Getting a new laptop

Thanks to April picking up a teaching gig at Drury in addition to her regular job, we can afford for me to get a new laptop, and I’m pretty stoked. I started to share about it on Google+ and wanted to link to a blog post explaining why this is such an exciting thing for me, but a quick search of my blog demonstrated that I haven’t written about it, so it seemed like a post was in order.

Gaming, for me, is more than just a hobby or a way to kill some time.

Gaming is a way for me to learn and approach mastery of a skill. I’m not a hardcore gamer, and I don’t need to be better than everyone else, but I want to understand the mechanics and the environment and what is needed to succeed. Gaming is something that challenges and rewards me for effort in a way that is meaningful to me, and I find that very fulfilling.

Gaming is a way for me to fail safely. It has taught me to fail, and then to keep going after failure. I can encounter terrible truths and tragedies in a safe environment and learn to get past them emotionally and mentally, so when I have to deal with terrible things in real life, I’ve had a bit of practice at it. A recent favorite quote of mine is from the poem Worstwood Ho by Samuel Becket: “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

Gaming makes me feel balanced and happy. I need a few hours a week (probably 6-10) to feel good, and if I don’t have that, I start to feel out of balance, crabby, and anxious. It took me a long time to realize this, but I became very deliberate in my self-study of gaming. I would play for a few hours, then sit back and ask myself, “Am I happy? How do I feel? Why do I feel that way?” Prior to that reflection, I viewed gaming negatively because it wasn’t “productive” and wasn’t furthering society in some fashion. I didn’t believe it was furthering me either, at least not as much as exercise or reading literature would be. But on an emotional and mental health level, gaming is very good for me, and it is something I need regularly.

I travel about a month out of each year. Not contiguously mind you, but if you add up all the time I’m away from home, it is about a month. And that means there is a month out of the year when I cannot game, and when I become more anxious and frustrated. I have no release, no challenge for those parts of me that need it, and no balance. So having a gaming laptop is a boon to me, and it is not one I’ve really had in years. Gaming laptops are luxuries, and are somewhat impractical because they get out of date quickly. Or, at least, they used to… I suspect that technology has reached the point, at least for quite some time, where we’re slowing down in software development and advances and the hardware is in a good position to last a long time. This laptop (see the specs below) should be good for at least 3-4 years, if not longer. In the past, gaming laptops were usually woefully outdated in 6 months, which is part of why I haven’t bought one in the last 10 years (which is when I had my last gaming laptop).

So I’m excited. It should come in next week, just in time for coffee shop homework evenings, and LAN parties, and traveling to visit family. Thank you to April for supporting this desire, and to God for providing so generously for our family.

Lenovo Y510p

  • Processor:4th Generation Intel Core i7-4700MQ Processor (2.40GHz 1600MHz 6MB)
  • Operating System: Windows 8 64
  • Display: 15.6″ FHD LED Glossy Wedge 1920×1080
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GT750M GDDR5 2GB
  • Memory: 8.0GB PC3-12800 DDR3L SDRAM 1600 MHz
  • Hard Drive: 1TB 5400 RPM+24GB SSD
  • Ultrabay: SLI Graphics – NVIDIA GeForce GT750M GDDR5 2GB
  • Network Card: Intel Centrino Wireless N-2230
  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth Version 4.0
  • Warranty: One year (with three year in-home and accident coverage)
  • Battery: 6 Cell Lithium-Ion

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