Okay, this appears to be necessary. After plenty of traffic from plenty of sources, it was bound to happen eventually people would start asking questions and, similarly, coming up with some fairly outlandish claims and suggestions in my Google search terms. So, to save some of you time and sanity, here’s an FAQ to cover all bases.
Q. Who is David Kamikaze?
A. Me. That may sound a little odd but that is my name, and it’s one I’ve had since I was a little boy. Chalk this one up to your typical British Eccentricity, but seriously, I’m not really that bothered by my name and I see no reason why at this stage of my life that I need to change it – Kami has been my nickname since I was a teenager, ironically because I tended to pick Cammy when playing Street Fighter and people thought that was somehow sufficiently insulting enough to bother me. It wasn’t, and it stuck. So yeah, that’s kind of the deal with the name.
Q. No really, WHO is David Kamikaze?
A. Oh dear. Here goes. I studied English, I did alright, I went off the rails in my early twenties due to undiagnosed Bipolar disorder, got myself into a lot of debt and into a lot of trouble as well. I’ve done short stories and prose and been published a few times, although it was never really a career I wanted. If anything, I don’t think I’ve ever had a career I wanted to be in – you could say I aimlessly dabbled in certain things and even did alright as a web designer for a while, but I had no sense of the value of money – to say I was reckless is an understatement, and eventually there was a car crash. Literally speaking, I got hit by a car. There was a crash. I woke up with doctors in white coats thinking I was attempting suicide. Since then, you could say my life went from crazy to pretty dull. Anti-depressants are like a mental anchor at times. I developed some minor growths which needed to be removed. Then I got a hospital infection, now my right leg is knackered and I have osteoarthritis of the spine. This officially makes me disabled now, in my thirties, needing walking sticks and/or crutches to get about. No, that’s not sympathy. You want to know who I am, you get to know what got me to this point.
So yeah, I regularly commented on gaming sites like IGN and Eurogamer and I was always ‘that guy’. You know, the one with the opinion who could make massive walls of text that made people think I was being a right smarmy smart-arse. Eventually, I was told to get a blog – literally, I think some of the regulars were a little bored at reading through these huge blocks of text multiple times a week. So, I got a blog. It was slow at first, I wasn’t 100% sure what would happen or if I wanted to do it, but with the limited mobility, often crippling pain and frequent trips to the hospital, you could say my blog has been a brilliant thing to truly keep my mind and hands active when they probably would have in the past attempted self-harm. Funny you can spend years in therapy for that and all I needed was a blog to keep my head and hands focused. Wish I’d known this years ago really, would have saved me a lot of pain and hassle.
Otherwise, I just get by now. I like writing, and I like my blog, and no, I don’t see this as a way to get famous or trick people into thinking I’m something I am not. The site tagline is “Opinions of a Gamer” – Kami On Games. This is me. Kami. On gaming. My opinions on gaming. On my blog. Really, do you need to look any deeper than that?
Q. Is this some kind of marketing ploy?
A. No. Actually, when I saw this on the whole Google search terms thing I actually laughed at how utterly ridiculous it looked. Seriously and honestly, there is no conspiracy at work here. I am me, I play games, I write about things in gaming, and there is nothing more to it than that. Besides, I spend what? £8 a month on the hosting for this blog, if that, and it’s nice. But it’s certainly not a typical marketing budget, is it? I am sorry to disappoint the conspiracy theorists among you (although a little detail like the truth isn’t likely to stop you!) but that’s all there is to this. I am not selling anything. I’m not even sure half the time what I’m doing, I just… well… do it. And what happens, sort of happens. If anyone thinks I have some kind of master plan for this, then I’m afraid you will be sorry to find out I don’t.
Q. Why should I care what this guy writes?
A. Actually, this is true. And I came to this conclusion – I don’t care if you don’t care. Because you can leave and forget about my blog. I am not forcing anyone to stay here, there is no shackle keeping you to this blog. Thing is, there are lots of other people out there who sometimes get paid and sometimes don’t get paid but we’re all doing more or less the same thing – we write about what we feel needs to be written about. Sometimes it’s a little slow, sometimes there’s a whole bunch of things to get talking about, but we do it because we LIKE doing it. Anonymously commenting to others linking here your vile opinions or insulting comments is a little cheap – I at least, despite anxiety and my own fears – will put my name on the line here. I am not hiding behind some username thinking they can get away saying some really despicable things. Ultimately, if you can’t be up-front with someone and feel the need to put others down doing something they enjoy, why should I care if you like me or not? I’ll just carry on doing this and have fun in the process. I don’t have the time or the energy to respond or track down trolls. Seriously, life is too short.
Q. Can’t this guy find something else to do?
A. It’s likely I could. But why would I? Do I think I’m going to bring down Peter Molyneux? Heck no! He’ll probably do that himself one of these days. Do I think Gabe Newell will stay up tonight crying at the thought that I can’t see them making a Half Life 3, let alone spend the time, money and manpower on getting a console to the market? Nope. Will Capcom be upset that I called Resident Evil 6 “Schizophrenic”? Doubt it. One voice alone isn’t going to make these filthy-rich people have a sleepless night. But equally, sometimes I think the gaming press is a little too hooked on Press Releases, a little too eager to peddle the line in order to get the exclusives, get the insider gossip and such forth. I happen to find it extremely enjoyable to cut through that crap and get to the root of things. Opinions are indeed like anuses – we all have them. But I do try to think outside the box, I do like to think I have something valid to say sometimes and even if no-one can hear me, you know what? There is a mental release involved in it for me, an intellectual sigh of relief that it’s finally out of my head and in text form. So I could find something else to do. I don’t know… play games? Oh right, sorry, I already do that.
Q. So, are you really disabled?
A. Yup. Although I like to think I’m fortunate enough to not have more wrong with me than arthritis and bipolar. Thing is, like this – word for word, as you read this, I would have to tell you repeatedly I am disabled and you know what? I’m not entirely sure that’s necessary. Okay, I have serious mobility issues and I’m not that old and I have arthritis. The way I see it, I’m fortunate enough to have access to free healthcare (even if it is sometimes sub-standard but hey, it’s free!), have a roof over my head and a computer to type with. I see news snippets of teenagers dying from cancer, children starving to death in some of the poorest regions of the world, of people losing their lives every single day. Really, do I WANT sympathy? I will need a wheelchair soon – at least I can GET a wheelchair. I do have this thing where I swear that people are a little too focused on themselves sometimes and not on the bigger picture. I may be in discomfort, I may have some horrible things wrong with me, but at least I can sit down and write this in a nice, warm, safe environment and know there is tea in the cupboard for me to drink, and cheese in the fridge for me to throw into a sandwich. So let’s drop the whole “disabled” thing now. I may use it flippantly from time to time, but I’m not going to teabag it into your face.
Q. Haven’t I read this somewhere before…
A. Quite likely, I do still comment on various gaming sites, and have done a couple of articles for Not Enough Shaders. I am expanding a little, but I don’t want to somehow become this huge dominant force in the world. I would hope instead people who read stuff on other sites that is also here would probably note that either I am the one saying it there, or someone is linking to me because they might, I don’t know, actually agree with me? Now there’s a thought! People who agree on something will share it with other people. You know, I’m not sure why this idea hasn’t caught on yet…
Q. There’s no need to be sarcastic.
A. That wasn’t a question. But yes, sometimes I can come off a little too flippant, and sometimes a little heavy handed. I do try to keep a level head as much as possible because I actually find it helps me write better, writing in anger is never really a good idea. You’ll generally end up landing yourself in trouble at some point.
Q. How long have you been playing video games?
A. Since the mid-80s. It started with a Sinclair Spectrum, then my grandparents got themselves an Amstrad CPC 464, tapeloader. Yup, I was there in the early days of cassette tape gaming, and I loved the squeaking and squealing of the loading. Then of course, they got into video games as I got into video games, although let’s be fair and say that our gaming tastes never really ever did match. My grandmother loved Pokémon, I was more or less permanently grounded so she could hog my Game Boy Color. My grandfather had a wicked streak so he always did like games with a sense of humour, although he never really did go much for Mortal Kombat. He did enjoy Resident Evil 4 – probably more than me, worryingly. He also played Everquest for years. MMORPGs we never could agree on, and when he died in 2008, we still had never agreed on the Everquest 2 vs. World of Warcraft debate that had been raging between us for years. So yes, I sort of grew up with video games and I have watched them blossom from the early days of massive squares to the sophisticated multi-rendered powerhouses that we have today. It’s a long time, almost my entire life has in some respect been in the shadow of video games and most of my best memories involve video games. That may sound incredibly sad but it usually involves someone else, someone dear to me and how we enjoyed ourselves playing video games, or attempting to keep a straight face as my grandfather attempted his first D&D GM session. You just need to know that brings me out in the most evil, wicked grin imaginable to know how awful and yet how brilliantly fun it was.
Q. So you don’t hate Call of Duty?
A. Nope. I may come across as some alpha-nerd who wants to beat Activision to death with the size of my e-peen, but truth is I kinda like a brief fling with Call of Duty. I’ll try anything once really. Within reason, of course. I did a big piece on why I try not to overuse the word “hate”, because I try not to be a hateful person. I don’t want to be seen that way because I’m not. I’m actually, despite it all, rather positive and I love games. It’s just a shame sometimes the best things to write about tend to be the bad things that are happening. Oh well. C’est la vie.
Q. Is your favourite game REALLY Link’s Awakening?
A. It is. And I know, for most it would be Ocarina of Time. I concede that Ocarina of Time is a masterpiece of technical excellence as well as narratively brilliant, but when it comes down to it, Ocarina of Time didn’t give me nearly the same feeling that Link’s Awakening did. It was a world, a crazy island that had me lost but charmed for months on end. It was a time when I didn’t care about finishing the game because just spending time with it was enough, and when you do get to the end – oh my word. It’s a fittingly tragic conclusion. It just has my heart, and I can’t really help but love it.
Q. So… you plan to do this like… professionally?
A. Oh heavens no! Right now I need time, space and something to keep me occupied. I don’t really need or want the stress of getting something to someone at sometime in someway for something else. Right now, my focus is on me, my health, and getting better. If it somehow by some miracle blossoms into something else then guess what? I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. Probably with a tank battalion or something. But doing this professionally right now is the last thing on my mind. Priorities. I like doing this, I enjoy doing this, it’s fun and all but making it my job? Eurgh, I’m not sure about that right now…
Q. Why no pics?
A. There’s a very good reason, and that is I have a crushing camera shyness. Okay, I’m cute but tubby right now (a few years of being told to rest, relax and just let things run their course will tend to do that you I’m afraid…) but even when I was younger and more athletic, I would cover my face with my hands crossing a finishing line or if I thought there was a camera pointed anywhere in my direction. I’m not very good at being singled out and being asked to perform in front of someone, or a camera, and I never really have been. I tried to get over it in my teens – I was in a band, like most nerds tend to do at some point, and I sang (badly), but it was a brief sort of gig and I never expected it to go anywhere. It only reinforced a view that people staring at me is sort of a bad thing. I guess someone might have a picture of me somewhere, but I don’t like seeing myself. I genuinely don’t. I don’t like seeing myself in the mirror when brushing my teeth, which might give you some kind of idea how serious my own self-image problem is. I’m working on that. Maybe someday.
Q. Didn’t Kami do Videogame FAQs at some point?
A. Not officially, but yes, I did do some. That was many moons ago and I’m surprised someone even deigned to look up my crappy attempts at doing it. Urgh, just no. They were awful. Let us never speak of this thing again, ever. It didn’t happen I was on holiday everything is as it should be ahem.
Q. Why am I here?
A. I don’t know. Why are you here? And more to the point – why is “Why Am I Here” in my Google Search Terms anyway? Clearly I’m scoring way too much cred on Google.
Q. What is the meaning of life?
A. Not an official search term, but just in case – I’m not sure there is a meaning. We give our lives meaning in what we do and how we do it, preferably with humanity and compassion and understanding. If you’re asking me what the meaning of life is – perhaps your life lacks meaning, maybe? It’s like that joke about a man who travels for months to see a Guru on a mountain in India, and when he gets there he asks the Guru, “Who am I?” To which the guru picks up a hand mirror and puts it in front of the poor mans face. “This is who you are.”
If you’re asking the question, perhaps that suggests you may not know – and for that, I can only say find something that gives you that sense of accomplishment, achievement and enjoyment that enriches your life. And forget what others say. This is the Internet and trolls will be trolls. Do it, enjoy it and screw the haters. Because ultimately, it’s about being who you are and learning what you enjoy. It takes time. But you’ll get there in the end.