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Hyrulian Hero
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  • I've been playing the Oracle duology since its release and those two games come to mind whenever I discuss The Legend of Zelda as a series. I've spent countless hours riding Dimitri, Moosh, and Ricky around Labrynna and Holodrum. Yesterday, while watching yet another review of Ages, without promoting, without the YouTuber mentioning it, I had an epiphany. Ricky's name is a play on Rocky because they're both boxers. I'll never unhear his voice now and I'm ashamed to admit to missing this obvious Zelda factoid for all these years.
    Why are you not naming the youtuber?
    Hyrulian Hero
    Hyrulian Hero
    Can't even remember who it was. I started filtering Zelda retrospectives at over twenty minutes and most recent first so I get tiny YouTubers now. Some of them are absolutely worth supporting and some are lame but at least it's not all the videos with 100s of thousands of views. In case it wasn't clear, I'm not talking about the YouTuber's voice, I mean Rocky's voice. Read Ricky's dialogue in Sly's voice, it's hysterical.
    I'm worried. My wife is finally finishing BotW after having put in a hundred hours before having my little daughter erase her save. She likes the game and...I told her she can play Tears of the Kingdom first. I really do think it will be fun to watch a Zelda game I haven't played being played by my wife but at the same time, it's taken her this long to beat Breath of the Wild and I'm going to want to play Tears of the Kingdom spoiler-free (besides what I discover watching her). Suggestions?
    Long time ago, my dad's friend, after my dad died, finally took me out to the desert. He'd told me about it for years and it had become one of those sort of mythical places you build up in your mind when somebody you trusts tells you so much about it. Two of his friends, who were older than he, had come across an old cow corral out on the edge of an ancient lake bed and had constructed a shack out of it 40 years previous. That's where we headed.

    Well we went out there several times over the next few years and he would tell me all sorts of stories about the area: finding arrowheads, a tomahawk, a broken Indian pipe, sweat lodge rings, WW2 strafing mounds with targets and bullets all over, wild horses, UFOs, murders at the nearest rest stop, it was a land of magic and mystery.

    Well one day we were bumping along in the old Tacoma on what could barely be called a two-track, my late dad's friend draining a gallon of Gallo wine filled with green olives (that was his thing) when he tells me a whopper of a story. "Out over yonder there's a barbed wire fence. Now I was out on foot one night and I'd had a little bit to drink, and I found that fence while I was out. It had signs on it with skull an' crossbones so of course I found myself on the other side of it. But I swears, when I looked down, I saw purple dirt!"

    I was incredulous as I looked over at him, jug of box store wine tipped back as he peered around it at the steering wheel. 'Purple dirt, yeah'. Dude spilled his wine on the ground and didn't know what he was looking at. Not much of a story anyway but one that he stuck by. I knew him to tell some stories but somehow it didn't seem like the sort of narrative he'd totally fabricate. But later, when I went back to that shack on my own, I found that fence. On that fence were rusty metal signs, official-looking signs, emblazoned with a skull and crossbones, like a story too tropey to be believed. No purple dirt though.

    When I got back to town after the weekend, I did a little digging and found that back in the day, a chemical plant up in a city two hours north of where I lived had been contracted by the federal government to produce a little Miracle Gro for the war effort in Nam. Agent Orange. And when the war came to a less decisive and more abrupt halt than many expected, there was a whole bunch of that nasty junk left over in tens of thousands of 55 gallon drums. That they buried in the middle of a desert beside a dry lake bed where only cooky old codgers and curious young men would ever think to look.

    My dad's friend is still kicking around but he's got that slightly...unique edge to him. Both of his older friends have since met their respective ends to cancer. The desert is a weird place.
    I was considering a thread about hard truths but that would likely only lead to division and diasporism. Anyway, I was reading some "mature" (read depressing and face-palmable) discussions and it got me to thinking that we all need a cold slap in the danglers some times.

    I've been part of Zelda communities on and off for the better part of two decades and I know they've meant a lot to me. There's a level of perceived camaraderie and fellowship since we all share a common interest or even passion. I like interacting with others about common interests; that shared value is what creates tribes and tribes offer benefits that are unavailable to the individual.

    But here's that backhand in the grapes I referred to. The internet isn't real. The people you interact with on the internet are actually just representations of people filtered through binary. As much as I've had some great times with people online, it's not the same thing as the relationships I have with real people.

    I'm not Hyrulian Hero in real life, that's my persona on ZD. You see what I want you to see when I'm Hyrulian Hero. If you and I had a relationship in real life, you would see my faults, my accomplishments, my indiscretions and failures, my countenance. I don't know what you would find annoying about who I am or what things about me would remind you of your father. In real life, I can only try to filter what I say but I can't filter who I am. There's no fourth wall, there's person to person interaction with all of your and my weaknesses and strengths, all of our beliefs and background.

    I'm sure you're thinking that we can get a lot from digital communication now, and we certainly can. Even our in-person relationship is limited by what we can sense and perceive. But digital communication limits that encounter even more than human bodies do. I'm a believer in reality that we cannot sense but even if you're not, you must admit that the facsimiles you encounter via digital or even analogue means are subject to data loss or more likely, intentional subversion.

    I don't know myself in the same way that you would if we actually met so even my most truthful telling of myself cannot convey who I am to you, and all the less on an internet forum. Though I'm thankful that ZD offers me some low-level interaction with the thoughts of other Zelda fans, I can never categorize my interactions here in the same bin where my daily human interactions are kept. Reading the travails of others in this very group struggling with their online persona against another person's online persona is heartbreaking.

    All adults were at some point teenagers and know what a difficult time that was. To see an unrealized adult take so personally an insult or disagreement is painful because to so many, the approval of others is paramount to their self-worth. Especially in those younger years, before we enter adulthood, we take what others take as an objective measure of our value as humans. And people of low integrity hide behind an internet persona, insulting and degrading the internet personas of kids and teens.

    As an adult man, it's become easier to detach and season my internet persona's interactions with pragmatism but it's easy to forget, not everybody places such a low value on digital interaction. Our world has continued to detach from unfiltered community as technology has enabled global communication, opinions are aggregated online, we outsource our personal communication to an impersonal Facebook wall, we isolate physically and cover our faces, we consult a search engine for answers, we live in centers of vast population removing our individual responsibility to people for whom we used to be accountable. This world of ZD is fun, it's useful, and it's not real life.

    Maybe real life is terrible. Maybe it's enticing to live in a digital world where you can hide your butt-ugly face, your family problems, or whatever insecurities you have or perceived imperfections you think you have. At the end of the day, you're still you. Your problems still exist, your value is still independent of what anyone in real life or on the internet thinks. If Hyrulian Hero is a boon to me by virtue of allowing me to interact with the internet personas of real people in order to discuss the worlds greatest video game series, then maybe that persona is worth having. But it'll still never be in the same category as actual human interaction, positive or negative.

    If Hyrulian Hero causes me distress, I'm completely responsible for how I handle that. If your internet persona is insulted by someone else's internet persona, it's not even an indictment of your value, it's a truly anonymous avatar insulting your anonymous avatar. Don't confuse the pretend entity you've built online with yourself or somebody else's with them. Don't base your value as a person on what somebody says about your internet persona (positive or negative). Real life has enough people with whom you will clash and its confrontations and implications are real enough.
    • Like
    Reactions: Chevywolf30
    Yeah, I've noticed it in a big way myself, I've always been a very extroverted person, I haven't really had "online friends" since mid 2020, I hopped through a few Discord servers before settling down here and a couple other forums, so while the Chevywolf30 moniker has existed for a few years before covid, it's only recently that I've really adopted it as a persona in my search for socialization.
    I agree with some of your sentiment here, but I don't think it's nearly as black and white as online being fake and offline being real. You can meet incredibly fake people offline; i think its a personality trait that may thrive in an online space, though. The most I can probably say is the nature of online friendships likely differ than friendships offline, but I don't think it makes it less real if you encounter someone with whom you get to know through conversation. My best friend is someone I met online over 10 years ago and we talk every day. Our interests rub off on one another. I would never really want to meet them in person, as the dynamic of our friendship is built upon how we're able to communicate online, but I still consider them my best friend, over people I've met irl. In fact, one of my irl friends has been so utterly transformed by stuff online that she essentially no longer exists offline. I don't make an effort to keep in touch because the person I would be talking to is no longer the person I knew--even in person.

    But I do think people put too much... value? Time? into how they're being conveyed online, but the world is definitely being shaped around online success in mulltiple careers and such. Online stuff definitely has power over people and has a tendency to bleed into the real world, as is the tragic case of my irl friend. I think a lot of modern definitions of identities and expression are built more around this "avatar customization" mentality of online games, and that is being thrust into a real world setting. There's obviously more to it than that, and I'd rather not get political, but I'm lgbt so I think I can make that observation--how the identiy philosophy has even crept into this, and it has majority altered people's view of lgbt as being more of a 'game' or roleplay--without making myself out to be an asshole for pointing it out, I guess. You'll always hear me complain about fetishization of lgbt people, and this is the root of why, imo. In a world where they used to say it wasn't a choice, it's suddenly a choice again.

    I think the most important thing one can do in an online space is be mindful of where you situate yourself. In this day and age, they do try to reduce the channels of communication to few and massive sites, which not only force you to see a lot of things that perhaps are only designed to make you feel despair or resentment, but also give people a false sense of importance. If someone can become a prominent name within a community on a large site--then they're essentially famous. That feeds this need to create a persona online that takes its own form away from the person behind the screen, perhaps. But I suppose it's also a sense of security. The more known you are, the most negativity you'll also be exposed to. Perhaps its designed to deflect it. If a person only shows a fragment of who they are online, then they can manage the hate because it's not actually them whose on the receiving it, but their screen name proxy they designed.

    I'm a socially awkward person and bad interactions online have definitely really damaged and left a sour taste in my mouth. I'm very afraid to meet new people, and look into new communities. I have a desire to meet people with shared interests, but... with everything on reddit and discord, I really can't avoid exposure to the kinds of people that have hurt me in the past. I wish I could detatch my emotions from my online life, but I'm looking for something deeper, so I guess I'm just inherently doomed to being hurt.
    Hyrulian Hero
    Hyrulian Hero
    I don't disagree with you, that's a useful expansion on the hard truth. I definitely don't mean to say that digital communication isn't useful in starting and maintaining relationships. I suppose I've been thinking about rights and values of late so I've been filtering my worldview through that lens.

    In the USA, our rights were recognized by our founders to be granted by God. Whatever you think of that interpretation, I'd opine that we could agree that a distinction that could be drawn from that sentiment is that our unalienable rights are not contingent on a governmental body or even any private citizen. Your rights are not granted you by any authority on earth meaning that they are yours to alienate and exercise as you see fit.

    Regardless of circumstances, your unalienable rights are yours alone. In a world with no other living soul, your rights are the same as in a world with 7 billion other individuals, all with those rights. Now, of course, your responsibilities might change but that's downstream of your rights, they do not depend on what others think your rights should be.

    As those rights are inherent to you, so is your personhood, who you are. Your identity in the eyes of another, like your rights, might be entirely separate from the truth of who you are, but that doesn't change who you are. Who you are is not contingent on who others see you as. This is where value begins to require an understanding of your superposition as according to others.

    Your personal worth (from my view, one that accepts an objective standard of worth, the way the US founders did) is separate from the perceived value placed on you by others but the value with which they mark you can be useful in interacting with them and understanding your own strengths, weaknesses, use to the community, etc. Your value to others can only go as far as what they can perceive of you. In a world without another soul though, Hyrulian Hero and his perceived value is worthless to me since my true identity isn't really connected to it. That's not the same for everyone but detachment from reality can be really dangerous and harmful.

    The digital and analogue mediums by which we communicate can be used to tamper with our presented value and perceived value but it's only the value of the artificial construct of your presented persona. My artificial persona is of some value as it is because of the communication it affords me but when I'm not on the internet and I'm being presented with my actual obligations and responsibilities in real life, Hyrulian Hero does me no good.

    My purpose in writing though is not to discourage people from taking advantage of the unprecedented technology with which we've been blessed but to remind us that the value of our screen names isn't worth damaging your perception of your actual worth.

    I've lost parents and such, breakups, depression, all the teenage stuff, and I know that a couple of Zelda forums specifically have helped me to cope in some ways but i also allowed myself to be stunted by the escapism. It can become almost a role playing game, fronting online. Since people don't actually see who you truly are and don't rely on you, your anonymity truly strips any responsibility you might have to those individuals. I just want to encourage people that your actual value, positive or negative, is independent of what people think of you and all the more so what they think of your online persona.

    10 years correspondence with somebody is what I would consider a valuable thing, by the way, I don't intend to devalue that.
    Moved my family of 6 from Oregon to South Dakota in July. Oregon has mandated masks against the science, evidence, Oregon constitution, and the recommendation of international health organizations. Lincoln County mandated that black people were exempt from masks because of their skin color. Critical race theory is being implemented in the schools of kids I know. I know of one case second hand of a classroom taking down the American flag and replacing it with a gay pride flag and BLM flag in my hometown. Schools in Oregon City were using my tax dollars to mandate that every classroom have transgender flags or posters. The police have had their hands tied by Oregon politicians and are now even defending antifa while they actively and openly assault people. I took my children to a parade to thank the local police and they were treated to a mob of angry professors spraying chemicals and blockading the parade route. They are celebrating segregation and teaching children backward ideologies. My ex-governor stole an entire year of education and foundational social growth from an entire generation of children. Churches and businesses were being fined daily for remaining open. My guns needed to have slide or trigger locks every second I wasn't actively shooting them. Dissidents were allowed to take and hold whole city blocks in major cities where law enforcement is kept out by threat of force. My neighbors are intent on abolishing the police. "Hate speech" is now being legislated in defiance of the first amendment in that state. We fought the greatest empire on earth over a two percent tax on tea but Oregon legislators pushed a 3000 percent tax on beer. The governor has dictated that there will be no testing in public schools because she believes that people who aren't of her "master race" can't pass exams. There are now permanent masking laws in effect as well. The judicial branch of Oregon has said it's not their job to protect our civil rights. I have a document that informs my government how I am to protect my own civil rights but I will do my best to take every legal recourse offered me before I resort to that protection. One legal recourse is to leave the oppressive government so that's what we did.

    I really want to protect my kids as they're growing up and I want to do that by providing them with a culture that shares core values with them. Whatever you think of the issues that I have with the administration currently governing Oregon, it should encourage you that there are people willing to uproot their lives, move from the most beautiful place on earth, and give up their entire support system and sense of security in service to their convictions. Everybody's had the privilege of hearing most they know (and many they don't) complain, whine, and threaten non-stop, especially over the past two years, but know that there are still people who don't esteem comfort over their values, who aren't bottomless crypts full of empty threats, who don't posture on social media but shrivel in the face of actual conflict. Some people still truly have values and are willing to abide by them even when it seems nobody else agrees. Because truth isn't contingent on consensus and integrity takes no stock of fear.
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