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Roberto Plankton's blog

3:35 AM on 04.22.2014

Terraria Terror - a Swan Song

Last night my Utopia - heaven on earth - was destroyed. Terraria got an update. Normally I avoid short entries in the c-blog section. If I deem my contributions too short in quantity I even call them stubs. How humble a person I am. But I am in the mood for a swan song. And it might turn out to be a short-circuited rant.
Last night was a night of terror. And tears. So many tears.

Let me quote Commander Chris Carter:
"The Terraria team has just unleashed its 1.2 update for the PS3, Vita and 360 platforms, which basically tweaks every single aspect of the entire game. Everything looks better, and gameplay is overall smoother. There are a ton of bug fixes on tow on top of all this, as well as new content, enemies, friends, and tools."

Since Terraria was released for PS3 I wasted uncounted hours creating worlds, digging holes, sealing off corrupted parts of my maps, killing guides ( I miss you Gerry!) at a whim. Glorious.

I simmered with excitement while waiting for Terraria to finally get released for my system. A feeling I haven't experienced since Zelda - Occarina of Time for the N64. I even checked the corresponding tweets for news. They took their time.
I love the concept. It is like a condensed version of everything I love about gaming:
a simple yet elegant system of explorating, fighting and building. Delivered in delicious 2D-pixel-animation. You got to love those pixels.
I love this mixture so much I even put up with the terrible controls for placing tiles and other materials (which gets even worse when your controller has issues and moves the cursor by itself, only slightly and ever so slow but with rage-inducing effect).

Yesterday I allowed my self a nocturnal trip to one of my smaller maps where I wanted to collect snow. Yes, snow. I was informed of an update but didn't care much. I was delighted about new, exciting drops, umbrella wielding slimes and soon lost myself in the game. New content - Yay!
During that time I also experienced some serious hiccups, some ugly looking blocks, maybe.

Shadow of a Doubt.

After much longer than I originally wanted to immerse myself in the game, I just had to check my favourite hard-mode-map, perhaps just fooling around a bit with my newly acquired snow-blocks. Just another five minutes, because what the heck.
The 1.2 update for the PS3 which "basically tweaks every single aspect of the entire game"  basically tweaked every single aspect of my entire map.
The whole thing looks like a distorted glitchy nightmare version of its former self.
Talk about Corruption. Half of my base is mirrored vertically into the air. Block-material has changed its nature randomly. Pits of lava are forming a funny looking maze throughout the mutilated corpse of my former manor.
I have never seen something quite like this, it is so extremely bizarre I am not even mad.
Hours of collecting and looting - all in vain. It is like a giant, evil-minded child has been destroying the ultimate Lego-utopia.

At least I am not alone in my pain:
"Yep world's torn in half. All items list. Hundreds of hours of collecting gone. We lost heart and shut it off. Terrible job I've ever seen updating game. (...) why don't yo u just delete everything you do, every day, that's fun, right.. " (slapshotsaint)
"Same problem on xbox my world was cut in half and I lost everything in my chests."
(Ian Carbo)
"Same here. Lost months of gathering and storing in my chests.
Alex... You seem to have it worse than me. Basically the right hand side of my map has shifted down about 40 blocks. All the chests on that side are empty." (MogDuff)

So...thats that I guess.
But wait! A tingling sensation!
Now the anger kicks in.


4:42 PM on 12.03.2013

Animal Crossing Angst

I have played "Animal Crossing" on the Wii. And I traded it in. Now it came back. Via my 2DS it is sucking and tugging at my soul. I completely forgot about all that sucking and tugging. The great Animal Crossing Angst.

"Animal Crossing" is a game about imprinting its players on socially as well as economically conformist behaviour.
You are getting trained in the predatory exploitation of nature and abundant consumerism. An Astro TV is equal in value to ten crucian carps and two sea stars. An Astro TV gives you personal satisfaction and ensures admiration by the so called community, temporarily at least. Hence it is okay to kill twelve living beings and destroy the ecological balance.
Hey, it is an ASTRO-TV.
You learn that personal property is equivalent to personal value. You learn that self-abandonment and being an emotional wastebin for everybody else is the only way to friendship. You learn that friendship is a superficial, inconsistant thing.
L'enfer, c'est les autres.

You are getting used to live a life in debt, in order to finance your emotional and material well-being. You accept that you will die alone in your two-story Xanadu, surrounded only by your exotic furniture set and a flickering Asto-TV.
The fact that "Animal Crossing" is essentially all about conditioning the player to become well adjusted for neoliberal reality is generally accepted.
Yet, my current Animal Crossing Angst is following a different tack nowadays. Yesterday i saw Robin Hardy's "Wicker Man" (1973 UK) again. And i noticed things.
In "Wicker Man" the police sergeant Howie is sent to the obscure Scottish island "Summerisle" in search for a missing girl. "Summerisle" is famous for its crops, which can be harvested all-year due to certain climatic conditions (Gulf stream or whatever). The community is led by shady Lord Summerisle (Christopher Lee)

Howie soon realizes that the locals are pagans, practicing arcane rituals, in one of which he will partake (he is burnt in the eponymic Wicker Man). Christopher Lee (as Lord Summerisle) wears a wig at some point. And there is a remake. With bees and Nicolas Cage.


You arrive in small, tight-knit community, filling in for a formerly vacant  public office. As poor Howie performed the executive function in Wickerman, you are legislative as well as judicative agent in "Animal Crossing" - a pseudo-authoritarian figure who is not democratically appointed but seemingly chosen by fate (by arrival).

As "Summerisle" is economically dependant on the export of crops, so is your standard Animal Crossing village.
You are confronted by people impersonating animal avatars, displaying peculiar social, cultural and sexual behaviour. These people are celebrating strange holidays in order to honour nature (Earth Day, Weeding Day, Burn-A-Cop Day) and constantly singing songs (Kapp'n, K.K. Slider) to praise their gods and focus their exuberant sexual energies. Archaic fetishes are everywhere, you cannot move without falling over Gyroids, which are buried in the ground for some reason...


Other than that I am very dissapointed with my copy of "Silent Bomber" for the Psone.
At a certain point in the game everything goes black, which makes it impossible for me to finish it. Somebody should do something about this. It makes me sad and ruins an otherwise very enjoyable game.


5:03 AM on 10.05.2013

Game City Vienna 2013

I went to a gaming convention. The last time I made this kind of experience, the event took place in a concrete monstrosity somewhere in the outskirts of Vienna. Videogames had to compete with hifi-systems and tv-sets. The only hand-helds there were actually blenders. The only game worth playing was Raystorm for the PSone.


In 2013 I went to Game City Vienna.
I have to say in advance, that I am not made for this. I get all excited for the games the day before but freeze at the sight of all those people lining up in front of the screens.
I ended up wandering around, somewhat aimlessly. I guess there is something like being too informed - makes everything kind of stale.

As I mentioned in the preceding blog-entry this whole event takes place in the townhall of Vienna, which is amazing in itself and contrastive considering the nature of the event.
I guess that the building comes with a lot of restrictions concerning the architecture of any convention taking place there (monument protection and regulatory requirements and stuff) - so the stands look a little lost within the huge halls.

                              I'd like to think the two of us had a moment there

When I got there late in the morning, hordes of pupils had already infested the building – pestering older visitors with uncharming attempts of trading these little strings of plastic you had to wear if you wanted to gain entrance to the 16- or 18-plus-section.

                                                   going in for the kill

Supposedly cosplayers had been hidden somewhere on the premise. I have not seen any trace of these flamboyent creatures -just this one guy, dressed up as a Disney-slave-labourer.

                     "We've been outside! There's another world outside! We've seen it!

I really wanted to try out Wonderful 101, but the booth-guy was like really far into the game and I did not want to disrupt the flow. I hope he felt the hate.

                                            no chance

So instead I played a litte Mario 3D World, some kind of  mini-game, which looked pretty enough but left a stale taste. I had to team up with another guest. I think she had some kind of personality disorder. Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze was fun. I played it solo...thank God.

                            Don't try and play this game with crazy people

You also had the chance to compete in Killer Instinct. Because there was almost no waiting in front of the two screens. And the slots didn't have to be rationised. People tended to stop playing in between matches. Muttering or even laughing.
Leaving prematurly - by instinct.

The big herding of the nerds took place elsewhere, in front of the Battlefield 4-Box of course.

                                                nom nom nom

(I passed that one). And went right to the Bungie-cube outdoors: a lot of  people waiting in a queue, wondering about how to fit so many screens in this cleverly designed but also really small box. Oh boy, were they surprised to find out that they were going to watch a pseudo-gameplay-video in there, telling you how to have a really good time with the game. I wish I could forget the unnatural bits of dialogue I heard.
The game looks interesting though.

Indie-developers had to huddle up against a staircase. I only remember Senoi, a kind of outdoor-role-playing game for your cell-phone, utilising GPS and geographical data of Vienna. One of the very friendly developers showed me his golden box.

                                 As always Panza is thinking outside the box

The F.R.O.G. (no idea) -symposium's lectures would have been interesting too. Jasper Juul and people were speaking. But you would have had to dish out 125€ for 3 days in order to participate. I wonder how many people did actually do this. Strange.

Beyond Two Souls' could be played inside a truck. I don't know exactly why.

                                              wroooom. wroom

You could also play it in a more comfortable position in the official Sony lounge. I wondered a bit about the huge presence the console-version of Diablo 3. I went home and started my nightmare-playthrough. No, before that I had a coffee.


4:25 AM on 09.25.2013

Another Stub: Game City Vienna & Avatar Vacation

Game City Vienna is an annual event, dedicated to electronic games. It is taking place in the beautiful townhall of Austria's capital. This year I am going to attack like the giant, knife-wielding robot that I am.

Another stub.
Is it already that time of the year?


Game City is going to happen this weekend. The one and only game-related event in a country lying beyond the seven mountains and deep down in the forest in that respect.
Happy Happy! Joy! Joy!

Besides the usual suspects there will be a presentation of BEYOND: Two Souls.
And if I am not hugely mistaken by Guillaume de Fondaumièr himself.
Definitely looking forward to that, I have to admit.
Anyone's avatar in dire need of vacation?

To the birthplace of Mozart (uuum...?) and myself?
Tell me, I’ll give you a lift.
Also PM me a quote you deem quoteworthy of yourself or any other honored member of C-Blogs. I will use it as caption for whatever I am coming across at Game City.

Best Regards,
Plankton   read

3:05 AM on 07.05.2013

Why I quit playing games (with my heart)

I think I mentioned it before - this problem I have. I don't finish my games. I can't claim that I never do, because sometimes I do. But mostly I don't. It is not a matter of increasingly limited time, it's more of a general attitude. During an extremely painful process of self-analysis I established three categories: the Good the Bad and the Ugly.
You need categories.

That moment I dread

The Good
Whenever I really like a game, especially if it has an elaborated narrative structure I reach a point in that game (usually towards its grand finale) at which I quit playing it. As if I was afraid of all the good things to come to a sudden end. Which they do, since I stop playing the game. I am afraid it is not a very logical approach. When I was just a sapling I used to get me every JRPG there was. I only finished Suikoden. The first one. Until this day (and Breath of Fire 3 to be honest). At a certain point people actually started to make fun of me.
My last Fallout 3 save file is embarrassingly old and it took me about 4 years to finish Red Dead Redemption. I just picked up Metal Gear Solid 4 again. After several years of hibernation I eventually started to miss Snake's steel-buns, forged in heaven.


It's not because I grow bored with these games or due to the constant stream of exciting new entries into an increasingly intimidating backlog-queue. Far from it. I was really into Demon's Souls for example but after beating up a GIANT CRYSTAL DRAGON I danced this little dance of joy, turned off my system and never took it up again since then.
What is wrong with me?
The Bad
Skyrim is a good game, no doubt about it. But if you have to reckon with your system to freeze the moment you leave a town or jump into water or attack a dryad or open your know what I mean. I also had a lot of fun with Legasista which turns my screen into a black void after I complete a certain dungeon. Game-breaking-bugs!
Ha Ha!
As mentioned before I regularly take breaks from my games - long breaks. These breaks in combination with complex design or convoluted control schemes usually mean the death-blow for games in my library. Bayonetta, which I really admire, makes it difficult for me to pick it up again. I gave up the recent Batman-series entirely for that matter. Who can remember all that gimmickry? I depend on calendars and notebooks for survival in RL - if I need one of those for playing a game I thinks it is time to run for the hills.

Insert Triple-Baterangs here

I also notice very soon if I like a game or not. The time-slot for that decision-making process is a veeery narrow one. Enslaved lasted about an hour until I got sick with the game's fighting system. The last iteration of Tomb Raider left my PS3 after approximately 10 minutes. I can't stand that spoiled brat.

The Ugly
I also stop playing whenever I lose myself in a more or less secondary aspect of a game. So very often this aspect involves excessive looting and/or grinding. I like to follow the yellow brick road. Preparing for the next major encounter with the ultimate fiend I get stuck with all the preparing - mistaking repetitious labor for a big fun-time - often to an extent where I am appalled by the game that tricks me in such a devious way and by my obsession with it.
At a time when I still used to smoke and play games with a stoned grin on my face, I had a moment of clarity and disenchantment once  - with Dynasty Warriors 3 for the PS2.
After having spent days and weeks with leveling up my favourite officers I noticed the game's messages to me for what seemed to be the first time ever: the constant affirmative background noise, computer voices telling me how well I am doing and what a swell warrior I was. I felt brainwashed that moment and abjured the ghastly time vampire (until Warriors Orochi came along that is).

Pang Tong told me to do it

Monster Hunter for the WiiU is a textbook example of course. After 120 hours I just can't cope with the treadmill again. I feel a physical resistance within me to pick up the gamepad. I might never hunt again.

Follow the yellow brick road

The same happened with Ni No Kuni. Not such a revelation to begin with, I spent hour after hour with hunting the infamous Toko for the massive amount of experience points they shed when getting killed. These battle-critters don't evolve by themselves, you know. And I got to see those final transformations.
It was a massacre. I felt dirty.

Kawai this, Kawai that

I was about 50 hours in the game when I finally quit. It rests on my "play-it-again-some-time-soon-pile" though, slowly gathering dust. All in all I still don't know why I turn around and leave just before the finishing line but I definitely feel much better now.   read

4:50 AM on 05.15.2013

another stub: Data Dealer

Games by Austrian developers are a rare and delicate breed and yet there is some movement beneath that thick eggshell. I am from Austria (wisecrack) and I usually don't care. But when it comes to games the corneal on my thumbs flashes red-white-red (in a sickly unsettling fashion...ew, gross). Data Dealer, a browser game by a very very very small developer indeed is such an Austrian game and might prove to be an (if not the) Age of Wushu-killer.
I usually don't play browser-games (it's not that I hate them, they just don't interest me) and I know that Data Dealer won't be a game that I will invest 50+ hours in but I can't deny that I like the project.

Data Dealer is mimicking smash hits like Farmville (never played it, I swear) or other Zynga-abominations. At its core it plays similar to those games (which I never played) - a constant struggle for the optimization of ressources and time - with a twist though: you deal with data. You are the anonymous behemoth who collects all of this precious bits of information floating around and you sell it to the corporate ringleaders. You do this by bribing your sources and organizing the usual internet-shenanigans like psycho-tests and sweepstakes.

I tried the demo-version and it's mostly moving things from A to B, which feels satisfying enough. Some meters to observe (like bribe-money, stolen profiles and such) and a lot to read and to compare. Actually I enjoyed the reading the most. It's evident that the developers really want to communicate their ideas about privacy and data safety to their audience. When I think about all those insane juveniles on facebook I wished for games like this one to be integral part of informatics-classes at schools.
It's an entertaining read as well, satire-heavy and a little silly from time to time. The fact that Data Dealer makes fun of quite a few public figures of Austrian society/politics might not translate too well if the developers release the English version eventually - beefcake-governers and stratosphere-suicide-commandos aside. Allusions to a former finance minister are going to be overlooked but I think an opportunistic puke is a staple which is intelligible globally. The Southparkesque art direction helps of course.

I believe I would have completely overlooked this one, if it wasn't for its socio-political aspiration. Data Dealer is a game that wants something. It wants you to be aware of your actions. It doesn't resort to pedagogical banalities but lets you switch sides and be an accomplice of evil deeds. I think that deserves a hug.

Ah ja, and it's all free and open source and fluffy and whatnot.   read

10:29 AM on 05.04.2013

Monster Hunter Horror

I like "Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate". It's the first Monster Hunter I have ever tried and I like it. It appeals to my obsessive predisposition in many aspects. It is a complex and at the same time condensed gaming experience. I struggle a bit with the online gaming but so far I experienced no extremely sociopathic behaviour.

Last night the strangest thing happened.

I entered a novice-lobby in Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate and chose a room.
It said something like "love to use the chat-function" in the description.
This should have been a flaming red warning sign.
A young woman and a guy and yet another guy were still on a quest when I arrived, I heard them talking. All the time. Talking.
At least two of them were talking, the third remained silent.

When they returned to the hub, this Third Man immediately left. Another warning sign. Then they started to comment on armors, making a little fashion show out of it, changing their gear constantly, commenting constantly. Since I had already wasted a good amount of time waiting for them I did not want to leave yet. When a fourth player arrived we finally set off.
We made a low-rank quest, the one with the magical spinning goat. Duraborso, Durmabosos, whatever its called. And they talked. I figured it was all part of a bizzare pair-grooming process... all that yackety-yack. Yuck.
After that, player number 4 left immediately. His pain treshold was significantly lower than mine
No other players arrived (I think my predecessors must have spread the word), the next quest was chosen, my craving for carving prevailed and I decided to stay.

During the quest the male player started to patronize the female player in a way that was utterly peculiar, as I deemed. This was neither the usual online-show-off of the more experienced player nor swaggering in the face of the desired female gamer. 
It was something else...
It was passive-aggressive, it was rude, it was the sediment of communication.
They had a relationship!
Suddenly they started to comment on food they were sharing. It downed on me, they  were situated in the exact same physical space!
Playing on two WiiUs or practicing cross-play via 3DS or whatever.

Whispering sweet nothings and fighting over a Granola-Bar.
Fondling each other on the couch.
It was eerie.

When the monster fell under our attacks, the tone of conversation between the two of them changed. In ways that were not so good.
I heard lust in his voice. Hot and sultry passion.

Several times she said: "Don't touch that!" and "Stop, that feels weird!"
I did not experience voyeuristic pleasure but fear and terror
(trying to gut the dead beast for ressources withouth throwing up - not because of all that gutting mind you!)).

"Stop. It feels weird."
Exactly my thoughts.
Actually that was the last I heard from them.
The quest ended, I was transported to the hub and my WiiU froze. It collapsed.
As if it wanted to spare me further pain, it ended this self-flagellation. It made an enervating sound, a high-pitched wheezing, like crying out in pain itself.
I don't know exactly why, but I was afraid. Not violated but genuinely afraid.
What I experienced in that precise moment were feelings of horror and twin-peakish confusion.

the Horror, the Horror

I peeked behind the red curtain and saw the abysmal grotesque. I got squashed in the Moskenstraumen of love.

Only in Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate.   read

8:15 AM on 03.24.2013

Love: what it is


Do I love videogames? I would have said so without hesitation some hours ago, before I actually started to think about the matter while writing this blog entry.
I do like videogames, getting close to borderline obsession if I am to be completely honest.
But love it is not.

There are I people I do love for various reasons of course. And there are people who I played videogames with. And then there is a certain amount of people I love and with whom I played video games - so far so rather trite.
Yet, I have to admit the shared virtual experience intensified the feeling of love I feel for some of them. Or expanded it's dimension. Kind of.

I love several guys for their "Jekyll and Hyde"-like transformation whenever they take hold of a controller and I love them because I am allowed to call them names when they frag me in their usually very spiteful and sneaky manner.

I love a woman for the way she beats me at Mario Kart and Super Smash Brothers
(a love-hate relationship to be precise). And the way she associates with the background stories of games like Where Is My Heart. And her seemingly limitless patience and endurance concerning the Paper Mario series. And the clockwork precision of her playing Bust A Groove (the love-hate-thing again) and Vib Ribbon. And the fact that she is a worthy opponent in Bishi Bashi Special. And for shared emotions at the end of Journey on a lazy Sunday morning. And for sharing regressive obsession and childish joy with me.

So, videogames:
an actual feeling of love involved - no.
petit objet a, fetishized object of desire and wish-fulfilling - oh, yes.
Loved ones who can understand or even share this obsession, this joy - the best.

But that's all rather hard to express graphically. Perhaps I'll manage to express all of this via the means of eurythmics&dance. I'll upload a video then.

Instead I decided to depict the most pure form of love ever exhibited in a videogame.
Sweet, unconditional brotherly love. The unshakeable bond between siblings.

It is what it is says love.   read

1:35 PM on 02.12.2013

asking a favour: Feminism and Videogames

You dear people of Destructoid’s C-Blog!

I want to ask a favour of you. It might seem lazy, it might seem clumsy, but I am going to ask anyway. A friend of mine is the editor of a feminist monthly (an Austrian one btw.).
They want to dedicate one of their next issues to videogames and I ‘d love to support them.

Over the course of the last few years I read many inspiring blog-entries of feminist and/or LGBT interest here. At least I have a vague remembrance of their existence.
Some of them stood out - they were so good, I even recite them before going to bed.
I want to instrumentalize this think-tank!tank!tank!
I want to recklessly exploit these mental ressources.

So now for my question:

If you happen to have written or read something you deem interesting in that specific context, please feel free to post me a link in the commentary section.
That would be immensely helpful.
Also, if there is a topic or game you think would be interesting and/or of utter importance – please tell me! From the Sarkeesian-incident to the Riptide-insipidity - feminist games, anything goes.

I might contact some of you individually if that is alright – if the magazine-people want to quote your blog or something like that

Many many thanks in advance!

(you are the good ones!)   read

2:45 PM on 02.04.2013

It is a late intro

I am so incredibly late for this, but the following lines are going to be a kind of introduction. I feel attached enough for this now. The process of writing this down was actually a little bit nauseating since I had to notice a certain degree of obsession in my life.
Oh dear.

So, videogames.
I grew up in a kind of pedagogical black hole, with forces tugging at me from different directions: with my father being rather indifferent to the perils of popular culture (exposing my juvenile mind to classic movie monsters and fascinating comics stashed away in the darkest corners of the bookshelf) I developed a rather distinctive taste for the morbid. On the other hand my somewhat overprotective mother tried to shelter me from Masters of the Universe and plastic guns. Any depiction of violence was a big taboo. Especially videogames were absolutely out of the question.
So I developed an obsession about comics early on, buying many hundreds of incredibly cheap pulp-magazines popular at that time. Gespenster Geschichten ("Ghost Stories") were equally cheesy as they were extremely awesome.

Everything on paper, everything written was not considered to be too suspicious, I hid my treasures anyway. Just in case. Today I have a large collection of movies and graphic novels.
Most of them deal with sex or violence. Or both.

And I started to draw very soon in my life. A lot. At some point I must have realized that creative endeavour was not subject to hours of tiring arguments. That's when I really got into drawing.

I mostly designed death-trap-labyrinths.
This amused me immensely and seemingly shocked my environment, which used to amuse me even more.

The first cut is the deepest:
I do not know anymore when exactly it was that I saw my first videogame but I vaguely remember some Game&Watch at school. And I fell in love.
Not so much with the grizzly graphics and the game itself but the mystery and the hysteria the whole phenomenon was connected to. Stories were told of unheard-of adventures and strange, almost arcane languages were used in doing so: "press button B in order to run faster"
What was meant by that?

When I was 8 I got an Nintendo Entertainment System for Christmas. I unwrapped the parcel and after some moments of realization I punched myself in the face. Out of pure joy.
I actually punched myself in the face, twice.

I got a NES and Dr.Mario and nearly fractured my chin. Up to that point I hadn't even detected Super Mario Bros. yet. I think that was the moment when my parents realized that this present might have been a big mistake. They told me later on, that they didn't want me to loose the connection to the digital avantgarde, with the "sudden" rise of personal computers and all that. Ha!
I learned to press button B in order to run faster. I admit that it took me some time,

After the first constitutive years I developed an attitude:
As soon as I understood a game's structure (be it narrative or gameplay-wise) I got bored.
Unless it's structure proved to be of certain elegance. Then I would play it until my thumbs hurt.
Essentially, I unlifted secrets during my really obsessive years of playing games.
I did my best and amassed about 300 games for 8 different systems.
I invested uncounted hours in videogames and the associated subcultures. As a child I videotaped bugs and glitches together with a friend. Whenever Crash Bandicoot got stuck inside some stairs or Mario Kart 64 exploded into multicolored abstraction we would yell:
"Get the camera!" and document the unthinkable: a bug in a videogame...times do change.

Apropos Nintendo64: I also remember now that me and some friends rented a japanese Nintendo64 (in an impressive metal-case), in order to be among the first Europeans ever to play Mario64 - constantly reassuring each other that this game would be the summit of digital creation.
I am also in the possession of the golden membership card of a long gone chain of game-stores, entitling me to a 15% discount. (yay...)
Whole weekends were wasted with playing Doom and burning holes into our gastric mucosa with cheap imitations of well-known soft drinks. I remember counting as much as 14 Bottles (1,5l) of soda for two kids a night. Glorious.
For years he was my closest companion in games, he wrote move-lists for Clayfighters and Mortal Kombat, together we hit the level-cap for River City Ransom/Streetgangs.
He will always be my hero.

(depicted as an old man)

So what else is there to tell?

Something not game-related, yes?
I was born and raised in Vienna, Austria.
I have two part-time-jobs (I actually like to do) and I am spending too much of that hard earned money on videogames, comics, cinematic extravaganzas and cigarettes.

I paint and I build things. I write about the erotic of the undead
I really have come full circle (see above).
Oh my!

I even built myself some friends.

I almost forgot to mention that I wrote my final thesis about videogames. About their dualistic nature between disciplinary mechanisms and emancipatory effects, to be precise.
At university I played a lot of Soulcalibur and Medal of Honor - out of adademic interest of course.
Two of my colleagues during an important experiment:

(academic dispute at its best; please observe: a player of Urban Terror, on the left)

The way I see it, every aspect of my being seems to be deeply connected to videogames.
That is frightening.

but now I'm here and all is good. thank you very much   read

5:29 AM on 01.17.2013

WINTER: Happy Tree - Kickle Cubicle Mon Amour

I will always love you, Kickle Cubicle...
And you will alway haunt my dreams, Giant Pirate Chicken.
Floating dead in icy waters. Face down.

Next to the Happy Tree

Kickle Cubicle for the Nintendo Entertainment System (1990) was one of the first games I rented from a video rental store. I did not finish it but it gave me a great deal of satisfaction. The game's mechanics were easy enough for me to handle and it provided me with small doses of success.Not like the ghastly Faxanadu where I failed at beating the first monster hopping around in front of the town's gate.
Somehow I never forgot about Kickle Cubicle. It is stored deep inside my head, like that moment when I first saw Mortal Kombat for the Super NES being played by some older kids in the mall.

There has to be a connection of some sort.
I was one these kids who tend to imitate shooting sounds and the piercing shrieks of the fallen while playing videogames and I always liked a hint of violence in my popular culture.
With Kickle Cubicle I could act out these urges:
Kickle Cubicle takes place in a hibernal realm of snowmen and pirate-chicken trying to mangle you. As a player you have the ability to freeze enemies with your breath, take the icy cubicle to kill other targets or kick them into water to form walkways.
You kick animals into the water to run across their frozen carcasses.
How much fun I had.
It was a mortal combat.

Strangely enough I have decided what I wanted to draw long before I even thought about all of this.
While doing some research I found this (right picture):

The American add for Kickle Cubicle not only shows traits of the time-honored MegaMan-tradition of pictoral fraud but also emphasizes the essentially gory nature of Kickle Cubicle.

I salute you, unkown advertising graphic designer!

..also: it is snowing right now.
Pretty.   read

7:04 PM on 12.17.2012

Call of Duty: a wish list

You better watch out
You better not cry
Better not pout
I'm telling you why

(Christmas noobs)

Only a few days left until a large section of the world’s population celebrates the year’s most special and anticipated event: the arrival of the Christmas-noob.
With this in mind I think it is time to consider creating new accomplishment-medals for all of us serious COD-kids out there. The occasional 4-Piece-Medal got stale already and if we are utterly honest to ourselves we are in dire need of more realistic awards in the yearly Call-of-Duty iteration.
Realistic in terms of actual occurrence in actual gameplay on an everyday basis.

So, Treyarch and Infinity Ward do listen to this! And pay me a lot of money!

Why should a lucky grenade-toss in domination should be rewarded with a chic multikill-medal and the accomplishment of hitting nothing at all due to lag-interference goes totally unmentioned? I think that’s just unfair.

A very important step and breath-taking innovation would be the introduction of mic-medals.
I heard that you cannot not communicate, that seems to be very essential..
Social stuff and communication. You have to implement much more of that.
And social media!

Everybody seems to complain about the abuse of the microphone function in modern FPS-shooters. Instead of complaining, we should probably adapt and introduce some mic-related awards. A crying infant in the background? That deserves a price, I suppose.

Also: user generated content.

In fact, everbody deserves a price for everything. All the time.

(see also: gallery)   read

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