The Value of Life

In light of recent events, I’ve been thinking a lot about the value of life. From those who lick toilet seats in front of a camera in order to chase social media stardom. To greedy corporations running non-essential businesses that force their minimum-wage workers to put their lives on the line. To certain government officials that would rather watch thousands of people die in order to revitalize the economy. To certain world leaders who defiantly stand opposed to safety measures in a foolish attempt to look strong. It’s clear to me that the value of life varies from one person to the next.

The way I see it now, the health and well-being of ourselves and others is everything. We should be doing everything we can to protect that. Everything else is inconsequential by comparison.

Social Distance

“Miss, you forgot this.”

Noticing that the woman in front of me in the checkout had left a can in her basket, I picked it up and handed it to her. The woman, obstructing her mouth with a winter scarf, pinched the opposite end of the can with her index finger and thumb, deliberately minimizing contact. As soon as she took possession, she handed the can to the cashier, saying she didn’t want it anymore.

Oh. I see how it is.

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Heavier Things

Within a span of 30 minutes on March 11th, Tom Hanks confirmed he had it, the NBA season was cancelled because of it, and travel to the US from Europe was shut down to prevent its spread. The next day – while working from home for the sake of social distancing – my laptop served as a window to the collapse of the western world. One after the other, from the stock market, to schools, every professional sport, every major public gathering, and even Disney theme parks bowed down to COVID-19. Rightfully so. It poses a massive threat to humanity and we should be taking every precaution to minimize its spread.

And here I am, creating content about gaming, just like I always have. But as the situation outside the In Third Person universe develops, this work feels increasingly…vapid and oblivious in these times.

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It’s Valentine’s Day! We’re Doing More Love Songs Because I Said So!

Were you expecting something about fave romances in video games? Characters I’d want to date? Maybe a think piece on why there aren’t enough video games about love and romance? I actually explored that last topic years ago and am interested in revisiting it someday.

Forget gaming for today. I want another excuse to talk about love songs. What better time than now? Here’s another playlist for your Valentine’s Day celebrations, however dramatic or low key they may be!

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An Evening with the NBA Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy

2019 was a heck of a year to be a Toronto Raptors fan. Having long-suffered through decades of putrid basketball, it was cathartic to finally watch the team climb to the top of the mountain. Long after the victory parade and the Fun Guy deciding to go home, we’re still celebrating.

Thanks to my cousin Jeff – who is the producer of the excellent Toronto Raptors docuseries Open Gym – our family got the opportunity to get our hands on the NBA championship trophy. Pinch me?

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My Favourite Halloween Candy

I care very little about Halloween. Always did the bare minimum for dressing up as a kid and bailed on the costumes as soon as I could. Never cared for the children’s stories or grown-up horror movies. If it weren’t for me being married to someone whose favourite holiday is Halloween, I would probably excise the entire thing out of my life.

Well, almost all of it.

The candy can stay. Now that I have a house, handing out candy to the kids that come by in their costumes is a highlight. But more importantly, it’s an excuse to eat candy and junk food! Not that I needed an excuse, but there’s a lot more around this time of year and someone has to eat it. Here’s a list with a few of my faves!

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Adventures in Spray Paint Art

As I watched Nathan Salmon create a pair of amazing art pieces with spray paint for me, two thoughts swirled through my mind.

  1. Holy cow this process and end result look incredible!
  2. The basics of what he’s doing don’t look that difficult…

Though I figured that I wouldn’t be able to make the Ninja Turtles pose in front of a city skyline anytime soon, the fundamentals of creating planets, space, and stars seemed doable for a hack like me that’s never spray painted anything in his life. After watching a number of tutorial videos on YouTube, my wife and I bought a bunch of supplies and dedicated an afternoon to creating some spray paint art of our own.

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The Unique Streamer/Viewer Dynamics of Tetris 99

As much as I want your undivided attention when I stream, I understand that we as a society do a lot of multitasking. I consume a lot of podcasts while I’m playing video games on the train. I mostly listen to YouTube videos while I cook. Even when I’m handling video for In Third Person, I’m juggling numerous tasks from uploading to YouTube, to designing thumbnails, to writing descriptions and tags, to then hopping onto my phone where I edit video highlights and write posts.

But I’ve noticed something very different with the audience I attract when I play Tetris 99. Oftentimes, viewers will go out of their way to state that they’re also playing Tetris 99 while my stream is on. Even though they may not be watching me all the time, they’re still really engaged in the chat and appreciate me being their for them during their battles.

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The Super Soaker Summers

When I think back to my summers in the early 90s, it doesn’t get more iconic than the Super Soaker brand of water guns. In an era where most water guns were little pistols that only shot in short spurts, the Super Soaker revolutionized childhood H20 warfare. With each one possessing a large reservoir and the ability to shoot a continuous stream at a long distance, this was the true beginning for the water guns arms race in my community.

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10 Years of In Third Person: 10 Years of Growing Up

10 years is a long stretch of time. From the moment I started this blog on this very day a decade ago until now, I’ve experienced the majority of my 20s and am now deeper into my 30s than I’d like to admit. In that time, I established my career, got married to my college sweetheart, and we bought a house together. I also gained weight, sleep less, and heal from injuries a lot more slowly than I used to. It’s not all wins, but thus is life.

During that time, I’ve grown and changed as a gamer as well. On this day, being the actual 10th birthday of the site, let’s look at a few ways in which I’ve grown as a gaming enthusiast.

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