Category Archives: Random

The Invisible Foe

The only way to fight an invisible and silent foe is to assume that it is everywhere.

In a world where such an enemy exists, the wise are paranoid, and the rational and moderate don’t last long.

The invisible foe has no face; therefore, it is difficult to hate it with passion.

It is difficult to find the motivation to fight daily against something with no arms and legs, with no claws and fangs.

We are used to waging our wars with guns and fists, with shouting and words. But none of this holds true in the face of the enemy with no arms and legs, with no claws and fangs.

Such a foe can only be fought through deprivation.

Fight it by salting the fields so it doesn’t have anything to eat.

Fight it by burning the forests, so that it cannot breathe.

We are the food this foe consumes, and the air it breathes.

How to fight it? Through discipline.

The victories are daily, but they don’t bring satisfaction. Prevention, going a day without losing the battle, that does not earn us a sense of achievement.

Winning, we understand. Now, a game in which the goal is not to lose… This is less familiar.

Discipline is what keeps us aware that this is a game in which the only way to win…

Is to hold on until the end of the game, without losing.

Painting: “The Blessed Bernardo Tolomeo’s Intercession for the End of the Plague in Siena” by Giuseppe Maria Crespi

2020, A Year of Old Things

I have already noted several times – usually when I write about video games – that our culture has a fetish for the new.

More than ever, I see it for the cultural and capitalist conditioning that it is – we are encouraged to speak about and to be excited by new things, because new things are, as a rule, more expensive.

And make no mistake, I am pro-capitalism. I just don’t like to feel manipulated.

This year, I decided to do an experiment: no new video games, no new books.

If I buy books or video games in 2020, it will be those that were published in previous years. (Or, in the case of video games, remakes of classics that I already know are important to me.)

My theory has always been that the best art is timeless. That the game or book that is five years old, if it was good then, it will be good today too. And after all, to me, it will be like new.

Fan of videogames and books that I am, will I be able to maintain this strategy? I don’t know. Let’s find out!

Painting: “Banquet of Syphax” by Alessandro Allori

Does Anyone Remember Forums?

I hold great affection for the old internet “forum.”

It was on Sapo’s (one of the first Portuguese ISPs) forums (specifically, on the “GameOver” gaming subforum) that I interacted with other people online for the first time.

It was in this forum that I first wrote about video games – the activity that came to define my personal and professional life.

A shared space, a community, can change a life. It changed mine.

But today, I don’t know about equivalent spaces. The modern alternatives – Reddit, Facebook, Twitter – all seem to move very fast, to be overcrowded.

The old forums felt like virtual living rooms, where you would drink a cup of coffee and talk to a group of people with common interests. Social networks…. Despite being that much more linked to our personal identity, they manage to feel much less intimate.

Are there any “forum-like” experiences out there still?

Painting: “View of the Forum Looking Towards The Capitol” by Giovanni Paolo Pannini