So, I had started a blog elsewhere to talk about music, mostly because I was looking to avoid this username.
Anyways, a friend and I decided to start recording a podcast, because podcasts seemed fun. I think it turned
out pretty well. We'll end up doing more, and when I update that one blog I'm going to update all three of the
blogs I have, including this one.
Check out the first episode, at http://brokenlamp88.wordpress.com !
I have a really powerfully critical nerve. I assess things very quickly and I’m able to articulate why I like, or dislike, what I am currently experiencing. It’s one of my few gifts, and combined with my love of talking and expressing ideas, it gets me in more trouble than anything. So, this topic is not limited to games, because it can also happen with any form of entertainment. Here is the statement in question.
“Just keep with it. It gets better. I know why you don’t like it, but really, stick with it.”
This happens a lot to me with music, where I’ll get an album or a recommendation, and then when I don’t like it, they’ll suggest more of it instead of accepting my grounds for disliking it. I am sure I’m not the only person who has this experience, where this is the answer you’re met with. I wish I knew why this is the response people give, but I would like to speak to this idea, and the people who hold it, directly.
We’re all going to die. That’s one of the inevitable parts of life. Everyone has so much time on this world, and the way it should be spent is to experience as many happy, good things as you can, so you can gain a comforting and pleasant experience while leaving your little marks here and there in your environment. Of course, another inevitability of life is working, because the way modern culture works is that currency is needed to buy services, or products. This is not good or bad, this is just the way this is.
I’m going to bold this so you don’t miss it: If I don’t like something, why should I spend more of my short time or hard earned money doing this thing I don’t like?
It’s perfectly swell that you like the thing you’re doing! I know that you don’t roll your eyes at the answer that kid in the red coat gives about “what makes a man,” or that you genuinely enjoy the way Dragonforce sounds. That’s all well and good, and it’s swell that you do for a lot of reasons. I mean, just on a base level, it gives those people that work on it jobs, and also the knowledge that what they’re doing was worth the investment in time. But, no one likes the same things. Common communities will rally around the same kind of thing, but it’s not important that everyone likes everything. Again: It’s not important that everyone likes everything.
Just as you reserve the right to offer a suggestion, I reserve the right to critique it and express what I do not like about it, and you have that same right too. I could put out a suggestion out for everyone to listen to Pere Ubu’s “The Modern Dance”, and I know that I will get 70% negative reactions. If you don’t like it, though, I will not suggest you also listen to “Dub Housing”, the follow up, because YOU DON’T LIKE IT, and it would be stupid for me to say “well, here, try this.” It’s like someone going to a buffet of chicken and they fucking hate chicken. They have every kind of chicken readily available, mind boggling ideas and concept chicken dishes, but that guy fucking hates chicken, so he’s not going to eat any fucking chicken.
I get this a lot when I tell people I hate RPGs, too. They don’t listen to my explanations of why I hate them, and why they annoy me, which I have regurgitated so often I think I’m losing weight. The response isn’t “well, okay”, but “well what have you played?” What I’ve played doesn’t matter. I could say Lufia, or, Chrono Trigger, or Final Fantasy 7, and guess what? They still have the same problem (or problems) I have with RPGs, so who cares? The thing to address if you want to have a discussion is “why,” and the goal shouldn’t be to convert me, but to gain perspective. I’ve learned more about my music from people hating my recommendations than liking them, and it’s so easy to take that same stuff from what is a part of your favored medium what people think sucks about it than what people like about it. Don’t pretend that what you like doesn’t have flaws. Hell, go further: embrace those flaws, because that is a part of what you love.
So you can have the perspective, here is why I do not play RPGs.
1. I dislike menu based combat.
2. I dislike intensely verbose games.
3. I dislike heavily fantasy settings, either fantasy or science fiction.
Also in the interest in perspective, if I was going to talk about "the start of the affair" (which, if you're reading this past June, was this month's topic), it would be about arcades and nothing else. That's where I fell in love with games, and arcades have everything I like about games.
I used to do this on an old blog, where I would just stream of consciousness write when I couldn’t think to do anything else. I'd call it a Stopgap, since I looked it up in a pocket dictionary and found it to be a funny term. So, here goes.
As a songwriter but a moody person, I have to capitalize on my lyricism immediately, or I lose what I had in mind. At the same time, I’m also capable of finishing the lyrics within ten, fifteen minutes if I get geared up and going. The thing I have begun to notice is that, when I am playing a video game, that entire part of my head that lets me write, or come up with melodies, the thing I am worst at. I enjoy lulls in releases for that reason, because instead of thinking about a fake gunfight, I am thinking about what is around me. I can look at a field of flowers, and write a poem of a bee struggling not to belong to the hive even means it dies in the cold, but not if I ran Zul’Farrak last night and wiped at Gahz’rilla.
The other half of that is I don’t know a lot of songwriters that also play a lot of videogames, but that’s a different issue. Maybe the problem is more in that I show little interest in the music part of video games, where as an illustrator for example would deeply be effected by the visual aspects of the game since that is the most obvious part of a game, where as the goal of scoring music is to have it add, but not overwhelm the scene. The song is not meant to be in the forefront, unless it’s a rhythm game.
On the subject of rhythm games, I had been thinking about the existence of the view point where rhythm games are irrelevant when you can pick up a real instrument. We’ll forgive them the price side of the argument for just a moment, although in my own experience, I have bought a guitar and amp for just about as much as Rock Band. I think the core part of this argument comes down to creativity. Now, a lot of people are creative, or at least have the tools. The thing separating these two camps is the will, the desire to be creative. As an artist- as in, as someone who creates art, not someone who draws, and that is one of my largest pet peeves since the term Illustrator exists to define- my need to create things is driving and powerful. It is not up to me, when I am creative, or that I am creative. I just know that I am, and I need to accommodate that creativity lest it drive me insane.
My point is this. Some people have the receptors on. Some people can look at the clouds and think of the perfect line for their play. Some people can take a drink, strum a chord, and end up with an unexpected punk anthem. Some people can start to doodle, and end up drawing so intricately that it becomes a web of ideas and images that stand out for you and can be visible to others. Those people are the people who argue in favor of picking up an instrument, I believe. These people are people who, to them, creativity is everything. I am one of these people, and I do not mean to glorify it because the need to create stems from a lot of things, not all of them positive. The one word I will use to try to clarify that is “legacy”, and I’ll leave it to you to interpret.
Some people do not have the receptors on. It doesn’t matter whether you hopped them up on drugs and put them in front of your chosen medium, they won’t have anything to do with it because they just are not creative. That is the side on for Guitar Hero, and Rock Band. There is nothing functionally wrong with these people at all; it is just a difference in character. There are many advantages to not being creative, as well. To be frank, every single artist I’ve ever met is some fashion of unstable and can hide it incredibly well. Most people are unstable, and could point to some trauma as their proof, but it’s the combination of the trauma and that receptor that makes them creative, where as the uncreative types are left to doing other things like running from it, or dealing with it directly. However, I will say this: I have met more genuinely lovely, happy people that were not artists than those who were. I have met more people who are stably employed that were not artists than those who were. I have met more people that belong to, belonged to, or run a successful, turmoil free household that were not artists than those who were. And I imagine the majority of people are not artists. Speaking for myself, that’s fine. You can have all of those things, because I have my guitar and I have a message.
People who are saying “pick up a guitar instead” are not- or at least should not be- saying that your game is not the same as learning a guitar. They are- or should be- trying to encourage you to create, even if they don’t directly want to say it. They know what learning guitar has done for them, and that’s a pretty cool experience speaking from first person, so of course I’d be eager to share it, and I think a lot of the people that do say “play a guitar” aren’t meaning in replacement.
This is all just hope that that’s what it means, because literally, “play a guitar instead” is a really stupid statement. Learn guitar to play songs other people play? Why don’t you learn how to make movies so you can make The Godfather again as best you can, or animate so you can redo Sleeping Beauty scenes in your free time? What a boorish reaction.
Lastly, I would like for you to check out my blog for other people, MaSuTology, where I have posted a funny little project: Sharing what I think about albums that came out in 2008 so far in 25 words or less. Hither!
(It seems redundant, but I fear what will happen if I don't say this: the following article is satire, and if someone already did this, I spent the last half of the semester trying to save my GPA and succeeding, so, I didn't see it.)
I like stealing things. It started when I was young, when I able to run underneath dining room tables without ducking. I would scour the house for hidden candy, insistant that the effort of discovery makes it taste better. Forbidden fruit, or king size snickers as the case may be. No matter the consequences, I would pursue the tasty treats, overcoming hurdles such as dentists, doors that lock from the outside, and the attic.
A torrent is like a delicious king sized Snickers bar. Thick, and filling for a long time, with no need to purchase it, but you do need to wait quite a while until you have access. But as you unwrap the rar, and sink your teeth into this month's single player game you posess a mild interest in, the endorphin rush is unrivaled. I guess that made Bioshock like biting a frozen snickers without knowing it was frozen.
But, as much as I like delicious candy and the root canals that are an inevitable result, things just are not convenient enough. So, to the piracy model, I propose the following changes.
1. Pirate Games Sooner Than Release It's obvious that I want this game in a manner that retail outlets will not provide: I want to obtain this game while cooking oven fries and looking at the window at slutty middle school girls. But sometimes, waiting until after the release? Not good enough. Sometimes I have my hands, or someone elses, tied, and I can't afford to hunt for a torrent for the first 24 hours after it's release while waiting for one that functions and has enough seeds for it to be worthwhile.
I propose that pirates begin to work at these companies, and as soon as the game goes gold, they zip up the ISO, and turn that gold into crumpled aluminum foil that I recieve bit by bit over a day and a half (router issues). This way, people play their game without the nasty side effect of going outside and doing things like paying money.
2. Let Pirates Play on Main Servers So, I know you guys worked hard on this game. And I know that you have to feed your families on some pretty basic pay, despite what the "national average" is. But I work hard too! I have to really struggle to get up at 2PM, and struggle to my chair to my computer. It's a lot of energy. Then I have to do all this reading stuff to find the right files! I bet programmers don't know what it's like to meticulously scan line after line looking for the tiny details.
I do not think it's too much to meet us half way instead of kicking us off of the main servers. We worked hard to freely distribute your game underneath all availible retail channels, so the least you can do is give us access to the master server so we can play with people who legitimately bought the game, the suckers.
3. Have the Companies Seed the Torrents This ties in with improvement #1. The companies obviously want us to have the games, and they want to provide the games. Everyone here knows how hard it is to download a torrent without a good seed, like the one guy who just uploads 2MB/s for a 4GB ISO. So after the release of the game, while your shifting staff around, why don't you shut the internal network down and dedicate the bandwidth to seeding your own game? I'm sure you want people talking about your game, developers, so go ahead and hand it out.
I believe I have made a compelling enough case as to how the love of my life and my #1 hobby, Piracy, could be improved. I'm not trying to protest the game industry while still playing the game, nor am I trying to spite the developers: I just don't want to give anyone my precious money. I mean, the Vons by my house sells 24 packs of Dr Pepper for real cheap, so why buy video games at all?
-Own six instruments, two kinds of production software, four amps, and have basic music theory training.
-Possess two computers that I built, both Intel. One is my work computer, and the other is my multimedia/programming/gaming computer.
-Own 300 CDs and have a lot more on my computer. Currently listening to the Mission of Burma reissues, Radiohead's catalog in anticipation of their next tour, and The National's "Boxer."
-Have legal access to every modern console, and do not like a good majority of the games availible. Of them, the last few games I've enjoyed were The Orange Box, Rock Band, and Rez HD
-HUGE supporter of indie games. I routinely wish I knew enough to make games, but all I do is write and make music. Currently trying to teach myself Visual C++, though.
-Watched The Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift 15 times.
-Write poetry and music, as well as a few short stories.
-Have an utter fascination with the surreal and bizzare, so much so that it directly harms my ability to enjoy things like television or action movies.
-I have a 3.4 GPA with no declared major. Not great, but the highest it's been, so I'm proud.
-I'm not very good at a lot of things, but I'm good enough to the point that I enjoy them.
-Was able to lift an anvil at age 3. Currently can lift people under 220 pounds by their crotch.
-First game system was an NES, but was Sega during the 16 Bit/32 Bit era.
-Do calisthenics, and am currently taking a weight training class. On a related note, I lost 50 pounds last year, and I heavily recommend that anyone looking to lose large quantities of weight do calisthenics. It'll hurt like all hell for a few weeks, but once you get in the groove, you will build muscle so fast it'll blow you away.
-Liked Youtube before it was cool. Didn't invest because I am an idiot.
-Saved the little siters in Bioshock
Obligatory top fives!
2) Rhythm Tengoku
3) Street Fighter II
4) Cave Story
5) Alien Hominid
1) Talking Heads - "The Name Of This Band Is Talking Heads"
2) At The Drive-In - "Relationship of Command"
3) Gogol Bordello - "Gypsy Punks Underdog World Strike"
4) Radiohead - "Kid A"
5) Madvillain - "Madvillainy"
2) Young Frankenstein
3) O Brother, Where Art Thou?
4) A Better Tomorrow II
5) Fight Club
0) The Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift
1) Bill Hicks
2) Christopher Titus
3) Patton Oswalt
4) Richard Pryor
5) Bill Bailey
MST3K Episodes that are not Manos: The Hands of Fate
1) Overdrawn At The Memory Bank
2) Prince of Space
3) The Final Sacrifice
4) Space Mutiny
5) Cave Dwellers
Hi. These are some guidelines. I hope you like them.
(-1-) Life is absurd.
Resolution: Life is absurd.
Life- The sequence of physical and mental experiences that make up the existence of an individual
Absurd- Ridiculously unreasonable, unsound, or incongruous.
Thesis: The sequence of physical and mental experiences that make up the existence of an individual is ridiculously unreasonable, unsound, or incongruous.
What this means for you: This, as in life, shouldn't have happened. Existance is by complete chance, reality is an irrelevant factor of existence, and the statistical improbabilty of life can be viewed in many ways. I offer two.
First: Human endeavor is pointless, since we will all end up in the ground dead. No medical development can counter it (WARNING: Do not say this near Aubrey De Gray, the beard will eat you). There is no point to doing anything. There is no point to being anything. Nothing is real. Life's inescapable end makes it utterly pointless. This will flavor everything you do, forever and ever. Well, at least until you finally bite the bucket.
Second: Human endeavor is the most valuable thing in the world. It is the process of creation that should be valued, because without it, we really are nothing, our lives really our pointless.
Have you ever taken a moment and looked at a door, and thought about it? It is horrifically unlikely that the reader (seeing as this is on the internet) has not seen a door before, so therefore it doesn't need definition. Firstly, consider the hinge the door rests upon. The design of the hinge can differ aesthetically, but the function is usually the same. It's existance, however, is legacy. The hinge is eternal life. You see, a person designed the hinges your door rest upon. Now, their mortality is just as frail as ours, but somewhere, one person designed what allows your door to exist as a useful tool, as a normal facet of modern culture, and a desirable one. As for the doorway, the knob, the lock, and the door itself, well, the same conclusions can be drawn.
The word man-made seems to have a negative connotation, since it speaks to things that are unnatural in one context (more on that later). We can even remake nature into our own liking with landscaping or other techniques. However, the idea that man making things is bad somehow is offensive on a number of levels. Firstly, the ability to express that idea is because of man. The ideas that form are a creation of man, as it is language and instruction that allows the idea -of- an idea to exist. Secondly, to discredit human endeavor is to join the first group listed, even if unintentional.
Human creation is beautiful. The wonder of everything is overwhelming, and thankfully schools are able to rub that out of people so they can function as what you can loosely call a human being at this point. Human endeavor can be any sorts of things. What if the lack of human endeavor stopped the migration over the bering strait? That's billions of people that never got a chance to see the world, for better or worse, to preserve what is natural, to preserve the life of nature over the life of man, over the wonder of man. The expression of distaste is allowable, but the use of man-made as derogitory is a horror commited with words. After all, human endeavor is the most valauble thing in the world.
So what is the difference between these two viewpoints, between life is useless and humans are awesome? And what of other such views, that employ dieties or collective unconsciousnesses? The difference is simply existance of context. Now, what is context? Context is the interrelated conditions in which something exists or occurs.
To exist is to live, life is experience, experiences create context, context is conditional, the human condition is universal but individual, the individual exists.
It is the existance of context that allows this cycle, that permits it's existence. But, context is man made. Context is an idea, a concept, that has no natural life. It does not graze, it does not breed, it is a word that means something in a certain context. Context has context. Therefore, context both proves the existance of the individual, but it also discredits the same cycle since that cycle is contextual.