Football – That’s what Demon’s Souls reminds me of. Yes, I said football.
I love football.
But there is a demon in football that you must overcome to truly enjoy the sport:
- Conditioning -
“Fatigue makes cowards of us all.” – Vince Lombardi
Yes, I remember those days all too well. I had one coach, in particular, who loved to see how much he could run us; how far he could push us. This demon took it as a personal challenge to make, at least, one of us vomit. At times, he succeeded. When he didn’t, he ran us more because he was annoyed that no one gave in to his torture.
Yes, I remember begging for the oxygen around me to enter my lungs during one of our brief breaks. I remember how good the water would taste in my imagination as I pretended this hell was finally all over, and I was sucking in as much water as my body could handle.
It’s amazing how precious oxygen and water can be during those moments.
I remember contemplating telling the coach F--- himself.
It’s amazing how much I hated him during those moments.
Those moments are moments of self-pity. You hate the a—hole coach making you do it. You hate your lungs for not breathing oxygen fast enough. You hate the image of water as it tempts you with its savory flavor. You hate yourself for ever allowing yourself to be in this predicament.
But then it happens -- that one fleeting moment, when you make brief eye contact with your teammate right next to you.
Both of you are hunched over. Slight smirks briefly run across both of your faces, laughing at each other. You both know what the other is going through. You both know what the other is thinking…
…and something about that is funny.
You exchange nods.
You realize what’s happening. You’re doing this together:
There’s something strangely unifying about humanity suffering together.
Experiencing pain together.
The phrase “I’m sorry for your loss” doesn’t exist. There is no sorry. There’s mutual understanding. There’s mutual respect. There’s unity and communal encouragement.
The whistle blows.
“RUN, YOU MOTHAF-----S! WHO’S GONNA FILL MY VOMIT BUCKET TODAY?!!”
TO ALL DEMON’S SOULS PLAYERS:
There were times when I thought I would lose my desire to finish the game. If I had been by myself, I probably would have quit.
But every time I hated Demon’s Souls; every time Demon’s Souls made me want to vomit; every time I wanted to tell Demon’s Souls to F--- itself…
you were there.
Those moments were fleeting.
Sometimes you left me brief words of caution. Sometimes you were a white ghost fighting a boss I had just defeated. Sometimes you were a red ghost providing a death of warning. I will admit that there were times when a slight smirk ran across my face when I saw you die. It was not a malicious smirk. I just understood what you were going through. I knew what you were thinking.
I don’t know who you are. I never will.
But thanks for pushing me through. Thanks for not letting me give up.
How else do you explain this awesome little thing we call Destructoid? A website where we can talk about everything from Mario to gay marriage. A place where in one blog we can discuss our extreme differences in our political views, but then in the next blog talk about how sweet Ikaruga is. A sanctuary where the sometimes extreme writing styles of the Destructoid editors would never fly in mainstream media, but all of us gamers totally get it and actually love it.
There’s something special about the gaming community that no other community centered around a hobby that I’ve seen has:
Despite coming from a variety of backgrounds and having a range of political and social views, we still all seem to understand each other.
That’s a unique trait.
I mean, how sweet is it that one moment we’re debating a sensitive subject and the next we’re nerd raging over the new Team Fortress 2 update? One minute we think some guy is an idiot and the next we’re playing Battlefield 1943 with him?
That’s the beauty of gaming.
There’s a lot of crap that goes on in this world. This world is crazy. Sometimes it’s good to discuss some of the crazy crap that goes on all around us and then see where each other stands on different issues. But hell…isn’t it nice to sometimes forget all of that crazy crap and then get lost in whatever gaming world you and your buddy of opposing views are playing?
Maybe that’s what gaming is? – Social Escapism
There are other forms of escapism – reading, music, exercising – but none, to me at least, is as social of a form of escapism as gaming is. Social escapism seems to be an oxymoron, but I think it fits perfectly for the hobby we love so much.
Dawn of War II is on sale 50% off on Steam this weekend, which makes it $25.
First off, everyone should praise me for being the smartest person :P in the entire universe since I predicted it being on sale this weekend due to a major update...see my genius in the comments below:
I will be buying the game this weekend, and I'm really looking forward to the game. I bought and played the first DoW and two of the expansions. I really enjoyed the game, but it also influenced me to get into the lore of Warhammer 40,000.
So I bought "The Horus Heresy: Collected Visions" book, which essentially recaps all of the events surrounding Horus' betrayal of the emperor...and it was freaking awesome. Now I'm a Warhammer 40,000 lore geek. It's an awesome universe, and I can't wait for the game.
So who else is picking it up? And are there any other Warhammer 40,000 universe fans out there?
Ok, so my wife enjoys going onto different forums across the internet and read about people’s lives and opinions on things. A weird hobby in my eyes, but I guess controlling an imaginary elf on the computer screen while pushing a few buttons is also a weird hobby.
Anyways, since she knows how big of a gamer I am, she showed me a thread where different women were discussing game addiction. The website is filled with women (and pretty much only women) who attend the same religion I do. In a recent magazine published by the church I go to they discuss video game addiction. My church wasn’t bashing video games…they were simply talking about how we can’t allow things like video games to become such an overwhelming addiction that it destroys our lives. They have done many articles that are similar on different potentially addicting habits such as gambling, porn, drugs, work, etc.
I thought it was interesting, if not hilarious, to read some of the things that were said. Some women seem to know what they’re talking about. Others are the typical misinformed “games are for acne-filled dweebs” person.
I posted some of their responses for your enjoyment. I would love to hear your responses to what they said, or if you have any stories about video game addiction. By the way, “DH” means “Dear Husband”…so they’re talking about their husband when they say that. Weird, I know…I had to get my wife to tell me that one.
The comments of the ladies from the blog are in cursive while my responses are in bold.
I feel for the wives/spouses of gamers. I really, really do. I don't understand, I guess, why someone over the age of say 20, needs to play a video game unless they are playing with a child. It can become a huge addiction and problem. So--for those who are married to gamers--I don't understand, but you still have my sympathy. We all have something we struggle with--that much I can and do understand.
This was one of the more idiotic ones I read. She, apparently, doesn’t have a clue.
“I got so mad I broke his games and he just went and bought new ones.”
Now, according to what she wrote, her husband was really bad. She talked about how he would leave all night, every night, to his friends’ houses that weren’t married and game with them. She never knew where he was at.
Still, let it be known, W.D.W, that breaking my games would be on the same level as adultery. Death to all game breakers.
“I have a lot of sympathy for those that are dealing with this!”
“I know of two divorces that happened and one of the big things that started things on the wrong course was the dh's going and playing games with their buddies til 3am on a weeknight, ignoring their spouses etc.”
“My cousin is married to a gamer who spends all his time on the computer. If they have an event at their house, he usually doesn't even come down stairs to socialize. He just stays on the computer.”
“he realized what a HUGE time waster they [video games] were...”
“He has a theory. He says that men have an inherent need to go out and conquer something. And, they like playing games so they can get that thrill of conquering something. It is a whole lot easier to sit at home in your pj's instead of going out in the real world to conquer something.”
Bingo! That's what Dh told me last night (before I had even opened the Ensign and found the article.) He said it's instant gratification because people online are telling him how wonderful he is and thanking him over and over again for helping him out. He can be a knight in shinning armour without having to do anything but push a few buttons. He said it's ideal for a lazy man! (his words, not mine!) LOL!
Probably true…though I don’t know if it’s that simple. What do you think?
Eellsworth(Eellsworth was one of the few sane ones)
I am a gamer, so is my husband. However, we both know and understand what is acceptable in our relationship. Games are not inherently bad. My mom always says, "I just don't understand how you have time to play on the computer." I always feel like saying, "I just don't understand how you have time to sit on the phone and gossip, shop, etc."
And, it's not necessarily about setting rules. The idea of setting rules for one's spouses always kind of gets me. It's about having respect for the person you're married to. If DH had a problem with me playing WoW, I would unsubscribe immediately. It's not that important to me.
The bottom line is we all have our interests and we make time for them. The trick is not to let it adversely affect our families.
And one more from her…
I wonder what would happen if the church put out an article about crazy out of control scrapbookers. They all demand a whole room in a house for their hobby. They go to conventions, are always buying stuff, and their house is covered in half-finished projects. Their husbands feel neglected and are sick of the out of control expense of their cricut machine.
Just a funny thought. I'm really not being serious here.
Even though she’s partly joking, how true her statement is…how true. I would also like to ask the women who post on this website all-day, everyday, how that is different and potentially less addicting than video games?
My late dh was a gamer. However, he never let it interfere with working, and also helping me around the house. That was his activity of choice. I did not mind at all because he did not let it get it in the way of his family or work.
My son is a gamer too. However, when I ask him to do something, he will do it. I always think how cute it would have been to watch those two together, plotting their next moves, etc... they totally would have done it. I have a cute pic of my son in his underoos and my husband playing a video game. My son is on top of his shoulders... it is precious
This one made me want to cry.
Anyways, not all of the comments were bad. Some were good and others were reasonable…and there were some, of course, that were insane with incorrect information. Anyways, I always find it amusing to hear different perspectives on the hobby we love so much.
In celebration of the awesome new Monkey Island, here are 4 more games that need the same treatment...I only did 4 because I don't have a 5th that I really want, so 4 will have to do.
Discworld 1 & 2
Both Discworld 1 and 2 were based off of a series of novels by some guy from England named Terry Pratchett. Truthfully, I have never read any of his books. Based on the games, however, I have to assume that the books are hilarious.
Everything in Discworld is hysterically funny. Both games are, without question, two of the funniest games I’ve ever played – they both kind of have that Monty Python sense of humor. At the same time it’s a very well created world with some great lore behind it.
The puzzles definitely wouldn’t win an award for the most well-constructed. There were many times where even after clicked on a hundred items and finally found the solution that it still didn’t make sense.
Despite that fact, I don’t think I’ve played a game since where I laughed as hard and as often as I did in both Discworld 1 and 2.
Tim Schafer is a fan favorite now (EVERYONE: Please, buy Brutal Legend and support this genius), but the game that put his name on the map, at least for me, was Full Throttle.
Full Throttle is another game that was absolutely hysterically funny but still managed to tell an engaging story with great characters. At the time, the art and graphics were absolutely sweet. The main character, a rough and tough biker named Ben, is a bad ass. Even Mr. Luke Skywalker himself (a.k.a. Mark Hamill) does the voice for the main bad guy. Oh…and unlike Discworld, most of the puzzles actually made sense. Games don’t get much sweeter.
I know…most of you probably hated Myst and/or Riven. A lot of you probably thought it was boring and thought it was nothing more than an overrated graphical slideshow. Allow me to inform you that you are mentally retarded.
I’ll be honest – my tastes in gaming have changed quite I bit from my younger years. I used to be a patient gamer that was a hardcore JRPG and adventure gamer. Now, in my later years, I demand destruction and action. Thus, I no longer have patience, so I may no longer have the patience to play a game like Myst or Riven now. However, in their day, and despite their critics, these games were absolutely spectacular.
Before Myst, puzzle/adventure games incorporated random puzzles into the environment that didn’t make any sense as to why they were there. Myst, however, incorporated the puzzles as part of the environment (e.g. pulling lever A would make object B in a different location move).
Say what you want about Myst and Riven being just a graphical slideshow. Sure, both games consist of a bunch of stagnant pictures. But here’s my argument:
Games like Zeno Clash aren’t the most graphically powerful, but many critics considered Zeno Clash to be one of the most beautiful games around. Why? Because of the superb art direction.
Myst and Riven fall into this same category. They are probably the first games that actually drew me into their world. They had such great art direction and such great stories and mythos that I felt like the worlds were real. Oh, and the two soundtracks are still two of my favorite video game soundtracks today.
Yes, I know that there have been sequels after Riven…but I want a sequel from the two brothers who were the original creators – Robyn and Rand Miller. Alas, I’m sure they’ll never team up to make another game again.
The Grim Fandango
Another Tim Schafer classic and, in my opinion, his best game to date. While not quite as funny as Full Throttle, The Grim Fandango has some of the most memorable characters I have ever seen in a video game. I loved Manny and all of the side characters from the beginning.
The story was original, which focuses on dead people and helping them get to the after-life according to ancient Aztec beliefs and done an in old-school film noir style. Considering that everyone was dead and bone, the character art direction was superb. The puzzles were great and the voice-acting is top-notch even by today’s standard.
A true classic that was greatly underappreciated (like most of Tim Schafer’s work).
I really, really want Tim Schafer to do another puzzle/adventure game. Here’s to hoping…