A Simpler Time

By Joe Hendry

To all the workaholics out there!

The desire to contribute has been higher now than even before lockdown. Nine music videos, weekly YouTube episodes, 20 student seminars, and 7 million hits later, I was feeling like it was time for a few days off. However, this is something I've always struggled with. Because I absolutely love what I do, I sometimes I feel that taking time off is wasteful.

I know and tell others that if you don't take some time to do absolutely nothing for a while, eventually your work will suffer, but as usual, I struggle to take my own advice. And a few weeks ago, I suffered the consequences.

I put out a McDonalds video parodying the Oasis song “Wonderwall,” which somehow went on to do over 5 million hits. This was a huge success for me and extremely rewarding given the amount of work I'd put in. That would have been the ideal time to stop, relax, enjoy it and regroup.

Me being me however, I thought no, I need to capitalise on the momentum and keep going of course! What happened, you ask? I rushed out my next video making error after error, second-guessing myself, constantly changing the title, the lyrics, the shots, the thumbnail, the description, everything.

For a moment, I had lost confidence in my choices and that gut instinct we all need to make those difficult, yet necessary creative decisions. As a result, that next video was a flop. 

So, rather than getting back to work, I decided to get back into gaming. For someone that has six retro consoles proudly displayed in my spare room, I actually don't play video games all that much. So to try and combat this, I decided to finally get a copy of Red Dead Redemption 2. Even if I didn't enjoy it, it would at least stop my friends constantly badgering me to get it!

It took me a few hours to get into it, but after the initial resistance, I managed to relax and let go of my endless desire to keep working, I can honestly say this might be the best video game I've ever played. I don't even think calling it a video game is an appropriate description. It feels much more like a simulation of a simpler time.

I'm reluctant at this stage to describe it any further until I've finished the game, because to be quite honest, I didn't think it was possible for the medium to produce such a moving, immersive experience. Even the most difficult, frustrating aspects, feels like time well spent

In my next blog post I'll review it in more detail, but what I will say is, if like me, you are trying to find meaning within your four walls and are feeling a little down or anxious about managing your day-to-day life indoors, give this game a try. Even after a few hours, I felt refreshed and ready to get back at it! 

You'll be pleased to know that after chilling out for a while I managed to return to my usual form and produced another fast food parody, this time courtesy of Eminem, which thankfully went on to do some decent numbers!

Speaking of which, please check out the latest episode of “Joe Vs.” on the ROH Youtube channel and watch out for a few other exciting new ROH projects on their way soon!