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12:46 PM on 08.18.2009

Little Sister Tattoo (Long post with a picture.)

Hello Destructoid,

I thought I'd share my newest tattoo with you good folks. It is of the "Little Sister" character design, specifically one of the "revised" designs for the new game.

Original article here: http://www.destructoid.com/see-the-little-sister-makeover-of-bioshock-2-138538.phtml
(If you look in the posts you can see my comment foreshadowing this!"



She is on my right arm, about ten inches tall, she took about 5.5 hours to complete, and the artist that applied it to my arm is one Heidi Scheck (www.myspace.com/bloodygutz) a beautiful and especially talented woman working out of "Super Genius Tattoo" of Seattle, WA.

Now I thought I'd explain why I chose to get this particular character applied, so if you'd like to read my inane rambling go ahead, I won't force you to sit through it. (Drama Warning)

While I do not think of myself as a "Bioshock-Fanboy" I suppose I might just very well be per some definitions. I loved the game for the story and the stark moral options one had in progressing. I could never harvest the Little Sisters in the game. I did once, just to see the process, and felt like a ripe bastard despite the fact it's only a series of lights on my monitor. The why behind all this is markedly more involved than a simple "Oh it's a leetle gurl I do not wants to killz it".

Since I will be touching on a number of games and personal events I should right now explain that the Little Sisters are, for me, a composite character through which I experience them and many other characters and thoughts. Some similarities are based on mostly aesthetics (Like Alice), others are in terms of a burgeoning paternal instinct (Ramona, personal development), but even under their own steam the Little Sisters design is touching to me.

Other Existing Characters

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland: What first drew me to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland was essentially the fantastic world it painted so well. I read the story when I was 5 or 6 and it really stuck to me. I wasn't allowed to watch Disney films growing up, so I didn't see the video take until I was 13. In terms of written work, this really captured my imagination at a young age. The version of the book I had illustrations of Alice in her traditional garb which itself is much similar to the dresses adorned by the Little Sisters. This similarity struck a sentimental cord in my heart since I am very much a visual person.

American McGee's Alice: Now I draw a difference twixt McGee's and Carrol's perception of Alice because the differences are too great to lump them together. Now when "Alice" came out I hate to admit but it mostly appealed to me for the reasons it appealed to most people, it was "Creepy Alice!!". I remember my mother purchasing it specifically because she thought it would be scary and creepy fun. To illustrate with a hypothetical example, let us say that your best friend came up to you and mentioned that they heard of a game where you play as Santa Claus and you have to slay an army of demons with your double-ended axe staff of magick and your triple-barrel shotgun in order to retrieve Ms. Claus from Turbo-Hitler. Would you want to buy this game? Damn right you would!

The novelty is what first got me interested in Alice, sadly enough, but as I actually played the bloody game I realized the levels of self reflection through which you were going. It was easy enough to say, ok I'm in a wicked-cool room of eccentric geometry slaying this weird card guy. Then you realized, albeit somewhat ham-handedly, that you were playing as Alice experiencing her guilt over her parent's death manifested through extreme imagination and a maddening psychosis! Fearful! It is a thick layer of complexity, I admit, but taken for its elements and ideals it is a pure and terrifying thing to endure.

It is the same macabre nature and grim aesthetic of McGee's Alice that appeals to me the Little Sister.

Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth: This might be a bit surprising to the folks here, but when I first saw the Little Sister character (Actually on Destructoid.) it drew the aforementioned parallels to Alice, but actually a bit more so to the Ramona character in Call of Cthulhu. You, being the smart folks you are, might have already picked up on this but I get emotionally invested in games. The ones I enjoy most are the ones that have characters for which I feel sympathy or interest. Halo? Yeah ok, the chief is a "space marine that kills aliens and doesn't afraid of anything". As a result, I have very little devoted interest in Halo aside from the occasional round.

Call of Cthulhu? That might have well been "Anthony McLastName: We know your Weakness!" I am huge fan of Lovecraft so I ate this game up. I love the narrative, the story, the way that your character interacted with the horrors offered to him, the cut scenes back into the sanitarium are still terrifying but beautiful at the same time. (Before anyone says, yes the game's controls sucked and the character models moved like stiff puppets. I don't care.)

What gets me about Ramona is purely personal-- she is a reflection of my pangs of paternity that have only recently been identified as such, she is a reflection of pure guilt, and a reflection of an ideal. She is a sweet girl that is doing her best to remain happy and still a child despite her town becoming absorbed into that Lovecraftian bleakness. Her mother turned into a vicious Deep One and is locked away in a closet by her father, but still Ramona remains an innocent. She still hums, she still is sweet, and she still draws in crayons pictures of her father and beastly mother.

So here I am, playing this game, just spoke with this adorable little girl that reminds me of all the good things in life and what I hope a daughter would be and BAM! Twenty seconds later she's screaming as her mother is tearing her to shreds! Where the #@#! am I? Loosing consciousness after letting the beast loose. By the time I get downstairs, Ramona, the beautiful little girl, is dead and her father weeping over her torn form. Heartbreaking!

Then what I like is how the game rubs the guilt in with the occasional glimpse of her running or Ramona's humming laughter around a corner. The only thing that threw me in the game was Jack's commentary on his state. Don't get me wrong, I liked it but I didn't like how it conflicted with itself. One second he's saying "I'm never gonna get out of here alive!" and he's cut off with "It won't open. It won't budge!" That was a break in the emotional flow of the game for me.

Granted, yes, this is purely a theatrical and somewhat "heavy" realization and articulation of both the Ramona character development and the character herself, but it still gets me. It smacks me over the head by showing me someone close to my heart and then blaming me for not saving her.

For the Little Sisters, they tap into all the reasons I have for enjoying similar characters and collects them into a perfect package. However, being the big emotional Weenie I am, they appeal to the paternal ideas in my head.

On their own merits, I think what appeals to me most about the Little Sister is how I sympathize their struggles both internal and external. Internally, how must these children feel? They were created as hosts for ADAM and to harvest the same from the dead. It's easy to laugh when you look at those posters for the "Hidey Hole" or "Best Friends" but the level of social manipulation is staggering to me. I tend to relate a lot with Tenebaum in that I was appalled by what had been done to this little girls. The reasons they were created was to support a society obsessed with progress, forced to live as an odd sort of parasite and host simultaneously, where their only friends where mentally-deficient and brutish men in diving suits that would ripe apart anyone that got too close. Anytime they travel they must be escorted or else they might be torn apart by an increasingly psychotic society.

I, of course, got the "happiness and sunshine dances" ending where you see that because of your actions you gave the girls a chance to be happy. It's silly, I know. You kill the big Fontaine, hop a ride on a bathysphere and then it's a quick show of the girls growing up, marrying, and eventually wishing you well as you pass. In the same way that Ramona would break my heart that I couldn't save her, the Little Sisters make me feel good knowing that I did save them.

It is heartbreaking... if you are a big Weenie like me, I mean.

So yes... that's why the Little Sisters appeal to me so much and that's why I got one as a tattoo.

If you actually read this dribble then thank you. A special thank you for the people that don't insult me or type tl:dr in the comments.

Post Script: I can't get the picture sized right, so just click the attached photo.   read


12:06 AM on 05.13.2009

Well... add me to the list of the thoroughly boned...

Surprise to my eyes when the dreaded RROD appeared on my 360 just now.
Curses...

The bother of it is 1. I don't use this thing very bloody often. 2. I don't remember my Windows live ID, so I'm likely to make some poor customer support rep have that much of a worse day.

Bah.   read


1:12 PM on 05.09.2009

Fellow waits 8 years for Duke Nukem Forever preorder...

Saw this on Yahoo! and thought folks here might like.

http://videogames.yahoo.com/events/plugged-in/gaming-s-oldest-preorder-may-go-unfulfilled/1312328

It's likely that since it is on Yahoo!, Dtoid already knows the front and back of this article and this has become "old news"   read


12:10 AM on 02.26.2009

Nifty Bioshock painting...

Hello all,

Saw this on GFX Artist and thought Destructoid might like to give it a look-see.

http://andy--jones.gfxartist.com/artworks/175995


Toodles and good night   read


1:06 AM on 02.01.2009

Splicer-esque Bunny Mask...

Hi all,

Saw this on Etsy and it reminded me much of the bunny masks found at, I believe, Fort Frolic. Thought I'd share it with everyone here.



Here's the link to the product listing itself...

http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?ref=cat2_galley_13&listing_id=9719609   read


11:58 PM on 09.25.2008

In order to assuage my economic concerns...

I created this to reflect and openly mock my economic worries given the closure of my bank. In keeping true to myself, I did so in through the style of a classic internet meme




FYI: Yes, the irony of it being cut off is not escaping me, I just do not care to correct it.   read


9:25 PM on 08.15.2008

Portable Wii?

Just flipping through Thinkgeek when I found this odd gizmo that one can use to turn their Wii into portable gaming system.
I personally would imagine much of the fun being taken out by such a small screen, but what do you think?   read


9:03 PM on 04.22.2008

How to Lose Weight with the Wii?

Hello there,

I saw this article on the front page of Yahoo! (US flavor) and thought I'd share it with the group.

Basically this article glosses over the experiment done by a Mickey Lorenzo, a computer programmer, to attempt weight loss by playing various Wii games. Without increasing his physical activity beyond 30 daily minutes of Wii Sports or dieting, Lorenzo was able to lose 9 LBS (4 kilos) and 3 inches from his waist.

This article also speaks of a small study group of children that manage to burn 150 calories per hour of Wii-time. (Study conducted in Liverpool.)

Lorenzo admits to 'forcing' his movements; meaning that when a small flick would do, this fellow would swing as though he were chopping down a tree.

http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/wii-calories.htm

My take? Duh, increased activity = calories burned. I also feel this gives a nice voice of support for video games.

I personally am reminded of the following Penny Arcade strip and sincerely hope I did the tags correctly.

  read


1:47 PM on 04.02.2008

Mural paintings

My dearest Destructoid,

Almost every day when I go to work, depending on my schedule, I pass by an out-of-business game store called Game Breakerz. When passing by I've always enjoyed the mural they had painted on their building; and while this is nothing new to people here, I thought I would share it with you before the building is turned into a nail salon.












On a side note, the next picture is of odd interest to me. Though we've never spoken and I have not even seen her for more than a few seconds at a time, I hate this female with every ounce of rage I can muster. She sits atop the car, as an advertisement for the Jiffy Lube. Maybe it's my insanity, maybe it's that she looks strikingly similar to an ex of mine, but I really hope she dies. Call me crazy.

  read


12:03 AM on 01.18.2008

Television/Video games/Child Development

Television vs. Video games in relation to Child Development

Now, I'd like to start off saying that I'm not a fancy, big city psychologist.
At best I'm some young man who thinks too much, decided to take quite a few
psychology classes back in the day, and thinks he deserves an opinion.
That's at best.

It's logical why a parent would care and want the best for their child. From about
the 1950's to early 80's, a huge concern for parents of children under the age of
say fourteen, was too much television.

"Don't sit so close!"

"It'll rot your brain!"

What I find interesting is that video games have been forced the title of "Children
Destroyer" over television.

Before I go too far with this, walk with me down a path. I recall once mentioning to
my mother, when she presented me with the options of going outside to play or reading
a book, why I couldn't just watch television instead of reading. I mean, I sit for both,
I could snack while doing both, so why couldn't I watch TV instead? Her answer, after
slapping me for questioning her, was that reading stimulates your brain and helps you
learn while TV is essentially a waste.

I, maybe due to the slapping, agreed with her. I take this same logic and apply it
to the concern of video games being more destructive than television to a child's brain.
Television provides you with nothing other than to watch. You don't, generally I mean,
have to actually think about the conflict of a television program, if there even is one.
Suppose a sitcom like Friends. Wait... I don't remember the characters for that. Ok, Ross.
Monica... Matthew Perry? Take Friends and give it a conflict, say someone cheated on
someone else. The conflict will either worsen or be resolved in 23 minutes (given commercials)
and thus the viewer must do nothing other than wait. There is no problem to solve,
no knowledge to absorb, no experience to be FELT, but rather just witnessed.

I, personally, feel that video games would be better than television for a child for
two simple reasons.

1. Purpose

Like mentioned above, there are conflicts to address in gaming. Be it, "How do I kill this
big motha?" or "How do I use the 'Speedy thing comes in, speedy things come out' principle
to my advantage" You have to solve problems and must think. The sheer fact that you brain
must be exercised, be it to solve problems or to improve reflexes, makes video games
more involved than television and arguably, better for children.

2. Social Involvement

Ok, this one is a stretch. There is kinship amongst gamers. Were I to say something
like "All your base are belong to us" to a regular person they would, and do, stare at
me blankly. Say that to a gamer and they'll chuckle a bit. (Varies on the person.)
The idea of involving people in groups, is beneficial for humans. Humans need other humans
to be healthy. Multiplayer games are great for that. Everyone in the same room, all
having a gay old time with Mario and his hijinks. The 'quality' of human interaction
through solely MMO games is debatable and I will not cover it in this 'article'. I
personally know that there are online relationships I value more than with the actual
biological organisms I interact with, but I also know that online interaction can
be chocked full of lies. Point here is that television does not really provide a conduit
for social interaction. Maybe they laugh at the same time, but in my crappy opinion,
it doesn't go much beyond that.

In summary, video gaming, even simple games, involves more brain usage and social
skills than television and is thus more beneficial to a child.

Post Script: Kat, how the Hell do you get me to make blogs? I don't get it. Stop using
your woman powers, dammit!!   read


12:23 AM on 01.04.2008

Tales of a Laptop Repair Technician

Hello everyone.

I've been on Dtoid for quite some time and I don't often say much. However for the past few days I have been speaking with a rather smart user here of whom has encouraged me to make a blog. Rather than start off with some bland discussion about morality (Which I enjoy) she instead suggested I tell some of the more amusing situations I've come into in repairing laptops.

They will be described or listed in no particular logic or order.

Disclaimer: I would also like to mention that I do not search customer's computers unless it is necessary (Which it rarely is.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I recall once a customer requested I search her HDD for some particular pictures. Problem is, she had no idea what they were called or when they were created or even the roughest idea of where they could be. (She scattered all her files along my documents, various subfolders to various subfolders.) The dialog now begins...

Customer: I'm sorry sweetie but I just don't know where they are.
Me: Well... I'm going to need more information if I'm to find the photos you're looking for.
Customer: OH!! I know! There's a kite in them! If you find a kite, you've found the photos!
Me: ... kite.
Customer: Yes! It'll be multicolored!
Me: ... Oooookay.
Aside: So I manage to find her some of her photos, now keep in mind she is on the phone the entire time, telling me of her family vacation.
Customer: Blah blah Mexico blah blah beach
Me: Ma'am? I think I found them.
Customer: Oh good! Oh! Do you see any of a beach?
Me: *After short while* Yeah I see them, some bald fellow too.
Customer: Oh, that's my husband! Do you have any of the hotel?
Aside: So I scroll down a bit and am treated to the sight of a forty or fifty year old male COCK. (In bold for effect)
Me: *Trying to keep from laughing* Yes... I think so.
Aside: Now this is where my morality fails... I click to see next picture and yeah... he is... 'involved' with a jar of peanut butter. (Read: HE'S FUCKING PEANUT BUTTER!!)
Me: Yep... found the hotel picture. Your husband is in these too...
Customer: *silence*
Me: Well... since I found them I'm just going to put these on your desktop, m'kay?
Customer: *silence* Yes... ok. Thank you. *hangs up*

The best part was when she and her husband came to pick up the laptop, she asked me...
Customer: So... were you the one who fixed it?
Me: Yes.

Both she and her husband turned fire-engine red.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Random statistics from what I recall...

Number of pornographic screen savers: About 10

Number of those involving homosexual males: 3

Number involving tentacle porn: 1... but it was memorable.

Number of discs in the optical drive of a pornographic nature: 2

Number of homoseuxal pornographic discs I set to play automatically on my manager's computer when he booted up in the morning: 1 (He wasn't my manager at the time, so... probably why I'm not fired.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Statistics not related to porn...

Some of the oddest whole objects found inside laptops: Pretzel, insects, wedding ring (I saved that man's marriage I'm sure.)

Funniest excuses for a shattered LCD: I just touched the screen and it shattered! It was just sitting on my desk and it shattered! I had my window open last night and it must have been too cold! I had it in front of my fan!

Downright dumbest bitch: This was on a fairly recent MacBook with an aluminum keyboard and the keys on .... well the keyboard were all mashed up, which usually indicates a customer with an anger issue. This woman tried to explain that the HEAT OF HER FINGERS melted the ALUMINUM keyboard. Aluminum is used to make goddamned fuselages!!

Notable attempts at customers trying to get a good deal: This one fellow would have to pay about $300 to get his motherboard replaced. He, I should mention he is Russian which is only of consequence since I am not Russian and am not used to 1. The accent 2. Concept of bartering. He kept saying 150. It took a few seconds, but I got it. So I said,
Me: OH!! You want to barter!!
Aside: He looked very pleased and said,
customer: Yes!
Me: Ok, now the cost to fix your laptop is $700. Now what's your offer?

(I suppose that was a dick move on my part, but he was what I call... a pain in the ass.)

Oddest substances found in/caked on laptop: Semen, hot cocoa, jam, some sort of massage oil (It was oily and smelled like jasmine), melted marshmallow.

Most racist thing to me said by customer in reference to tech support: Those Goddamned Towel Head motherfuckers can't speak a lick of fucking english!!

[Funniest thing a customer said to me after I left him a voicemail of the cost of repairing his laptop... (Dialog)
Me: This is Service.
Customer: Yeah is this Anthony?
Me: Yes sir how c...
Customer: FUCK YOU ANTHONY!!!!

Shittiest brand of laptop I work on? Toshiba. Nothin' funny there. Toshiba sucks.


Well... a shitty first blog but there you go.

I noticed a lack of images... so I'll upload something either relevant or random from my HDD   read


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