WRUP: A tribute edition

by cat stevens

His name was Robert Joblin, and he was the best teacher I ever had.

I was a teenager, cocksure, so certain I had all of the hard lessons learned. And here he was, wise beyond even his years, understandable and erudite and paternal. He wanted me and my class to push further, to work harder, to be more than we had been up to that point. He saw in us endless potential, and he wanted us to work up to it. I’ve never tried so hard to live up to what someone believed I could be.

On graduation, he slipped me a note with an email address, stating that it was for my use only. And a few years later, I followed up. I talked with him as I was getting started as a writer. The first time I got paid for having put text together and written something of meaning. He didn’t understand what I was writing about, of course, but he understood my passion. He listened to me, always, and he gave me advice about how to compose myself even through struggles. No matter how much things changed, he was there for me.

Except… that isn’t true. He died in 2008, before I started writing professionally. I never got over my fear to email him. I came close several times, but never managed. And in my mind it’s certain to me that he forgot who I was, that whatever hope he had for me never materialized. I don’t even know if he’d be proud of me or if he’d remember my name.

But today I made a paper boat to float on the sea of my tears, and I set my course to a man who always seemed to know where he was going. And all I can feel is grief that I let him down so badly.

Bonus question: What’s a harmless online trend that just particularly gets your goat?

Andrew Ross (@dengarsw): My Pokemon Go habits were already dipping before Niantic pushed out the Remote Raid nerfs, and my schedule this weekend will only cut into it deeper. Luckily, I have a console party to make up for it, so I’ll at least be able to play some Mario Party and Jackbox games. Pokemon Violet will get some attention too, though oddly, I’m again more excited about doing the lesser event ‘mon, Ditto, than more Samurott.

Honestly, I’m probably admitting I’m old at this point, but most TikTok content. It just feels like visual junk food, and even though I’ve seen some stuff I like (via Twitter or Instagram), most of it just makes my teeth itchy.

Andy McAdams: I’ve been on an operations kick in Satisfactory. So I’ll probably be there and putzing around World of Warcraft a bit as well. I’m kinda thinking about downloading Neverwinter or Dungeons & Dragons Online. Or Star Trek Online. Or something. Who knows what I’m doing anymore.

I… I didn’t know what “gets your goat” means and I had to Google it. So like, uh … I dunno. Maybe people talking about the latest techbro grift like its the Second Coming.

Brianna Royce (@nbrianna, blog): My health kept me away from my games this week; I’ll be happy if I can toot around in City of Heroes or something this weekend.

People jumping onto the daily social media meme but like… being really terrible at it. Harmless but cringe!

Chris Neal (@wolfyseyes, blog): The stream I had of MechWarrior Online earlier this week actually put the bug of that game into me, so I will probably keep on with that even though I remain apocalyptically awful at it. Beyond that there will be gentle grinds in Destiny 2, Final Fantasy XIV, and Monster Hunter Rise.

TikTok is one of those things that I just bounce off of continually at the bare least and am actively annoyed by at worst. Which is bad because my husband loves making videos on it (and has even garnered a pretty sizeable following) as well as watching them on his phone. Loudly. On repeat. The damn thing sounds like a low attention span hellscape.

Eliot Lefebvre (@Eliot_Lefebvre, blog): This week ended with just the… cruelest, most hurtful action possible, so I’m kind of in a bad place. I’ll still be doing stuff in FFXIV as I try to pull myself together, though. It is what it is. If you have lines of contact with me and want to reach out, I appreciate it; if not, just good wishes are appreciated, and if my words have mattered to you over the years please keep a thought for me.

I’ve really grown tired of the temptation to turn children’s cartoons or kind, gentle shows into being “secretly dark” through bizarre readings of visual elements or vague plot details. There was a post I saw a while back about doing the opposite, like imagining that Breaking Bad was actually Walter White’s students writing fanfic about him and what his life had to be like because he could be kind of scary sometimes.

Sam Kash (@thesamkash): I’ll largely be playing Chained Echoes. I can’t believe it but I just haven’t had any motivation to log into Guild Wars 2 SAB. This is probably the first festival I haven’t even tried to keep up with the dailies. I am sort of out of sorts in regard to it. Maybe something else will click right with me.

Bonus: I’m not sure. I think videos of people doing various parkour or skateboarding tricks have lost their luster for me. At this point every time I see it, it just looks like every other video or trick I’ve seen. Is it impressive this person can do it, yes, I cannot do that. But have I basically seen that performed a hundred times before. Yeah basically. I need to be wowed. Entertain me peasants!

Tyler Edwards (blog): I will be continuing to level the season pass in New World. I both love and hate that it is not time-gated. SAVE ME FROM MYSELF, AMAZON. MY HANDS ARE WASHED IN THE BLOOD OF A THOUSAND VARANGIAN KNIGHTS. I HEAR THEIR SCREAMS IN MY SLEEP.

Bonus question: Those video skits where it’s supposed to be a conversation between two people but it’s just one person shot from two different camera angles.

Every Saturday, join the Massively OP community and staff for What Are You Playing, our roundup of what MMORPGs and other games we’re hoping to play this weekend (with a bonus question or two for our amusement). Tell us what you’re up to! Go off-topic! And don’t forget to have fun!
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