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About
Wow, I have a twitter now. Hmmm, would you like to follow me? Here, take this link. If you follow me; I will make all your dreams come true: Twitter

Here's my Tumblr; it's where I write all my miscellaneous stuff: Tumblr

Do you like films? Do you like my writing? If so, then have a look at my movie blog: Flixist

I'm a student. I'm currently working on my second degree. My past jobs were working at a gym and Urban Outfitters. I love to play guitar, read, listen to music, and watch films. I'm funny and enjoy the arts. I sometimes can ramble on about literature and films. I'm born and breed in New York. I'm easy going and I love fashion. My favorite system is the DS. I constantly shop at Urban Outfitters and Topshop. I really don't know what else to say. Oh yeah, I'm a cool guy!

Movies:
I Stand Alone, Magnolia, There Will Be Blood, Fight Club, Antichrist, Enter The Void, Dogtooth

Music:
Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Lhasa De Sela, MC5, Neil Young, Velvet Underground, Radiohead, Manu Chao, The Smiths, Nine Inch Nails

Books:
The Trial, Notes From Underground, Paris Spleen, Crime And Punishment, Junky, Hunger, Nausea, The Stranger

Games:
Super Mario Bros., Lost in Shadow, Braid

Favorite Articles I've written:

Demon's Souls: An Allegory for Life

Fuite

Diary of a Breton: Journey to Solitude

Are You Afraid of the Dark?

Explain Yourself!

Venus, Put on some Fur and let's Talk

Front Page Articles

The Emasculation of a Father

A Small Thank You

I started a blog at this very site to let some of my feelings out. In some way Destructoid was therapy for me. I write about everything from my mother, past relationships, financial situations, friends, hipsters, school, etc. This is done not for sympathy, but as a way to expresses myself. My financial situation is a mess and I have no idea how Iím going to make a living, but writing and reading some of the response from great users have bought a wealth of positiveness to my life; It really doesnít have to be anything big, but a simple comment of appreciation is enough to fill my heart with joy. Itís strange writing this, but joining this community has been the best thing I've ever done, well, second best thing; getting laid is pretty cool. What Iím trying to say here is thank you. Thank you for this awesome community. Thank you for reading. Thank you for commenting. Thank you for being awesome.

A big thanks goes to falsenipple for the header!

Venus In Furs - Don't know what it is? Well, my freind, click on the link and listen to the song.

The Velvet Underground - Venus In Furs (Original)

DeVotchKa - Venus In Furs (Cover)

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For a game to be successful it must respect the playerís time. As I get older Iím finding it increasingly difficult to invest my time in video games. Iím not a busy man, no, in fact I sometimes have sufficient time to game. What I lack is a certain sense of motivation. Iím still very much interested in video games and gaming culture, but Iím at a point in my life where Iím no longer willing to invest my time to games that take twenty, thirty, sixty, or hundred hours to complete. More recently this generation of indie games has saved my once dying heart, pumping fresh blood into a decaying body that was once at the brink of disinterest in the medium. Games like Journey, Closure, Braid, and many other highly, and not so highly, regarded games opened my eyes to the wonderful world of the ďtwo hourĒ experience.



Iíd like to compare the ďtwo hourĒ experience to the literary world of short stories. My most admired short story is A Country Doctor by Franz Kafka. This four page story filled with long paragraph like sentences can be read in about 8 minutes. While the ďcompletionĒ time is brief, the impact; however, is unlike anything Iíve ever read. The same goes with video games -- the most emotionally filled games Iíve ever experienced have been no longer than five hours. These so called ďtwo hourĒ experiences are the future, and I couldnít be happier.

The filler, fat, and love handles that infested so many games in the past is finally ending, yet most seem to be against the idea of short game. Most of it is due because of pricing. Yes, video games are expensive, but ask yourself this: How many games do you actually replay? Like books and films, the length is only a problem if the material is not up to par. Nothing is more disingenuous than a game that must meet some imagery time goal. If the game is good -- youíll want to play it again -- just like films, books, comics, etc. The notion that a gameís length is determined by its price is something I find ludicrous. For instance, Journey is a game Iíve completed five times in a span of a month, it has taken me about two hours to complete the game. While some will say that the $15 price tag is too much for a two hour experience, what I get from it is far better than what most games offer. Iíve already invested ten hours in this two hour experience. Sniper Elite V2 can be complete in nine hours, very similar to Dead Space 2. The latter having perfect pacing is a testimony to its length. If Dead Space 2 was any longer (not including 100% completing the game) it would have ruined the overall flow making the game less enjoyable.



Iím not completely against long games. I sometimes love to immerse myself in a lengthy experience, but only if that experience is justified. Unfortunately most double digit games are filled with so much fat that it sometimes turns me off to the experience all together, which is why I get my moneyís worth with the ďtwo hourĒ experience -- I don't have to wait for the good stuff.
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VenusInFurs
9:37 PM on 02.25.2012

What is gameplay? Debates about this very word have caused controversy in the last couple of years in the gaming community. More often than not the attacks have been aimed at games that proclaim themselves as being ďartistic.Ē These art games made by indie developers are the pioneers of minimalistic gameplay. Most recently Dear Esther has spark up the conversation about what makes a game a game, and whether the game in question has any gameplay at all. The deep philosophical meaning (if any) of Dear Esther is not what Iím interested in. What I am interested is the definition of gameplay. A word that is universally known to gamers, but to the outside world needs dire annotations to be understood. An elementary definition of the word doesnít do justice to the actual act of the word. What Iím trying to achieve is an understanding of what constitutes a videogame as a videogame.



Yes, Dear Esther is a videogame. Itís a game of the simplest kind, but that doesnít hide the simple fact that it is in all intents and purposes a videogame. Like Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, Dear Esther relies on a organic or natural non-combat gameplay. But, unlike Shatterd Memories, Dear Esther fails to invite the player into its world -- itís still a game, but fails at the most fundamental goal of immersion through gameplay in which Shattered Memories triumphs. Dear Esther is, for the lack of a better word, an interactive audio book. This interactivity, no matter how sparse constitutes itself as a game. Shattered Memories, on the other hand, is game without the traditional combat gameplay done right, yet the masses still was hesitant to embrace this oddball of a game.

Besides running from demons, the main gameplay of Shattered Memories is walking, controlling the flashlight, and most importantly the phone. For instance, the world of Silent Hill is filled with random numbers graffitied on walls, or on billboards advertising stress relief. Every number in the game can be called and youíll be sure to get some weird response back. This is gameplay -- the reaction you get from performing an action as simple as dialing a number.



Gameplay is all about the gameís mechanic. Itís the core actions the gamer is performing in order to play the game (doesnít matter what genre it is). Everything else is a companion to enhance the core gaming mechanics. Game controls are split into two different aspects: play control and gameplay. Gameplay is the sequences you do in a game. Play control is how the character you play controls. Itís about the feeling you get when you move, use your sword/gun, jump, menu navigation, etc.

Let's take Devil Survivor, for example. Now, Devil Survivor doesn't have play control, it does; however, have gameplay. Devil Survivor is all about making clear, pin-point, linear strategic moves on a graphed battlefield. You use demons, magic, character placement, and leveling your characters to succeed in the game. Devil Survivor doesn't need play control, but a game like Dark Souls does. In Dark Souls if the feedback is not there, then the game fails.

In Dear Esther everything is automated for you, hence the feedback (play control) is virtually nonexistent. For instance, entering a cabin intuitively turns the flashlight on. This subtle, yet key feature is removed from the player and leaves the gamer disconnected from the world. However, In Shattered Memories the player is given full control of the flashlight. This simple play control of feeling like the player is discovering or just wondering around is a key feature in immersion. The immersion is killed when something as simple as turning a flashlight off or on is automated for you.



In Skyrim all I did for the majority of my playthrough was walk around, go into abandoned houses, look at all the details and find the many notes or books scattered around. This in fact was my favorite part of Skyrim, not the fighting or quests -- the exploration and subsequent notes and books I found because of the exploration was key to my enjoyment. This all relates back to Shattered Memories, exploration and finding a letter or anything that is interactive in the world is just as good as actually having a gun in your hand and shooting the head of a zombie right off. Dear Esther is a lost opportunity in which all you do is walk. This could have been something deeper if the developers gave the player the simple interaction of reading some of the books or dozens of scattered notes you see around; instead itís all eye candy and results to nothing interesting.
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VenusInFurs
12:50 AM on 12.09.2011

I slide, glide, and glitch into your life.
Why do you love me, if Iím so imperfect?
My identity is typical Ė shield, sword, hammer, spells.
I talk to you, repeating sameness until you leave.
The world I give you is beautiful, how will you serve it?
I will be your Link, and take care of you.
Yes, Iím branded, bruised, and hurt, but Iíve never offended you.
Only time and space will bring us closer.
Come here and Iíll cover you, Iíll pull this blanket over your body.
Darkness? Not quite. There is light; all coming from one direction.
Colors, sounds, movements. Stand still. Let the Link take its place.
Forget the world of the real Ė Iím real. My world, while temporary, is a joy to be in.
Relax, let yourself go, forget about life, love, work, depression, money Ė these things are not needed.
Youíre only allowed here for a limited time, you can stay longer, if you want Ė but itís not suggested.
Come, dress as you like. Talk as you like. Be who you want to be.
Remember, once you leave, your life will go back to normal.
Maybe youíll see things differently. Maybe youíll be happy.
Maybe a little escape is all you needed.

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Iím starting to believe Iím the only one who has changed. Itís simple, but an unpleasant feeling. But I must finally realize that I am subject to these sudden transformations. Nothing new has happened. I sit here in Winterhold alone writing to some unnamed reader. This college, for the moment, I will call my home.

My journey to Solitude was a tough one. A young man comes to the city. He has no name, no home, no work Ė he has come to the city to fulfill a contract of death. I wander through the woods, losing my way to the city where my goal can be found. I worried about my disintegrating clothes. They wonít last long. I worried about my next meal. Iím suffering. Iím nearly going mad. I worried about life, deathÖ my family. My familyÖ I canít remember the last time I saw them. My life has no purpose; Iím just an errand boy employed by liars, thieves, and hypocrites. As I write this, Iíve found some peace, but Iím still at odds with the world. My body is tired. I admit, the worse is behind me, but thinking about the journey from there to here is something that hurts my very soul.



All of this happened while I was walking around starving in Skyrim. That strange place no one escapes from until some sort of mark has been left in the body. I was walking to some city Iíve never been to. I was about half way through my destination when I decided to stop by a small town near Riverwood. I needed rest, so I spent the last money I had on a room. Itís small, but warm and safe. The people for the most part were nice.

I was lying awake in my room. I didnít get any sleep. Daylight was starting to sneak in. I could hear the steps of people moving up and down the stairs. I decided to get up and go to the bar. I questioned the bartender about the town. He quickly changed the subject and began telling me about some child performing a ritual in some nearby town. He mentioned something about a Dark Brotherhood. Rumors are all these people care about. I can tell by his excitement that he has told this rumor plenty of times before. I doubt if even he believes it. I, on the other hand, was fascinated by it. Rumors; be true or false are always revealing. I decided to go to the city where the boy was performing this ritual to see if itís true. What do I have to lose? Itís on the way to Solitude.

Diary of a Breton: journey to Solitude (part 1)
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Awake.

I started my journey in the forest, not far from some nameless town. Itís nameless because I didnít bother to remember it! The town itself, let me admit, is ugly. It had a strange smell. You really donít need much time to discover what is that makes it different from so many other towns here in Skyrim.

I checked my inventory. I had nothing. I checked my wallet, but Iím completely broke. I checked knowing I had no money, but still I checked for sake of it - it's the only way of keeping my sanity. I decided to walk to the nearest town. Maybe someone will hire me or I can sell some of my stuff. That would be a good way to make some extra cash, I thought.

As I walked around the forest, I grew tired. I needed a horse. My stamina was just not up for running. The sound of heavy breathing was all too common. I opened up my map and see where I can teleport myself. I noticed Iím not next to any mountains, so I decided to walk to my destination, no need for fancy tricks.



I see forest creatures pass me by. A nice smoothing soundtrack follows me; it changes depending on my mood. I take a deep breath and stop. Iím bored Ė I needed something to do! I decided not to go to town and open up my quest log. So many activities all bunched up together. What to do? I read description after description of people wanting my help. What did I do to deserve this? I escaped death. In fact, my life was supposed to end a few days prior. What do these people see in this poor Breton? Iím skinny; my armor is made of broken fur I stole out of a dead body up in the mountains. Nothing I have on me I earned with money, everything about me is false.

I made many acquaintances, but none I can truly call a friend. Even the family I belong to, the Dark Brotherhood, seems suspicious. I have a feeling theyíre talking behind my back. I have a sense things are not going to end well with them. They seem lost and believe Iím the answer to their problems. Ugh, this all too much to handle!



I decided to venture out to Solitude, I have unfinished business with a man there. I decided to fulfill my contract, I needed the money. I needed to fix myself up with new armor, potions, and swords. What I had then would not last for long.

As I walked to Solitude, I saw a cave. Dead bodies were scattered around. Suddenly Iím attacked by some bandits. I barely made it out alive. A few seconds after the ruffle, I start to feel something inside of me. I canít explain it, thereís something new about my hands, a certain way of picking up my sword or shield. Or itís the sword which now has a certain way of having itself picked up, I donít know. Something has happened to me, I canít doubt it anymore. Little by little, I felt a little strange, a little put out. Iím finding it hard to put into words, so I wonít.

I looked at the cave with great intensity. It didn't say a word, but itís inviting me in. I should continue on my journey to Solitude, but I think it could wait. I entered the cave. A change has taken place during these last few weeks. But where? It is an abstract change without objects. Am I the one who has changed? If not, then it is this world, these mountains, and this nature that are changing with me.

Iíve decided to sit in the college in Winterhold and write down my story. Itís quite here, and Iím only an outsider to these people. Nevertheless, I will make this college my home and I will tell me story. Maybe some poor soul will read it, and can relate to the words I write down. I will continue to write down my journey. The caveÖ what marvelous and demonic things Iíve seen thereÖ The event in the cave only lasted a few minutes before I left. I'm thankful for my life. I have no idea how long this journey will last, but let me record it - it entertains me, it's the only thing that keeps me sane. As I write this, things are still uncertain and unclear.

Solitude. Remember. That's my destination, right?

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VenusInFurs
11:47 PM on 10.12.2011

I was 16-years-old at the time. It was about 11 PM. Both my parents were working and didnít come home until midnight. My older brother was out attending a party, and I had the place all to myself. I made myself some microwave pizza, watched some TV, played video games, and took a quick shower before I went to bed. I lived in a small apartment complex in Queens, New York. There are two windows in my room. In one of the windows I can clearly see the street outside the building without the obstruction of any trees, an advantage my mother used to see where my brother would go anytime he left the building.

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That night while sleeping I was awaken by a scream. It was coming from outside. My windows were shut, but I could clearly hear the screams of a woman. I didnít move, but my eyes were wide open. For a moment, it seemed like I was frozen in time. I just stayed in my bed, eyes opened, and carefully listening to the cries of a helpless woman. Eventually I got up and went to the window. I saw a man pulling the hair of a woman; she was on the ground crying her heart out for help. The streets were empty. I opened the window to get a clearer sound of what she was saying. ďStop hitting me,Ē she screamed at the man I presumed was her boyfriend. The next few minutes I witness the man slap, kick and yell at her - and yet, no one came for help. As I was witnessing this, my heart was pounding. I wanted to go down there and stab the guy in the eye. But I didnít. I did nothing but stand still and witness the violence that was being displayed. At one point the man dragged the woman from one side of the building to another. I followed them by going to the living room, but my view was covered by some trees. I couldnít see anything but her screams were as clear as a sunny afternoon. I could hear my neighbor calling the police and was relieved I didnít have to be the one to do it. Eventually she got up and they left. The police arrived three minutes later, but the couple was long gone.

This event has stayed with me ever since. The image and sound of a woman being hit will never leave my mind and I still get this strange feeling every time I think about it. At times I wish I wasnít so small and skinny. I wish I went down there and saved her. When I saw her getting hit, I seriously thought of going to the kitchen and getting the sharpest knife I could find, go down there and stab the guy repeatedly in the face. Unfortunately the facts differ from my fantasy of revenge. I did nothing. My apartment was simply good seats for the concert.



Silent Hill 4: The Room scared me, not because of its story (which is good) or gameplay (which is bad and boring), but with its concept. The game starts with your character getting up from bed. Quickly you start to notice that the apartment is covered in dust, itís as if no one has lived there in years. As you explore the apartment, you noticed the door is locked from the inside by chains, and the windows are sealed shut. Eventually you'll find a hole in the bathroom, having no choice, you enter the hole. This hole acts like a portal; it takes you to different worlds. Once you beat a world or find a certain item, the apartment subtly changes. The apartment is your safe haven only for a few hours; slowly it starts to come alive and becomes as dangerous to be in as the worlds you explore.



I have a very mix reaction towards this game. I found the story to be fascinating; however, the gameplay left a lot to be desired. In the end of the day, the concept of being trapped in an apartment is what I find to be most captivating and disturbing. For instance, very early on the game you meet a woman badly beaten up, you finish the level, and suddenly the apartment opens itself up to you Ė you turn the radio on and hear the report of a missing women. You look outside the window and see the ambulance carrying out a dead body from the subway entrance Ė the apartment is your seat for the show. Youíre an observer, not a participant. You can look through the peephole on the door, look outside windows, look into your neighborís room by a small hole, etc. The essence of a safe haven slowly decaying as you progress got to me, and the reminder of my own helplessness was constant in the game. Chaos as an observer is what I find more disturbing than anything else. Witnessing something you really shouldnít see. Wanting to help, but canít. These are the situations that disturbed and unsettled me, not only in the game, but in real life.
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