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7:52 PM on 06.29.2009

4 Lessons for Claire

As you may or may not know, being a new father can cramp your videogame style. I have found myself playing more games on my iPhone (i.e. only requires one hand) than I thought I ever would. Yet sometimes Claire Bear will sit in my lap like a little burrito apprentice, eagerly soaking up the pretty pictures. As we all know videogames have the maniacally evil ability to affect even infants, here are four games that have probably taught something to my daughter.

1. Dark Sector (XBOX 360)

Lesson: Decapitation is Good

Hayden was a protagonist with a nonsensical story to back him up. That is okay, though, because the important lesson to learn for an infant is this: killing people is okay as long as you do so with a glaive, have been infected with a virus that gives you said glaive, and live in an alternate world void of color. As a bonus, I really wanted her to understand that weapon growing out of your hand due to a freak mutation is totally awesome. Imagine the adorable cooing as Dad guided his virtual weapon towards some poor sap's neck.

2. Red Faction: Guerrilla (XBOX 360)

Lesson: Stick it to the Man with a Sledgehammer

No self-respecting father would let his daughter grow up without an anti-establishment attitude. Enter THQ's excellent offering in Alec Mason's journey to kick the dastardly EDF off of Mars for good. Okay, so the story is pretty weak and the character development is as deep as a Handy Manny episode. What is important for my Claire Bear to learn is that you can take down the Man with a sledgehammer.

How can she use this in the future, you ask? How about when she gets that bullsh!t "Disregarding a Stop Sign" ticket like her father did, she can object with a sledgehammer of freedom. There is no argument with this point. Videogames have that kind of power. Believe it.

3. Shadow of the Colossus (Playstation 2)

Lesson: Listen to the Ambiguous Voice from the Sky

We have all felt ridiculously guilty about killing the Colossi in SotC, right? Perhaps even some of us more introspective folks actually spent time pondering the implications of our actions in a virtual world. Honestly, though, Claire is almost 3 months old. It is not realistic for a being that still identifies me by scent to understand that. What is realistic is for her to listen to the first ambiguous voice from the sky. When you want something bad enough, do what the voice says. IT WORKS EVERY TIME.

4. Peggle (for everything known to man since the beginning of time)

Lesson: There is no lesson. It's Peggle.

Perhaps the most insidious, ludicrous, and unforgivable game I could have subjected to my infant daughter is Peggle. For this I am sure I have forgotten the face of my father. The not quite believable physics, rainbow farting unicorns, and simplistically gratifying sounds will dominate her mind for years. I'm convinced that PopCap has every intention of subverting the hearts and minds of babies everywhere. Claire is no exception.

Now Claire and I have a game date with UFC '09. I am sure it will forever change her life. As I said, videogames can do that.   read

4:39 PM on 03.08.2009

Proctology in Stilwater (a short vent)

Sometime this week I had the joy of committing insurance fraud in Saint’s Row 2, one of several activities designed to enlighten the masses. While flinging my decidedly white middle aged male suburbanite psychopathic gang leader extraordinaire into speeding garbage trucks, a funny event occurred. I got stuck.

I could end the post here. Perhaps it would have been better to let you all brainstorm your way into rectum hilarity. However, I’ve decided to continue this into a proctological analogy about my video game life of recent.

I work very hard to provide for my wife and soon to be born daughter. Instead of opening a six-pack of beer when I get home, I like to pop the cap off a can of what I call Game Lite. Game Lite is a short sprint of gaming designed to unwind the muscles and slough off stress from the day. The city of Stilwater has recently been the perfect place to perform G.L. until this occurred. Now I look forward to the nagging fear that my time will again be cut short.

Proctology, by the way, is technically a noun defined as the branch of medicine dealing with the rectum and anus. Today, though, two of its disorders will serve as a foundation in the various ways I was screwed out of my precious gaming time.

Rectal Prolapse: occurs when part or the entire rectum slides out of place, sometimes outside of the anus.
Game Lite Prolapse: occurs when part or the entire experience abruptly stops being fun, sometimes outside of any semblance of reason or logic.

Possible R.P. Risk Factor (for adults): straining during bowel movements because of constipation.
Possible G.L. Ruin Factor (for adults): straining to have fun on a console that turns game glitches into system freezes. *cough, microsh!tting faqtart, cough*

Symptom (R.P.): bright red tissue that sticks out of anus.
Symptom (G.L.): three red rings.

Treatment Procedure (R.P.): surgery, usually involving attaching the rectum to the muscles of the pelvis.
Treatment Procedure (G.L.): stapling 360 shrink-wrapped skunk rectums to console with high failure rate and mailing it to their customer service department.

Proctalgia Fugax (rectal spasms): pain in the rectum.
Game Lite Fugax: gaming event that provides the opposite of fun, i.e. still a pain in the ass.

Possible Cause (P.F.): while a specific cause for proctalgia fugax is unknown, people with abdominal problems are more likely to suffer.
Possible Cause(G.L.): while there are too many causes of Game Lite fugax to list here, people with anything greater than sh!t standards are more likely to suffer.

Symptoms (P.F.): episodes of severe pain or cramps that can last for seconds to minutes.
Symptoms (G.L.): slices of your gaming soul slipping into the darkness. Usually occurs after throwing your controller in a fit of gentlemanly rage.

Treatment Procedure (P.F.): Nothing concrete. Some people have success by pushing on the anal area with their hand, or similarly straddling the edge of something…anything…to make the pain go away.
Treatment Procedure (G.L.): Few things that don’t involve reducing/quitting the activity you enjoy. Some gamers cope by abusing controlled substances that ultimately hurt more than the help. Examples: Drinking whiskey with your coffee to hide it from a loved one, anything that contains nicotine, and jawbreakers. Damn those jawbreakers…

Finally, I would like to thank the C-Blogs for providing me an avenue for venting in unusual, overly complicated ways.   read

11:33 AM on 02.15.2009

Introduction: A mini speed date with Destructoid.

Hello Destructoid. I have been around for a little while, commenting and such. So far I’ve greatly enjoyed the site and the community members that bring it all together. This is my first venture into joining an online gaming community and I hope it works out well. This is assuming, of course, that I don’t suck. I did read the rules, after all.

I’m taking this first post very seriously and want to make a good impression. Indeed, I want our relationship to be a fruitful and meaningful one. For the proper introduction I’ve decided to try something different. So here is my gaming adaptation of six of the 43 Best Speed Dating Tips by Rakhi Abraham to make this process of mass introductions go more smoothly.

Question 1: What do you do for work (that you can afford to play games?)
Answer: I work for a pest control company doing termite work. In a typical week I work 45 to 60+ hours. As such it cramps my playing time, but I try the best I can.

Question 2: Where are you from that you developed a love of gaming?
Answer: I’m from a small town in southwestern Indiana. There wasn’t a whole lot to do, and being no social butterfly, playing video games was an obvious choice.

Question 3: What was your last game and how long did it last?
Answer: Far Cry 2. It lasted until 56% completion when the system froze three times. I knew going in that we would eventually be incompatible. It’s like dating a stripper (she’s just misunderstood…paying her way through college, right?), where the only possible outcome is a broken heart and two new STD’s. FC2 was open-minded about its game play and I appreciated that. Too bad it ended up being a total b!tch.

Question 4: What are you looking for in a game?
Answer: Above all else it has to be more enjoyable than it is frustrating. Otherwise I become somewhat distant and uninterested. Also, I end up being too much a sissy to break it off myself. I tend to look for more ‘tried and true’ game elements than I do new concepts. As such I play quite a few RPG’s and standard fare FPS. This isn’t to say that I don’t welcome change in a game, just not too much.

Question 5: You have six months to live. What will you play before you die?
Answer: Most of the Final Fantasy series. Also some Persona, Shadow of the Colossus, Chrono Trigger and Half-Life. I would fit in some classic Mario, Tecmo Bowl and finish it off with Duck Hunt. Let’s hope it wouldn’t come to that, though.

Question 6: If you won the lottery, how would you spend your money on video games?
Answer: After outfitting myself with my dream video game set-up, I would start a gaming charity for terminally ill children. This would be like a week long video game retreat, full of every system and game available. Kids could play in tournaments, regardless of skill, or by themselves in their own room. The place would have a campus atmosphere, with every room having its own theme…i.e. Link’s Dungeon, Master Chiefs Bachelor Pad, Kid Icarus’s Playground, etc. I truly believe there is a lot of potential for gaming charity to grow.

Anyway, I hope this was informative and that afterward you’ll enjoy tearing apart my feeble attempt at mediocrity. For more information you can view my woefully lacking sidebar and laugh hysterically. Let’s see…what else can I add? Oh yes! I already love you Mr. Sadistic, and welcome your cold embrace. Everyone else, I’m sorry to say, cannot eat me. I’m not meant for human consumption, and have already had a rebound relationship from all you disappointed cannibals.   read

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