A human trying his best | he/him | https://linktr.ee/austincharvey

I never intended to be, but that didn’t matter.

Image for post
Image for post

Readers please note: this story includes a description of excessive alcohol consumption. If you need help or information about substance abuse, contact the National Helpline.

I used to lie to my therapist.

I wanted her to think I was a good person, and by proxy, I suppose I wanted for myself to think that too. It occurs to me now that my notion of therapy was wrong. I wasn’t going to therapy to get help in becoming better, I was going to be told that I was already where I needed to be.

So, I changed the details when I recounted my life. “Here’s this event,” I’d say. “But it wasn’t my fault, because I’m here and obviously I’m trying to be better.” I spent an hour each week trying to convince myself that my insecurities were justified, that sure, I got a little panic attack-y from time to time, but I was in college and it was winter — of course I’d been feeling a little down. …


Image for post
Image for post

Times have changed, but some things stay the same

Remember 2010? Mark Zuckerberg was Time’s “Person of the Year,” Apple released the first iPad, Lost ended, Harry Potter films hadn’t, Lady Gaga wore meat, and “Tik Tok” wasn’t an app—it was the top song of the year.

And somewhere in that strange hodgepodge of pop culture delirium, Ubisoft released Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game, a retro-styled beat ’em up adventure that nods not just to the fantastic Edgar Wright film, but also to the comics on which it’s based.

It was beautiful. It took the essence of what made the comics and film so great — the humor, the nostalgia, the clear love of video games — and presented it to audiences in a fresh way. It wasn’t just some recycled, lazy attempt at licensing out a franchise: it was an homage to a bygone era that recaptured the spirit of couch co-op in a world that was growing increasingly distanced. …


Twitter can’t seem to agree, so here’s the truth

Image for post
Image for post

I can’t believe I have to say this, but if you work a minimum wage job, you have value as a person.

Twitter can be a great way to see live events from a worldwide perspective at any given moment. It can also be an incredibly toxic echo chamber of half-baked opinions, negativity, and frustration. And I’m ashamed to admit I fell down the rabbit hole.

It started when I saw this thread:

Now, the thread itself is one that I actually agree with. Amid President-Elect Biden’s proposal to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, the debate has sparked online as to whether or not minimum wage employees deserve more money — specifically, whether or not they deserve enough money to live on. …


Kaizen philosophy teaches us that you don’t need an excuse to be a better person.

Image for post
Image for post

Every December 31st at 11:59 p.m. there is a collective holding of breath followed by a raucous cheer and inevitably someone saying, “Thank God that one’s over” only to realize a month or so later that wait a minute… this year’s just as bad as last year.

Things don’t just reset on January 1st. Life’s not a Nintendo 64 cartridge that you just have to blow a little air into to get the dust out, pop that sucker back in, and whambamthankyouma’am, it’s all good! Life’s more like a Jenga tower, where no matter how many times you build that sucker back up, it’s inevitably going to fall apart again. …


Love isn’t something you should have to earn, but you also shouldn’t need the love and attention of other people to feel like you have worth.

Image for post
Image for post

I feel like nobody could ever love me because I’m not worth it.

I tend to attach a lot of my self-worth to things like my career, my accomplishments, or my status in life, which is a roundabout way of saying I don’t have any self-worth.

I always imagine that from an outside perspective, people look at me and see a burned-out loser wannabe going nowhere on the inevitable path to bartending for the next twenty years and fantasizing about a different life. I’m not the expert on other people’s opinions of me, so maybe I’m totally off base.

All I know is that I feel unfulfilled by the thing that, up until recently, occupied most of my time and that that lack of fulfillment permeates into other areas of my life. I feel like a liar when I say I’m anything other than what I do for a living, and I haven’t pursued any relationships because I don’t think that I have anything to offer another person. A lot of that comes down to this: there are 7 billion people in the world, and I can barely get 100 to care about anything I do.


Let your weird side show.

Image for post
Image for post

It’s all about the algorithm game.

My least favorite thing about online content creation is the “game” everyone tries to play when they get into it.

YouTube is run by its algorithm, probably even more than its run by Google. Sure, people make the big, executive decisions, but it's the algorithm that recommends you watch “I Tried the WEIRDEST FOOD From Every Country.”

Spotify’s algorithm compiles your Daily Mixes and Netflix’s knows that it’s time for your yearly rewatch of The Office (not anymore though, RIP). A vast majority of the content we consume is delivered to us via an algorithm. Radio disc jockeys used to determine the Top 40, but now it's determined by the popularity in streams — streams determined by a computer-based algorithm. …


COVID-19 makes seasonal depression a juggernaut to combat but not an impossible task.

Image for post
Image for post

Winter can be a tough time of year for a lot of people. While images of cozying up by the fire in a crewneck sweatshirt with a cup of hot cocoa might come to mind and offer a sense of warm comfort, for many others — roughly 10 million in the United States, in fact — it conjures up feelings of negativity and depression.

Living with any mental illness can be isolating and lonely, a voice in your head that constantly puts you down and reaffirms negative thought cycles. …


Image for post
Image for post

Otherwise known as StardewCrossingMon (by me, exclusively)

I am late to the party, but at least I showed up. I was recently gifted an Xbox One S — yes, the last generation console — after exclusively owning a Switch and a MacBook for three years. It was great when I was trying to game less, and I still got to enjoy a ton of wonderful indie games, but now that I’m working from home and Pennsylvania locked down again, it seemed like a good time to catch up on some things I missed.


Image for post
Image for post

As video games gain cultural prominence, their positive effects also rise to the forefront

2020 has been a landmark year in an unprecedented number of awful ways. While the world plunges into a multitude of socioeconomic crises, there has been one strangely shining beacon of binding light throughout these dark times: video games.

It makes sense, too. Video games are a deeply engrossing form of escapism; they engage our senses in a way no other medium does by offering players a more active role in the world they are viewing on-screen, especially when compared to films and television. This year, in particular, video games have seen a massive spike in popularity. …


Image for post
Image for post

Google’s gaming platform is finally recommendable

I was caught off-guard recently when I read an article from The Verge saying that Cyberpunk 2077 performs best on next-generation consoles and Google Stadia. Wait, read that again.

Google Stadia? I mean, sure, I’ve seen ads on YouTube for Stadia obviously. That’s no surprise given Google’s ownership of both, but like many Google products, I figured it would wind up in a digital graveyard within two years.

Instead, it seems that Google’s investment in Stadia is paying off, with many sources agreeing with The Verge’s assessment that Stadia might be the best way to enjoy Cyberpunk 2077.

Okay, I’ll bite. I, like many people, never really gave Stadia a fair shot anyway. So, I decided to try it out with a free one-month trial of Stadia Pro, which I was happy to find out came with a few games to play for free with the subscription. …

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store