We just had an interesting chat here during a smoke break about how the whole QA experience affects a person. As a profession we're paid to spend all day finding fault with others' work, to nitpick, argue points, semantics and details to the Nth degree and more to the point, all we SEE all day long is problems and opinions that are entirely the opposite to our own. The end result is that testers in general seem to be quite pessimistic, negative people who always see the bad before they'll see the good.
I was reading "Big eyes, Small mouth", the Anime RPG last night before I went to bed and I spent more time being astonished by two or three spelling mistakes than I did reading the thing. So annoyed was I by the mistakes that I couldn't enjoy the rest of the bit I was reading. I wouldn't mind if this had any positive application outside of work, say in reviewing, but the thing about reviewing is that you're supposed to highlight the good as well as the bad. It also causes problems when you try to do something yourself - whenever I write something I end up spending an age analysing the mistakes rather than moving on to something new. Granted that might make for a better end product but the time it takes to finish even the smallest areas takes any benefit out of it. For example I rewrote one paragraph last night about four times and I've lost count of the number of times I've revised the skill descriptions in the character generation section of Unholy Wars.
That said, I'm getting really close to being entirely finished with the first chapter (introduction and character generation) in terms of the general content. There's still plenty of details to do (I want each skill description to also include sample modifiers and examples of how and when the skill will be used) but it flows pretty well now and it should make it very easy for even the greenest newbie to pick it up and make a character in no time flat.
Anyway, I've never been the most positive of people, at the best of times I've never had much faith in human nature (though I blame my early interest in politics and living in a border county where we were constantly exposed to the threat of sectarian violence as well as the actual violence on TV rather than anything my parents taught me) but looking back I can definitely see my outlook darkening over the past few years to the point where very little genuinely entertains me any more and the vast majority disappoints in some fashion. To me, mediocre is just as bad as the complete crap. On the other hand though, this means that the genuinely good stuff is extra special to me and it really shines. I think I get more enjoyment out of it than most people as a result.
Games like Half Life, Baldur's Gate 2, Planescape Torment and GTA Vice City are things I can happily revisit over and over. The Lord of the Rings movies really give me a buzz whenever I watch them, as do books and graphic novels like Snow Crash or Hellblazer or Preacher. I guess what I'm saying is that something has to be absolutely stunning for me to give a crap.