I grew up in a household where politics were never mentioned. I kind of knew my dad voted Labour, but he complained about the unions, and read The Sun. The closest I ever got to a political education was alternative comedy: "Mrs Thatch = bad", I learned from Ben Elton.
That might be why I voted Labour a couple of times.
On the whole, though, I've just never been angry enough about anything, never liked being lectured to or ranted at, always been too suspicious of the motives of those who seek power, to ever pin my colours to one mast or the other.
Neither ideology on the left or the right ever really spoke to me - the class of person that's sort of neither here nor there. It felt like the only ones shouting were on opposite extremes, because they were the only ones stoked up enough to make noise. The rest of us were sufficiently comfortable and sane to not engage with that sort of rabble-rousing, and were happy getting along with our lives while ignoring them.
I no longer feel I can do that. And so... sorry... but this piece has nothing to do with video games. It's not funny. It's just a bit depressing. But I need to get it off my chest, because I'm livid.
I started writing this piece earlier in the week, in the wake of the Orlando shooting.
I shelved it, because it just felt out of place on a site whose USP is a jarring mix of video game articles, poo jokes, and lists of weird baby photos.
It was a rant, basically. I was upset, and I wasn't sure what I wanted to say. I wasn't sure what I felt even. I just felt... something.
And then yesterday, a 42 year-old mother-of-two was shot and stabbed to death, because - at the best guess - she happened to be an MP and supporter of the anti-Brexit campaign. And then I knew I couldn't just keep quiet, and keep my head down, like I have done for 40-odd years.
For the first time in my life, I feel angry about something bigger than that which exists in my own little bubble of life, my own issues. It's an anger I've never felt before. A sense of impotence, which stokes it into rage. It feels like the world is shifting. It feels like something very dangerous is in the air, and it's terrifying. It feels like change, and not change for the better.
I can't shake the sense that we're on the verge of some sort of a tipping point.
That's what I talked about in the original version of this piece. The language and rhetoric from politicians, political and religious leaders, the media, and the like, which leads vulnerable people to become radicalised. I wrote about how was only going to get worse if we continued along that path.
And then it did.
I've always been wary of anyone who declares that the world is changing too fast. Our frame of reference for the entirety of human civilisation is our own life up to this point.
It's a very narrow focus, and when it comes to thinking that the world is more crapulous now than it was... well, duh.
Of course the world used to be better, because you used to be a kid. No mortgages or taxes, and the biggest thing you had to worry about was getting home in time to watch Grange Hill. Britain has always been a country of immigrants. I love that I live in London, with its multiculturalism. That, to me, is what gives my home its identity.
My partner is half-English/half-Croatian, and grew up in Australia. My step-kids are half-Italian. My neighbours on one side are Indian, and on the other are Romanians. They're the best neighbours I've ever had. All my daughter's friends growing up were either Hindu or Muslim, and even when I was at school I'd say at least half my classmates were non-white.
That's the world I know. A Britain that is stronger, better, more interesting, because of that mix.
The only people making it more dangerous are those who oppose it, those stoking fears that we're losing some ideal of a way of life that never really existed. That those whose accents are different, whose skin is a different colour, who have different beliefs, are in some way a threat.
Worse still, I'm worried that extreme elements are having their beliefs legitimised by politicians. I worry that even if Trump loses, even if we don't leave the EU, their supporters will become more vocal, more extreme, more angry. And that the angrier and more entitled they become, the angrier and more entitled their opposition.
It becomes a vicious circle. They become empowered by those in power who speak to their prejudices.
And it feels universal. It's not just when it comes to matters of EU membership, or Radical Islam, or immigration. You see the exact same thing happening around movements/hashtags like Gamergate. One side advances, and the other side pushes back with more force. It's all Us and Them. They're threatening the way we've always had it.
And then within that you have those who are too unhinged to understand that there is, nevertheless, a line that shouldn't be crossed. Those who are so fired up, that they take up arms and kill those who they've been made to feel might threaten their way of life.
If reports are accurate, there are troubling parallels between Omar Mateen, the Orlando gunman, and Thomas Mair, the alleged killer of Jo Cox. Though seemingly ideological opposites, both have been described as loners with mental health issues. Both aligned themselves to a different righteous cause. Neither, it would appear, was acting under direct instructions - despite what Donald Trump might suggest.
They had been programmed remotely, by osmosis, through the media, by politicians, or would-be religious leaders. Through the hate speech and fearmongering which is increasingly becoming the baseline of our world. Mental illness and extremism are not - as we have seen demonstrated twice this week - mutually exclusive. Raise an army by desensitising your troops and don't act surprised when the guns start firing.
Both Mateen and Mair, it appears, were made to feel, by those they looked to for guidance, that their way of life was the right one, and that other elements threatened it. It's a fight for survival, which doesn't need to exist.
And that's why I can't support Brexit.
I'm not an intellectual or educated man. I just know what I feel, and what I feel is that my life is generally fine as it is.
That people are inherently good, regardless of who they are, or what they've been conditioned to believe.
The Brexit campaign seeks to divide us, to isolate us and limit us. Just as Donald Trump wants to build a wall, so the Leave campaign seeks to put up invisible walls between us and the rest of the world. It wants us to retreat.
And let's not try and pretend that any of their arguments about the economic benefits of leaving the EU is anything other than a smokescreen for their own racism or political ambitions - whether their supporters understand their own inherent prejudices or not. A vote for Brexit serves nobody more than Nigel Farage, Michael Gove, or Boris Johnson and their ilk. You're helping them, not yourself.
And what I hate the most is the way that it feels like a game to them. Rich, white, men who enjoy the spotlight just a little too much, and are playing at politics. The shameful boat flotilla down the Thames - with its undignified behaviour from both the Leaves and the Remains - or the disgusting anti-immigration poster unveiled by Farage this week. It seems so flippant and self-serving, and it disgusts me.
They don't care to see the bigger picture, because they're too busy enjoying themselves. At the expense of us, and our society. People with a narrow, bigoted focus, seeking power at whatever cost.
How can any of us, who possess a capacity for empathy, truly align ourselves to any movement which also has support from far-right groups like Britain First, or the British National Party? How can anyone support Trump, when he's endorsed by members of the Klu Klux Klan?
This is what we have to fight against. The rhetoric, the racism, the fearmongering, the sheer lack of empathy, and powerful, rich, people, who just want more power and money.
We are a global community, yet we're being split into ever smaller camps of Us and Them. We're weaker outside of Europe. We're weaker apart as a species.
And worse than that, if Leave wins next week, it will be a vote for racism. It'll be a vote for fearmongering, and it'll give politicians licence to continue campaigning on those platforms, using that language, and it's only going to make our world more dangerous.
We can't afford to let that happen. We can't afford to let them see that such language gives them political leverage, and is a road to power. There has to be a better way.
My 79 year-old mum is in hospital at the moment. She's been ill for a while, and this week she had a major operation that will - hopefully - fix the issue, and give her back some quality of life.
I went up to see her last night, in the intensive care unit, where she's wired into thousands of pounds worth of machines that go "ping!", and being cared for 24 hours a day by the staff. 80% of whom - I should add - were born outside the UK. I've never felt more grateful to have the NHS.
When I got back, I posted an update on Facebook, telling my friends and family how she was doing, as many of them had been asking. In return, I got back a ton of kind messages wishing her the best - from people who don't know her, and who really didn't have to take the time to write.
And that's because people are, fundamentally, good and kind. People have great capacity for empathy.
People care about other people. That's who we are.
We mustn't listen to those who seek to tell us differently, or scare us into believing otherwise. Take away religion, or political beliefs, or race, or sexual orientation, and we all can love and care for others. It's biological, it's evolutionary, and it's programmed into us on a cellular level.
That's what survival is really about. That's how we really survive. By pulling closer together as a species. Not keeping the world and each other at arms length, and staying scared. Imagine what we could achieve.
Anyway. Sorry. All of that is so far out of my comfort zone. I'm much more at home writing stupid stuff, or about video games. I just couldn't say nothing.
Normal service will be resumed next week.