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XivSpew's blog

11:01 PM on 09.01.2009

Disemployed (or why games very indirectly got me fired, and the lessons therein)

Allow me to paint a picture of my day-to-day life up to a few weeks ago; perhaps a few Dtoiders may recognize themselves...well, maybe more than a few. I had a steady job in an unmentioned bank doing internal IT, a simple 9-to-5 cube farm kind of thing. The daily grind wore me down steadily, yet it gave me a semi-decent paycheck and provided me with ample time to safely peruse RSS feeds and indulge in interoffice nerd rage. ("OF COURSE BACK TO THE FUTURE'S PLOT HAS HOLES, THEY'RE PUNCHING CANNON HOLES IN SPACE-TIME!!!") After punching out for the day and winding my way slowly but surely home, I looked forward to the time I could spend with my consoles and uncomfortable yet charming broken-in IKEA couch.

As like most of you, I've been playing games for as long as I could hold a controller, and I found the mixture of escapism, nostalgia, and sheer entertainment provided by games to be the cure to the ills of life. Not only that, but I have the kind of personality that could unabashedly invest in a 7-hour-long odyssey into something like Culdcept Saga or Fallout 3 or Insert Game Here without blinking an eye. I couldn't tell you about how many times over the years I called in sick to play the latest release (though I did legitmately take a few days off for GTA IV without harm). Often, I'd find myself at 3 AM, with a shift starting at 8 the next day, and I'd shake myself out of the trance long enough to turn shit off and fall asleep. More often than not, I would end up sleeping past my alarm and rolling into work just a little later than was officially acceptable.

Now, one IP i'm a whore for more than anything is Batman. One late night, I discovered the Arkham Asylum demo was available for download. Hark! I would be a FOOL to pass up the ability to download it and play it now as opposed to getting good sleep and waiting until tomorrow to check it out. So I played it, more than a demo should be played, went to bed, and I woke up late. And came in late to work again. And then I was asked for my badge by my manager as escorted to the exit.

For the next few days afterwards, I felt sheer hatred for my favorite past-time. Didn't turn on anything or even dink around with excellent browser-based games. Even sold a few really valuable gems I was holding onto for...whatever reason just to make rent for the next month. I held a weirdly nebulous yet heavy grudge against video games, and the mass tragedy to my personal life it had dealt me in this hand. It was less of a rage of The Hulk getting mugged in the alley, and more of a spurned lover crying in his beer while staring at the engagement ring he was saving.

After a week or so of applications, resumes, and cover letters being fired off like a Super Hadoken, Arkham Asylum came out. Since I had the intuition of paying the game off completely when reserving it, I grabbed it. Begrudgingly, I put it in after blowing the dust off the disc tray (yes, I like exaggeration). And hollllyyyy shit, it was everything I thought it was going to be and more. Finally, a game that lives up to the pre-release hype AND has a fucking bio for Prometheus that's unlockable (!!!!!!). In one playthrough, I not only regained my love of games and then some, but I learned a valuable life lesson.

Games weren't the reason I lost my job. I lost my job because I had/have poor time management, poor self-discipline, and I fucking love sleeping in my comfy bed along with too-quiet alarm clocks. If it weren't video games, it would've been some other hobby or past-time that would've led me to the point that I'm at now. And yes, I'm only 23, so this is something young'ins should have ground into them at some point or another, or I should've known better so please don't comment something like "NO SHIT ASSHOLE". (would anyone on DToid actually say that? And how old do you have to be to be inspired to go there? Whatever, I'm just being defensive.)

In retrospect, I should've seen the signs long ago working for a corporation that demands such adult responsibilties as coming into work on time while being a 20-something stoner who really, really enjoys being in a band and playing games. Maybe somewhere down the road I'll find A. the self control to go to sleep and wake up in a way that makes me function in a modern society or B. a job that doesn't sweat being 10 minutes late as much as before. Regardless, I figured there's a good number of you on Destructoid who share the same set of social variables as myself. So consider this a warning. Don't make the same mistakes I did and let the grand majesty of video games (zero sarcasm) get in the way of what's important IRL. Keep your shit in check, otherwise you'll be selling a chunk of your childhood memories to pay for food and rent.

On a sidenote, is anyone hiring a smooth-talkin code monkey? :D   read

1:34 AM on 08.25.2009

Why I <3 Destructoid

Too many words to say...when a website lives on your toolbar for 3+ years and doesn't move, that's true love.
It's too late and I'm a little too drunk to really write anything worth reading, but I felt I should toss my controller into
the pile in tribute. Thanks for existing, you vagabond website, you!!

-XIV   read

4:35 AM on 08.24.2009

The illustrious XIV takes a stab at this hurr blahg introducshun

[i]Pre warning, i'm 99% sure that one or the many things that consist this first blog post are the wrong way to
do it. Alignment's all fusted, few broken links hanging around, egregious self promotion...but this is my first
time and i gotta give it all. Feel free to castigate me openly, but i just gotta try once...[/i]

And here I am. Who am I? My name's XIV. XivSpew/XivGNP is my username on Destructiod (and other sites)
allows for easier recognition and name calling. I hail from the frozen tundra of the Twin Cities, MN. I play keytar
and scream in a band named OBCT. I enjoy many, many aspects of wonderful geek culture, from dystopian
black comedies to the art of Hieronymous Bosch, and most of anything labelled with the suffix of - punk.
Above all this, my dear droogies, is video games.

Across the board, up and down, I dig them all. I like game mechanics that work seamlessly to let me feel i'm
actually a thief skulking through medieval castles yoinking anything not tied down, only to stop when my light
meter goes full blast. I like when a game's narrative allows me as a player to not just have the story told to me
but to feel it. I like it when a game says it has a morality system, but instead of gaining access to better
equipment or resources from the actions of my choices, my choices can make me feel like shit for ruining
these fictional character's lives. I like games that enable the player to inhabit a puppetmaster role to the
characters, weaving stories to and fro to whatever conclusion I see fit.

And I like racing at 260 MPH off a ski ramp into a dandy soiree set in a theater hall filled with priceless, dangling

To reitorate, I love video games. Not just the games, but game theory, and how it is used with the millions of
different variables and decisions that developers, publishers, beta testers, and finally the players make to
change button pushes become much, much more than the sum of their parts.

I have lurked on DToid for a long, long time, and commented semi-occasionally, but finally have the balls to get
a blog rolling and participate in this frightening concept of community. I hope to do, see, and write much more
from this point forward, so this is really my "Hey! I exist!" introductory blog, and I look forward to not only
getting to know the rest of you better, but to participate in making D-Toid (best of the gaming blogs) even

Oh, and hey, while i'm pooping this out, why not introduce myself further with self band whorage!!!

As of right now, I play keytar and scream in a band in Minneapolis named OBCT.

It is your typical sort of music that comes from 5 angry nerds who really, really like industrial, metal, and 12-14
other genres. Slightly difficult to define, which is why I will present you with streaming audial magickry!!!

And video, which we shot in a garage and backyard, during which my keytar almost caught ablaze (ANGRY

We released our last album not 3 days ago, with a middling yet incredibly killah release party at the Fine Line. If
you dig it, i humbly implore you to do your part in proving that internet sales of music *can* indeed buy
musicians lunch. We's on Itunes, Bacefook, MahSchpace, cdbaby, 30 other distributors we have very little
control over, the works!

Prior to now, however, I played keyboards (and screamed again) for Gabber Nullification Project.

This would probably me more of interest to D-Toiders, as it was essentially two video-game obsessed yet
musically twisted people creating painful, speaker-throbbing grindcore for about 20 people who went to every
show (we were big in Rotterdam!) We sampled everything from RC Pro-Am, Punch-Out, Bayou Billy, Double
Dragon, and god knows what else. I've left the band since, but they still carry that 8-bit torch so i recommend
a listen at least.

Our 2nd album was called 2A03 after the Famicom's sound chip, and we designed the liner notes as the
instruction booklet for Super Mario Bros.

We also own, which we made 4 tracks for using the same parameters the NES chip used. PM me
if you realllllly wanna hear, i don't think they're online anywhere.

And that's it! WOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! Thank you and good night.   read

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