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Once, video games were my life.

Much bigger than a hobby, I spent all my waking hours either playing or thinking about video games. Every spare dollar I got went towards a new game or a new console. I used to spend hours calculating exactly how many months it would take at my current allowance rate to save up for the original Nintendo DS. I lived and breathed video games.

I’d be lucky if I even thought about them any more. 

To be more specific, I’d be lucky if I could find a single one I enjoyed playing.

Something happened to me my senior year of high school. Suddenly, I did more considering what to play than actual playing. I would spend most of my day deciding on what to play, all the while browsing Youtube or other similar sites. When I did finally start to play a game after hours of deliberation, I’d end up only playing for a few hours at most. A game once in a while would come along and really capture me (Fallout 3 had me in its grasps for over 40 hours), but in general, my playtime was diminishing faster than I could realize what was happening.

College came next, and so did Minecraft. I spent my entire two years in college playing Minecraft… and nothing else at all. Nothing else could hold my interest for more than a few minutes, and even with a giant library of Steam games, I could search through them entirely and not find a single game that sounded any sort of interesting to me, even games that I had played before and loved.

After college was when things started to get even more grim. No longer was I just not playing games. No, the months following my college career, I started to actively dislike video games. Most games made me upset; I started to demand a very high quality from every game I played, or I lost interest. If a game had day one DLC, it immediately went on a list of “I’m never playing this game.” If the game had fun concepts but was lost in a sea of bad voice acting, I’d never touch it again after the initial play. My standards went ridiculously high. Games like Bastion and Dishonored were just two of a very select few that actually had me playing them until the very end.

And that basically brings us to today. I play maybe, maybe five hours of video games a week. Nothing can hold my interest, and the games I do play, I am very negative about because I find flaws in everything.

Metal Gear Revengence has an awful blocking system and I never played more than two hours of it. Transistor didn’t live up to Bastion, and it disappointed me. Legend of Zelda: Link Between Worlds was more dribble from Nintendo, who is absolutely stuck in the past and on life support from a machine called nostalgia. Bioshock Infinite bored me to tears. Tearaway was too easy. Last of Us was too hard. Darksiders II is a collect-three-things-over-and-over simulator.

My hobby has turned to ash, and I can’t see why or a way out.

How come games aren’t fun to me anymore?

I find myself watching Let’s Play channels on Youtube because I enjoy watching other people enjoy the video games I used to enjoy. It brings me pleasure to see people having fun where I used to as well. Let’s Play videos are the closest I can get to enjoying my hobby anymore. 

So what is causing me to hate these things that I used to love so dearly?

Am I depressed? Well, maybe. I certainly was in college. I was on antidepressants for a while, though I’m not sure they actually did anything for me besides give me awful side effects when I stopped taking them. And besides, wouldn’t video games actually help fight depression? I thought that was the point, to escape from the real world.

Are games just bad? No, I honestly don’t believe this. There are some awful business practices that have gone on in the past few years in the video game industry, but in general, there are many games that have come out that have been considered some of the best games ever made. Some of the highest rated games of last year I actively disliked, but that doesn’t make them bad games. This is not the answer.

Have I just grown tired of video games? Ah, there’s the rub. The likely answer to that very sad question is: “yes”. As much as it pains me to admit it, I might have just grown apart from video games over the years. There’s no doubt that I can still enjoy playing a game with a friend once in a while, whether it be the random Mario Kart game of a quick match of CS:GO online.

But the awful truth of it is, I rarely enjoy video games when I’m playing them by myself.

I think me and video games broke up, but I cannot for the life of me accept that. I’ve invested so much of my energy, my money and my life into supporting my video game hobby, even the mere thought that I’m no longer interested in them makes me weep. What would I even do without video games? Knit? Ride bikes? I’ve lived with video entertainment for so long, I’d be absolutely lost without it, yet my life obviously has no love for the hobby.

So what is the final conclusion to this post? Is there even one? 

No… I don’t think there is. I will never give up on video games because they’re too ingrained into my life. They literally molded me to become who I am today. My house is organized around the best and most comfortable way to play video games. It’s like a relationship: and sure, maybe me hanging on to video games even if we’re not meant to be is like a very unhappy couple staying together just for the kids. But since no-one else is involved in this particular situation, I have no problems kicking and screaming to keep the relationship going as long as possible.

And there are those odd games that I seriously do enjoy. Farcry 3. Dishonored. Bastion. Minecraft. Call of Duty: Black Ops. They don’t come around very often, but when they do, at least those few short hours as I’m playing those games, I can pretend that me and video games have a solid relationship; that we still love each other.

It won’t hurt as much that way.

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Apple has had a very interesting history, to say the least. In 1976, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ronald Wayne, and, with the help of some external funding, founded Apple Inc. Their computers were crude, large, extremely expensive and also brilliant. Using the new GUI (Graphical User Interface) invention, they created a computer that was easy to use and good to look at. But, as mentioned, their computers were too expensive, and didn’t sell well. Apple came out with other models of computers, including the Lisa and the Macintosh, some of which sold decently enough, but only just so.

Steve Jobs, the creator of Apple, was relieved of his position as head of the Macintosh corporation in 1985 due to an internal power struggle between him and some of his employees, and Apple started to slide down a slippery slope into bankruptcy. They released multipule failed products, such as the Macintosh Portable, which was 17 pounds and sold under 100,000 units total. The Powerbook sold better, and it came with Apple OS 7, which was the groundwork for the future OS releases, but overall, didn’t pull Apple out of the hole.

Though the next years, Apple would release other computer units that did compete with Microsoft, but they were all deemed too expensive and, some, too complex for the average user. They continued to release flop devices such as the Newton, a PDA, and the Apple II series, which was immensely expensive and stole sales from their other products.

But, in 1996, Steve Job’s company was bought by Apple, and soon Jobs found himself back on top of the Apple chain of command. From here on, Apple began reinventing the wheel, creating computers that pushed the boundaries of our mind and inventing software that was thought impossible. Whether or not it was Jobs that started the turn around is debatable, but when he came back to the helm, Apple prospered. And with the creation of the iPod, Apple finally had breathing room, and lots of it.

But enough of the history lesson. I have other things to talk about.

Things like, “What if Steve Jobs had stayed with Apple for that 10 or so year slump?”

*cracks knuckles*

Here we go.

…just know, this is all for fun. Don’t get too bent out of shape.

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New Apple Time-line:

1985 – Steve Jobs keeps his job at Apple and begins work on a new project.

1986 – Jobs reveals the Powerbook, a ten pound box, running the new OS 7. It costs only $1500 and runs on batteries for ten hours.

1987 – The Apple II series Macintosh is released. The computer is slim, weighing only five pounds, and it is running the new OS 8. Sporting a 200MHZ processor with 128 megs of RAM, it costs $1200.

1988 – The Apple III series Macintosh is released. This new model of the Apple II is even lighter, running the upgraded OS 8.5. It has a 450 MHZ Power PC processor and has 512 megs of RAM, costing $1199.

1989 – The Newton is revealed, with a color screen and actually works. Released for $500.

1990 – The Newton 2 is released, has music playback ability and runs at millions of colors. It comes in a 10 GIG version and 15 GIG version, costing $350 and $450. At the same time, the first iMac is revealed. The computer and monitor is one unit standing on a slim stand. The computer uses an improved LCD screen that runs at 1200 by 1600. The computer brags a upgradable 1 GHZ Power PC II processor with a GIG of RAM. It is running a completely overhauled OS 9. It is released for $1599 for a 60 GIG HDD or $1699 for a 120 GIG HDD. It becomes the new standard for movie makers and Pixar buys stock in Apple.

1990 – Steve Jobs begins working on a secret project, codenamed “iNewton”.

1991 – The “iNewton” is revealed to be the iPod, a portable music device. The first generation of iPod has a 30 GIG HDD with a color screen and picture playback. It costs $600. iTunes is also revealed at the same time, though it runs clunky and isn’t completely optimized.

1992 – The iPod II is revealed, slimming the device down nearly 50% and doubling the HDD to 60 GIGs. It now supports video. The new iMac II is also revealed, and though it looks similar to the original, the new one has a 2.2 GHZ Apple Power PC III processor, which is also upgradable, and has 2 GIGs of RAM standard. It is running the brand new OS, OS X. Pixar buys the majority of Apple’s stocks.

1992 – Microsoft releases Windows 3.1 with a color screen and a basic interface costing $2499. It sells 129,000 units.

1993 – Apple reported having a 97% consumer base for the personal computer. The iMac 3 is released, which comes with a standard touch screen monitor. It has a slightly upgraded Apple Power PC III processor, running at 2.4 GHZ. The new iMac 3 has a RAM limit of 8 gigs, and costs $1299 at release. It runs the new OS X 10.1.

1993 – Steve Jobs introduced the world to the iBook, a sleek and thin laptop weighing only three pounds and having the power of the iMac II. It has a 12 hour battery life and costs $1999, being their most expensive item ever released.It also runs OS X 10.1.

1994 – The iPod III is released, removing the plastic cover instead opting for glass and metal. It comes with a minimum of 120 GIGs and up to a 256 GIGs model, selling for $250 and $350. At the same time, the iPod Mini is released, being 80% smaller than the iPod III. It has a color screen and supports video. It comes with a 40 GIG solid state drive and costs $250. iTunes is updated to 5.0, allowing access to buying music, videos and movies. The songs costs $.59 a piece.

1994 – At the beginning of the year, Microsoft releases Windows 95, which costs $599 by itself. It is plagued with bugs and sells poorly. At Christmas, Microsoft announces that they are stepping out of the computer business and are working now on a secret project.

1995 – Apple releases the iBook Pro, a larger screened version of the original iBook. It is slightly upgraded in terms of power, but comes with the touchscreen found in the iMac 3.

1996 – Apple remains quiet, not releasing any products but releases small updates to OS 10.1. Meanwhile, Microsoft introduces the Xbox, a gaming console to go up against the Playstation and the Nintendo 64.

1997 – The iBook ProV is released. The laptop is highly customizable, with nearly every aspect being able to be rearranged online by the buyer. The iBook ProV’s in stores came in a 19 inch screen version with a 2.2 GHZ Power PC III processor and 2 GIGs of RAM and a 21 inch screen version with a upgraded 2.4 Power PC III processor and 2.5 GIGs of RAM.

1998 – A much needed upgrade to the iMac is released, called iMac 4. It comes with a upgraded version of the touch screen that does not pick up any finger prints. It comes with a standard 3.6 Power PC IV processor and a maximum of 10 GIG’s of Ram. It, once again, becomes the new standard for movie and music creators and sells nearly billions. It was priced at $999 at launch, Apple’s cheapest launch PC. It runs OS X 10.2

1998 – The iPhone is revealed and has a wide screen that is also touch. It only has one button, a home button, and is controlled completely by the touch screen. It is a cell phone that runs off of a Apple network that covers 98% of the United States. It is the first “smart phone”, that can not only make calls, but it acts as an iPod as well. It is sold without the phone features for $199 with 20 GIGs and with the phone features for $299 as well with 20 GIGs.

1999 – It is reported that 56% of home PC users use the iMac 3, 20% use the iMac 4, 23% use an older iMac and 1% use something other than a Apple product. Apple releases the iPhone 2, with more power and all models having the phone feature. It sells for $249. The iPod Touch is released after years of waiting for a new iPod. It looks like the iPhone, but it is slimmer and has no phone capabilities. It also has a slightly larger screen at no expense to the size of the entire unit. It comes in 16 GIG and 32 GIG models, selling for $149 and $199.

2000 – The iMac 4 is given a software update for free, up to OS X 10.3, which featured several graphical updates and security fixes. Apple also offered cheap hardware upgrades for those who had previously bought a iMac 4, no matter where purchased. The upgrade also applies to the severely outdated iBook ProV. The iPhone 3 is released, with a 1 GHZ Power PC M processor and 512 MBs RAM. The iPod Touch, now called simply the iTouch2 is released with the same power as the iPhone 3. Both new devices came with 64 GIG drives.

2000 – Microsoft releases the Xbox 360, competing with the Playstation 2 and the Gamecube.

2001 – Apple announces the new line of computers to replace the iMac 4, simply called iMac. It is considered to be the “Apple iMac reboot”. The first model is running the new Apple Power PC V, with a standard of a dual core 4.0 GHZ processor and a maximum of 16 GIGs of RAM. It is running the new OS X 10.4. The monitor has a touch screen similar to the one on the iPhone. The iPhone 3GS is announced, sporting a dual core Power PC M2 processor, clocking in at 1.2 GHZ and a gig of RAM. The iTouch2 is phased out and is replaced with the iPhone 3GS. Apple dropped the price of the iPhone 3GS to try and fill the iPod spot. They say they want to stream line their products so it is less confusing to the consumer. The iPhone 3GS costs $149 for the 64 GIG version, $199 for the 128 GIG version and $249 for the 256 GIG version.

2002 – Apple announces the same program that they did for the iMac 4 with the new iMac, and offers nearly free hardware upgrades to everyone who purchased the iMac the previous year and a free upgrade to OS X 10.5. The iBook ProV also was included in the upgrade program. The iPhone 4 is released with double the storage and a slight increase to the power.

2003 – The success of the Xbox 360, which seemed to be ahead of its time, out sells both the Gamecube and the PS2, and forces Nintendo to announce that they will not be making a console in the next generation but instead will be developing exclusively for Sony.

2003 – The iMac L is announced, running the new Power PC V Quad processor, a quad core processor running at 4.0 GHZ. The RAM storage is capped at 24 GIGs. The iPhone 4 gets a new OS update, but no new hardware update.

2004 – Apple is quiet, releasing only some software updates for OS X 10.5 and the iPhone OS. Microsoft and Sony start to reveal their new home gaming consoles, the Xbox 1080 and the Playstation 3.

2005 – Apple announces that they will be joining Sony and Microsoft on the home gaming console wars. They announced the iGame, to be released Christmas 2005. Several major publishers signed on to Apple, and the iGame will release with 34 launch titles, 20 of which are AAA games. It will cost $400.

2005 – The Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and iGame with a $799, $499 and $399 price tag respectively, are released at Christmas.

2005 – At Christmas, Apple calls the previous program to upgrade computers iUpgrade, and applies iUpgrade to anyone who owns a iMac 4, a new iMac,  iMac L or the old iBook ProV. iMac and iMac L users are upgraded to OS X 10.5.10

2006 – Apple announces that they sold over 2.1 million iGame consoles by April and dropped the price to $299 in April. The PS3 sells a million consoles by April and the Xbox 1080 sells only 670,000.

2006 – The iMac LL is released, with a Power PC 6 processor, running six cores at 5.4 GHZ. It has a RAM capacity of 30 GIGs and is released with a ten terabyte HDD for $1200. The new OS X 10.6 comes pre-installed. The iPhone 5 is released, and is slightly thinner and slightly longer with a 512 GIG drive costing only $199. It is also slightly more powerful. The iGame sells another 3 million units between April and December, while the PS3 sells another million and the 1080 struggles at only 214,000 consoles sold. The price of the iGame drops to $249, while the price of the PS3 and 1080 stay the same.

2007 – The iMac LL is continued to be advertised with more updates to the hardware and software through iUpgrade. The iPhone 5 drops the iPhone OS in favor of OS X 10.6, the full featured OS that is on the iMac LL.

2007 – The Xbox 1080 is discontinued at Christmas due to incredibly poor sales, only selling 54,000 units in the 2007 year. The Playstation 3 dropped it’s price to $299, and sold 1.9 million units by Christmas 2007. The iGame sold another 3.3 million units and it’s price was dropped to $199.

2008 – OS X 10.7 is given free to all iMac, iMac L and iMac LL users, as well as to all iPhone 5 users. The iGame is also upgraded to OS X 10.7, dropping the old software it ran before. iUpgrade continues to be popular, as nearly 89% of all iMac, iMac L and iMac LL users have been reported to have used the service to upgrade their Macs.

2008 – The iGame continues to sell over 2 million units a year, while the PS3 finds itself to be gaining momentum. It sells 2.3 million units in the 2008 year.

2009 – iUpgrade continues to upgrade all iMac L and iMac LL’s, but support for the iMac and the iBook ProV is discontinued. At Christmas, OS X 10.8 is released for free to all iMac, iMac L, iMac LL, iGame and iPhone 5 users.

2010 – The PS3 and the iGame are tied for sales, both selling just under 1 million units from Christmas 2009 till June 30th2010. The iPad is announced and released, being called “The laptop Apple has owed us for years”. Steve Jobs calls the iPad “A iMac in your hands.” It comes with a CD drive build inside the case, two USB 3.0 ports, a VGA output and a front and back camera with facial recognition. It has a wide touch screen that is 12 inches long and 10 inches high and weighs only two pounds. it runs the new OS X 10.8.5. It was released with cell phone capabilities running on Apples service for $499 for a 64 GIG version and $599 for a 126 GIG verion.

2010 – The June statistics for home PC users was broken down like this: 43% of the home PC consumers use the iMac L, 27% use the iMac LL, 15% use the iMac, 14% use the iPad and 1% use another OS.

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Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed my take on what would have happened if Jobs has stayed with Apple. And please, remember, it’s all just for fun!

Also, this is my official longest post ever! Whoo!

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