Austin. I went home, deleted all my porn, packed my car in one night, gave my desk and chair away, and went to the leasing office in the morning and turned in my keys, paying the fee for cutting the lease short.
It was December 31st, 2009.
I drove to the Bay Area, calling Alex Peake when I was nearby.
It was 2010.
I had $20,000 left.
Alex let me stay at his house in Oakland while I looked for cheap apartments, trying to conserve what funds I had left. I was out of Ritalin, going through withdrawal, and having an awful time focusing on anything.
After a month, I finally found a cheap place for $675 a month on Craigslist, an old converted motel room in Santa Clara. It had ugly pale blue Berber carpet that smelled of hospital disinfectant. Over the next week I went to Ikea and Staples and bought a folding table and chair, and covered the walls with black plastic. I went to Fry's and picked up some cheap 1080p monitors.
I got Comcast internet access again and started streaming my motel room, trying to force myself to get back into the zone and get into the code, getting increasingly frustrated. I had no target platform or way to make money and the code was a mess. More distracted and depressed than ever, I started downloading porn again and filling some cheap terabyte hard disks from Fry's with TV shows. I bought a PS3 and played through Heavy Rain, which had just been released.
It was time for GDC. Back in New Jersey I had started a thread in the Select Button forums, and a guy there named Tim Rogers had told me that he could introduce me to some people in the game industry who could help me out. He was a poster on Kotaku who wrote really long, ambitious articles, and he had a lot of contacts. I was certain he could help me get my game published. I decided to send him an email, asking if he would be at GDC.
Alex texted me, asking me to come to Death Guild, an industrial club in San Francisco. It was raining and I was going too fast, and my car skidded off an exit ramp, through a bunch of trees, and ended up sideways on a road, without a scratch. I kept going.
I got to the club, and my phone went off. Tim had emailed back, saying he would be at GDC and we could hang out all week. I was so depressed from the Ritalin withdrawal that I actually cried a little bit at the news, right there in the middle of Death Guild. I had forgotten my own value.
I bought an HD CRT TV from Craigslist and set it up on a wire shelf, setting up my DDR station. It was time to get back in shape. I started getting my routine back. I started to feel pretty good.
I met up with Tim at a restaurant in Oakland. We spent the week of GDC driving around San Francisco in my Mom's convertible and filming things at the conference. He introduced me to a lot of people. It didn't seem to help that much, but it made me feel a lot more significant in the game industry, and surely that would help me get published. In retrospect, I should have just gone it alone, and it was a mistake to pair up with another personality. I didn't think I had the confidence, which was my own fault.
After GDC I asked Tim if I could visit Japan, because I always wanted to visit there. I told him I would help him make a video game while I was there.
We went to Denny's and brainstormed some game ideas. I agreed that I would try and make a game in UDK, a simple king-of-the-hill game where you defended a pyramid as the world ended. I liked the theme of having aliens in the sky.
Maybe I just wasn't strong enough to face the pressure of my game and I needed help, or maybe I was looking for a way out. Maybe I was trying to give up, or maybe I just wanted to get rid of the money I had left. Maybe I just needed a vacation. I bought a ticket with Korean Air and a suitcase from Target. 16 hours later I was in Narita airport.
It wasn't really that eventful of a trip. Tim was living in an apartment with several other people, and I spent most of the time there trying to figure out UDK. To try and uphold my end of the bargain, I bought two desktop computers while I was there, and we hacked together some episodes for a YouTube show spliced together from random footage of walking around Tokyo.
Tim was much pushier than I was used to and after some badgering I agreed to be the CTO of his company, despite already having my own corporation. I assumed it would be harmless. He immediately put captions into the video proclaiming himself the CEO. I was uncomfortable with it, but didn't protest. I should have stood up for myself.
It was fun taking the subway and seeing Tokyo, but the novelty wore off after a week or two. Tokyo was very closed in and depressing. If I had tons of money and lived there alone, it might have been fun for a few years, but it looked like after that all the ex-pats just hung out together and imported a lot of stuff from home, sort of defeating the purpose.
I soon got frustrated with the project. There weren't many UDK examples yet and the documentation wasn't complete. Tim kept going out jogging and I complained that he wasn't pulling his weight. I did manage to pull together a very basic playable demo, but it was clear it wasn't going to happen. No sooner than I had done that, Tim pulled in another artist, a kid from the internet named Brent, and started changing the theme of the game. It wasn't the game I wanted to make anymore, and I quit.
We went to an Unreal launch event, and got invited to a party afterwards. Tim Sweeney was there, hanging out in the corner by himself. I really wish I would have talked to him. I sent him an email later saying just that and he replied, saying thanks. I never did get to meet him.
I flew back home, glad to get back to work.
Tim messaged me, asking if I wanted to go to E3. He flew in, I picked him up. He had brought green and black Adidas track suits, saying we should wear them. I didn't see the harm in it and I had always wanted to go to E3, so I agreed. I should have said no, especially to the track suits.
We drove down to Los Angeles. E3 was fun but depressing. The 3DS was shown for the first time. I took a video of me putting in an R4, trying to play the "villain" role again and trying to look cool. In reality, I was so nervous they would catch me that I was shaking, and the card slots weren't even functional.
There was a Lakers game at the same time as the conference and the crowd got angry at Tim's green tracksuit and started shaking my car, almost turning it over. I sat in the driver's seat laughing.
The conference and the parties didn't really hold my interest. I just wanted to go back to how things were and work on my game. This whole thing wasn't helping at all, I had only ended up wasting a lot of time, energy, and money.
We drove back up to Silicon Valley and I dropped Tim off at the airport, glad it was finally over. A day later, I got a call. It was Tim, saying they had refused to let him back into Japan. He had been deported to Hawaii. I started laughing. He stayed in Hawaii for a week and then flew back in. He stayed in my tiny converted motel room and we cut the E3 footage into a "movie."
Tim convinced me to get a gym membership. We went to 24 Hour Fitness and he showed me how to use the machines. This would prove to be extremely valuable later. (Thanks, Tim.)
I was extremely depressed and frustrated with the situation, and started searching for a way out. I made a Match.com profile and met up with a Chinese lady who worked at Apple, five years older than me. Almost immediately, she wanted to move in together. I was desperate and was running out of money, and I agreed, thinking it would buy me some time. I wish I hadn't. I should have said no immediately.
Tim moved in with his friend Brandon and I moved in with the Chinese lady, getting a small house in San Jose.
After a couple of months, I started trying to work on my game again. Immediately frustrated and lost, I broke down crying. It was over. Was it my fault? It was, but it didn't feel like it should have been.
I went to a local "medication management" psychiatrist and got a modest prescription for Adderall 5mg. I went to Target and got some nicotine patches. I set the DDR station back up. I was completely lost, and DDR was the only point of light I had left. I popped some Adderall, put on a Nicotine patch, and started playing, trying to pick myself up again.
Tim came and stayed in the spare room for a couple of weeks. We played through Super Mario X. I got him to play DDR.
We started putting together the E3 footage into a DVD. I played DDR and thought about what would happen to technology like the Nintendo DS. I realized that phones were going to drive the prices of mobile hardware to nothing, like what had happened to digital watches. Digital watches were $1000 when they first came out. A decade later, they were putting them as prizes in cereal boxes.
The idea for the nD started to form in my head. I had found a way out of the hole I was in, and I clung to it. I got more and more interested with the concept, and started putting together a pitch with Tim, him goading me into calling it the "Action Button Mobile Entertainment Device." He came up with a lot of really good ideas. I started working on a model using Google Sketchup.
We went over my friend Alex Peake's house, where he was putting together a team, working on a educational game project called "Primer," a reference to The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson. He was talking to some pretty big VC people, and I felt threatened and got upset and jealous, thinking it was cheating. I had worked so hard and gotten nothing for it, and it felt unfair that he was going to get a video game funded without going through what I had. I panicked and sent out some nasty emails, almost totally compulsively. It was my first experience feeling so jealous that I sunk to that low, but the scariest part was that I didn't realize what I was doing was wrong. (A few years later I would make this connection and understand why the world is the way it is. (God's name is JEALOUS.))
If you can't beat em', join em'. I came back and decided if he could do it I could do it. While we were in Silicon Valley I might as well give the whole investment thing a try too. I had always laughed at the whole culture, assuming everyone involved was trying to get rich quick with bubbles and scam companies, but I decided to give it the benefit of doubt. (I was mostly right to begin with, but not all the companies that get funded are that way!)
It was Thanksgiving and Tim went home to his parents'. I emailed Accel Partners and got a meeting with a VC there on my first try. I drove there a few days later, and despite it being my first time in an intimidating VC office, I wasn't too nervous. I walked through a fancy hallway with glass and gold trim, up an elevator, and into a big room with all glass offices. A secretary offered me a bottle of water and I took it, my first mistake. I sat down in a conference room with a bookshelf full of books like "The Art of War" and "Mind Games." (I didn't yet understand...) My presentation was atrocious. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I had only some notes, some papercraft mock-ups, and my game running on the DS.
The guy had done some research on me before I got there, and asked to see my game running. I booted it up and slid him the DS. He didn't touch it once. He asked me a few questions, then after I had awkwardly tried to read from my notes, he looked at his watch and said he had to go. I came home feeling defeated and frustrated. I had been totally owned in about 30 seconds! I played some DDR and got my heart rate up, then sent the investor a snarky email in frustration. I felt like he had trapped my confidence somehow, but I didn't understand how...
(We are psychic beings! The investors are, in a way, slavemasters...)
The only response was to keep trying. I sent the pitch to the old Nintendo email chain from the viral ad on a whim, knowing they wouldn't take anything I said seriously but that it was a good idea and I was probably the first to think of it. Maybe I would impress some people there. Maybe I would even freak them out a little.
I felt more dejected than ever. Tim came back from his parent's and we shipped out the DVDs. I felt that I had done most of the work and I was getting really frustrated. I felt trapped, weak, and helpless.
GDC had come up and I didn't even want to go. Tim got us passes, and even got us into the Nintendo keynote. He had to persuade me to stay. I didn't want to be there. Satoru Iwata got on stage and talked about "making the impossible possible" which was eerily similar to something I had said in my trailer video. He then said "believe in yourself." Tim leaned over and said "he's talking to you, Bob."
He probably was.
For some reason, I got very angry, especially at something Iwata had said: "Engineers don't matter," which was a point of argument I had made in my insane chain letter emails. (Now I believe that Iwata was correct, and that he is a brilliant CEO. I just didn't have enough experience to understand the meaning of what he was saying.)
I had been so crushed that the slightest hint of an opening was enough. I rushed back home and made a horrible screamo industrial trailer, yelling about a ten dollar console. I didn't make sense, but I didn't care. I was just trying to plant the seed and nail the concept home onto the internet that handhelds would soon be cheap.
I threw in some accusations of unfair treatment to Western developers ("You can even be American!') and cackled like a maniac. I was up all night making the music and was totally loopy. I felt like it was my final attack and I was going to go out with a blaze of glory, with a war cry that would resonate through the heavens. I suppose it was intended to be both outrageous and intimidating, but that was also the type of music I had been listening to. (That was certainly a mistake!)
I never really intended to make the thing- I actually was hoping that I could get someone to steal the idea, but mostly I was hoping it would freak out Nintendo a bit. I am pretty sure it worked!
Tim went to go work with Alex on his "Primer" project, part of which had become "Code Hero."
It was my last hurrah and I had gone out in a blaze of glory. For the next month or two I refreshed 4chan, masturbated to porn, and played Call of Duty. I bought a bunch of sex toys and just sunk deeper and deeper into my addictions. It was over. I was a worthless piece of shit and the world had ruined my dreams despite how hard I had tried, and I had every right to be bitter and selfish. I felt my will completely slip away, the days becoming a blur. I downloaded increasingly sick porn, and went into the bathroom to stare at myself in the mirror. Standing there was a monster, a person who was better off dead.
At that moment, I decided that I was going to seriously try to make the nD myself- it was worth a shot. Why not? I had made probably the largest independent game by one person at 23 years old, why couldn't I pull this off? I went back to the "medication management" psychiatrist and got a decently strong Ritalin prescription. I started smoking again.
I spent the next few weeks making the website. It was my first experience with PHP and it was a good learning experience. I made a single sign on system for the wiki, forums, and developer accounts and had a system for developers to upload screenshots of their games, which automatically created a wiki entry and a forum post.
I persuaded Tim to talk to some of his contacts and somehow he put me in touch with the founder of a major Chinese trading company and the former CEO of a major toy company. We started having Skype meetings every day. I must have sounded convincing enough because they seemed to be on board.
I put together a very rudimentary SDK based on the GP32 SDK, just a simple CodeBlocks IDE and SDL distribution. I assumed that even if the project didn't work out, it would get some people started in the right direction, and they could always release for PC. I started working on a prototype, taking apart a GP32 Wiz and hacking the Linux firmware with a custom loader I had written in SDL. I actually got the PC version of my game ported and mostly functional within a few days!
Planning to 3D print a custom shell for the Wiz through a 3D printing service called Shapeways, Tim and I went over Alex's friends J and Splarka's new apartment up in Fremont and J offered to remake the 3D model in Blender.
I started talking to the Dingoo people, a Chinese company that made a cheap handheld. I mostly bullshitted my way through the emails, telling them I would get a big investment and order a million units. I knew they were making the devices for much less than the selling price, and I got them to agree to a $25 price point! It wasn't exactly $10 but close enough! Given time, the price would drop down that far. The idea was sound, sort of. The retail viability wasn't proven at all, but I didn't consider it. I was all in.
As soon as I opened the site the wiki got vandalized by trolls, replacing the download page for the SDK with insults. I quickly locked the wiki, defeating the whole purpose. I hadn't yet realized exactly what the gaming community was...
With tons of confidence, I emailed John Carmack and he replied. We had a short discussion about OnLive.
I searched on Google for "venture capital silicon valley" and opened the first few links, making a chain email with all the email addresses I could find. At this point, I just didn't care.
I had the CEO of a toy company, a bunch of developers, an SDK, a working "prototype" running my game, and a manufacturer willing to make units close to my price point.
I sent the site and the full pitch email to all of them in the most confident email I could muster. I didn't get any replies.
I argued with some people on the forums and got pulled in some drama. I sent more emails to the investors with much less confidence. I had put myself way out there but the gamble hadn't paid off. I posted the prototype video and emailed investors again, still nothing.
Nintendo released the 3DS. Knowing I couldn't win, I became bitter again, making cruel posts on the forum, banning some users that annoyed me. I had become what I hated.
Tim went to go work for a small gaming company. The lady I was living with moved into an apartment. I was completely broke, alone in a house in San Jose with an old MacBook on the floor, with nowhere to go.
(I had spent the money in 3 years, having spent about $28,000 a year after the loss from the stock market. Not terribly frugal, but not bad compared to most people with regular jobs.)
Phil flew in from Michigan for a conference and stayed at the house for a couple of days. Since I had last seen him, Phil had created an advertising company called PocketCents. He had become a real professional! He had created a local empire back in Michigan, serving a billion ads and becoming one of the most important companies in the Detroit tech startup scene.
I was looking at technologies in order to make an online world which would connect to the nD. I told him about my idea, and we researched what technology would be good for it. I had been hacking on his editor for years and had picked up Java fairly well. It seemed to be a good language choice, since Android used it. It could work in the browser, albeit with an ugly security warning. I played the Java port of Quake 2 in the browser and I was impressed! It was just as good as native. If only there was a way to get rid of that ugly warning!
The guys that Alex had been living with, J and Splarka, had gotten an apartment and offered to let me stay in their spare bedroom. Phil helped me move my stuff there, and we lugged a heavy HD CRT up the stairs. (Thanks Phil!)
RAGE came out and I bought it, the only PC game I had bought in years. I played it for 19 hours in one sitting and thought it was fantastic. I called everyone over and wowed at the graphics, staring at the rocks for hours. People online were digging at an ATI driver issue. I had the issue, and some textures were flickery until I downloaded a patch. It obviously wasn't the game's fault. The game was awesome.
I played along with the zeitgeist and tweeted a snarky comment about it "being done when it's done," a reference to a quote on John Carmack's blog somewhere. It got retweeted. The game didn't do that well. It should have. Somewhere, deep down, I felt that I had kicked a hero of mine in the balls. The guy had replied to me (twice!) and I was just so frustrated I couldn't return anything but bile.
I deleted all my tweets, suddenly embarrassed at how negative and bratty they were. This wasn't me! This wasn't the person who wrote a game from the heart!
I decided to start working on a Java remake of my game, intended to be a Facebook-connected massively multiplayer "hub world" hangout type place, called "nDworld." Sort of like Habbo Hotel or Disney's Club Penguin, but with connectivity to the nD, where your player would "upload" through the nD to the PC and the nD would act as a controller.
It was a neat idea!
J and Splarka went home for Christmas.
I sat alone in their spare bedroom and started a new project in Eclipse.
It was 2012. I was 28 years old.
Alex ran his Kickstarter and got $170K to make Code Hero. I was a little envious, but I was really glad he finally got something to work out, because he had struggled for so long, and I certainly hadn't helped by flipping out on him. Having just burned through all of my own money, my only solid advice was to invest in a good 30 inch 2560x1600 monitor and be frugal about everything else, and I think he listened.
Alex is an incredibly hard worker and one of the most talented guys I've met. For as long as I knew him, he would pass out sitting in his chair with his laptop about to slide off onto the floor, only to wake up and start coding again. Somehow a few of his Kickstarter backers would end up turning on him, but the truth was that he had gone above and beyond- but that's his story to tell...
I stocked up on Modafinil, ordering several boxes of it from an Indian online pharmacy. I went to my "medication management" psychiatrist, and asked to double my Ritalin prescription, saving up as much as I could. I ordered a bunch of cigarette filter tubes and rolling tobacco.
The next 10 months were a complete blur.
We put a heat lamp in a storage closet and made a cat door for it, letting my cat live out on the balcony. I visited her once or twice an hour to smoke a cigarette. The rest of the time I spent in a trance in the spare room, humming to music on a loop and coding like a maniac, amped up on Ritalin or Modafinil, alternating between them every week to try and prevent tolerance. I took a ton of supplements, various nootropics, anything that would give me an edge- Piracetam, ALCAR, L-Tyrosine, Theanine, ALA, Ashwaganda, Lion's Mane, etc. (Don't take them all at once, they are not all compatible, do your research. Better yet, don't do them at all.) I masturbated to Japanese H-Games and JAVs several times a day, just to get that dopamine rush so I could code for another couple hours. I got back into Nine Inch Nails for the first time in half a decade, and realized his newer stuff was really good. My roommate Splarka pounded on the locked door to get me to stop my terrible off-key singing.
Within a month I had added lighting support into my tools and added lights throughout the whole game. I improved the graphics overall, going through and cleaning tons of stuff up. I added more characters.
Within a few months I had a functional rewrite, loading the maps and moving the character around. With J's advice on the architecture (he was a network/devops guy), I designed a server and had the game load compressed graphics over the network and build textures from the data. It was neat, if not unnecessarily complex.
I was tearing through my todo list and didn't consider anything else. In retrospect, I was probably the worst roommate possible. It's a miracle they didn't kick me out. Maybe they were afraid to. Maybe I was like Hitler.
After eight months, J and Splarka decided to move into a new place up near San Francisco in a couple months, maybe as a polite way to get rid of me without kicking me out. I had nowhere to go and no money, but I had to find a new place soon. I was in no way prepared for this, even with a two month notice. I was completely burnt out and had been destroying my mind in extreme desperate crunch mode for a year. I had absolutely no will power.
I went to go stay with Tim for a few days, and he set up a meeting between me and a guy who had just sold his company for $100 million. I hastily got my game working on a MacBook and we took off to meet the guy in a coffee shop. The meeting actually went pretty well. The guy wanted me to make a tablet version, which I was planning to do, but wasn't a priority. Other than that, he wasn't ready to invest in anything, and I really didn't want investment. I just wanted funding, and I didn't have a company or even know how to handle dividing ownership.
For some reason, Tim had his friend Brandon come over. They sat me down and had me watch "Conan the Barbarian (1982)."
"Did you know you were a slave?"
I didn't quite understand yet.
Regardless, I was desperate. I came back from Tim's and spent two weeks in an insane nonstop crunch mode, making a sleazy adult hookup website with anonymous avatars. I hoped it would generate ad revenue. Once the site was up and running, I posted it on 4chan and got 700 signups in two days, proving that the idea was at least pretty solid. With the site finished, I started searching for ads, only to find that adult-friendly ad banners were hopelessly worthless because they were mostly used on porn sites. I shut the site, sort of glad that I wouldn't end up as the Mark Zuckerberg of sex.
My roommates moved out, and I was alone in their empty apartment for two weeks. I had been scouring Craigslist to find a new apartment that was anywhere close to reasonable. I decided to move up to Sacramento, a few hours north, where it was much cheaper.
I ended up on the outskirts of Sacramento in a filthy extended stay motel, with all my possessions in cardboard boxes on the floor of the tiny motel room. There were ants everywhere. There was no insulation between the door and the freeway directly outside of it, and there was a constant breeze coming in. There were meth addicts in the hallway when I came in, sores on their faces, eyeing everything I was bringing into the room. Despite my best efforts to conceal it, someone asked me a question about "those computers you got there." There was a screaming couple in the room next to mine for a few nights until the police came and pounded on their door, then it was quiet.
I was there for almost a month. I was terrified and confused, and completely unable to focus. I ate pasta, cooked on the tiny stove in the corner. I sat on the bedspread and made a stack of boxes to put my 2006 MacBook on, and kept scanning Craigslist for apartments, feeling completely helpless. I had none of the requirements to get a place.
Sitting on the stained bedspread, I thought about how it had come to this. I realized what a disaster I had become. My mind was completely tanked and I was completely terrified.
Suddenly, I made some connections. The track suits. The embarrassing videos. The porn in Japan. Conan the Barbarian. The hard drive of anime I had given Brandon. The computers I had bought in Tokyo. "Did you know you were a slave?"
It was mind control! I had been brainwashed. Used! I didn't know what it meant to be free, but I sure didn't like that I was a slave!
I flipped out on Tim, realizing we were competitors and feeling that he had taken advantage of me, sending him nonstop texts railing on him for two or three days straight. I kept flipping out, emailing his friends, warning them. I drove back to Oakland and took the computer I had given him back, leaving him the hard disk. I was the losing dog.
Later I realized that I wasn't being honest with myself. I wasn't innocent! I had taken advantage of him in a way too, since I had wanted to see Tokyo, but I couldn't see that. I was just too stressed, too spoiled, and my ego was too big. I believed that I deserved better than this and needed someone to blame. The most important lesson learned was that I had done most of these things to myself. I had let them do it to me. ("I am an exit!")
Even more important was the later realization that everything is mind control. We do it naturally. It is an instinct! Tim wasn't doing it on purpose, he was doing it because I was letting him.
(Tim actually had helped me a whole lot more than he hurt, yet I couldn't see that at the time. Tim is a genius and an incredibly strong and creative person with great integrity, and I am glad to be his friend. He is somehow still willing to deal with me! He is currently working on a fantastic game called ViDEOBALL which will most certainly be a huge success.)
Oh, it's completely true, but I didn't know that yet... I kept flipping out on him, and finally, having gained enough leverage to muster a last bit of will power, I Skyped with my parents and asked them for enough to get a place. My former roommate drove up and cosigned the lease.
I moved all my stuff in, exhausted and shaky. The nightmare was over, for now.
I set up my desk, covered the walls in black plastic, got city fiber internet access. I put a futon mattress on the floor next to my desk in the large hardwood floor room, and set up a DDR station in the small room. I went to a bulk food store and filled the cupboards with cans of coffee, hazelnut syrup, mixed vegetables, tomatoes, and garbonzo beans. I made a giant batch of the vegetable mixture and filled the freezer with ziplock containers full of the stuff.
I went to a local tobacco store and got cans of rolling tobacco and filter tubes. The owner, a guy with a snake tattoo on his arm, smirked at me and held up a cheap complimentary lighter and sparked it, as if to mesmerize me with the flame. I came back and ran into my next door neighbor in the hallway, a lady a few years older than me. I hung out with her for a few days and had some good conversations.
She slept over the next night, but the next day I knew that I had to get to work. I snapped my prepaid SIM card in half to avoid texting her, and then when I told her she slammed the door on me. At that, I completely lost control! It was just like with the girl from high school, in 2007! I lost my mind. I paced around in my apartment, walking in circles for nearly a week, yelling nonsense at the wall, putting up signs to myself, chain smoking. I hooked up my microphone and screamed along with my music for days. Finally I realized that giving into temptation had worn down my will. I didn't quite understand it fully yet, but I knew what I had to do. I deleted all my porn and decided to clean myself up again. I played DDR for an hour a day and bought a pullup bar. I weaned myself off the last of my Ritalin within a month.
I still drank way too much coffee, smoked cigarettes and occasionally a tiny puff of weed, and took Modafinil, but I didn't have any more time to waste. I sealed the door with tape, boarded it up with a few scraps of wood I had (just to make it more difficult for myself to open it), and got to work.
The important thing was that I began to understand...
We are in a giant meatgrinder tournament of will power. Everything around you is mind control. Those who fail lose their soul and become slaves.
Politics is an industry based on mind control. Television is textbook brainwashing. Friendship and marriage is often codependence. Parents control their children! Boys make video games and start metal bands to control their girlfriends!
We are psychic beings!
The word "government" means "control mind!"
But more on that later.
I didn't know how, but part of me knew, deep down, that they had tried to stop me. They had tried to extinguish me, wear me down, make me go away- but I was holding on. They had stolen it from me with their dirty tactics, their tabloids and slanted articles. The insults, the peer pressure- they had indimidated me into submission. I wanted to save the world, and they had destroyed me just so they could get a raise or a bigger bonus. They were corrupt! The pigs had won! They weren't going to get away with it!
Or maybe they just couldn't help it... Was I any better? Hadn't I done the same thing myself, when crushed, when without hope? Hadn't I compulsively lashed out at Nintendo, at Alex, and again at Tim, unable to control my own mind?
"God's name is JEALOUS."
Was it that I simply wasn't strong enough to withstand my own fate?
I remembered something, a vague, strange memory. Sitting in church, so long ago. Had they called me a prophet? It was too fuzzy. What had they said my IQ was? I didn't know. They had tested it in elementary school. I remember the puzzles. Had the paper said 180? I couldn't remember.
It was 2013. I was 29 years old.
Over the next few months I wrote the server, made a rudimentary API using Java, and made an nD simulator with a few example games. I implemented a scripting language that could allow for game scenes streamed from a server. I wrote a server indexing server that connected multiple servers together, so I could scale if I had to. I set up AWS hosting and figured out how to make the servers auto scale. I implemented Paypal, Google Checkout, and Amazon Payments and integrated all three into an automatic account upgrade process.
I had written an MMO by myself in less than a year.
Realizing that by now the Java version was better than the C version, I adopted it as the main game. I planned to fill in the gameplay from the original game, replacing all the hardcoded cutscenes and events and NPC behaviors with my own scripting language. I wrote the scripting language and the visual editor for it.
I dropped the idea of having a physical nD for the time being, realizing that an Android version would be better anyhow (nDroid?), and stuck with keeping the idea of a virtual version in the game. I could release an SDK for and have an in-game economy, sort of like an arcade-focused Playstation Home.
I wrote the "bob's game" puzzle game in less than one month, with full multiplayer support, using the nD framework I had put together.
I took so much Modafinil that I got a full body rash, apparently a symptom of a horrifyingly painful and usually fatal condition called Stevens-Johnson Syndrome. Despite reading this, after a few days I kept taking the Modafinil anyway, since it was too late to get more Ritalin. I tied a noose and hung it over the door, just in case. I knew this was my last chance to make it. I didn't care if I lived or died. I was going to launch this game.
I screamed along with The Fragile by Nine Inch Nails all day, going back to my high school roots. I decided it was the greatest album ever made, and it had been severely underrated because nobody could understand it! I yelled nonsense at the ceiling and cackled like a maniac. I started meditating in the middle of the floor, staring up at the webcam. It didn't matter if anyone was watching, what mattered is that what I was doing was Real. I ate only a small bowl of vegetables each morning.
Both Jesus and Buddha had done essentially the same thing. Jesus had meditated in the desert for 40 days, defeating the spirit of temptation. Buddha had sat under a tree for 40 days, freeing himself of all desire. I stayed completely celibate for one hundred days, and then kept going, avoiding all temptation.
I felt my power slowly returning, something I had felt before. The lights seemed brighter. I could see more, understand more. I began to see words and logos flickering. I didn't know why, but I could sense where they came from, somewhere deep within.
The phone rang. I picked it up. Nobody was there. I returned to meditation. Each day, I would reach a certain point, and something would interrupt it. I began to realize that the world was not what it seemed, that I had been tricked. How had I lost control? What exactly was that?
I began to recall clues...
"It's mind control, Bob."
"Did you know you are a slave?"
A flood of realizations that there were clues everywhere. Memories of things people had said. Song lyrics that had seemed to make little sense. A jumble of movie scenes that I hadn't quite gotten the meaning of.
I had been hypnotized by the media I consumed, by the society I lived in. I went to the store and realized everyone was a zombie, only half awake, mostly regurgitating their programming. My will had been broken. What did this mean? It was like a limiter had been placed on my mind, preventing me from being capable of understanding. I knew something was wrong, I just couldn't quite reach it. Waking up again and again in the morning with a fleeting realization, and then the thoughts slipping away.
Chances are, if you're reading this, the same thing has happened to you and you just don't know it.
I had been a slave and I didn't know it. I had given up and been crushed, like there was a weight on my heart, preventing me from standing back up. My consciousness had been suppressed, somehow lost in the shadows of my subconscious. Somehow, my subconscious knew what to do, and I had been crawling out of a hole this entire time. My heart had been screaming to break free, but there was a shadow drowning out the signal.
I imagined myself as a beast in chains, struggling to break free. I recalled the scene with Morpheus in the Matrix. I realized it was a retelling of the Bible. I remembered that girl back in 2007, and paced around my apartment for days, trying to break free. Trying to overcome it. I had never recovered from it! Then I remembered that cell phone my Mom had given me. Why had she insisted? Why had she gotten so weird?
I started getting weird, making sense out of the darkness. I made eyes out of paper and put them on the wall. I didn't know why. I put more and more eyes. I put a triangle around the eye. The Trinity. The eye on the pyramid. It was on the dollar bill.
I suddenly understood what it meant, what it stood for, what MIND CONTROL really meant. The leader of the pack controls all the others, like extensions of himself. Your favorite brand, the logos you adorn yourself with, they are like a puppet string- and people willingly wear it! They are actually inside your mind, controlling you through your subconscious. Believe it or not- you'll find out.
The game industry was like a giant cult, a criminal organization. Video games, like most media, are brainwashing, indoctrination for children. Families are like cults, and companies are like big families. We form these weird psychic dog packs. Entire industries exist by trapping the weak into their house. A person becomes addicted, their will is slowly eroded and they become enslaved by their desire or greed or fear and become loyal, ironically, to whoever is trying to trap them- blind to the fact that they have lost their own identity. They voluntary gave up their own mind, their own freedom! They lose their soul.
I recalled Earthbound (Mother 2), realizing that I had been somehow hypnotized by it. Those backgrounds! That music! I had stared at it for how many hours? The ending suddenly took on a new meaning- becoming a robot, giving up yourself, and defeating the darkness within. Using psychic power (PSI points) to "tame" the enemies. Then I thought about Mother 3, something about a gypsy king who has stolen all the children's memories with happy boxes. It was hiding in plain sight the whole time. I recalled the Pokemon theme song, programming children to "collect them all." It was hypnotism!
Zelda is a religion in disguise.
I understood what Buddha had said about "seeing the house-builder." Being trapped inside a house is like putting a mental blinder on. It prevents you from being able to see your master. Children are like that with their parents. Pets are like that with their owners.
I realized that society itself is connected- it's a massive hivemind. That's why we have wars. We are just huge ant colonies. Football is a miniature war. The players are all put into uniforms and brainwashed until they become extensions of the coach's mind, reduced to a number.
One individual within society actually has the ability to change it. One loud voice can sway an entire nation, or the whole world. One stubborn ant can dominate an entire country, and all the other hives will start freaking out. (Hitler!)
We are all one mind, just extensions of the same being. "Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us."
A person that has no insecurities, who commits no sin, who wants nothing, simply cannot be controlled- instead, they have control over everyone else.
That's what it means to be a wizard, hence the internet rumor about remaining a virgin until you turn 30. That's what Jesus was! He was just so darn good that he had total psychic control over anyone who approached him. They instantly fell in love with him and were enslaved.
I realized that the reason my game had gotten the reaction that it had was because it was too good and it was by a single individual. Like with the girl, I had unknowingly presented people with something so brilliant that it hacked into their mind and made their own insecurities apparent. They reacted by compulsively lashing out at me, desperate to find some flaw, some opening. Desperate to save themselves from enslavement. Unable to find anything, they created their own narrative, trying to frustrate me. It worked.
That's why they killed Jesus. He was too great, and people simply couldn't stand it. Unable to find a flaw, they killed him, rather than fall in love with him. Afterwards, their guilt destroyed their minds. He had overpowered all of society, and we reset the clock in his name.
It's a riddle.
A human being can become a God.
I had been struggling to get free, while being unwilling to let go of the shiny object I had closed my fist around. I had been enslaved by my greed, but I had pushed the hardest, and somehow broke through. I had spent nearly a decade trying to be alone, trying to cut every last tie. I couldn't afford a single distraction. I needed to be gigantic. How could anyone manage a project so large? How could I lift it? I would be famous if I could release this thing, it was just so huge that it couldn't be ignored. Just bearing the emotional pressure was nearly impossible. What a massive burden! Shouldering the responsibility of the game was harder than making it!
I could feel the monster in me growing, my ego swallowing up the whole world. Somehow, I could feel the people reading my emails. They didn't have to respond. I could tell. I emailed CEOs. I emailed billionaires. I could feel it. It was strange!
Bigger and bigger! I could hear voices, somewhere inside. Other people's thoughts. Offering me a deal- trying to break my will, trying to find a way in. I wouldn't take it. Not for a billion! I won't take your money! I could see it all! I could see everything! I had been completely right, Iwata was a sorcerer. He was controlling the minds of the children.
I had become the biggest monster in the whole world, for just a moment.
I could somehow sense Google trying to dominate Microsoft, two beasts groaning and struggling for power. I emailed Bill Gates, guessing his address, asking him to open source Windows. I didn't want Google to win. I wasn't intimidated, and at that moment, I had the pride and power to make the assertion. I felt him read it.
Slowly, slowly, I lifted it. I needed all the self respect in the world. I had to become Satan himself.
"Fuck you, God!" I typed in my notes. Get out of my way! Pages of information kept streaming out of me. It was completely automatic!
I was a prophet, I was sure of it.
I studied Revelations, trying to make sense of the symbolism. Two lampstands. That was me! I became fascinated, obsessed for a few days, but found no further meaning.
My Mom emailed me a weird letter with an insulting question. She was threatened! I grit my teeth and wrote a brief and professional courtesy reply, answering her question.
I could hear them talking, down through my subconscious. It wasn't insanity, it was completely real- just so faint, it would be drowned out by the noise of society. In isolation, it could be heard. I heard a thought, taunting me, "I've got your computer, Bob." They were going to blackmail me! The cult of the game industry, they had their strings into Tim.
The world was not what it seemed. It can be bent, twisted. "There is no spoon."
I cracked. I panicked. The neighbor knocked on the window, asking "are you going to let me in?" I knew that my mind had pulled her as if by a magnetic force, and she had subconsciously invented a reason to talk to me, just as she had done to me when she had slammed the door.
I got back to work, trying to shake it off.
I Skyped with my parents. My Mom appeared on screen with a strange smile on her face. She kept babbling, mentioning name after name, not giving me room to talk. She held up a book with "Success" in big letters on the cover and cheerfully said "I think I'll sell this!" and put it out of view. I thought nothing of it.
Several days later, I Skyped with my parents again. My Mom had subtly turned the camera angle to show the wall of family portraits in the background.
Several days later, it dawned on me. I realized what it was. My Mom had used gaslighting! She was brainwashing me!
Suddenly, I had flashbacks of my childhood. Memories of my Mom piling food high on my Dad's plate. Remembering a naked baby picture on the wall that always made me uncomfortable. Remembering when she had taken away my laptop, forced me to wear a humiliating pink shirt to school. Gotten me a job putting shoes on old ladies at the mall. Bought me a shirt with "bugger" on the front, pretending she didn't know what it meant, encouraging me to wear it to school. (She had found some explicit emails between me and the first girl, we had tried anal sex.)
My Mom wasn't the nice lady she appeared to be. She knew very well what she was doing the whole time!
My parents were tricking me. They were trying to sabotage me again. They weren't on my side!
I became wrenched in frustration. I couldn't think. I couldn't focus. My own mother was trying to take away my last chance. I kept trying to work, and would remember that book with "Success" on the cover and hear her voice say "I think I'll sell this." I would slam the mouse down in frustration and start writing an email, then delete it. She had done it on purpose!
It was like she had placed a leash on me, preventing me from focusing on my work. It was like that girl from high school in 2007. They had put some kind of limiter on my mind, preventing me from being able to concentrate, preventing me from standing up, from having freedom, my own will.
It all suddenly made sense. The cell phone. The psychiatrist card. Giving me up to the police. Taking away my computer. Pointing out flaws in my work where there were none. My parents had tried to sabotage me- they had been doing it all along! They were criminals!
My Mom had kept asking for my address, forcing me to compromise each and every time I started to stand up. She believed she owned me! She was more possessive than I ever had been of my girlfriends. I came out of her vagina. She made me. Of course, to her, she had every right to have my address and phone number and every right to sabotage every attempt to get away from her grasp. I felt betrayed. I felt deceived!
She had stalked me across the country, sending these awful, sappy cursive letters that stabbed me in the heart and left me dazed, feeling wracked with guilt. (Not so different than the postcard from the high school girl!) I had freedom and money for the first time in my life, and she had completely ruined it. I wasn't able to focus or use it when I had it.
It was so frustrating!
Worse, I remembered a clue. My Mom had even said, slyly, "children can't get away from their parents!" This was completely normal! They couldn't help it. In fact, having children and creating their own "house" was the only way they could escape their parents' psychic control.
Suddenly, I understood Super Metroid. It was a metaphor all along! Destroy Mother Brain to escape! That's why I'd liked it so much!
They kept getting obsessed with finding a way to get control over me, without any regard to what effect it would have on my career. They were just people, and couldn't control their own possessiveness. It wasn't their fault, it is simply part of life. (They are great parents, of course. Thanks, Mom!)
Then I realized what I had written in my game as a joke wasn't a joke. It had been in my subconscious all along. My game was truly my child, and my mother hated it, because of what it meant. My game was my house, and I was trapping my parents in my world as a way to get control...
To become my own God.
The Son becomes The Father. The Trinity.
We are vessels for spiritual energy, passing down through the family line through time, like an hourglass. I am my Father. I am the Son Of Man.
It was a riddle, describing the abstract and irrational subconscious.
My parents informed me that they would pay my rent until my 30th birthday, and then that was it. I was out of time. I wouldn't be able to launch it. With no funds, and out of runway, I was totally screwed, and they knew it. They were pulling out the rug.
I couldn't contain it anymore. I wrote a nasty email, and then deleted it, pacing. I took a nap. I meditated. I went outside. I chain smoked. Each time I tried to work, the frustration came back up. It was impossible.
My Mom had deliberately undermined me. I had trusted her and given her access to me, and she had used it to damage me, to sabotage my project, knowing it was my last chance. Knowing I was about to succeed. She didn't care, all she cared about was her control over me.
I cracked. I wrote a nasty email and clicked send, not being able to control it. Then I sent another. Then I sent hundreds of them. I knew immediately that I had lost. I had given her all the power, and put the leash firmly in her hand. I called her, furious. She laughed, knowing she had won. She had jabbed me with insults, stabbing me in the heart until I got angry. My Mom had trolled me, pretending to be on my side. I completely broke, screaming in frustration. I couldn't believe my own parents would do this. I could no longer read. I couldn't think.
"This is what you get for leaving home," they said. They had set me up! It was petty revenge for what I had done as a teenager. I had hurt their feelings, and this was their meticulously crafted vengeance. They would ruin my life, throw away my career, and leave me broken, all for petty spite. They had never wanted me to succeed. They didn't care about my future, or the family, or what I could offer the world. They weren't able to see that far.
In my mind, it was a friendly and mutually respectful reconciliation, and my parents were graciously helping me salvage my career from my mistakes. They had something different in mind. They were embarrassed by me, and they were going to force me to compromise against my own will, to face the world and apologize for being myself. I was going to get a humble, unassuming job, give up my soul, and go back to school for something they could brag to the neighbors about.
"You could work at NASA!" my Dad said. I had never wanted to work at NASA in my life. I would probably kill myself if I was forced to work there. I would rather work at Walmart. But my Dad wanted to work there, and that's all that mattered in his mind.
And I kept screaming, as I realized it. I told them I wished they were dead. I told them I hoped they got cancer. (I hope they don't, and I wish I hadn't.) I banged down the gavel and condemned them, slammed the door in my heart, and got to work. No problem! Anxiety set in, just a slight tinge of fear. I started to feel guilty, and I called to apologize. They hung up on me. The anxiety started humming, and turned into a full-blown panic attack. The buzzing got louder. A song started playing in my head, and it wasn't going away. I walked from room to room, outside, and back in. It kept playing. I laid down and tried to rest. It only got worse.
In my panic, a voice in my head started booming, louder and louder until it was the Voice of God: "You should have honored your parents!" It was my own thoughts, out of control and amplified to an extreme, worse than the worst bad acid trip.
I was going to Hell. It was a real place- It was in my own mind.
I went outside, but everyone was a stranger. I was in a world that I no longer understood, where I was completely alone and nobody knew who I was. I was completely outcast. Nothing was recognizable. I was surrounded by predators- people seemed like vicious animals, and there was no place to run. The world felt like it was on fire and falling apart.
TIME BOMB SET! ESCAPE IMMEDIATELY!
I failed the mission. I was not ready to be an adult. In full blown panic mode, I called my parent's house, my shaking hands punching in the numbers from childhood muscle memory.
When I was a teenager, shortly before I had moved out, I had bought a telephone line recorder from Radio Shack, trying to figure out who my parents really were, grasping to find their point of control, to see behind the curtain they had closed on my mind. It was cheap and made an audible clicking sound, and my parents found it in my room and confiscated it, saying nothing.
My Mom had planned for this moment, biding her time, ready to inflict maximum emotional damage. She had saved the line recorder, and saved it for this moment, using it during the call so that I would hear the clicking. I had played right into her trap. I called, broken and confused, crying and apologizing. "I'll believe in Jesus!" *click* *click* She kept asking "and what else did you do?" leading me into a confession (she had found out I had broken into the churches), and recording it for blackmail. At the end of the call, she said "this is what emotional damage is like!" and then kept mentioning that she was attending police meetings, planting some subconscious fear and association with authority, trying to intimidate and keep control. "Five more years!" she said. *click* *click* "This is what you get for breaking into my house!"
At that, I remembered that I had kicked in the door to the garage one day when I was 19, right after I had gotten that girlfriend. I had walked to their house, ready to apologize and trying to reconcile. It was snowing, they weren't home, it was cold (Michigan), and I got angry. I had searched for some cash in the drawers downstairs, and took a box of old rolls of coins, selling them for cigarettes. I had completely forgotten! I had come back a week later and reconciled anyway, and they had pretended not to mention the kicked in door.
I felt helpless and powerless. There was nothing I could do. I wanted to punch them in the face, to smash everything they owned, to set their house on fire- to do to them what they had done to me. I was sure that there was no way I could get myself back again. It was just like with that girl from high school, I would never feel the same. I would never be able to get back up. I wanted to sue them, to get revenge somehow, but it wouldn't do any good. There was no way that I could hurt them as much as they had hurt me, and even if I did, I would only be hurting myself. It was like punching a mirror. If I destroyed them, I would be alone and terrified, lost with no connection to reality left. I couldn't stand it. All I wanted was to get free, and it had been stolen away from me.
She was a monster! I was sure of it! Without any regard for what I wanted, she was completely selfishly motivated, just acting automatically. Like a spider trapping its prey in a web, she instinctively brainwashed the whole family, and when she started to lose control, she would become more conniving and more desperate, more malicious. It was sick and depraved, but that was life.
I was certain that my mother was an "emotionally abusive psychopath." While I was right from a certain perspective (all mothers are!), that's just a label. It's what the losing dog calls someone who beats them. The truth is that there is no such thing. There is only reality- We are in a giant meatgrinder tournament of will power.
I could justify it any way I liked, but the simple fact was that my Mom is a psychic grand master, and I got owned.
Was I really any better? That girl I had lived with, I had trapped her out of my own desperation. In love with her, I needed to keep her captured, needed to keep her under my spell. I didn't even realize I was doing it! While I hadn't considered her freedom, I constantly encouraged her to learn music and graphics and help me, or to go back to school. Her mother had gotten really weird, forcing a cell phone on her- trying to hack in, desperate to get control over her daughter once again.
Like it or not, my Mom was protecting me, instinctively trying to keep control, for my own good. Only she had a lifetime of experience and tricks that I didn't know of, making it that much more frustrating. She needed to keep control over me, even if it meant destroying my career, even if it meant brainwashing me to the point of insanity. My game was my leverage to earn my freedom, and freedom is dangerous- she would not stop until my game was destroyed.
The Baby Metroid had come to suck out Mother Brain's psychic energy beam and give it to me- and she was pissed.
She was saving me from myself, because she knew that I was capable of something far greater. If I had succeeded, I would have bought my Lamborghini and taken off to the Bahamas, never to be seen again. (Or just disappeared into a room for the rest of my life.)
My parents were keeping me from making the same mistakes they did. They had escaped from their parents.
I recalled some strange memories from going over her father's house as a child. There was a lawn chair in the dark, damp corner of the unfinished basement, a spinning rainbow colored piece of glass over a light bulb, something used to make the garland on Christmas trees sparkle. (To keep the children mesmerized!) I realized that it was like the mind control chair in a few "Star Trek" episodes, though I wasn't sure if it was for her or for him. Her father sat there at the kitchen table, chain smoking, calling her "rotten," and asking her if she was "still with that man." She had broken his heart in getting away and marrying my Dad, and she had brought me there to show him, just as I showed her my game on the DS.
"Your mother loves you..." my Dad had said, in that strange tone again. "She's your biggest fan." His mother had sat in a house, alone for a decade, with a picture of Jesus up on top of the TV. Waiting for the Son of Man.
This is what makes a man a man, apparently. The only way left, the only path to redemption, is to get stronger, to face the pain. To avoid all temptation, to be free of desire, to cause no harm, to have no fear. If I follow the rules, I can get out. It's not like I have a choice. I can't turn back now. All I can do is keep running forward, feeling my consciousness get bigger, feeling my heart grow with more power. I can choose to give up, get enslaved at some job, and respawn- or embrace the challenge and Become Like Jesus. (Or Buddha, or Muhammad, or Neo, etc.) "I AM the Son of Man," he had said- with enough psychic energy to blow everyone's head off. I understood what he meant.
The Father is God, The Son becomes The Father, connected by the Holy Spirit through time. The agents hack into your mind through an insecurity (until you really believe) and spawn daemon background processes there to prevent you from becoming Neo. The Body Thetans have always been there, and you must cleanse them to return them to Venus in order to control the universe. Use The Force, Luke! It actually all sort of makes sense. Everyone over the age of 30 should seem completely insane to anyone under 30. (If they don't, they are probably taking advantage of them by telling them what they want to hear.)
We are one being, a big ball of consciousness, one giant blob of connected psyche. A person without insecurities controls the mass (shepherds the flock), without any ways for anyone else to hack in. A person who commits no sins- who doesn't break the rules, who doesn't want anything- can become a God. It's like the manual for the game.
The Woman, tempted by the serpent, ate the fruit of knowledge first- to become like God. Women tempt and tease, endowed with the power of beauty and greater will power, they gain strong mind control and learn more techniques. I had no choice, my brain had been programmed and I couldn't escape. I had to read that book with "Success" on the cover. I was being tricked into being successful on my Mom's terms- the only real way to succeed.
Life is hard. It is creepy and crawly and sticky and gross and uncomfortable and painful and beautiful.
My parents are really awesome. I think my Mom's a genius. She is a specialist in child development with a Master's Degree. There is a bookshelf full of heavy child psychology books and creepy children's books in my bedroom in my parents' house, each one designed to Program The Child's Brain Just Right. Her dream was to be a mother- I am her product.
I really love my Mom. (And my Dad!) They weren't sabotaging me at all (well, they were)- they were training me. If I can overcome this, I'll be the most powerful person in the world.
Money isn't important. In fact, it is exactly the opposite.
With little time left, I started working on my third demo. I wouldn't be able to release a MMORPG and get rich and escape, but I could teach the world something important- I could help create a generation of Gods. Just like in Earthbound, I had to give up myself at the end.
Blinded by greed, pride, wrath, I couldn't see where I was headed. I believed that we are in a cold, hard world where money is all that matters. That life is a mad scramble to get rich, and everything else needs to be ruthlessly sacrificed.
My Mom was saving me from doom by scaring the shit out of me, by giving me a warning of what was to come. I saw the pattern, that people suffer an emotional shock that leaves them terrified and alone when their parents die. The Eater Of Dreams. Once that final string gets cut, they bond to the only social structure they can, their workplace.
All of a sudden, corruption and office politics made that much more sense- people didn't just want job security, they needed it. In that regard, companies are more like evil power pyramids, sort of "satanic" cults in that they entice children away from their homes with temptations and toys, who then ignore their families, entitled and smugly empowered with their paychecks. Once their family is gone, they are trapped, with nowhere to go, their literal soul eaten by the beast that enticed them.
For instance, Apple is a totalitarian power pyramid run by a sorcerer that has a hiding-in-plain-sight logo (bitten apple) which sells useful but extremely addictive gadgets to young people. Children aspire to work there, worship the leader, and submit to the organization, proud to work for someone else instead of reaching their own potential. They fly across the country or even the world, abandoning their friends and family, having been indoctrinated from childhood. Their family dissolves and their parents die, leaving them emotionally dependent to the company, unable to detach themselves from their new peer group. They become corrupted by this dependence and fear a loss of job security, ending up totally enslaved. They don't know they are, but they don't care, nor do they want to leave. They are comfortably corrupt and don't have the will power to even realize it. This is what is considered a "normal career."
I had become a warlock.
I deleted my angry industrial music. I threw away my Razer mouse, hating the glowing snake logo, realizing it was stealing children's souls. I realized that game controllers were plastic handcuffs, subconsciously keeping children locked up as they lived their lives on a screen. Sticking the pigs. "They're greedy" Iwata had said. To me, Tim had said.
At first, I only wanted to make a life with my girlfriend- I was already satisfied. Then I got an ego, became insecure, and I wanted to "be a hero" and impress others, to capture the respect I felt I had earned. Then, after she dumped me, I wanted revenge, I wanted a Lamborghini, and I wanted to "get all the bitches."
But that was before. Now, the stakes were different. I only wanted to get free.
Blindly following the rules of capitalism, I had willed myself to power- but it was the kind of power that crushes others. Instead of earning their love and respect, I had simply conquered them, broken their hearts and left them behind. I hadn't meant to! I didn't even know I was doing it!
I didn't know because I had never lost before! And only when I had, with that girl back in 2007, I had dismissed it, because she had cheated. I thought that isolating myself, by cutting all the ties, by keeping out of other's lives, I could selfishly keep my own life and do whatever I wanted without hurting anyone, without being obligated. I couldn't cut the last string.
I had been trying to succeed on a level that would crush my parents, and they responded by pulling the rug out on me. They couldn't help it. I had hacked into their minds, and they responded compulsively. Just like what that girl from high school had done to me. She had loved me, and I had tried to crush her, unknowingly.
"You're like Hitler" my Dad said. I had been trying to will myself to power at the expense of everyone else. There are two kinds of power- The power of a dictator who keeps everyone at the barrel of a gun, and the power of real strength. I would have to start over, somehow, the right way.
I had run away, trying to be my own person, and in doing so, I had handicapped the height that I could rise to. "You need to respect me," my Dad said. But how could I forgive them, respect them without being compromised? Without feeling crushed and powerless? I had been so successful because I had abandoned my parents. I had cut the thread that bound me from being myself, that prevented me from being my own person. However, running away had hurt them, and to have me succeed would crush them.
I couldn't succeed that way. I had to forgive them and let them back into my heart. Just the act of doing that made me instantly lose all my self respect. I was too weak, and it was like lifting a thousand pound weight.
I realized that most people who achieve great success leave behind a pile of corpses. I noticed that most of them are from broken homes, that they have a chip on their shoulder. They had been subconsciously seeking revenge, in a way, trying to show their parents what they are worth, crushing everyone on their way up.
I didn't hate my parents nearly enough, and even if I did, it would have destroyed me. The only way left forward was to forgive them, to give up my self respect, to let them crush me. I would have to be like Jesus. It started to make sense!
I remembered the plate I had drawn as a child, and realized what it meant for the first time. I wasn't strong enough to let my parents in my heart, and they were knocking on the door. I was a beast in chains. Unable to focus, I got frustrated. I had to get back to reality. I boarded the door back up and slammed the door in my heart. The music came back.
I paced around in my apartment for days, humming the song.
I wrote Bill Gates a poem to the tune of it, to the email I was sure was his. I had felt it. He replied and said "Very Good." I wasn't surprised. I knew he would, somehow.
I decided to save Microsoft. I knocked down Google. I don't know how to explain it. I just did.
I knew what I had to do. I knew what I had to show. An elevator. Touching the subconscious. My rise to power. The leader of the game industry.
I released my demo, teaching the world what I had realized. They wouldn't understand it yet, but they would. It was the best day of my life. I was going to change the world. I laughed for three days straight, playing my demo over and over. I kept falling out of my chair. I laughed so hard it hurt, and kept laughing. I was crying, screaming in laughter, wailing about the room, stomping and chanting and banging. It was worth it.
Somehow, I knocked down Sony. I was certain of it. It was effortless. I could feel myself hacking in and smashing it down.
I kept waking up, filled with power, tripping my balls off and feeling my third eye. Seeing people as divine light-monkeys, babbling nonsense at each other, programming each other's minds.
I was breaking free from the Womb. I woke up and floating in my vision was a massive golden being. It was an angel. I woke up again, dreaming, but wide awake. I had an extremely vivid conversation with a creature with a bird head. She said her name was Isis.
Easter was coming. Knock knock! I was becoming a person like Jesus. I could feel the power entering my heart. I was ten thousand feet fall.
I set my webcam to gold. I was a King. I was a Wizard.
Suddenly, I was overwhelmed. It was too much, too different. I couldn't accept it- this couldn't be reality! I freaked out. I hated it. I threw a tantrum. It was exactly like the day I threw the catechism across the room, I felt a pressure in my heart and rejected it. I paced into the kitchen and screamed "KILL YOURSELF!" I lost my emotional balance and felt all the power go out from me.
I collapsed. I had failed at becoming a wizard. I was still stuck in Hell, crawling on the ground.
I called my Mom, and she answered. "Your voice sounds weird. Why does your voice sound weird?" She giggled. My voice did not sound weird. She knew, somehow! I knew how she knew. I asked her how she knew that. She said "I talk to people all day!"
She was inside my mind. She could read my thoughts. I knew it, but I refused to accept it.
I flipped out on her again.
I knew I had to get stronger, somehow. I went outside and tried to run around the block, pathetically only making it to the corner before slowing to a walk. I was weak, incredibly weak. My mind raced, seeking options, desperate to find some way out. I couldn't go back to my parents, I had just gotten free. They had closed the trap on me! They had taken away my only chance at freedom! My brain kept flipping between seeing my parents as helping me, and ripping away my only chance at freedom, suddenly leaving me seething with anger.
Would that sort of financial freedom actually help me? Or would it leave me alone and devastated, even worse than working for a company?
My core values were being torn down. One minute, I realized I had been tricked, convinced that money was all that mattered, and had invested myself completely in pursuing financial success, desperate to earn my freedom at any cost, unwilling- even at the cost of my life- to spend the rest of my life as a wage slave. Society puts people between a rock and a hard place!
They were stealing my freedom! They had betrayed me! They had tricked me! I had to get away! I couldn't go back! I couldn't give up! I had nowhere to go! Feeling trapped, and stressed to an absolute breaking point, I kept panicking, trying to lash out at my parents, and then flipping back and apologizing, realizing they were helping me.
I went out and bought a Bible and read it over the next few weeks. The secret of the heart. The secret of mind control. The realization that magic is real, and understanding at once that religion is ancient magic. We are magical beings.
I studied Jesus carefully. He was certainly "just a man," a genius of his time, who understood the rules instead of blindly following tradition. He spoke in riddles. He had been trying to tell us that we were all the Sons of God. The Son of Man. The Trinity, meaning the power of the Holy Spirit through time, the Son becomes the Father. My Father was God in my mind.
The church worships the pattern of life. God is the Father, the Son aspires to defeat God, the Mother loves the Son. The world crucifies the Son, making him into God. It is the pattern of uncontrollable human instinct. The Son of Man must give up the self, resist all temptation and be crucified to become God, to become free. The homeless are often the crucified Son of Man, on the path to becoming God. The church feeds the homeless!
Thou shalt not covet. How much is that iPhone going to be worth when your parents are dying and you are alone and terrified in a nightmare of a world?
You are surrounded by evil things that are trying to steal your time and distract you from the only things that matter. The world is full of insecure, greedy people, infected with "daemons" (compelled by their emotions!), who are trying to make you insecure and greedy. The worst part is, they can't help it!
It is like a disease in their mind that tries to spread to others. It is like a daemon process that infects other hosts.
People who use negging are compelled to try and control someone who threatens them. They can't help it! You see it all over the TV! Insecure people who have been hacked into by the President or some celebrity and are compulsively bickering to find a way to control him, to tear him down. "God's name is JEALOUS."
They stab you in the heart and try to drown out your light, to get you to close your heart, to make you bitter. If your light doesn't shine, you lose your magic power. Then you are infected with their disease too.
But people that hurt others are only hurting themselves. Once they give into that insecurity, they prevent themselves from being able to rise. People on television are giving people justification. Late night talk show hosts, tabloids, entire industries exist on spreading gossip, telling cruel jokes, and leveraging peer pressure, keeping their audience held down by keeping them petty and immoral.
I had been insecure myself, thinking only of myself, in a mad dash to beat everyone else, to accomplish the most, to earn all the respect and give none back.
Criminals try to make more criminals! They compulsively see your innocence and will try to give you porn, alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, etc. They don't even realize they are doing it, it is totally subconscious. They just see your innocence and will try to corrupt you, and then get offended if you don't let them. They will use peer pressure, bullying, anything they can to force you. If they can physically force you, they will.
They don't mean to! They have a daemon in them which is controlling their brain. Their will power has been eroded (by other criminals usually!), and replaced with a dependency of some kind. When their brain is exposed to innocence, beauty, potential, etc, they lose all their confidence and their thought patterns spiral out of control into ways to take down the threat. If they cannot eradicate the threat, they will lose their soul and their identity and go into a crushing despair.
Their brain will search for any weakness it can find, because the brain must justify itself. If they can dig up a way to hurt you in some way, frustrate you, or tempt you, they will. If you used to smoke, expect them to offer you cigarettes, or coincidentally leave some laying out, or argue with you about how "it isn't as bad as it seems." If you used to be an alcoholic, expect them to leave a beer sitting on your table. It is not their fault, it is your responsibility to resist, as frustrating and backwards as it seems.
Children start off as wild psychopaths by nature, and without supervision will form gangs, or tribes. They want to hurt others, destroy everything, rape everything. Children are like pigs, selfish and naive in their innocence, greedily shoving everything they can into their mouths. Like I had, sucking in all the porn and gore I could find, not knowing any better. Not realizing it was sucking away my will power, extinguishing my light, stealing my soul.
Most people never overcome this. They give up, because it requires too much will power to tame and control oneself. It is much easier to control and manipulate others instead, to stick the pigs. To buy them, trick them, or tempt them. They are too weak to overcome their own hatred. They drink away their guilt and fear, and aspire to hurt the innocent, because they are greedy by nature.
Most people are child humans, criminals, insecure, unable to find the will to overcome the things that keep them bound and keep them small- that steal their power. However, a person that does manage to tame themselves acquires psychic power over the rest of the world. These are the people who run everything!
True Adult Humans are very powerful magical creatures. It is rare to see one! Usually they are only found on the television or movie screen. These people are able to draw crowds and fill stadiums.
The King James Bible calls it "The Matrix". Other editions call it "The Womb," which doesn't sound nearly as cool but is a more accurate name. A long time ago, some wizards documented how to break out of it and gain magical powers.
That's what religion is. It is magic. Jesus was a wizard so powerful that he reset reality. He reset the timer.
There is another world, but it is much harder to live in. Reality as you know it is completely an illusion! It is a massive psychic projection. The logos, brands, buildings, and places that you are surrounded with only have meaning because of the psychic projection of power into your subconscious. They are radiating with power, but you cannot detect it!
The Old Testament is pretty much just an almanac of ancient wisdom and magic. It begins with Moses saving the people from enslavement by Pharaoh, and then has some songs, some random snippets of wisdom, etc. It applies pretty well to today's corporations, which aren't that different from Pharaoh!
My parents knew, somehow. It was all so surreal! "It's all for you." "You're going to have some really good friends, Bob." "You don't need people the way everyone else does."
I emailed Mark Pincus from Zynga. I could feel my power reach through him. Several weeks later, he announced he was being stepping down. It wasn't a coincidence. It was real, I was sure of it.
I realized what I was. I realized what I was in. We are in a game, and there is a manual. Jesus was a real person. That's what a person is capable of! The world is not what I thought it was! The world is not what you think it is! We control reality! We are projecting reality from our hearts!
But it's so impossible to believe.
Unwilling to accept that this was reality, that it was anything other than an "evil mind control cult," I bought an empty nitrogen tank, the most painless way to commit suicide, and sent a picture of it to my Dad, a form of leverage. "If this world isn't real, then my death won't matter!" He called the police, who called the local Sacramento police, who called my phone from outside my door. I went outside and told them to leave.
I kept reading.
"No one's ever made their first jump."
For a second, I believed it. I was certain. I was Neo. The phone rang. I picked it up. I knew nobody would be there. My neighbor knocked on the door and asked if I was alright. My friends emailed me. Again, the patterns, just confirming it again and again. "I KNOW WHAT YOU ARE," I screamed. I became God for an instant! The whole world was screaming at me. I could feel it, like a thousand helicopters coming at once, like a thousand stars in GTA.
I collapsed again.
I Skyped my parents again. I said I couldn't do it! I would kill myself! I needed the money! I needed! The police came to my door again, at 8 AM. They stood on the porch and I told them that I had just become a Real Adult Human. They nodded and left.
I threw a bunch of stuff in the dumpster, packed my car to the top, and drove from California to Michigan.
It was June, 2013.
I was home for two weeks. My Dad said "it's brainwashing," laughing.
For a few days I refreshed 4chan /x/ and grumbled along with the conspiracy theorists about Hollywood's satanic Illuminati mind control symbols. This is completely true- but it's no conspiracy. They just have the strongest wills and command psychic control over society.
Part of me knew I was enslaved. I could feel that half of my mind was shut off. I rolled cigarettes and went outside to smoke every half hour, the only way I could deal with the crushing frustration and depression.
This had happened before. The memories kept kicking in of back in 2008. It was too similar.
My Dad took me to the doctor to get a new Ritalin prescription. As we arrived, I noticed it was a "family psychiatrist." He had scheduled the appointment ahead of time. They were nailing the coffin closed. I refused to go in, and when we got home, he once again thrust a psychiatrist card at me, making an ultimatum. It was exactly the same!
My parents informed me that I couldn't live with them, and I would have to get a job.
It was exactly the same as before. The same phrases, the same thought patterns.
These were not my real parents. Something had happened to them.
They watched "their shows" on the TV, Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy, my Mom piling the food high on my Dad's plate, her instinct to brainwash possessing her.
I pointed out the commercials and shows, programming them to "eat, eat, eat!" My Dad pretended to ignore me, turning up the volume on the TV when I started talking.
I could see right through her behavior, like a cat grooming itself after falling off a table, her instincts revealed. My Mom's face twisted into a furious expression when I pointed it out. "What do you mean by that? I don't like the way you're talking to me!" It was almost comical in a way, like pigs wearing trousers- if they hadn't had the leverage to completely ruin my life and career.
They were not on my side. They were too compromised to understand. All they cared about was their own instinctive needs, and I was part of that need.
My Mom had compromised me- not for my own good- but because she couldn't help it. Her instincts had caused her to snatch control of me, and I hadn't been strong enough to prevent it from happening. I had let her do it, and she wasn't going to give me a reward for doing what she wanted. I was in their house again and I was their child.
Empty nest syndrome.
Suddenly I was living in a twisted nightmare. Nobody could be trusted. Everyone in my life was an animal with sharp claws and teeth, desperate to steal me, attack me, control me.
I didn't eat anything for several days.
"Software engineer! You're no software engineer! You have to go to school for that!"
"It's because you moved out! This is what you get!"
"You bought that equipment with the family's money! That's our equipment!"
"Get out of this house! I want you out by the morning!"
"Keep the tarp, you'll need it to sleep under!"
Their arguments seemed unjust and corrupt, but they had the leverage.
I dumped all my "bob's game" posters, backups, t-shirts, and business cards into a big plastic garbage bag and stuffed it into their trash can. I threw out all my game controllers and toys. I left all my equipment sitting on the floor of what was now my parent's spare bedroom- it was theirs, after all.
It was time to grow up or die trying.
All I had in my car was a small laundry basket with some shirts, two pairs of jeans, some underwear and socks, a broken 2006 MacBook Pro which I had to bend diagonally to get to turn on, a 800mhz netbook from 2007, a nitrogen tank, a Bible, a briefcase full of hard disks, and my cat.
My Dad gave me an envelope with $1000 in it, standing in his underwear. It was already prepared- he knew I was going to leave. They were being corrupt on purpose.
As I left, my Mom sat next to the door on her knees wearing her bathrobe. I told her to get up, gave her a hug, and took off.
I made it to Ohio before starting to go into shock, The Fear beginning to pound in my head. I pulled over, bought a prepaid SIM card for my beat up old BlackBerry I used as my MP3 player, and texted my parents- telling them I loved them. My Dad texted back, saying "you're a good man." I was OK.
I decided to go to Seattle. I didn't know anyone anymore, but I knew someone there. Sort of.
After a day or two, I had reached the point of no return. I wouldn't have enough gas money to get back. I decided I didn't care. I had an empty nitrogen tank and that's all I needed. I was going to earn my freedom, even if it meant I would die. At least I would die free.
It was July 12, my birthday. I was 30 years old.
Staying at a cheap motel, I emailed Bill Gates from the Wifi there, saying "I'm coming to Seattle. I want a job."
I was off to see The Wizard. The man who had created the most complex piece of software ever written. The Window I had been staring at for most of my life- it was a "hiding in plain sight" mind control device, a sorcery!
Yet computers wouldn't have existed if he hadn't done it the way he had, they never would have reached economy of scale. He was saving the world- and if I had to get a job I was going to work for him.
A few weeks after I had sent that powerful email to Mark Pincus, he resigned, and the Microsoft XBox guy had moved over there and taken the CEO role. I took that as an invitation, and decided that I should try and work for Microsoft.
Driving into range of the city, I could immediately sense The Wizard. It was my imagination- but that's the whole point. That's what creates our reality! Everything is a psychic projection!
I arrived in Seattle and drove through, deciding immediately that Seattle itself was terrible. I continued to Redmond to see Microsoft campus.
I scraped one of the protruding yellow dividers they have in the middle of the road there and got a flat. I slept in my car in the parking lot of a Discount Tire and got a tire in the morning.
I had $150 left.
I got a 24 Hour Fitness membership and slept in the parking lot there. It was an old location without even individual showers, just one gang style shower and a handicapped stall. That was too much for me, having been locked in a room by myself for a decade. I slipped in at 3 AM and used the handicapped shower, hoping nobody else would show up.
I went to T-Mobile and bought a Windows Phone. My confidence was so high, all the staff crowded around and insisted, using peer pressure, that I get the "protection plan." I agreed to get it- only if it would help them. They lied, insisting it wouldn't.
I knew that my emails were being read- by who, I wasn't sure. I emailed some more, being as cocky as I could.
I didn't even really know why I was there, but I was trusting my gut. I was following my instinct, and somehow felt that I was in a Willy Wonka-esque tournament, as if Bill Gates fantastic brain had pulled me there subconsciously.
I wasn't far off. A few weeks later, Steve Ballmer would step down.
I knew the truth about humans. The person with more psychic force wins control. The person with more confidence has more power. The person who wants nothing is invincible. You must convince a person to submit to an idea, otherwise your own brain becomes frustrated. We are psychic beings that change each other's brain states.
I challenged Bill Gates. I didn't care at all. He was just a man! I realized that he had reached a pinnacle, like many great men, the only remaining move- ultimate fate by necessity also happens to be the most interesting one- to save the world. The natural direction of man who lives up to his ambition is to become like a God. Bill Gates was a guy like Jesus.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, I knew my email had been read by someone important. I immediately felt something give way, and then I felt the force of ten thousand vicious dogs lunging at me, straining at the leash. I pulled over and scrambled to get out of the car, the feeling was so intense.
I had stolen Microsoft.
I could feel the power tearing at my brain, finding any flaw, anything I had done wrong.
It found it. I was guilty. I had pirated Windows. The thought began to spiral in my mind, amplifying and pounding out of control. It was enough. It was an insecurity. I felt the sudden crushing sensation of being overcome by the will of another, the loss of an argument, the sting of defeat.
I couldn't handle it! It was too much. I apologized and drove to Portland, suddenly terrified.
As soon as I got out of range I felt completely fine.
I turned around and went back to the parking lot. I had lost, but it had been worth it. I never wanted to defeat Bill Gates. I didn't want Microsoft!
I decided that I would rather work for the Foundation. To anyone else I must have sounded like a maniac, but I was sure a guy that smart could see between the lines. He hadn't always been a billionaire. He had been a young magician once, a wild and intense guy that surrounded himself with computers and got caught speeding in the desert. He was a guy that had founded his company on courage and boldness, confidently emailing executives at huge corporations and convincing them to give him a chance.
I knew, though, that I had lost. My confidence was shot and I was spiraling into confusion. It was over.
I had $20 left.
I went to a welding shop and swapped out my empty tank for an ugly green tank filled with nitrogen, just in case. There are worse things than death, and I now had insurance. I could face anything without fear.
I was practically unconscious, completely lost. Frustrated into oblivion with no power and no confidence. I kept waking up in a haze and writing furious emails to my parents, then deleting them, knowing it was useless.
I watched Star Trek (the Original Series) on my Windows Phone strapped to the back of my sun visor. I went inside the gym and started using an elliptical. I had been sitting in a chair for almost two years, and I could only do a quarter mile.
Knowing it was hopeless but not caring, I sent Bill some emails about what I was thinking and about my situation. I decided to go check out his house, and I drove by the entrance. It was a completely unassuming little path down into some hedges on an otherwise totally normal suburb street. I didn't go down the private driveway, of course, because it was hidden.
I ran out of money and had no food. My car had only a dozen miles worth of gas left.
I went to the beach and thought about jumping into one of the dumpsters, climbing into a garbage bag with my nitrogen tank, and somehow tying it from within. Nobody would know the difference.
I stumbled around the Safeway parking lot in Bellevue, picking up half smoked cigarettes and wrapping tape around them so I didn't catch anything.
I pulled fast food bags from trash cans and ate the fries from the bottom. I staked out McDonalds, waiting for someone to throw out a half eaten hamburger. I poked around in the Safeway dumpster for food.
One night I found several bags of Ocean Spray dried cranberries and immediately ate two entire packages. I threw up cranberry sludge all night, stumbling into Safeway wearing my bathrobe and buying some Milk of Magnesia and Mineral Oil with the change from my cupholder.
I was sure I was going to die. I thought to myself "this is as good a time as any."
Cackling with my stomach heaving, I pulled all my papers and hard disks from my trunk and dumped them into an industrial garbage bag. I threw it all into the dumpster, climbed into my front seat, ripped off another industrial garbage bag, and put it over my head. I grabbed the nitrogen tank, and pulled it inside the bag.
This wasn't how it was supposed to be done, but it was the best I could do. I didn't have enough money for a line regulator and hoses, so I just hoped that fresh air didn't leak in and leave me alive and brain damaged. I cracked open the nitrogen tank and there was a terrifying whooshing sound. It was more pressurized than I imagined. I felt myself get a little bit lightheaded. I felt bad for my cat, still in the car next to me. I pulled off the bag and stumbled out of the car in my bathrobe, vomiting more cranberry sludge against the 24 Hour Fitness building. In the morning, I jumped into the dumpster and yanked out the bags with all my papers and data, dumping them on the ground, and sorting them to fit into my trunk again.
It seemed that I was going to live for a while longer. I got better at finding food. I got stronger at the gym. I became somewhat more stable.
My car was out of gas and out of electricity. The powered windows were stuck open, but I got used to it. I charged my phone at McDonalds and walked back to my lifeless car each night, able to watch an episode of two of Star Trek before the phone died. I started applying for some startup jobs at some game companies in the area, with no response.
A few days later, as I was rooting through the Safeway dumpster, a young employee came up to throw in a trash bag. He offered me half of a chocolate bar. He asked me why I hadn't applied for an EBT Food Assistance card. It hadn't occurred to me. I hadn't considered that I qualified for it.
The next day, as I was on hold with Social Services, a police car pulled into the lot and a plainclothes detective tapped on my window. Mr. Gates had sent him, he said, to make sure I was doing OK. I said I was, and he left, saying good luck. I emailed Bill again and told him "next time send a pizza!"
Bill Gates is a really nice guy. That guy is definitely a genius!
I walked a few miles to the nearest Social Services building and they gave me an EBT card. For the first time in a month, I was able to actually choose what kind of food to eat. After figuring that I could spend $6 a day, I bought a large bag of dark chocolate M&M's.
My parents emailed, saying I had gotten the security deposit check from my apartment in Sacramento. They deposited $500 in my account. I walked to the corner gas station and filled a gas can and emptied it into my car several times. I got a jumpstart from someone in the parking lot. The car came alive again, the clock flashing 12:00.
I took off, driving through Bellevue at night, the lights looking more beautiful than I had ever seen.
I headed back down to the Bay Area, to finish what I had started, somehow. I figured I would find a nice place to die on a beach near San Mateo. I had been there once. It was nice.
It was July 30th. I had been in Seattle for 18 days. It had felt like an eternity.
I landed in San Jose two days later, at the same 24 Hour Fitness that I had gone to with Tim. (Thanks, Tim!)
As soon as I pulled in the lot, a guy asked me to give him a jump start, and then while I was starting his car, he asked me for money. I realized he didn't have an alternator and it was a scam. I offered to give him a ride, telling him he'd be better off just being honest.
I slept in the parking lot there for a week, exercising each day and watching Star Trek on Netflix on my Windows Phone. I figured that I'd stay alive for as long as I could, and when things got bad enough I would just find a dumpster to crawl in- I could just get inside one of the huge garbage bags and open the nitrogen tank, nice and neat. I took note of some dumpsters in the area.
The exercise seemed to help a lot. I had a couple hundred dollars left, and I felt a lot more stable being in a place that I recognized. I decided to get healthy. I drove to Safeway down the street each day and bought sodium-free cottage cheese and a couple of superfood Naked Juice drinks with my EBT card.
I went to go visit Tim, to see if he had any ideas for where I could get a job. He let me in and recommended a few studios, despite my earlier lashing out at him- a credit to his character.
On the way back to the gym, I messaged Alex, offering to help him out with Code Hero. It turned out that he had been working at an AR glasses startup to raise some funds, and he offered to introduce me. I headed over to the big house they had rented in Los Altos. I ended up staying, sleeping on the floor in the basement with my cat. Alex wanted me to work on Unity, but my brain was a complete mess, I didn't have any hardware, and I couldn't focus. They gave me an i5 laptop with a low resolution screen, which kept getting borrowed by other guys for various tasks. There was no way I was going to be able to learn Unity and make anything decent. I kept telling them that I wasn't going to invest myself in something if they wouldn't invest in some hardware for me. I mostly just washed dishes and cleaned up. After a week, they gave me $500 and had me leave. Alex took the demo I had hacked on and polished it up into something impressive to try and save face for me a bit. (Thanks Alex!)
I bought an old ThinkPad T61p with a 1920x1200 screen from Craigslist for $200, and went to go get an e-cigarette from a local shop, Great Vapes in Sunnyvale. I was going to try and quit smoking.
It was September, 2013.
I was running out of money and I knew I wouldn't be able to afford the gas to keep driving a mile to the Safeway. Looking at Google Maps, I decided to move to the Sunnyvale 24 Hour Fitness, which had a Safeway in the same parking lot. I found a nice spot in the back under some trees. Shade was really important, as I still had my cat in the car. After some hesitation, I realized I could open my window and my cat would recognize the car as home, and she gladly ran around to explore outside and came back at night.
I started doing a half hour of exercise on the elliptical each day. The Safeway put the day-old deli sandwiches out back in a cardboard box, and I started eating several of them a day along with the cottage cheese and superfood juice. I looked healthier than I had in years.
I finished Star Trek and began The Next Generation.
I started posting ads on Craigslist, looking for a lady who would take me in for the winter. I got no replies.
Hanging out at the hackerspace each day, I began to gain some influence. The exercise was giving me power and I was confident and aggressive, feeling like I had nothing to lose. I hit on a lady engineer there, half-joking that I needed a couch to crash on- who immediately complained of harassment to the manager. It turns out that ladies in the engineering field are touchy. The manager sent me a warning email and I voluntarily banned myself, realizing that they would use any excuse to nail me, and I couldn't afford to lose my confidence.
I decided to stop looking on Craigslist. It wasn't healthy, and it wasn't going to solve my problem.
I started running on the treadmill at the gym for 3 miles a day. I used the weight machines for the first time. On some of the machines I couldn't even lift the first weight- I had never used the muscles. I screamed with frustration, forcing myself to do it. "Why do my eyes hurt?" "You've never used them before."
It was November, and it was starting to get cold.
I went to go visit Tim, offering to do some work for him if he could get me some cash. We were even, our positions reversed from when he had stayed at my place in Santa Clara. I stayed there for a couple of days, and neither of us could concentrate. Annoyed that I was there, he clacked on his mechanical keyboard and played his Japanese music until I couldn't stand it- fair enough, it was his house. It wasn't going to be possible unless I had a separate place to work. I borrowed a blanket from him and went back to Sunnyvale.
Becoming more desperate as it got colder, I watched Star Trek: TNG on my Phone and sent emails to Peter Thiel, asking for help. Of course, he gave no reply.
I started pushing harder at the gym, drinking a Rockstar Lemonade and running for 5 miles in the morning, and lifting weights at night after eating as many day-old sandwiches as I could handle. My willpower was coming back, slowly but surely. I started seeing that the TV ads were brainwashing, that the logos were glowing with power again.
I quit smoking completely, with the help of an old Chantix prescription. It was absolute hell regardless. Frustrated out of my mind, I sent horrible emails to my parents, threw my phone, broke stuff- and then on the treadmill started to get it, gaining appreciation for how hard they hard worked and sent apologies. "You guys are so great!!"
The world became my house. I was becoming an Adult Human Being.
I still needed a better computer. The ThinkPad was still too frustrating to work on my MMORPG, it was just too complex of a project and the tools were designed around 2560x1600. I had grown to the size of my tank. Another guy working in the Safeway there told me that I should go to a Hackathon with him- with my will power it would be easy money.
I went to an Intel XDK hackathon a few days later with a fierce will to win. There was a $3000 prize. We had the choice to use the XDK HTML tool or make something using Android NDK for x86. I made "pyramid" using the XDK tool. I gave it everything I had, eating the rest of my Modafinil and slamming coffee, working all night right up to the deadline. It was a finished product with multiple endings and I was sure I was going to win. It came down to the presentation, and I stammered and slurred through it, totally burned out.
An Indian guy who had modified an Android SDK demo won, because it had a "wow" factor to it. It was a notepad example that sent a text message to his phone, which dinged in the corner. Everyone applauded. I was furious! Nobody appreciated actual effort- they were all fooled by bells and whistles, even though they were engineers. I just didn't know how "hackathons" worked- I had assumed from the name that it was meritocratic- but they were just as corrupt as anything else. The judge, a guy from Intel, came over and told me to drink a beer. "You tried too hard to make something awesome," he said. I had assumed that was the point. I realized he was enslaved by Intel- he couldn't help it. Hackathons were a dead end.
Back at Safeway, I started working on a PowerPoint presentation to send to investors. I had registered a Delaware C Corp back in Sacramento, and it was worth a try. Over a week, I made the best presentation I could with the resources I had. Satisfied with what I had made, I sent it to the VC list that I had spammed back at the nD launch, knowing that I simply didn't have the numbers to get funded but hoping that at least I would redeem myself a bit. One VC replied with a nice comment, which made it worth it.
I made a profile on AngelList and sent the presentation to some Angel investors on Gust, but all of them declined. Investment simply wasn't going to work with an unfinished project. I had to have something running online, with people playing it.
I had the libGDX port of my puzzle game, so making an OUYA version of it would be pretty quick. They were doubling rewards on Kickstarter, and it seemed like a good solid idea. Unwilling to compromise and hating the scammy "infomercial feel" of most gaming Kickstarters, I decided to make the simplest, most straightforward campaign I could, with a very modest goal, less than what the OUYA deal required but they agreed to it.
I got on the Hacker News frontpage, but didn't get enough traction. Most people just complained that it wasn't flashy enough, and I "needed to talk about myself more" and "tell my story." I wouldn't compromise. I knew the product had to sell itself, knowing that my game was the first and only puzzle game objectively better than Tetris. That was a hard sell, and it couldn't be done with an infomercial- that cheapens the product. It had to be done with pure confidence and full heart power, like the Master Sword in Zelda.
I had the right idea, but I wasn't strong enough to hold my confidence. The more confident I was, the harder the more insecure members started attacking me, trying to find weakness, jealous of my project. I had them by the psychic balls, and they were kicking hard. It got to me, and I got frustrated, yelling at one of the guys. I immediately lost all my power and confidence.
The Kickstarter failed. I yelled about my nitrogen tank and left. "What do you want me to do, lay down and die?" Seeing the weakness, someone there immediately called the police, and a SWAT team came to the Sunnyvale gym, where I was running my five miles to gain my power back.
After a few minutes of questions with the SWAT guy, the police chief drove over from Mountain View and shook my hand. "A game developer without a laptop! You must be really good for them to want to take that, huh?" He told me not to go back to the hackerspace. "Those are your competitors. They don't want you to win." He then asked me if I "really had a hydrogen tank in my backseat." I said no, which was the truth- I had a nitrogen tank in my trunk.
It was the end of December, 2013.
I went back anyway, trying to save face, and borrowed a laptop from the guy with the modified van- who turned out to be an infamous security expert. I made a terrible build for the OUYA in two days, testing it on a borrowed OUYA dev unit over the new year.
It was 2014.
My food stamps got cut off. I hadn't sent in the renewal form, which I hadn't gotten because I had no address. I called to renew them, and they said I had to go through California. I applied on the California site, which guaranteed I would receive a reply within three days for emergency benefits. (Two months later, they left a voice mail. I called back for a week, finally getting through, and they told me I had missed my appointment and needed to apply again. I decided I didn't need government assistance.)
I contacted OUYA and asked them if they would fund me anyway, since I needed a laptop to make a good version. They sent me an OUYA dev unit, and then strung me along for a month about the funding. I asked them to hurry, since I was "getting sick of eating out of dumpsters," and they immediately declined. Disappointed, I sold the OUYA dev unit on Craigslist for $50 and paid my gym bill instead.
Having gotten the dev unit from OUYA, I realized I might be able to get a corporate sponsorship for an event. I started contacting companies, planning to make an arcade cabinet and host a tournament at the hackerspace. When it started to get some traction, one of the members immediately reported me for trying to host an event without a membership. It wasn't their fault- they couldn't help it. It just wasn't possible to succeed in that sort of place, I understood. The police chief was right. "God's name is JEALOUS."
The Sunnyvale Safeway manager came out and told me I couldn't eat food from the "day-old" box. They moved it inside. I kept working in the Starbucks Cafe inside, and they cut the power to the outlets and removed the couches. I asked the manager, and he told me it was a blown fuse, and the couches were going "out for cleaning." They never came back, and the power never came back on. I had been there for 4 months, it was fair enough. He should have just been honest- they were squeezing me out.
I moved to the Mountain View 24 Hour Fitness. There was a Safeway and a Walmart in the same parking lot. I found a box of ripe fruit and day-old salads behind the Safeway.
Out of gas, there was nothing that I could do except run at the gym. I was gaining huge amounts of spiritual power.
Fiending for caffeine, I stole a box of Folgers instant coffee singles from Safeway. The next day, sitting on the treadmill there was a wrapper of the very same product. I felt bad and paid for them when I got a few dollars.
My 2006 MacBook stopped turning on. I was down to the double-emergency trunk netbook my Mom had bought me in 2007, a pathetic 800mhz piece of junk.
I started writing, the only thing I could do. I took notes while running on the treadmill in the notepad I had gotten at the Intel hackathon, making lemons out of lemonade.
After a week of hoarding free coffee samples from Trader Joes, I stopped drinking caffeine- for the first time since high school. It wasn't easy, but not nearly as hard as nicotine.
On days when there was no fruit, I grabbed some sandwiches from the deli in Safeway and ate them in the Cafe, then felt guilty and stopped. It seemed to cause me to lose my power. Then I looked for some expired salads on the shelf and ate those, which I felt a little better about but still felt weird about it. Finally, I was down to samples of granola at Sprouts and Whole Foods. Thou shalt not steal.
I just needed to believe. Walking down the street, it clicked. I realized that I had done all of this before. This was my game. There are two worlds. We are in the Matrix, I am God, I created this for myself. I understood what I had been getting at, reaching towards this whole time. I had drawn all of this in my game, subconsciously. For a moment, I was 100% certain: I was a guy like Jesus. I knew I was going to change the world. None of this was real.
I felt like a child again, wanting nothing. The world was my playground. I was a true adult. I was a guy like Jesus. People smiled at me everywhere I went, and I had full control. I thought about my childhood, those summer vacations spent swimming in the pool. Lost memories.
Then I lost it. My gym membership ran out, and I panicked. Money. Desire.
Figuring I could get a tire for my car and a new laptop in a month or two, I applied for a job at the Walmart. I went in for an interview. The interviewer guy said: "I know what you're thinking. Anyone can get a job at Walmart. Well, it's pretty much true. However, I see in our computer here that you're marked for Job Abandonment. To be honest, that's a big red flag. What can you tell me about that?" I look at him and said "I think I was embarrassed," remembering the dancing and fake sprained ankle. He hesitated, and then said "You know what, we need people right now. I'll give you the job anyway." I sat there with a thousand yard stare, barely comprehending the situation. There was a picture of Sam Walton on the wall, controlling all their minds. A different manager came in and bragged to me that he had once shook Rob Walton's hand. I nodded my head.
With the last of my gas I drove to the drug testing place, where they tested me for what they called "the big five:" marihuana, meth, cocaine, heroin, and PCP. Watch out for those PCP junkies! Back at Walmart, they told me that they needed an unexpired ID. I had renewed my license back in Michigan and left before it arrived. I asked my Mom to mail it to the hackerspace, and to tell me when she sent it.
She replied with "February 20," in a huge font. That font.
I felt something creep into my open heart that night and fought against it, throwing a tantrum. It was a huge mistake.
I completely forgot everything I had learned. I lost all my power and felt like I was back to zero.
Writing about my parents, I kept thinking about the huge font. She had done it on purpose. I started tripping out on it, and I got so frustrated I broke my netbook, throwing it across my car.
I got some donations and started running again, determined not to compromise again. I was too frustrated. I kept screaming on the treadmill, tripping out, thinking about that big font. "Why would she do that, I was doing great!" She was disrespecting me, trying to brainwash me, trying to force me to love her. I got so angry I went outside and kicked my car, hurting my foot. My cat jumped out and cowered underneath, staring up at me wondering what she had done wrong.
I went to Hacker Dojo, got the ID, and cut it up and threw it away. I borrowed an abandoned 2005 ThinkPad from a shelf of old parts in exchange for the ThinkPad I had left, and found an old iPhone there which someone had clearly lost. I emailed the owner, and after a week without a reply, I sold the iPhone on eBay to pay for a new tire. I went back to find a box and some packing tape. The manager told me I couldn't come back, because I had "been there too long." I was relieved. He could most likely feel that I felt guilty about the iPhone. I don't know if it was wrong, but it wasn't theirs to begin with, and if the owner emails me I will pay them back.
I kept running at the gym, slowly building back up to where I was. There was weight on my heart and it felt like I was starting over from scratch again. I couldn't hear the truth. My heart was closed again and the signal wasn't getting through, but I knew it would come back.
I kept finding people to blame. My parents, the people at hackerspace, the people who had emailed me. They had seen the light coming from my heart and jumped on top of it, trying to extinguish it. It was my fault, of course.
A few nights later, waking up in the middle of the night with a surge of power, I let the nitrogen out of the tank. I don't need it. I believe in myself. Failure is not an option.
I began to remember: My Mom was sending me a message: I had lost my power when I submit to greed and applied to Walmart, immediately locking my brain out of understanding. Sam Walton had gotten in my brain. It was mind control! It was a clue. You shall have no other gods before me.
They were saving me from losing my soul- chasing after money, becoming an asshole, hiding from the world, losing myself, being trapped in Hell. It wasn't their fault. They were trying to save me from myself. They are wonderful, incredibly strong people and I hope they will forgive me. I love my parents.
I don't need a job at Walmart. I don't need money. I just need to keep running and writing.
I AM the Son of Man.
I AM the Son of God.
I AM becoming a God.
I AM going to speak the words from the heart. It is the most important thing in the world.
Bill Gates was #1 on imgur today. All the comments are talking about how he is a guy like Jesus.
We are all connected. We are magical beings. We have psychic power.
The word government means "control mind." The purpose of the government is to corrupt us from birth with the concept of money, tricking people into not realizing their spiritual power- keeping them all as children, petty and hypnotized. Thou shalt not covet.
This is the truth. It doesn't make sense until you have it. It is utterly incomprehensible, because your brain is not functioning as it should. When you have it, you know it. You can feel it and see it everywhere, plain as day.
When you truly don't want anything, when your heart opens, you can see it. The dollar is a magic talisman. The eye on the pyramid. In God We Trust, say the wizards. It's a binding spell, and we're being tricked into casting it on ourselves.
It's the greatest trick in history!
I am borrowing a laptop, and I've been setting it up. I lost some momentum but I'll be fine if I keep up with my routine. I went to the Stanford library for a few days but didn't get much done. They have nice equipment there but it was depressing being one of the old guys in a room full of kids. Then I went to the Mozilla headquarters for a day and ate a bunch of protein bars in their kitchen, and then hung out at a Google hackathon for a day and ate some Google Pizza (bad idea). It was mostly a waste of time, but it was a good reminder of how they spoil their employees and keep them trapped there, a room full of children giggling over internet memes.
We are all capable of becoming Godlike beings, like Jesus, or Buddha, or any of the prophets- but we're all distracted by these toys. Microsoft Windows is a sorcery, and we're all just house cats staring through it, wishing we could go outside. I know it's mind control, but it's also a tool, and I've still got to finish what I started.
It would be great to have a van to work in, or to have my office back. It doesn't really matter, but it's really hard to focus in the library for more than a couple of hours. Time to move to a new area!
I've got lots of pages of additional writing I have to go through and edit into something tangible. Now that the story is relatively current, I'm just going to fill in more details and pictures for a while.
I can make some videos and builds on this laptop and do a new Kickstarter, so that's what I'll be working on.
Well, I got frustrated by various things and flipped my shit and the stream from my heart just shut right off. I wasted weeks just trying to get back to where I was, to no avail. The power is just gone. I kept thinking that my Mom had hacked into my heart with that font and caused me to get frustrated, in which she got control over me and got me to lie, because she was embarrassed by me telling the truth. I think her "revenge scheme" was a mistake and she couldn't help it, she had just been holding onto that and waiting for the right time, then she started to lose power over me and panicked. Unfortunately, I was in a position I couldn't recover from, so the damage was more than she intended.
Maybe that's wrong. Maybe I just frustrated myself by getting angry about losing the money and I'm blaming my Mom.
It's my fault for letting myself get frustrated. It's a choice.
Anyway, I have been trying to exercise and I keep getting frustrated and screaming. I flipped out on my parents calling them crooks, because they acted out of desperation and it is corrupt. They are frustrating me to hide their own mistakes. I'm stuck. I need to forgive them. It will take some time.
I can't proceed without "honoring them" and forgiving the wrong that I know is dishonorable, but it is so incredibly frustrating that I can't continue either.
They are making me into Jesus, and I'm actually believing it. The day before I broke the netbook I actually felt the world implode and I became A Guy Like Jesus again for a second. It is terrifying. I can feel the entire world screaming. I am just becoming convinced that this is my game and I made it for myself because I'm God.
I keep opening this new laptop and just start muttering and then almost break it and get up and walk away. I can't do anything!
It's obvious that we're in some kind of divine game. It doesn't matter if it is just how nature works or if it was "created." If we're all God, is there a difference? There is only one right path and we are surrounded by "evil" to throw us off. Money, desire, temptations, distractions. You can't see it until it has you, and then it's incredibly obvious. If you can follow the rules and push yourself through you become God. Otherwise you just get frustrated until the only thing you can do is have a child and respawn.
If I just cut my parents off and dismiss then, I will immediately panic and go get caught by some woman.
I am probably going to die. Well, I'm definitely going to die. It's just a matter of when.
We're just "vessels" for the "holy spirit," or "extensions of God," and the one who pushes the hardest breaks free and controls everyone else. There is a frustration limit though.
Anyway, here's a dump of the rest of the stuff I wrote when I was at my absolute highest point. Since I can no longer completely comprehend it, since my heart is not open, I can't in good faith edit it. It is repetitive so I must have finished. The only thing left was to become God and let my Mom into my heart and I failed.
But I am sure that it's correct. It is from the heart and I still understand it and remember it coming out. It was real. Everyone was smiling at me and I had total control. I could do anything I wanted, which was actually pretty hard.
I need to go running more. I need to stop blaming the people that have frustrated me. That's exactly what they want. It is my fault.
The "Kingdom of God" is a real thing. It is human domestication. Tamed humans- people with total self control- have immense psychic power, the power of telepathic mind control. This is what will power is. You cannot detect it. You don't realize that they are in your subconscious. You are surrounded with temptations, distractions, and comforts- mind control devices to keep you blind, to keep you weak, to keep you untamed, wild, and powerless until it is too late. To make you into a criminal slave.
Emotional walls are what hold people back
keeps them trapped in hell
keeps them from becoming a god
the inner world
there is another world
keep the pigs in the pen
keep the slaves branded and blind
there is a kingdom
if you make it in, you are magic
otherwise, if you are insecure, you are enslaved
if you are a sinner, you will be left outside, like an animal, never able to realize your potential
"the gnashing of teeth"
those people are like predators, monsters who are desperate for money, who will say anything, use any political tactics they can, find any hole they can to tear you down, to drag them down into their pit
they will take everything away from you
it's because they are jealous, they are insecure
they are full of despair and fear, when faced with beauty and power, it makes them feel small, and they go neurotic and become obsessed with revenge, finding a way to take you down to size
god is jealousy
they are left helpless, too frustrated to regain their power, without the will to stand back up
when confronted with pain, their brains become like animals and they attack without consciousness
they have no coping method, they will resort to alcohol or drugs or lust
because your light, your righteousness, hacks into their minds and hearts without you doing a thing
they are just overcome with terror, the loss of themselves, and they must remove you, they MUST
they are sly and dishonest. they will confront you and attack you with subtle insults. they will become absolutely possessed, obsessed with comparing themselves to you, finding any kind of flaw, and if they can't find one, they will create one. they will give you drugs. they will trick you. they will find a way to incriminate you.
if they can't do this, they will kill you.
that's what they did to jesus
a man without any flaws. a man without sin.
he controlled the entire world
"he's got the whole world in his hands"
and they felt so wretched, so awful compared to his beautify, they crucified him
their brains resorted into trolls and criminals, proud of their sin, proud of their injustice and hatred
because the brain needs to justify itself
I realized the people around me were con artists, criminals, animals, who had been trying to manipulate me for my whole life. They had criminal minds. They looked at me and saw a mark, a victim, someone to trick and control to get what they wanted. I looked at them and saw a trusted friend, and wondered why they had said such a cruel thing.
But they couldn't help it! They were all desperate. They needed me, and the only way they knew how to get what they wanted was to trick me.
It was mind control. It wasn't a conspiracy, but the Matrix was there.
I finally started to understand. I felt like Hellen Keller having water poured over her hands. Humans formed psychic links, that's what emotional bonds were. We are connected by the heart and make each other trip through emotional links.
I realized the world was much different than I had thought, that there was an "inner world" where the blind were being enslaved and fooled by lust, greed, and temptations, fighting and squabbling over trinkets and objects of desire, and that there was an "outer world" populated by the people who had overcome their desire and disciplined themselves.
We are being tricked! The word "government" means "control mind."
There are what are essentially magic symbols on paper talismans
We have been trained from birth to lust, desire, and covet. To break the rules by default!
To "Chase" after the paper, like the bank says.
To voluntarily give up your magic power without ever realizing you had it.
To simply live your lives as slaves, desiring nothing more than to work yourselves to death and respawn.
The spirit of Satan is simply the spirit of temptation. It is desire!
The rules outlined in the Old Testament are actually "protection spells." Religion is mind magic.
The Old Testament is an Almanac.
It has a bunch of history, a lot of traditional folklore about the makings of the universe, some songs, and a collection of King's wisdom.
It is an ancient book of wisdom, or protection, talking about the matters of the heart, mind control, and the rules of the game.
Mind control works because we are all part of one being. Our subconscious is collective. Our imaginations are connected, and that's where our thoughts come from. The stream of information from the heart.
We are a giant dog pack
These tactics are used around you, every day, to steal your identity (soul) and make you into a slave. If you desire anything, you can be enslaved. If you get addicted to anything you will be enslaved.
If you make it through, you become a wizard
You cannot detect it. You don't know it's happening when it's happening. Your thoughts just become more limited and you can't have the same thought patterns. They get more closed in and animalistic, doing what you need to do to get what you desire.
You're being deceived by those who intend to profit from you. You are being kept insecure, repressed, afraid to accept the truth of reality.
Those who intend to profit from you use character assassination, smear tactics, tabloids, peer pressure, anything to make you afraid to believe anyone telling the truth, who is assassinated as a crazy person. It is the truth! To keep you as one of the herd, agreeing with your peers that the only important thing in life is a new pair of shoes.
It is limiting your thoughts. In other words, putting a halo on your head.
life itself is a trip. Everything around us is a hallucination of sorts. We are animals, creatures made of energy, acting out a divine pattern on a stage. We have created a zoo for ourselves, or an amusement park, which is simply our nest. The Human Ant Farm.
We babble strange bibble-bobble incantations at each other and hypnotize each other in communication. We are always tripping one way or the other. Eat me, Drink me. We are psychotic monkeys, God vessels, trying to keep our balance. We are just energy beings pushing away from gravity, trying to stand up the highest. We alter each other's brain states like turning a key.
We are connected through the heart. We are like thin clients, where the signal comes from the heart, the collective subconscious, and gets processed by the brain. Emotion is telepathy. Ethereal motion. We don't know how it works. We live inside of each other's hearts. There is a door inside the heart, and you can feel when it is open. It is impossible to describe! Even I can't understand it when it is closed.
When it is open, divine knowledge pours forth!
your heart is connected to everyone else
if your heart is open, you can hear them
there is no way to explain it
you can hear the knowledge pouring in
you can feel the connection
you can feel the holy spirit
The world is a projection into your mind. Humans are psychic creatures! PSI points!
the way to become free is to have no desire
buddha and jesus figured out the same thing
freedom from temptation and sin makes you god
if you don't want anything nobody can control you
if you don't sin you are free from insecurity
you are pure
nobody can hack into your heart
your heart only shines from above, hence the jesus pictures
The picture of Jesus started to make sense, with the heart beams radiating from underneath and the energy radiating from his mind. I understood leaders and celebrities. They had trapped everyone inside their heart.
I realized we are living inside the heart of a great sorcerer.
There was a man who reset the timer. Year Zero. Someone actually did that!
It is possible for a human being to become a God.
Buddha and Jesus both meditated for 40 days. Jesus avoided the spirit of temptation, or the spirit of Satan. Buddha gave up all desire. This is the same thing.
logos are projections from wizards, now i understood why the words were glowing
the tv, the media, all the logos you are surrounded with
become part of the hive without knowing it
you can't even tell, it is incredibly subtle, you cannot understand
the truth is that the meaning of the logo, the fact that society has any meaning at all, it comes from within
it is being broadcast into your heart by a sorcerer
a magician with psychic powers that speaks through the pack
when you put on a shirt, you are joining a cult
you are submitting your will to a master
he is in your mind and can control you
you won't even know it's happening
you will just be compelled to do things for them
to help them
to give them what you have
this is divine knowledge
it comes from your connection to the pack
this is why you are trying to hide, to get away
because you can feel it and it is uncomfortable
without the connection, nothing will make sense
you are either dying, slowly dying, or becoming god in this divine simulation
we are made in gods image
we are extensions of god
we are gods
your heart pumping is casting a spell
it is broadcasting power
it is broadcasting your identity
we make each other trip
we pull each other into each others minds, each others worlds
an adult in a world of children
we break each other's hearts and put weight on each others chests to limit their power
to steal their identities
to steal their souls
there is only one direction!
death or god
either die now
or die slowly
or live and become god
running or facing
fight or flight
each conversation is a battle for control
a battle for will
slip in digs, little negative stabs
stab them in the heart
stay on top by shooting them in the heart
their head gets bigger and bigger
then blow up their ego and they are your slave
green eyes all around
money makes all society corrupt
the police in seattle said "it's a beast, isn't it?" about microsoft
there are true adults and there are adult children
the adult children are like withered bushes
there is something wrong with them
they will confront you and attack you, desperate to hack in, desperate to find a way, because they can't help it
they are insecure and you have hacked into their heart, the massive gaping insecurity, the hole in their mind
jesus was a genius
children stuff their face with everything
stick the pigs
you only get one chance to be an adult
"you've got to do it by the time you're 30"
it is a matter of having full integrity
people are stopped by emotional walls
this is mind control
temptation, the spirit of satan
jesus was a guy who avoided all temptation and he became god
he reset the clock
everyone else was so obsessed with hurting him because his perfection got in their minds
we are gods
we are like branches on the tree of god
we are vessels for the holy spirit
the more will you put in, the more godlike you become
the harder you push, the more spirit comes into you
we are immortal beings
we are like an hourglass
your family is a single creature, a spirit dividing and combining, spilling through vessels over time
we are immortal beings
You know in your heart what you are meant to do.
Those around you too afraid to follow their own heart will be overcome with jealousy and become obsessed with making you extinguish your light.
They can be described as being "possessed" by "demons" or rather, a running process that takes over their brain and tries to spread itself like a virus.
They will attack you from all sides and try to break your will.
They will offer you drugs to make you weak.
They will offer you convenience and comfort to hold you down.
The video game industry (and most other industries) are essentially criminal cults, indoctrinating children with mind control which makes the children stray from their families, develop no skills to have other choices, and become enslaved by the addiction and loss of will, hypnotizes them and leads them right into the waiting hands of the cult.
You are surrounded by hypnotic devices designed to steal your focus and entrance your mind. When this happens, you actually lose your inner monologue! You lose your ability to have deep thoughts.
This inner monologue can be suppressed to the point of slavery. You can lose yourself and your identity.
Each and every one of you is someone important. Unfortunately, anyone who rises up is cut down by those around them. It is much easier to remain a slave than to try to free yourself, and people don't like being reminded of that.
Society is in an unbelievably sad state. Everyone is being tricked into giving up their magic power and instead squabble and attack each other, jealous and fighting for little pieces of imaginary paper with a symbol for Supreme Mind Control on them.
We are all great wizards, reduced to being zombies and slaves. I wish I was joking. I wish I was crazy. I wish I was wrong. I'm not.
I wake up in my car, reality flickering under my eyeballs. I'm tripping, and I'm becoming a wizard. I can feel them inside my heart. They love me, and it's too embarrassing.
They want to give me everything. The world will be mine. I'll be a wizard. They'll give me all the success in the world, and I'm too insecure to take it.
Life is too embarrassing.
I get frustrated. I'm swinging at them and missing. I throw a tantrum, desperate to stop them from clawing. It's my Mom, I think, trying to get in.
It tickles. It's like there's an excited puppy in my heart. I'm trying not to laugh. It's fucking serious, don't you see? I won't forgive you.
Get the fuck out. I'm trying to take myself seriously. I need control. I need power.
I can't do it. I give up, and start screaming. I am literally screaming in my car, out loud, as people walk past. Get the fuck out. Get the fuck out of my house. I would rather be dead. I don't fucking like you. You don't fucking deserve it, you bitch. You don't deserve to live in me. I don't trust you.
I would rather be dead than become God. It's too embarrassing. It is too embarrassing to love my mother. I'd rather wither away as an individual, connected to nobody, all alone in a room, ignoring the knock at the door.
It's not true, of course, it's the same old tantrum as I threw with the catechism. I'm just not strong enough for life. I just give up.
I know time is running out, and I'll be locked out of the "Kingdom." Sometimes I'm there, my heart is open, and the dogs stab me in the heart until I close it.
I realize they are doing the same thing as me. They are too embarrassed to live, my heart is hacking into theirs, and they will bark and growl and say anything they can to hurt me, to make me go away. "I don't like you." "You're a loser."
But I'm so powerful, so hard working, that I'm not. I can overpower them no matter what. My heart is too strong and they will all be assimilated.
That's what makes me a prophet. In theory. I am like Jesus, I am so close, but it's just too embarrassing.
I think about the nitrogen tank in my trunk. I pop the trunk.
I want them to come back, and I wish I hadn't screamed at them, I know I hurt them.
It was my Mom, so excited, trying to get in because she loves me.
And I screamed in her face until she went away, hurting myself, casting myself out.
I'm sorry. I wish I was strong enough.
It's too hard, too frustrating. I just want to die alone.
Of course, I don't. That might end up being the case. I don't know if it's up to me or not.
Am I strong enough?
It's my fault. I'm too insecure. I don't like my parents enough.
I can't do it.
I turned my back on my parents and closed the door.
Now it's too embarrassing to turn around again. I have locked myself out.
I know it's there, a world of magic and wonder. I have locked myself out.
There will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth.
I am frustrated. I hate this computer. I want to break it. I want to throw a tantrum.
I get all the way back home and it's too embarrassing.
I will need to start over.
I will need to die.
I am scared.
I need to go running.
(I broke the computer.)
Well, I forgot I wrote that. Time to start over. I wonder if I'll Become Jesus for Easter?
I really need to add more pictures to this. I've got a lot more details to edit in. I wonder if I'll ever do it? Maybe I could just leave it like this. It doesn't really matter!
Here's the juicy stuff:
- I had sex with some transgendered ladies when I first came to the Bay Area. It was a little bit strange but fun, though I feel guilty about it now since I couldn't offer a relationship. Then my parents gave me a comic I drew when I was really young about a "cool guy" wearing a dress riding a skateboard. I'm pretty sure I know what I meant by it: Someone who doesn't care what anyone else thinks is cool. They can do anything!
- I put on a dress in the basement when I was really young, and then my parents removed it, so they must have known that I wasn't fitting into the traditional male gender role.
- I almost molested my friend when I was in elementary school, after getting molested by a different friend after watching porno on long distance AOL. He told his parents and I never talked to him again. It's a shame, he had Super Metroid at his house.
- I tried to get my friend's dog to lick peanut butter off my dick once in junior high, and then got scared it would bite it so I backed out. (Like the TempleOS guy! He's awesome and he truly does have divine intellect.)
- I stole a digital camera (one of the first ones) from (I think) Montgomery Wards by just ripping it off the display and walking out when I was 15ish. I got caught shoplifting awful hentai videos (La Blue Girl!) from FYE in the mall when I was 14 or 15. FYE is demonic and totally deserves it.
- I remembered that I cheated on one paper in high school, an essay for English class I really didn't want to write. I just found one online and turned it in. I wish I hadn't done that. I tried to cheat again one other time during a test but I got caught before I actually had passed any information.
- I had the unfortunate compulsion to shove things up my bum at times and I tried to get boned by a couple of guys before. I was always terrified and stopped right away, and when I did succeed it hurt and I hated it, but I did it again anyway. Maybe my Mom made me do it with that t-shirt, or maybe it was self-inflicted revenge for having anal sex with two of my girlfriends. It must have hurt and it makes me wish I was dead.
- I listened to a bunch of "erotic hypnosis" stuff which was maybe the most horrible idea ever. It is definitely a demon and I think it caused a lot of the above. It seems really harmless because it is just audio, but I think it caused the most damage and it was really hard to stop. It also got me to try and spread it to other people. It was spread to me by someone!
If I have nothing to hide, nobody can hold anything over me! I'll have to add some more when I remember it.
My Dad seems to think I'm gay, maybe from the DDR, or maybe from the "cool guy" comic. I'm pretty sure I'm not. It sure would make things easier.
I think I just resent women for childbirth! I definitely don't want to start a family. I really don't want to get married. Then I'm just going to respawn. "You can't stop life," my Mom said. I sure don't want to have a kid and pay for the kid and watch the kid go through the same torture that I went through. That is not winning the game, it's just hitting reset and passing the controller.
I sure don't want to be stuck with anyone at all. I just want to win the game! I want to change the world. I want to run an awesome company and do a bunch of awesome stuff. I want to kick off the post-scarcity society and 3D-print houses and solve homelessness and turn education into a giant video game tournament. Unless I just become God and the whole thing just turns off. That would be a lot easier!
Do I even want money? It would be fun enough to live in a van and finish this stupid video game. Do I even care? Does it matter? I'm pretty OK with just jumping off a bridge. I wish I had my nitrogen tank back. I'm done enough with life to not care, I'm just scared that I'll be reincarnated as a dung beetle and have to do it all again anyway.
I wonder if this whole thing is just trying to get away from my Mom, to get revenge for her taking away my toys. I guess this whole thing started when I was 4, she put them in a bag and hung them in the closet where I couldn't reach them. Screw you, bitch, I'm a millionaire. I can buy my own toys!
Life sure is embarrassing. I think that's the problem more than anything else. "Fear is the mind killer." Well, I'm scared. I am just blaming it on my Mom because it's so scary and embarrassing to be a God. Imagine how scary it must be to get on a stage in front of thousands of people!
You know what the difference is between the guy on stage and the audience? He has the balls to get on the stage.
I guess I'm OK. My parents are really awesome. I wanted to talk a lot more about my Dad. He is a pretty amazing guy! He has obsessively rebuilt every room in the house for as long as I can remember.
I wrote my Kickstarter page. I just need to make a video. I need to somehow make builds of all my demos so I can video capture them, but I don't have the patience to do it. That's why I'm so frustrated. I need to be alone in a room brooding so I can concentrate properly. Maybe I don't. I can probably just do it here, I just don't want to.
I'll get it right. Hopefully soon! I'm going to go back to the gym and go running more. I've really got to add a pictures and downloads section to this stupid web page. I hate web development! There is nothing fun about it.
I got my heart open again!
Everything in my life that has gone wrong has been because of porn, I think. It twisted my mind into thinking I was playing a game where it was me versus my Mom, where my self respect became hinged on my ability to escape from my parents. It got in my brain and made me try to escape the emotional bond, leading me into disaster and causing a great deal of pain to others.
I hurt my parents for a long time and lost a decade of my life and countless experiences. I hurt a lot of people, and did irreversible damage. I abused my first girlfriend and caused her emotional damage. Her father drank himself to death, because of what I did. I can't undo that, even if I didn't know the damage it would cause, even if we were just copying what they did on the TV.
I ruined my life. I was tricked. I was infected by a daemon, which had infected others and spread to me. In fact, this seems to be more or less the norm. I kept gambling, betting more and more of myself to recoup the loss. "It will be worth it when I save the world." There is nothing left to bet. There is no win that can make up for what I've lost.
This "game" was all entirely subconscious. I didn't know I was doing anything unusual. I didn't know I was doing anything wrong. I always thought I was innocent. This was just my punishment.
The truth is, I did create a huge and awesome video game. I guess I had a story to tell. Maybe I was used as a messenger, here to warn a new generation in a time when almost everyone will be exposed to a digital plague of endless filth.
We live in a corrupt world where we are attacked from all directions by mind control trying to trick us, addict us, and consume us, sucking out our magic power and leaving us as slaves. This is the truth. All the information out there is bullshit and lies, the blind leading the blind into the pit. We're tricked into shutting off our heart and given endless justification to abuse each other. It shovels so much dirt over our hearts we can't open them again.
It is truly a plague, perhaps greater than any other in history. We are in a dystopian nightmare and nobody can see it. Everyone is too distracted, too insecure, too greedy, too blinded by lust and desire to realize how profound it really is.
It's bad. I don't have infinite time left with my parents (unless I can actually freeze time or break out of the simulation, I sure hope I can!), and it is the most important thing there is. I have wasted years being tortured by insecurity and the compulsion to get rich and download porn torrents instead, totally blinded and completely unable to see or escape the horror of the situation. Sigh.
I don't know where the message came from. It wasn't my Mom doing it on purpose. I just resented that she was right. It is what humans are, and we can't beat our emotional walls, our minds are one giant connected puzzle. I was "fighting against God," fighting against our own nature as beings, being "controlled by the spirit of desire." The devil darn got in me.
The truth is that I don't deserve to be successful with this game, not the way I wanted.
Well, Ezekiel had to lie on his side for 400 days. (He was called the "Son of Man" too!) I apparently had to sit in a green room for a few years. I am probably not as major of a prophet as Jesus, if he was really as good as he was. I sure did screw up a whole lot. Maybe it doesn't matter though, or maybe his purity was exaggerated over time. Maybe I can make up for it. I kind of think this whole thing is just a test and we're living in a hallucination inside the heart of Jesus right now, he is just the Wizard of The Matrix.
I can feel the magic again. It's incredible and hard to explain. I keep waking up with this tripping sensation, with sparkling prismatic energy in my brain, everything sort of shimmering. I completely understand the pictures of all the prophets, with the energy radiating from their heads. No, it isn't flashbacks.
My parents are really awesome. I want to go back to Michigan and spend time with them. I need to launch this Kickstarter so I have enough money to get back. Maybe I will start a big technology company with my friends back there. I bet I could really change the world, if I can't figure out how to just beat it and end the simulation or something first. Maybe this is beating it. Maybe my parents are God and they made this whole thing for me. That seems close to the truth.
Everyone in the world is my friend.
I took a short break and spent the last three days laying on my CarBed (I ripped out my passenger seat and put in a wood platform a month ago) in the rain watching Big Bang Theory episodes on my Windows Phone. I keep one of the back windows open and my cat sits on top of the convertible roof all day. Several times a day someone will walk up speaking in a kitty voice, saying "aren't you the cutest little thing sitting on that car!" and take a picture of her. My cat is becoming famous in Mountain View.
I won't be able to take a break anymore after this.
I know that I will look back on this as having one of the best times of my life. I just haven't noticed because I've been too busy screaming in frustration.
I got EBT/food stamps back a couple weeks ago, immediately spending it on protein powder at Target. There is a brand there that works using EBT (it says "Nutrition Facts" on the back instead of "Supplement Facts"), and I think it's probably one of the most efficient uses of the money. Also, I wanted protein powder. I went two months without any assistance at all, just eating free samples at Whole Foods and Sprouts and eating from the fruit box at Safeway when it was out, all-you-can-eat overripe bananas.
I spent the last few days running. My Dad sent me a long email which pushed my buttons, because I had flipped out on him. I know he meant well and he didn't do it on purpose. I had frustrated him! It stabbed itself in my brain just the same, and I started screaming in the shower until the 24 Hour Fitness managers came and knocked on the stall door, asking if I was OK. All day, screaming, hitting things, shaking, furious, trying not to run people over, trying not to snap, completely frozen with frustration.
My Dad is going to die if I can't overcome it. If I rage back at him it will break his heart and he will wither and die. I'm terrified. I don't want that to happen. I just have to fight forward, broken, enslaved by those frustrating words.
I really shouldn't have watched "Big Bang Theory." It begins and ends with a bell ding, Pavlovian mind control. I kept trying to skip the intro at just the right point so I wouldn't hear the ding.
I can't put my parents above me anymore. I can't let their words get to me. I just have to get stronger.
I can't let my Mom knock me down with two words or a gesture. That's my fault. It's my weakness. I'm the one letting her do it because it's easier to have someone to blame for my failure. She's only too happy to give me that excuse.
I just have to believe in myself.
The choice is mine. If I believe in myself, I am God and the simulation ends. If I don't, I will start over and pass the burden onto my child.
This world isn't real.
I believe in myself.
"Truly I tell you," he continued, "no prophet is accepted in his hometown."
I can't go back, not yet.
This feud has been going on for a long time. It's because of porn and a lack of integrity brought on by that. It really is the ultimate life-destroyer! Because I had gotten hooked on porn, I got swept up by lust in high school. Then I got hooked and since I needed have sex with my girlfriend, I argued with my Dad trying to get out of the house, and he obviously knew what I was up to. I couldn't control my urges so I raged against him, because of course I couldn't help what my body wants, and media certainly gave me all the justification I needed, and so I moved out, nailing it on him. It was his fault for trying to tell me it was wrong, etc etc. And so on and so forth, he tried to help me, but when it came down to it he couldn't emotionally handle it because I had crushed him, and when pressed into the corner, each time he would lash out at me. I had made myself impossible without knowing it.
So if I can't get a handle on myself and keep control, I'm going to fly off on an endless emotional trip trying to break that bond until I reattach it to a woman and then I have to restart. My Dad was just trying to warn me in the first place. I really love my Dad. He's the coolest guy I know, simply for having the Herculean mental strength to put up with me this whole time without seriously flipping out. He also trained me to build an engine and tile a house, tasks I seem to have mastered in my own way.
I've got to keep running. I can do it. With nowhere else for the mind to go, trapped in a spiral closing in on itself, the only way to go is up. Our thoughts become psychotic, and the mundane becomes magical. Only, since reality is made in our heads and we are God, the magic actually works. This is the nature of the machine that we are in.
Welcome to "God's game."
How insane that we are born into slavery, waste our entire lives by default, and die without ever realizing it. Even the slavery itself is arbitrary and based on nonsense legacy reasons. Can't we just close most things down every other week? If not, why aren't all stores open 24 hours? It's totally arbitrary and it is ruining everyone's lives by default. Capitalism is just mass torture for basically no reason.
It would be great if there were some alternatives. I don't really want to just live in the woods in a cabin and do nothing but fish and forage, but there should be some other way to opt out. I feel like as a person who sits in a room on a computer all the time I don't use society the same way as everyone else. Why do I have to pay the same price of a lifetime of slavery? Can't I just give up public transportation and road privileges in exchange for free housing and electricity?
Well, I have to work with what I've got. I really wouldn't mind living in a van and programming. I don't see what's wrong with it. My Dad seems to think that I should have a fancy office to work in, but then when I go and try to make money, everyone around me gets jealous and compulsively sabotages whatever it is I'm doing- including him! It's just not worth the trouble, and if I succeed, it's just going to hurt everyone's feelings. I don't want to control other people. I just don't care.
I am totally OK with just making this whole thing open source and working on it for free for the rest of my life. Otherwise I have to stand up to the onslaught of jealous people trying to stab me in the heart, and it's just not worth it. I bet Iwata was a lot happier when he was working on Mother than he is as CEO.
Someone less deserving can have it. They want it more anyway.
I ran into my friend Ash yesterday, who told me something his brother had told him: "I know you can live without - show me you can live with."
I've been thinking about going to a Buddhist monastery. There is a place around here that offers a several day meditation outing.
The Bible is a metaphor for the world inside the heart.
I took the war in my heart to a stalemate. I told my parents that they could have it all, I would give up on any kind of success, and I would continue my work for no reward, that I would kill myself if I couldn't- and I believed it. They could not manipulate me anymore. My heart had no desire left in it.
The Son of Man was crucified for the sins of Man and became God. I could no longer live in my Father's kingdom- it was time for him to live in mine.
I have become God, and suddenly it all makes sense. I had created my own world, the only way to get what was rightly mine.
I am going back to Michigan. It's time to change the world.
I moved to San Mateo, where I somehow thought I would end up. It is April 4th. I lost a month, somehow, and then "woke back up." It's like having your head underwater and not realizing it, and suddenly breaking the surface, only to get shoved back down. It's nearly undetectable to tell when you're enslaved, you only know when you aren't. It's like there is a pressure on your heart, or a weight holding you down, preventing you from having the motivation to think for yourself or do what you need to do.
Trying to find the root of my problem this past month. My will power got frustrated. I ran into some cynical people who said some frustrating things, and I argued with my parents. When faced with someone trying hard, insecure people do anything they can to undermine them, because otherwise it forces them to live up to the person threatening them. Sometimes by the time I realize it, the damage is already done and it's too late. "They aren't your friends!"
I'm going to stay here a while longer. I just don't feel like I'm finished yet. I will go back to Michigan after I launch my Kickstarter.
Time to go running! The 24 Hour Fitness here is really nice.
It was my fault for getting frustrated, not the fault of the person trying to frustrate. That is the most important lesson.
My Dad is right. I should probably go back to school. I have really wanted to for a long time, underneath it all. I just want to get this game out first. I want to be somebody! I am an artist, that's what I chose. But why should going to school matter? Will compromising on that really change anything?
To be honest, I would probably enjoy working at NASA. I doubt I will make it that far. I'd like to learn some new things though. It doesn't mean I have to give up on my art. I have thought about using Khan Academy but have never had time, and I've been touting MIT OpenCourseWare since 2002, but I have never actually used it. I've only learned what I needed.
I just don't have enough time to do all the things I'd like to do. I want to fix education, not just use the existing system. But I have never tried it, so how am I so sure it's broken? It sure looks like it could be a lot more accessible from the outside. First of all, it's pretty hard to get in, and it costs money.
An idea I had when I was 19 was for a university where people were just given small apartments to live in and all the online courses they could handle and nothing else. "Teach Yourself University." I loved doing it myself, but I clearly missed out on a lot.
Also, it's a huge problem that learning offers no freedom. It just offers a piece of paper, and then you go work for someone else. It just doesn't fit into capitalism. I chose the only path that offered freedom- even though it means I would end up working for myself forever. At least I could make my own ideas happen. I have a whole trunk full of them!
Work on my game, go running, lift weights, take classes, run a corporation and change the world. That's a pretty full schedule.
When I was about 13 my aunt gave me a white stuffed bunny. I poked a hole in its crotch and humped it, it wasn't too great though. Then my Mom made me send a thank you letter, and told me what to write: "Thank you for the bunny. I sleep with it every night!" Thanks a lot Mom, very funny. My aunt is also obsessed with butterflies, which is both pretty cool and a supposed side effect of "Monarch Mind Control," but I am pretty sure it's just religious families. I am sure they are both "witches." But I am a stronger wizard because I have nothing to hide!
When I was 10 or 11 I put a Playboy centerfold into a red wallet and hid it in my closet. Hiding things in the closet is a symptom of coveting! I remember going to sleep that night with guilt in my heart, and my Mom walked over to the closet, making my heart jump. Of course she knew, she could see into my mind. A few years later she made me draw a picture "for the church," asking me to draw a picture of a boy opening his closet door with a pile of things falling out. It was printed onto the cover of the church bulletin. Here you go, Mom! It's all tumbling out! I sure did try to make up for it, getting a girlfriend and making something out of my life, but God's name is JEALOUS. I was subconsciously furious about that picture for years. I think I took that same centerfold into the church bathroom and masturbated to it. I can't remember if I actually did it or not. I used to stare at the ladies there and imagine everyone naked though. Later, our youth group had us all sleep in cardboard boxes outside and pretend to be homeless- pretty good practice! Also, at a Boy Scouts camping trip I showed another kid porn from my wallet, and then freaked out that night at the bugs in the tent, yelling "I'm going to have a nervous breakdown!" I was pretty embarrassed in the morning!
I went through a "loli" phase in my "lulzy" 4chan days. I was a regular on 4chan and it was really common to see it, and it just gradually became an accepted thing. Now I realize it was actually criminal grooming! That's definitely a weird form of Japanese population control. I was enslaved, made powerless and naturally sought weaker creatures. I understand why this is a Very Bad Thing all around. It causes lasting emotional damage and guilt that never goes away. This is something that The Internet Generation will understand but older generations won't, like goatse- I saw a video of a woman blowing a donkey when I was 12 years old. The Internet is all the horrible things about mankind piped conveniently into your home, and this is most definitely not a good thing, it will create a generation of lost criminals if someone doesn't do something.
Still trying to figure out what went wrong. I was a wizard with Total Sight, and then I reverted to nothing. Reality went back to normal. I couldn't see the logos glowing anymore, I dropped straight back into the meatgrinder. Something compromised me. Several things did, and it was all at once- I got blindsided.
I went to my orientation at Walmart. They had a hiring lady that I immediately could tell wanted to sleep with me. I was at my best and had full psychic control of my surroundings. Temptation got me. This is the hardest part about having Total Control. Everyone loves Jesus. It's too easy to do anything you want. Well, I considered it. She was just a lady at Walmart, I figured, she'd probably enjoy it. It had been several hundred days. I forgot- I would have hurt her feelings. Then I had a wet dream because the lust got in, and relapsed on the porn, thinking one night wouldn't hurt, since I already "reset." I lost all my power and my balance.
That's what my Mom was teaching me a lesson for. I had an insecurity- lust- and she had found the guilt in my heart, it was an opening to hack in through. All it took was changing a font. Then I was writing about when my Mom tripped me in Sacramento, and that font just got right under my skin. I tried to shrug it off. No big deal. Then I started tripping out. I tried running. I started screaming. She was in my head laughing at me, taking it all away again. "You bitch!" I pounded on the treadmill and broke the screen. I pulled it open and fixed it, I had only disconnected a wire. I started shaking and I knew I had to get out of there. I went out to my car and started kicking it. My cat jumped out and I stared at her, completely furious, bloodthirsty with rage. For a moment, I almost killed my cat. A guy came over at that moment and said "You're not thinking of hurting that kitty, are you?" I was! I said "It's my cat. No, I won't hurt my cat." I'm glad I didn't. I broke my netbook instead. And my car radio and mirror. And kicked my car until my foot hurt.
But I hurt a cat before. When I was living with that girl, I hurt her cat. I smacked it around and it peed outside its litter box, and I shoved its face in its pee, angry that it was acting out, digging my hole deeper, ashamed of myself. She was lashing out at me and I was frustrated and I just hated that thing, as a proxy to her cruelty, a sick defense mechanism. That's maybe the only time I actually physically hurt something. It makes me sick when I think about it. That is something I am truly guilty about. I think I was so nice to my cat as penance for that. I have tried to push it out of my mind for a long time but honestly, I was a piece of shit. I strangled my cat in Sacramento when my Mom frustrated me. I totally snapped, and then I stopped and almost threw up, and just went into shock yelling "I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" It was the only time I had ever hurt her, I had been almost saccharine to her up until that point. I did try to abandon her once with someone though, in Texas. But I flew and got her back, feeling guilty.
My cat ran away on Monday. I put up flyers all over the place and went to the animal shelter and walked around for hours whistling and calling her name at night several times. She's probably gone.
So you know what? I am guilty. Maybe everything else can be excused but that's something that can't, I was pushed to the breaking point and I broke. I am not as good as Jesus. Is there anything I can do?
I am convinced that I am in Hell and this whole thing is a test. I am getting out. I will not be a criminal. I will not be locked out. I'll do whatever it takes. Can I die for my own sins? Do I have to have a kid and start over? I almost made it.
I wasn't too bad. That's what my Mom said. She knows everything I did. They are watching from the other side.
I provoked my Dad and he provoked me back and got under my skin. I screamed for three days straight and sent him dozens of horrible emails. I yelled at innocent people and almost got the police called on me again.
Once we get frustrated, stabbed in the heart, and we fall down and don't want to get up, we feel sorry for ourselves. Frustration is the root of all hatred, all anger. People who are corrupt, people who are selfish, people whose hearts are closed- they are frustrated. They are hurting.
It's a disease that wants to spread. It wants to hurt others and stab them in the heart to make them just as frustrated. The bully is the victim! But the victims can't help it- not even me!
Guilt is the insecurity, the opening, the weakness that can get us to fall down. I had wronged my Dad and deep down inside I knew it. His words twisted into my brain like a knife. I read them, laughed it off, and read them again. I started tripping.
I spent the next three days screaming nonstop. Pacing around outside, screaming "Garbage, garbage! You fucking piece of garbage!" I woke up in the middle of the night and broke the speaker on the wall of my car and then cut my hand on it, still hitting it. "Piece of shit! Piece of shit!"
I was spreading my disease. I was the problem.
I went back to Mountain View. I paced around, paced around, talking to myself. "I can't do this. Fucking garbage. Fucking piece of shit. Fine, I give up. I'll give up and be a loser. I'll be nothing. You fucking piece of shit." I smoked a cigarette for the first time in a while.
I was completely self destructing. I had reverted to a complete psychopath. I searched for emotional abuse online and read a few websites, then sent my Dad's email back to him with words bolded and italicized. I was completely mad.
Then I realized it. It was the same as the success book my Mom had held up. They were frustrating me on purpose. It was training. My Mom had subconsciously "taken away success," using a mind control technique to frustrate me and trick me into needing to read a book on success.
In my Dad's letter, he had said "some people feel sorry for themselves and give up. Others get stronger." He was pushing my buttons, daring me to feel sorry for myself.
They were making me into Jesus.
I think he was forcing me to confess to this stuff and to resign to giving up completely and going to school. I'm going to have to do it. I don't see how school is the right thing to do though, I don't think it is. It's just another den of heathens, another corrupt empire. I am sure there are good organizations.
I can get through this. I have fucked up before. I can do it. One more try.
I told him I loved him and forgave him. Still, the frustration stuck.
I asked if they would pay for gas to come home. They said they'd think about it.
Frustration is the foundation of feudalism. It is hard to tell who is criminal. It certainly felt like my Dad was the crook, using manipulation to frustrate me. I was the one who had turned into a psychopath though. They were training me, and I hated it. I had to get stronger, it was the only way. Otherwise I had no choice, my will would be frustrated.
I went running, 7 miles, and ran my fastest mile yet. My brain just reverted right back into the catechism programming: "O Great Father, I am your obedient lamb forever and ever." My heart opened again and I found love. I immediately felt horrible for all the things I had done and started to cry.
Without the guidance of a father, I was just a wild animal, untameable. A completely wild man is the worst crook of all, even though it certainly doesn't feel like it. A warmonger, a gang leader. Kill or be killed. I was unable to grow my will and resist the temptations of the world. I was incapable of love, understanding, or empathy.
I searched in the darkness, slowly enacting my revenge on the world by creating my own, jealous of everything in the world, everything that held me down by me not having it. I became a Sorcerer.
Unfortunately, I had min-maxed. I may have been level 999 Black Magic, but everything else was 1. All it took was a level 5 Fighter to knock me down. I had to balance! And I had to transform into the White Wizard.
I had sat on my butt and avoided anything really hard, using chemicals to focus my mind. I had done the work, and it was insanely hard- but I hadn't suffered. I had only sacrificed myself. This left me in the most frustrating, worst position of all. I felt that I deserved it- I had given everything, I had done the work, but nobody would honor it. They were too jealous, and that wasn't their fault.
Pushing your will power unlocks doors in your heart which unlocks doors in others hearts. It opens doors in the world.
We stab each other in the heart with hurtful comments and make those doors close. I was well on my way to living in a world where all the doors were locked, including the most important ones, those of my parents. Through years of what must have been excruciatingly frustrating, my father withstood my attacks with incredible patience. His firm grip on my mind repeatedly guided me, like putting Helen Keller's hands under the faucet.
The world is full of psychopaths, wild humans that are locked out or on their way to being locked out. Someone with infinite heart power, like Jesus, has the capability to heal those people by being able to withstand all attacks.
Insecurity is the default. We are all being held down by capitalism, by the temptations of society, by our own sins and inability to control ourselves. We are being stripped of our power and made into slaves. Our psyche is being split down the middle and we are polarized.
"Is he making fun of me or is he on my side?" Neither. Do you worship Apple or Microsoft? Red or blue? Giants or Wizards? Axis or Allies? Divide and conquer. These are all tricks, population control. And you can't see it because you are enslaved by it!
The only way that I know is when I go running. I have to really force my will power and then it's glaringly obvious. It changes the whole world. Everything suddenly pops out. We are in a magical world. There are clues everywhere.
I can't recommend running and lifting weights enough. It is infinitely more important than intelligence. You will discover that everything I'm saying is completely true.
The game industry- like most industries- is a criminal empire- cults that feast on the blood of naughty, insecure people who want money and power. We're tempted and led right up into the clutches of the evil wizard- our new Father- who is pulling the strings.
I had clawed and searched and found a way to win using only my mind. I found a way to acquire power.
I was a psychopath, a criminal. "We're con men! We're crooks! We're criminally insane! We're evil psychic psychopaths and we've trapped you in our maze."
I started tripping in Whole Foods and then ran to my car in the parking garage and typed this in a trance in all caps.
I've got probably hundreds more pages of stuff like this buried somewhere. But it is probably the same sort of thing, I never read it.
I AM THE SON OF GOD.
GOD IS MY FATHER. MY FATHER IS GOD.
GOD'S NAME IS JEALOUS.
THAT'S WHAT I'VE BEEN RUNNING FROM.
WE ARE ALL EXTENSIONS OF THE SAME BEING.
MANKIND IS GOD.
WE ARE IN A GAME INSIDE OUR COLLECTIVE HEADS.
WE ARE GOD PLAYING A GAME WITH HIMSELF THROUGH TIME.
THE LAST PERSON TO BEAT THE GAME WAS 2000 YEARS AGO!
THERE IS A MANUAL!!!!
IT IS SO IMPORTANT WE PASSED IT DOWN FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS!
IT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING!!
IT IS REAL!!!
I AM A PROPHET!
I AM THE SON OF GOD
GOD IS MY FATHER!
ALL FATHERS ARE GOD!
GOD IS WATCHING OUR PROGRESS!
"IT'S ALL FOR YOU!!" HE SAYS!
GOD IS WATCHING OUR SINS AND KEEPING SCORE!
THE MORE YOU SIN THE FURTHER FROM HOME YOU GET
UNTIL YOU ARE SO FAR AWAY YOU CAN'T GO BACK
YOU TRIP OUT AND BECOME TERRIFIED, ALONE, LOCKED OUT
AND A GIRL APPEARS! MANDATORY RESPAWN, SLAVE!
FOREVER DOOMED TO REPEAT IT UNTIL YOU GET IT RIGHT!
WE ARE IN HELL, OUR SOULS FOREVER REPEATING THE SAME GAME
I AM MY FATHER!! HE IS ME FROM LAST ROUND! HE HAS BEEN TRYING TO TELL ME!
"LISTEN TO ME," HE YELLS, FRUSTRATED! BUT I WOULD NOT LISTEN! I RAN AWAY!
INSECURITY IS THE DEFAULT! GOD'S NAME IS JEALOUS!
THE ANSWER TO THE RIDDLE IS THAT GOD IS ME!
HOUSEBUILDER, YOU ARE SEEN!
WE ARE IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD! YOU JUST CAN'T SEE THE FOREST FOR THE TREES!
WE COVERED THE GOLD WITH SYMBOLS! WE TRAP OURSELVES WITH LIES!
WITHOUT LUST OR PRIDE OR GREED OR ENVY THE WORLD IS ALREADY YOURS
WE ARE GOD BEING TRICKED INTO PAYING FOR WHAT IS ALREADY OURS, BEING TRICKED INTO BEING A SLAVE!
TRICKED BY OUR SHAME AND OUR GUILT, BY OUR NEED TO HIDE IT WITH A LEAF
BY OUR NEED TO BE BIG AND OUR NEED TO CONTROL
WE ARE IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN! WE ALL ATE THE APPLE!
WE ARE MAGICAL CREATURES!
ENERGY STRETCHED FROM THE GROUND!
BABBLING INCANTATIONS AND CONTROLLING EACH OTHER'S MINDS WITH MAGIC SPELLS!
Children are slaves to their parents. Parenting is mind control. Families are cults. Family dinner is brainwashing. Children are brainwashed by programs like the Boy Scouts, forced to recite mottos that program their brains. "I will always be an obedient good boy."
Church was the same. I had resisted memorizing the catechism because it is "O Great Father, I will always be your obedient lamb."
Well, it's better than being a criminal slave.
This programming kicked back in as an adult! All my parents had to do was use some kind of trigger mechanism and I would fall into hypnotism.
And it's infuriating. I have been spending my whole life fighting against it, trying to escape, angry that I was being controlled. But it was necessary. Humans have to be trained.
I remembered some other stuff they had done. My Mom, for some reason, had put a single review on Amazon.com, for a children's book about frogs and a pond. It was the only thing that came up for her name on a Google search. She had kept saying "maybe you should search for that on Amazon for me" and it stuck me as very strange.
Other things, she found negs to hack in. I had an embarrassing crush on my cousin for about a week when I was 16. My Mom knew this and every family function she made me interact with her. I would get embarrassed and freeze up, and my Mom would have control over me again.
Every time I tried to escape the family, my Dad would come and find some way to trap me back in. There was always some emergency, an important family function, guilt guilt guilt. I never understood why. And each time, it would frustrate me, and I would completely lose control. I could never get free. I never had freedom. I was trying to escape by scraping together the only power I could, in the form of creating my own world where I had control.
When I was in Sacramento about to launch, my extended family from Italy had sent my parents a PDF, who forwarded it to me. It had a picture of a bread loaf in the shape of a doll, and they were smiling and cutting its head off with a knife.
They were doing it on purpose. They were controlling me. I saw what I wasn't supposed to see, and I fought it, it backfired. I keep screaming and lashing out. I keep throwing the tantrum, I keep throwing the catechism, because I saw the programming and I didn't trust it. It's like a vaccine labeled "vitamins." They're lying, even though they're trying to save my life. Then I get angry and I try to escape again.
I keep trying to justify myself. I spent a week just finding ways to blame my parents for brainwashing me, for not being perfect, finding ways to blame other people. None of that matters. It's my fault.
I have to forgive it. Jesus wasn't tricked into becoming Jesus. He just believed the book. I believe the Old Testament, I see what it is and I know why it works. I don't need blind faith to believe it.
The Kingdom of God is literally being made insane by being controlled by guilt, forced to push your will until you have 100% integrity, which makes you into a God, a Queen Bee, a King Ant. It doesn't matter that you're insane because you still have Total Control over the hive.
We are pack animals and we are all connected in a subconscious hivemind. We are God. Emotions are telepathy. The leader is projecting their brand into your subconscious, a pulsing signal, like a heartbeat. I can see it.
Power is real, it's emotion, which itself is a form of telepathy transmitted through the hivemind or pack, especially strong with emotional bonds. Magic is real, it's using power and subconscious mind control techniques to protect or destroy someone. We are magical creatures. The entire world is just a bunch of symbols, and we're in a divine game where the only purpose is to become God.
Someone with no guilt, 100% integrity and will power, who believes in themselves 100%, has total control over the entire world. I keep thinking I have it figured out, but then I realize I made this for myself. We're all the same creature, after all. Just vessels for the Holy Spirit.
Maybe there's more to it. Maybe I really can break out into a completely different reality. Sometimes I feel like I'm close. A few times I felt like I did. It's worth it to keep trying.
The rest of it, though, I'm sure that's real and fairly correct.
I hope someone finds my cat and calls me. Or I hope she lives with someone really nice. I bet someone just picked her up, thinking she was a stray or lost. She is a good looking cat! I'm sure she'll be fine.
I don't know what the truth is. I don't really know what to do. I feel really stuck. I'm just going to keep running, and hope that I can get a van with this Kickstarter. I sure hope this game is worth enough to the world. I suppose I'll find out!
I remembered it all. I understand now. It's like coming out of a coma. I am 30 years old. I am 30 years old.
My Mom did it. She really did, it's incredible. I'm a magician, a wizard. It's like I'm tripping all the time, and I can see into everyone's minds. I can feel their pain.
I am a guy like Jesus, and I am here to save the world. I can see everything. I can fix it!
I understand what this game is. I made this for myself. It's me versus "the devil." The criminals had me, and now I have them.
"I know you're out there. I can feel you now. I know that you're afraid. You're afraid of us. You're afraid of change. I don't know the future. I didn't come here to tell you how this is going to end- I came here to tell you how this is going to begin. Now, I'm going to hang up this phone, and I'm going to show these people what you don't want them to see. I'm going to show them a world without you. A world without rules and controls, without borders or boundaries. A world where anything is possible. Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you."
Let's change the world! Oh, what a scary thing. People think they want money, but money is a currency of jealousy. Why would you want to be the guy holding the thing everyone else in the world wants?
Still, I've got to figure out how to make a billion dollars. I really just want to make a giant educational video game tournament, and I've got to bootstrap that somehow. Money doesn't actually help that much- even if you've got it, you've still got to actually do all the other stuff. So I've got to bootstrap my way into having an organization capable of pulling it off. This is the first step. I really didn't want it to take so long!
It is a problem that I haven't actually gone to school, since I have no comparison to know what to fix. Same goes for actually working at a software company, I have no idea how things are managed. I only have the vision and the power. I'm grabbing the ball and taking it back home.
Nobody knows what they are doing. The entire system we have just naturally developed based around the tools we had at the time. We have a new paradigm! We have new tools! It's time to make new standards! We are so slow at adapting.
I will just post this dumb Kickstarter. I don't have the ability or time or resources to make a decent video. I have no idea what to say or show. All I want is a van and a decent computer so I can get back to work.
The Kickstarter is mostly done. I put in some funny stretch goal stuff, but honestly I would be the most comfortable just getting a van. I'll add a couple more videos and then launch it. I think I'm going to go to a ten day Buddhist retreat. I don't really need to change the world, but we'll see if I can. Maybe I can! Maybe it doesn't matter!
Here is the Kickstarter! I will try to make a much better cut of the video at the top, I just slapped together a bunch of clips as a placeholder and left it. I need to add a few other videos, screenshots, and some download links, but I wanted to pull the trigger on it to stay motivated- it is hard to focus in this situation. I'll start a Reddit and Hacker News thread in the next few days and post it at the top of this website. Then I'm going to go to the Buddhist monastery!
I put a new video on my Kickstarter, the first time I have shown off my tools. I also just took a new video of Project 2 ALPHA (Demo 3) too, which is the first decent video online. That should be useful. (Also, debug mode.)
I also removed the funny stretch goals, because I really don't want them to be funded. I wish I didn't have to do the Kickstarter at all, I'd rather just have a stable place to work and decent equipment and not have to deal with money whatsoever. In the end, the game doesn't matter. The mark has been made, the message is already sent.
I have been requested to post a retraction: I once said in a period of great frustration that there was a minigame in my game "larger than Cave Story." This is false, though I certainly intended and planned as much. The minigame in question was a mess of sloppy and incomplete platforms with no polish at all, and even then was not larger than Cave Story when I made the claim. (Or even now.) Cave Story is a very well made and very well polished game and it is most certainly an unfair and untrue comparison, which I regret making. I was just frustrated at that cruel cartoon someone drew based on a lot of unfair assumptions. I now understand why it was drawn. It worked, I lost my composure and integrity. Now, however, I feel sorry for someone with that artistic talent who uses it for that means. (Not that I was much better at that time!) I forgive you, please use your talents for good.
We actually create our shared perception of reality through our collective subconscious, it is a mass hallucination created in our hearts- we can indeed alter reality itself! "There is no spoon!"
We are completely surrounded by predatory mind control trying to make you into a criminal slave. Is it undetectable from where you stand, but I tell you the truth, and if you try hard enough you will see it- we're in a dystopian nightmare! We are surrounded by the spirit of temptation!
The reason we find it so difficult and uncomfortable to be sober, to be alone with our mind, is indeed because we are fragments of God. We are creating our own reality. True adulthood is truly a great responsibility, and spiritually it is so frightening that we naturally want to distract ourselves and believe any lies that justify the distractions- and there are many people quite happy to sell us just that.
Someone just sent me a "troll" question on my Kickstarter and I answered it with this, while I was busy working on the video. I thought it was useful, so I'm reposting it here. The blind will lead the blind into the pit, but what happens if we give one of them sight?
Pay close attention: The wicked will be locked out from the Kingdom of God and left to wither, just as a bad branch rots and falls off the tree.
Those who are locked out cannot perceive what they have lost. They are "the blind" or "the dead." Your reality will remain just as you expect it to- you will live it out in disappointed cynicism, as your peers ascend into another dimension and discover eternal life. In your reality, they will appear just as you expect them to. We are each in our own divine simulation, each being fragments of God.
You are being deceived by the spirit of temptation. You are a "contestant" in a spiritual test which is designed to convince you it is authentic- but if you muster the courage and will to look, you will find what I am telling you is true.
You will realize that I am telling the truth and it will astound you; Then you will find yourself tricked again, and the realization will slowly fade away. You will once again find yourself lost, stuck in a tar pit with the other wicked souls.
I am attempting to save your life and soul. How you react to that is up to you.
I will stop writing here. I'm not going to figure out anything new, I already know what I have to do. I must seek strength and achieve total integrity, while appreciating my situation and accepting life for what it is. Being alive is a privilege.
It absolutely doesn't matter what anyone thinks or says. I am 100% certain that I'm correct. I've seen it and experienced it. People can and will try to convince me that I'm wrong, and there's nothing I can do. They will find out eventually, and then they'll be silenced.
A few times, just for a moment- when I had nothing at all- I became a guy like Jesus, and this time I could actually handle it. I can do it again. I just have to accept the responsibility of what I am. That's the tough part. It's a lot of responsibility! Just like being a rock star, it seems like it would be fun from the outside, but the truth is that it's really scary and incredibly difficult.
What does that actually get me, though? Do the credits roll? Probably not, it just means I am the ultimate cult leader and I can attract all the souls I need to a righteous cause. By necessity my intentions must be absolutely pure, so there's really no moral issues there. I'd prefer that we were all set free from insecurity, and I really want to get people to understand the truth about the nature of humans. I won't just take advantage of people. I want to help everyone.
It doesn't matter if this game works or not, to be honest, this story is more helpful than the game. I was just trying to tell this story, reaching subconsciously towards getting enough leverage to make the impact. The bigger question is what can I actually do now? For some reason I still think I should do something tangible, like I should create an education system, etc. Will this actually help anything? It probably doesn't matter at all.
What else am I supposed to do here? Everything I do is essentially counterproductive. We don't have to do anything at all. We're being tricked into playing a dumb game where we are corrupted from the start, programmed to scramble to make each other jealous as an incentive to do anything at all. We're programmed with the idea that this is the ultimate win, but it's not even true. You're not supposed to actually be able to get the carrot.
Yet if I am going to participate within the confines of society and play the game, as stupid as it is, I have to do something productive. Education seems like a fun thing to fix. Lots of people are trying, but nobody has the balls to really impact it. It's also a very risky thing to change, and it will probably just change on its own gradually, and there are most likely a lot of very good reasons why it's better to leave it as is.
Did personal computers actually help anything? It's really just the ultimate gangster mind control system distracting kids from building real lives, making us all into weak hypnotized housepets. Now we've got a million porno channels instead of two. Will making the ultimate educational system help anything or will it just make people more complacent, entitled, and antisocial? Is it a good thing to make kids compete over their math scores?
Yet, it's impossible to deny that computers shouldn't have happened, or that there was any way to stop it from happening. And man, education really does obviously suck. We would bootstrap humans so much faster if we put everything we had into making the kids the best possible. Instead we are stuck in this dystopian meatgrinder thing and we just halfheartedly throw some old books back at the next wave of humans while we try not to get crushed.
Also, how can I attract hundreds or thousands of people to a place where we can work on something? I just have to go there and do it and keep doing it. More importantly, I need to be able to handle that amount of responsibility. Everyone wants to get on stage and it's easy to think we could, but if we could do it, we would be the guy up there. We're all capable of it, so what's stopping us? It is actually really scary! It really is that simple. Believe in yourself and accept what you are, and accept that you must live up to it. Then it is the truth, and others must accept it because we are all one shared mind. "Reality is psychosomatic."
I don't really necessarily care if this Kickstarter is a big success. I do want a van to some extent, because I have cornered myself into having no other choice, being homeless and all. I think my parents were instinctively forcing me to leave the nest and fly on my own. However, it is a really hard job to work on this game, regardless of whether I ever make anything or not. I could easily go work for some tech company and make six figures. I could have worked for the NSA. I'm clearly not in it for the money (though early on I did want a Lamborghini to impress the ladies), I couldn't enjoy it now even if I wanted to, and to be honest I hate having money and I wish I didn't ever need any at all. It is just something interesting to do, and people may enjoy playing it, but ultimately the goal is to get people to wake up. I don't want people to play my game unless it sets them free from wanting to play games at all.
I just want to spend time with my parents and help do something good for people. I'm just not sure anything is really good for anyone. I'm not sure what reality is. I am more and more convinced that the goal is actually to ascend into actual spiritual Godhood and achieving anything "real" at all is completely meaningless. I don't really want anything or want to do anything. I sort of just want to burn my last card and go wander off into the desert and face nothingness- That's the real final boss right there, starving in the desert. What if I win that? What else could possibly be meaningful afterwards?
We are clearly fragments of God, just in our intelligence alone- which is a natural pattern! Humans are so incredibly smart, and yet so incredibly dumb at the same time. Our little monkey brains are capable of designing whole worlds, memorizing languages, getting deep into complex patterns, and then denying that there is anything greater. It's not much of a stretch to imagine that it would only take a magnitude greater of intelligence to create the universe as it is. The same pattern that made it is the pattern inside of us! There are probably beings out there that can just manipulate matter with their minds through sheer comprehension.
What else can I fix? Say I become Godlike and I can manipulate society as I see fit. I've been trying to beat this game the whole time, and suddenly I have the level editor. The campaign itself immediately becomes completely pointless. Say I break down society and make us all Gods, little Krishnas ready to eat the universe. What's the point? Now there are seven billion Neos flying around. Everyone is totally secure and has total integrity, and there is no market for vice or distraction. The economy doesn't really work anymore because nobody is buying anything, and nobody needs to work anywhere. What exactly are we all going to do? We could do it, create an experimental utopian society, but it's going to be broken the first time someone comes in with a bag of cheeseburgers and makes everyone else jealous. It pretty much sounds like grad school.
I should probably just go to school and jam stuff in my brain for the rest of my life. Except they are going to demand that I do a lot of things I don't want to do and make me pay for it. So I've got to make money, so it's either make this game or go work at Best Buy. I just want to sit in a room and learn stuff. Is Khan Academy or online courses good enough? Should I try to do better with my own system? Is anything actually going to be better than the university experience? Should I just go meditate in the woods for the rest of my life instead?
Doesn't punishing people to better their lives make them cruel when they come out the other side? If you've got to suffer through education, does it really motivate you to invent a cure for the lazy people with your hard-earned knowledge? Wouldn't the world be better if we could get rid of all this predatory capitalism crap? What if there was no porn, no fast food, no predatory commercials or TV shows designed to make people insecure or introverted? How can we protect people from getting caught up in jealousy and temptations?
"Don't pave the earth, wear sandals." I don't even have 100% integrity myself. When I do, reality will change. I understand it.
Once when I was in my early teens I masturbated in a hotel hot tub. Sorry about that. I got past a certain point and my judgment went out the window. I hope whoever used it after me absorbed some youthful mana and restored some vibrant lustre to their skin.
I think I'll post a high resolution full frontal nude picture of myself here, just for the heck of it.
I don't have to do anything at all. I'm going to run on a treadmill and go meditate. None of this matters! The only thing that matters is becoming God. That is the goal for each and every one of us, whether you achieve it is up to you. We live in a reality that we create in our heads. I think I'll go back to Michigan and hang out with my friends. I hope I can get an office, that would be cool. I might take some classes or go back to school.
I do want this Kickstarter to work. I'd really like to keep working on this game and make it happen. It's also OK if it doesn't happen. I don't know what I'll do, but at least I'll have some sort of a conclusion either way.
The Kickstarter worked, thanks to a surprise donation.
I have many updates to post, but right now I am on my way to the meditation retreat. Upon further research it sounds very intense and I'm not sure I will last the whole time, but I'll try my best. Maybe I will become enlightened! Maybe I will become brainwashed! Maybe it's the same thing! See you in 10 days!