I was playing Conan Exiles over the weekend on Official server #6436 PvE - g-portal.com

I'm a fan of online gaming, which I sometimes do in my spare time while others I work on writing and occasionally other projects related to publishing.

So until August 18 after having worked nearly six days a week, every day for the last twenty years whether earning money or not, I decided to take a vacation, though I'm still keeping up with some other required responsibilities during that time while pushing my business forward.

Often, my gaming characters reflect something from my novels or are a custom character suited to the gaming world as is the case with my character Ai Tien, from whose name I drew one of the characters in the latest chapter of The Butterfly Dragon II: What Different Eyes See. In other words, I created the character a couple of months ago, and then created a similar character in the chapter I wrote.

In this day and age when our identity is so closely associated with what we do in real life and in the sometimes surreal digital world, our identity is often under attack as no matter what we do, it has value to other people who'd do what they can to take it from you and wear it as their own. As much as documenting my work process is part of solidifying my identity, so is documenting my play. 

These aspects are both part of identity and are a big part of how we all as people want to share with others, in terms of our work and play. Unfortunately, there are people who want all of it for themselves, exclusively, while cutting everyone else off. Like a neighbour spying on your computer work might attempt to wear it as their own with the help of their friends, while replacing your identity with that of someone whose activities are quite burdensome, even disconnecting you from family and friends. I experience this regularly, whereby a group of local bullies tries to disconnect me from my father, David Schindler.

I believe that activity like this, involving identity theft is one of the biggest factors driving the world precariously closer to conflict and hate. Whereby gangs of people in communities harvest identities from those isolated in their homes and without the means to protect themselves against collectives of bullies, for lack of a better term. If a bunch of people know there's someone working in a particular location, but they don't know exactly who, then its kind of like the Schrodinger equation, where it could literally be anyone until you open the door and take a look. Worse, if you're somehow tricked into contradicting something that happened during the time of your work, you can literally be omitted from your own work, while everyone else takes the credit for it.

I think this is becoming a more common method of stirring up conflict between people and certainly when you protest something of this nature it might make you sound a bit selfish or self-involved, when in fact the truth is that the people doing this are truly selfish in a collective sense. Collective ego? 

If someone paints a painting, and that painting draws much attention and a group of people prevent the artist from receiving their due or any credit for it, while giving that due to someone else completely uninvolved with its creation, who is the more selfish and wrong? The group that thieves that work and keeps such a lie, or the artist that fights for their rights and ownership of their own creation so they can choose how what it yields is shared to engender prosperity, perhaps based upon whom and what it represents.

Unfortunately we're living in an age where there are groups that operate in that very way, and they're becoming more and more common, and creating more and more tension and conflict between people by their methods of theft and I'm not the kind of person to keep secrets for bullies, nor secrets for the keepers of those who promulgate the collective mind. We're not who we're connected to. We're who we are independent of that connection and benefit from sharing out perspective. What the groups that take from people in the way I'm describing do, is they take it before it becomes publically known. Like spying on something while its being crafted, and then taking it and the credit for it just before it becomes public.

Imagine someone had the ability to spy on your phone, and you called up your best friend and told them a new recipe you created for strawberry marble cake (assuming you bake). If you're mechanical, then you called up your best friend and told them a new timing technique for tuning the performance of their fuel injected car. Either way, you call your best friend and you tell them how to do it. Make a cake or performance tune a car. While you're on the phone, somebody else is listening in on your phone conversation electronically. They take your entire conversation and whatever you shared with your friend. Before you know it, they're taking the credit for that everywhere and its someone you don't even know. A neighbour or a phone hacker that has hacked your device and listens in on all your calls.

You ask them why they did it, and they tell you because of the golden rule. They claim you did it to them, so they have the justification to do the same thing to you. As it turns out, the situation they're talking about where you eavesdropped them involved them starting conflict by harassing you from a neigbbouring apartment about things connected to your life, or by mentioning names of people you know in an unsuitable or unapplicable context, causing you to respond in their defense. Just by doing that, they claim that you were spying on them, even though they clearly provoked you to react in order to gain that justification. That's one of the tricks that groups like this use. So they use that situation to justify illegally eavesdropping your phone and with that eavesdropping, stealing aspects of your life and anything from which they can profit.

Expand that to groups that not only use phone surveillance, but also attempt to use computer surveillance as well for the same purposes. If you're a content creator and you're targeted by such a criminal group, the consequences can be devastating. You could have all your content as you create it, stolen from you, with someone else publishing your content under their name. All because you reacted to their harassment from their private place towards your office or living space.

Now imaging that such a group was very large and had many members and those members used their collective power hide your existence, while giving the credit for everything that you accomplish to other people and their benefit, while ensuring that you're forced to carry the burden for their worst. All made possible by a group that spies illegally on people and justifies it simply by tricking them into violating the golden rule against them. Tricking, as in dirty tricks.

Every effort you make to clarify the truth of the situation is covered up by the collective of bullies, while they take the credit for all of your efforts and just about anything beneficial you say or do. Socially, your footprint is erased as if everything you say or do originates from someone else. If you experience this and are isolated as a result of people who operate like this, disregard it in the sense that you shouldn't draw your own sense of self identity from others. Especially bullies like that. The truth is the issues are theirs. See it as a chance for personal growth. 

People that try to get a rise out of you by way of such activity are also attempting to force you onto a teeter totter of extreme emotion (ie love and hate) whereby they can exploit you by turning you into a clock, that ticks one day as the hate side, the next day as the love side on a schedule they attempt to control. What you achieve on your love days is taken from you on your hate days and the better the groups that do this are at timing it, the worse your experiences are via this means of exploitation. Hence, one foot on each side and keep your balance. You don't want this group turning your concept of identity into a giant game of musical chairs.

So posts like this are attempts to solidify a consistency of identity in the form of a centralized point where I can represent all things Shhhh! Digital Media, and things related to the activities that promote what Shhhh! Digital Media is about and what I'm about and all of this occurs within my current limits.

My work is mostly geared towards the furthering of Shhhh! Digital Media, as much so as my play. You'll always find a thematic connection between the characters of my books, real world issues (either long before or when they're happening) and my video game characters, in games that allow you to design characters. These situations offer extensive character exploration in the form of role play within the context of a gaming world as much so as theatrical performances do the same for thespians who have love of their craft.

Pretentious? Maybe. But on a healthy foundation both of reality and body, one must nurture their mind.

I'll be doing business related research for most of this week that is connected to an upcoming writing project, while taking care of other things to do with ensuring that there's forward momentum and progression.

If you play Conan Exiles, look for me on 6436. Its a good server and community. I play as Ai Tien.

Brian Joseph Johns