I finally started writing a book that I’ve been talking about writing for about a year now. I’ve never written a book before but it feels like this is going to be pretty awesome! 😀 This is the first draft of the introduction. I just finished it. 🙂 I just wanted to get a blog post out to mark the occasion. 🙂
The idea for “pwning life” came to me in a vision one day in early 2008. I immediately followed up this vision with a video. Originally I thought I was going to somehow fit the whole idea of pwning life into one video and that one video would go viral and millions of people would start pwning life over night! Instead, I made a video capturing the moment and the essence of what I was thinking. This video also served as a reminder to myself of what life was like for me at “peak pwning” (it was filmed while I was going through the transition of moving back home from overseas [Note: I’m still going through this transition now! :P]).
Link to video + Screenshots from original video
What is Pwning Life?
Before I get into the particulars of what it means to “pwn” I would like to start with some ideas I’ve had about life since high school. I think growing up in the “gamer generation” has made me (and other gamers) see the world from a TOTALLY different perspective from those in generations prior. We are all the centers of our universe, but gamers get to experience this differently through being the main character of various games. I saved princesses (Mario/Zelda), defeated alien races (Contra) and saved the world from nuclear war (Codename: Iceman) all before getting into high school. A common thread through all video games is “leveling up.” Whether it’s getting to the next level (like in Sonic) or increasing the actual level of your character (like in World of Warcraft).
This led me (and I’m sure others) to see my own life in terms of a video game. So, like in a video game, my life was comprised of various levels to beat and attributes to increase (for example reading this book will give you +8 INT). Life framed this way made problems less of a problem because they were more like challenges to overcome in a video game. Anything I wanted to do or achieve in life was similar to beating a level in a video game. With dedicated practice, I could beat any end boss or level!
That brings us to the word “pwn.” Pwn is a mispelling of the word “own.” When pwning someone in a video game, or pwning a video game you are DOMINATING it. You’re in complete control. On the other hand, when being pwned, someone or something is dominating YOU. This has led to a whole slew of funny pictured on the internet. Go ahead and search “pwned” in google images. You will be amused.
So what is “pwning life”? It’s dominating life! Except us internet kids and gamers have a special connection to the term from years of pwning n00bs and getting pwned when we were n00bs. Looking at life this way makes it clear. When you’re getting pwned by life it’s not because you’re doomed to get pwned for the rest of your life, it’s because you’re a n00b and need more practice. 🙂
It’s a Journey…
I remember spending a lot of time thinking about whether it should be “pwn life” or “pwning life.” The reason I chose the latter is what it represents. Pwning life isn’t something you’re going to do (ie I’m going to pwn life after I get that job) or something that’s ever complete (I pwned life!) It’s a nonstop process of personal development, of refining the self. That said I’m writing this book as one phase of life is winding down which is also winding up the next. I turn 30 this year, I still live in my mom’s house (but at least she isn’t in it and I’m not in the basement!) and I have yet to find a stable way to support myself (the only job I have is security at a night club and a couple hundred dollars of YouTube adsense revenue).
But on the other hand I’m writing a book (yay!), my martial arts classes are coming together nicely, I’m fluent in Chinese and working on putting a class together, I’ve learned the importance of living a simple life, I’m driving a car with free gas, I’m typing this on a computer that I won on the internets (thanks Tim and Joe!), I have a girlfriend I love and many of my entrepreneurial ventures seem to be coming together nicely.
This book is the story of how I’ve gotten to this point. You’ll be able to see how the rest of this unfolds on my personal blog (miltownkid.com) and the blog for this book (pwninglife.com).