Final Thoughts AKA Happy New Year

Since writing about all of this, on top of everything else I had written about and what 2017 had decided to heap upon us all, I have been through the court system regarding my case. I plead No Contest, as there was no real way to fight it, and am now on 3 years probation and working in a 6 month outpatient program to get it dropped. So it goes, so it goes.

I was also damaged by a car speeding a bit too quickly for my neighborhood and my left leg wound up damaged, albeit luckily not broken or such. It still hurts, I still limp a bit, I walk with my cane I carry for self defense with a bit more regular purpose now, but will heal within a month. I was let out on my own recognizance on Christmas Eve. We still have not been able to celebrate it or my birthday from October yet.

2017 is now in its final hours and it is trying its damnedest to take me out still, but here I am, in spite of it all, I remain hopeful and optimistic yet. I have people relying on me, and I've never been one to bow out or give up on anything. No matter how long it takes, I will do what I set out to do, every single time.

Notice I said in spite of and not despite; there's a reason for that.

If nothing else, this year solidified a life's worth of values and morals and goals in me, some I attained and some will be worked on my whole life. Something was up in the universe on a cosmic level for us all this year, regardless of belief or where we lived or who we were. Humanity was tested, and we still stand, somehow, for better or worse. What side will claim dominance, if any would or even should, is up to be seen and not meant to be debated here. All I know is we all made it.

That's why I picked the two games I did above all other narratives I played this year, be they coming out this year or not, as many excellent games were put into our lives this year no matter what genre you prefer them in; one of the few things to go right for us all. They were stark reminders of my need for a redemption song and to be able to come out of Hell and high water with my head high and moving ever forward.

They were both games also, I should note, filled with strong women; the majority of both games' casts are women, and there are explicitly open same-sex relationships happening in both. As a gay woman, it makes me feel like I'm starting to belong in this hobby more so than ever. Both are games that, when I think back on them and what they did for me as a person, not just a gay woman, but that hero I strived to be and wound up being for better or worse reasons, make me tear up and cry hard, quiet tears. The kind you cry when you don't want anyone to see you but goddammit, it was just that good, so if anyone does see you crying about them, then fuck you too buddy.

None of us know what 2018 will bring. I don't know if we got the chaff out now or if we're in for a very, very long haul battle. Not just against each other, but more importantly, for ourselves and who and what we are. All I know is I intend to live now, and live every second of it, and continue to lead people and be relied on.

If hurricanes, a hellfire storm, jail and summary probation, cars, all of this and more can't take me out, then to me it's not a matter of time left or what may be around the corner next that could be what finally does me in. No, for me, it's that I CAN survive it and I WILL survive whatever else comes next. I'm wanted, I'm needed, and goddammit I will not go gentle into that good night.

So wherever you are, whomever you are, if nothing else, take this away from my article, my words, my experiences that help prove games are more than just games:

You are needed, too. I assure you.

Stay alive. Just one more day.

And thank you.

-Amanda "Atma Weapon" Graham
This darkest timeline's final and greatest hero

Forever indebted to Kenichiro Takaki and Yoko Taro

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