Tag Archives: videogames

On Boredom

One of my guilty pleasures is watching fail videos. These are compilations of, basically, unfortunate or unexpected events. Most are fairly simple, clips of people falling over while biking or skateboarding, often while attempting a hotdog trick. Some are just random objects hitting people, usually the face or the groin because those are the funniest areas. Most fails are fairly random, coming out of nowhere, and that’s what makes them fun to watch.

I’m a Fail Army guy. They are the only YouTube fail vids I’ll watch.

There’s another category of fail, though, that can best be described as karma: people doing stupid things and getting exactly what you would expect. About half of these firework fails are exactly that, people doing stuff that boggles the mind. Why would you ever do that? Alcohol is the obvious answer, and it’s probably true for most, but I think something else is at work as well.

I think it’s boredom, because most of the spontaneous stuff that we end up regretting comes from being bored. Continue reading

In Praise of Flamebreak

Steam recently had their big summer sale, where you can get quality, quality games for a fraction of their retail prices. Shadow of Mordor, the game of the year of 2014, for $15, plus all DLC included?  Yes please.  Even recent games have excellent deals, and you can easily buy enough games to last you the rest of the year, all for pennies on the dollar.

ELENDIL!

That said, lost in all the big studio savings are the so-called indie titles, games developed from much smaller studios, sometimes just a couple guys in a basement. Yes, these games sometimes feel as if, well, they were developed by a random guy in a basement, but others are real things of beauty. At their best, they have that pure, innocent fun that the golden years of gaming had, proving you don’t need hyper-realistic graphics and voice-acting to make a good game.

Of all the games I’ve bought recently, I think the indie title Flamebreak may be my favourite. Really, it’s an amazing game. Continue reading

How Am I An Adult?

Somehow I became an adult. At least, that’s what the calendar tells me. Born in 1985, so I’m 31. That’s firmly in adult territory. I’ve been an adult for years, somehow. I don’t think I’ve ever viewed myself as an adult, and that includes right now. Me, an adult? Preposterous.

Next you’ll try to tell me Michael Cera is an adult.

Nonetheless, most people treat me as an adult, especially kids. I work with children as a karate instructor, and there is a clear demaractation, a dividing line between what I can do and what kids can do. If I play tag with them, for instance, they instantly react different than with other kids. “No fair!” I’ll hear over and over again. “You’re too big!”

And it’s true. I’m twice their size … and really, that’s the only difference between us. I’m just a really big kid. Continue reading

Little Things Add Up

You’ve likely heard the old adage, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” When I first heard this, I was confused. Are you supposed to eat elephants? Are they a delicacy or something? Or maybe it’s like fugu, where it’s inedible unless prepared in a special way.

I WANT FUGU!

I soon learned that, no, this wasn’t about the culinary aspects of eating elephants, but rather the logical aspects. An elephant is huge. You can’t fit it in your mouth, not all at once. How do you eat it, then? Well, first you take one small bite, then another and another, and given enough time you’ll have done it. It might take a year, but you’ll do it. You’ll conquer this elephant-sized mountain.

This idea extends beyond eating elephants. If you’re after something big, often the best way to go about it is through many small steps. Continue reading

Rest and Sick Days

If there’s a silver lining to being sick, it would be sick days. That is, days where you do absolutely nothing, just sit back and relax and let the healing magic of lethargy take over. That’s what I did this weekend. Well, most of the weekend.

I got sick sometime last week. You can read about the progression here, in a terrible, rambling post written while under fever. The short, more coherent version: first I had much less energy, then I had a light fever, then a full fever. Fun. It peaked Friday … the day I had the longest day at work. Lucky me.

When you’re a kid, you just stay home. Us stupid adults still drag ourselves to work.

Continue reading

Computer Surgery

Let me start by saying I’m not very computer savvy. This will be obvious by the end, but I need to state it now. This way, if you read this post and start wondering ‘wtf, does this go know absolutely nothing about computers?’, you’ll already have your answer.

Here’s my story in a nutshell. A bit over a year ago, I built my only PC. Sounds great, right? I did my research, I ordered parts, I put everything together, all me. This was my first time ever attempting anything like it, and it worked great. My computer turned on first try, and I had a surge of happiness. Unbelievable. I, a person with no computer background, had created a working PC. Time to play some Dragon Age: Inquisition.

There turned out to be one small problem: I didn’t connect any of the fans. Continue reading

FFX Daily Blog: Starting Out

“Listen to my story.  This may be our last chance.”

And with that, my favourite game opens up.  Everything about it: the graphics, the story, the combat, the characters, the laughing scene … okay, maybe not everything, but it’s still probably my favourite game of all time.  I’ve certainly played it the most.

I watch the beginning unfold, and I get as pumped up as I did when I first saw it some 15 years ago.  First we see the desolate landscape, a group of warriors sitting around looking morose … and then the scene shifts abruptly, to something that looks like the future, where buildings and waterfalls have become symbiotes off each other.

“Zanar,” I says to myself …

Continue reading

Living With Raynaud’s Syndrome

I hate winter. I think I’ve established that by now. I also thought it was over. We’re in April now, spring should have officially started, and for a few days that’s exactly what it looked like. It rained every day, but that’s okay, because we all now April showers bring May flowers. Except this week it snowed. A lot. As in, we have more snow now than we had on Christmas. Just shoot me now. Why won’t winter end?

April flurries bring my fury?

I might need to explain the above caption. If you’re not from a snow-riddled place like Canada, you may have never heard of ‘flurries’ before. No, I’m not talking about that ice-cream product from McDonald’s. A flurry is a snowstorm, bigger than regular snow but not as big as a blizzard. We’ve had flurries so for in April. Plural. And with it the associated drop in temperature, and this triggered something I didn’t think would happen again this year.

You see, I have Raynaud’s syndrome. Continue reading

Let’s Talk About Piracy

Stealing is wrong. You know that, I know that. I really know that. I have an almost pathological inability to steal. Once, when I was about eight, I went into a convenience store with my mom. We grabbed some snacks, and as we got ready to check out, I grabbed a 25 cent stick of gum. However, I don’t think my mom nor the clerk saw this, and as we walked out, I left wondering if I had just stolen something.

To this day I’m not sure if I stole this or not, but at the same, I’ve more than repaid the location with ‘tips’ and the like.

I couldn’t sleep that night. I had nightmares about stealing and jail and moral condemnation to hell and who knows what else. I freaked out a little bit. The next time I was in that stores, I tried to give the clerk my money, as a tip, but she wouldn’t accept it from a little kid. She didn’t know I was trying to right such a great universal wrong, and I wasn’t going to say I stole something, because I didn’t even know if I did in the first place. It’s been twenty years, but I still feel guilty and morose over a potential 25cent piece of gum.

Stealing, then, is unquestionably wrong. Piracy, for some reason, doesn’t have the same moral weight behind it. Continue reading

My Evolution of Musical Tastes

Music is highly subjective. I can like one thing, you can like something else, and that’s perfectly okay. We don’t all need to like the same genres or styles, and even if we do, we can prefer different artists within those genres. You can’t really be wrong when it comes to music.

Unless you like Friday. They you are a terrible person.

I wrote a quick thing about my musical tastes before, and I realized afterwards that I was wrong. Well, more accurately, my tastes had evolved in a more complex way than I had originally thought. All of my music is stored digitally now, like most people, and each song has an ‘acquired date.’ By sorting through these, I can see the literal evolution of my music library over time. It’s quite interesting, actually. Well, maybe not to you, but for me it’s interesting. Continue reading