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Nihil avatar 4:54 AM on 05.12.2014  (server time)
Hi-Definitionisms... with Nihil: Part One

Gather 'round, chitlins. It's Uncle Nihil's Story Time, brought to you by Alabama Finger Blast.

"Alabama Finger Blast - For When You Want To Feel Like You've Been Touched, Deep South Style"


It's been since pretty much last year that I've gone at length about my gaming exploits and mindfarts. And I know that because I have not blogged about the HDTV I bought a little while before I got laid off last September.

Yes, I had lived in standard definition up until a year ago, and it sucked pretty hard sometimes. It's just another one of those things where being a stubborn old soul doesn't pay off. Trudging along with the shit you've had for years and years because it's been "good enough". Seeing all the new toys everyone's playing with, all the techno-junk that would make your life more convenient and fun, if what you were already doing warranted convenience at $59.99/mo. Shit that normally doesn't concern me in the least since I'm a grumpy shut-in.

I mean, sure, if I lived in an alternate reality where I made a lucrative wage, I'd likely still care about keeping up with the latest iFuckery, 'cause everyone and their grandma has one, and I'd have the cash to burn. But it's just the story of my life that I'm never wholly content with the range of entertainment media that I'm able to get my hands on. Always settling for "good enough".

Although Playstation 2 was certainly good enough a couple of gens ago - and Xbox 360 was good enough at the beginning of the cycle after that - I've constantly had a feeling of missing out on more that's out there. There are other experiences to discover and appreciate, many of them feeling new and invigorating in their own unique right. Other worlds that I may never have the chance to get lost in and incorporate into my own worldview, for whatever reason, be it low income or that I just missed the train... But whatevs. I think I can manage without ever playing Monkey Island or Shenmue. RapeLay is still an absolute must, though.

However, it wasn't until a few years ago that a significant amount of video games were making it glaringly clear:  "good enough" wasn't cutting it anymore, even by console standards. PC is one thing - that's always been a platform in constant flux. Every year, the next big game needing something stronger than what you have, so you get left behind in that way if you don't have the ability to keep up. But the solace in consoles was such that you didn't need to replace anything in order to play a new game effectively. So when I began to notice that I was having a hard time reading text in even XBLA games, I knew I was in for some pain down the road.

In this first hand way, of experiencing the world around me moving forward, I felt Hi-Definition gradually overtaking Standard Definition, making itself the new standard; the same way that DVD replaced VHS. It feels more profound now than when I was a kid, when DVDs became standard. I guess mainly because I wasn't the one that had to buy the DVD player.

So yeah. After being fed up with adding even more to an already impressive backlog, thanks in large part to being unable to fucking READ my fucking games, I went to window shop at Best Buy, and bought an Insignia 28" 720p LED TV, on impulse. I did a little bit of research and comparing, but I mostly didn't care what it was, so long as I could read text on the goddamn screen again.

In hindsight, I should've put a bit more thought into it, because there's little quirks with this model that irritate me to no end. I can't customize the screen color the way I want to. If there's no sound, it takes a second and a half to actually work when sound starts. So that's a second and a half of music or sound effect that I'm missing or totally unaware happened because I didn't get to hear it at all. I don't know if that's a thing with all LED TVs or just this model. Honestly don't really care to go round trying to find out now, 'cause what's done is done, I can't take it back.

But for the most part, it's doing what I bought it for. Finally using the HDMI, after years of blissful neglect, I can finally play all the games that I stopped playing because I couldn't read what the fuck was going on. And the difference between it and my old television is super evident. I had no idea XCOM EU looked as cool as it did until I played it on the new tv. Sooo many little awesome details. Other games just look way more crisp, if they were made for hi-def anyway.

All in all, I'm glad I made the technological jump, at least in one area. I'm guessing the next thing would be to get a cell phone with a touch screen and bigger keypad. It's not that I don't want to be caught up. I just don't want to get swept in the minutia of needing the latest thing nao or I'm gonna miss out "oh em gee r they updating their status hashtag crab legs!" I just want what's necessary for me to stay in touch. And if that means eventually getting twitter on my phone, then fuck it.

Are you of this world, or are you in it? Keep up or get left behind? Both have their merits and drawbacks.

I like to think I'll walk the line between both.

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