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7:07 PM on 04.03.2012

10 Things About Me That You Really Don't Need To Know



I haven't blogged here in a very long time. This is the part where I am supposed to say that I missed it and the rest of the community. Let's assume that I did, and it didn't just come off like a twelve year old gear giving an insincere apology to her parents for smoking pot and getting caught skipping school, even though that's what came immediately came to my mind because I wouldn't trust myself to comb my own hair.

HAIR IS DANGEROUS!

About six to eight months ago, I received more than a handful of PM's and E-Mails in regard to my absence in the community. I didn't respond to them. I was feeling pretty uncomfortable at the time, and, to be frank, it wasn't their fault and I probably should have responded in kind, but that's not me. I'm callous, cold, and I don't remember when your birthday is, or even most of your first names. Sorry.

So as a self-professed jerk there really seems to be no reason for me to write something like this outside of glomming up some undeserved attention while pretending like I never wanted it anyway, and I know that is awfully unbecoming of me, and again I'm sorry.

Truthfully, what provoked this blog's topic was listening to some fellow DTOID members talk about it rather earnestly during a game of Battlefield 3 while I was deeply vested in obtaining out squad intel and trying to win the game. They on the other hand were talking about this community and the blogs, which is not as uncommon of a thing as some of you might imagine. Destructoid runs deep.

Their commitment to the community, the zest with which they felt about this idea, along with some goading given months ago, and some more in the previous month or so has brought me back like an ungrateful child to tell you a bunch of rather personal and somewhat awkward things about myself. They might not be what you'd expect, and that probably says a lot about me.

Hopefully a little bit of schadenfreude will make us close enough to use our collective sperm and ova to impregnate a chimpanzee... wait... What the fuck am I talking about?

Go ahead and read list below.

Listen to some music.
(Each list item has a song that is marginally related to it).

Tell your mom that you love her.
____________________________



1. I am an easily provoked and vulgar person.

Those of you that have actually gamed with me on XBOX Live are probably already more than aware of this one. Youíve also likely have heard me so flustered that I couldnít get out a coherent insult or comment to save my life. Itís sad, but I am probably one of those people that has been recorded in party chats and then reposted on YouTube later to be laughed at.

Yeah, I know. Thatís a bad thing, and I have honestly worked on holding back some of the bile, but the beast gets loose every once and awhile. Itís an embarrassment to myself and many of my friends and family.



2. I genuinely wish that we could all be honest and happy, but never seem to manage either of those things for very long.

Iím a fairly secretive, introverted, and intense person. When I do express myself it is usually a bit stronger than necessary and often so extraordinarily uncomfortable for me that I would just as assume never saying anything at all and saving myself the discomfort. So this often leaves me either too terse or genial yet disingenuous. Itís been said many times that the basis of society at large is living under the pretext of many small, benign lies, but frequently that doesnít seem to be good enough for me, and I donít know if I am limiting my own happiness by thinking that way because I already know that it canít be mature or particularly bright on my part. I took a long pause after typing that last sentence and couldnít figure out whether I wanted to say ďCíest la vieĒ or ďFuck it.Ē



3. The last time I was even remotely close to getting laid was in a graveyard.

The less I say about this one would probably be for the better because I am actually a bit ashamed of myself, but since most people arenít actively aware of this event and certainly are going to be made just as uncomfortable by it as me I might as well tell them. She was about five foot one and was failing at being Goth and Asian while being both of those. I donít think I was honestly attracted to her and what keep me around was purely hormonal. She had pretty much be throwing herself at me for the last month, and virtue be damned. It is hard to keep control of a penis.

It was raining on a spring afternoon, and I had gone for a walk with her. On the walk she saw a cemetery (obviously) and wanted to check it out. Being the instigator that she was, I had been convinced to give her the business in a public place. I received nothing in return. A week or so after that, I came to a personal resolution that I really didnít need my dick getting the best of me and I have been unhappily single since. Did I mention that I am petty?



4. I wish my voice was two octaves lower.

I am incredibly self-conscious about my voice and to a lesser extent my physical appearance. Some things can be changed about yourself, while most of them youíre born into and have little to no choice about. When I was young my parents had me sing in a choir. Yeah, thatís right. I said a fucking choir, and I was good at it for whatever that was worth. My mother is/was a trained singer and she kind of foisted that upon my brother and me. It stuck with me while my brother was smart enough to get out. I wasnít.

As I grew my voice really didnít get much manlier, and it has currently topped out at something that is still mildly pubescent sounding. Iím not happy about it at all. My favorite singers are all baritones and thatís probably more so out of jealousy than anything else. There are times where I hear my own voice and feel utterly emasculated. Most people donít seem to pick at me about it, and I know very well that the problem isnít on their end. Itís on mine.



5. In high school I skipped a week of school to finish Star Ocean 2 before one of my friends could, just so I could tell him all of the spoilers when I got back.

One of my current gaming buddies and good friends since high school bought Star Ocean 2 on release day. We were both very much into JRPGís at the time, along with any other RPG outside of tabletop games. For a week he seemed to be having a great time playing the game. He told me all sorts of things. Such as the game was better, longer, and more complex than Final Fantasy VII, and that game coincidentally was our current gold standard for console RPGís at the time. I was intrigued, more than a little envious, and totally, bat-shit spiteful.

Long story made short, this is one of the few things he has yet to forgive me for doing, and since then he has taken an extremely bizarre stance on spoilers so much so that he will read them in advance simply so he knows it before someone else has the chance to tell him.



6. I am an asshole.

The previous list item should cover a little of this, but there is so much more to it. Itís not usually intentional on my part. Iím just a mean-spirited person. I have been that way for as long as I could remember. My parents told me stories from when I was a toddler about frequent fights that I had with other kids, often having to be pulled away before I hurt them. Whether itís in my nature to be confrontational or itís just something that ends up happening, there have been a lot of situations in my life where I have stirred up much more trouble than I intended.

For the most part, I really wish that I wasnít like this, but sometimes a spade is a spade and it just canít be anything else. So please forgive me if I sometimes, or even all the time, rub you the wrong way. Itís not something I am entirely control of, and, no, itís not Aspergerís. I am just an asshole, which is disheartening because it means I really donít have an excuse.



7. Generally speaking, I am not very good at video games. I am just persistent.

I have gotten the platinum trophy for Demonís Souls and have gotten all of the achievements for Dark Souls. Iíve beaten some supposedly difficult games and usually not felt like that Iíve bested them. When games were Nintendo hard, I was marathon running through Blaster Master, Bayou Billy, and Battletoads, and by marathon I mean it took me a long time of consistently plugging away at the game while making marginal progress and rejecting failure as a possible outcome.

Sure, it took me longer to beat the game than most people, but I did learn patience and that if you beat your head against a wall long enough either you knock yourself unconscious or cause some serious property damage. I became a fan of property damage and coincidentally Jackie Chan films.



8. Last month I was called for jury duty. The rest of the jurors and the judge gave me some pretty dirty looks when the judge asked me where I got my news and I told him plainly that I didnít.

What can I say about this one? Social awareness is not one of my strong suits, and to be honest the news is depressing. Everything that most of the world urgently wants me to know is seems to either be horrible, manipulative, or a sickening combination of the two. Of course, in better motivated and more altruistic people this type of information inspires them to change the world and go on to do great things. For me itís just one more thing to be unhappy about while pretty much feeling helpless as this whole, mad world churns insanely around me.

Donít ask me what the fuck I am going to do. I am scared and as a result dangerously depressed.



9. I have faked an injury to get front of line access to rollercoasters at Six Flags.

A few years ago, freshly off the heels of graduating college, and very much entrenched in the throes of young adulthoodís version of immaturity, I decided drunkenly the day that my friends and I were going to Six Flags Great America that not only did I not feel like waiting in line for the rides that I also could pull off a con to get wheel chair access. A buddy had some crutches in his garage. One thing led to another and I got my wish.

It would have be a completely remorseless offense if I hadnít felt the urge to follow through on my role by using the handicapped stalls. The one and only attempt I made at pissing led to a small child leaving the stall, forlornly staring at the damp, grey, bathroom floor and whispering an apology to me for using the toilet for hurt folks. It gave me sad boots because I knew better then and I know better now. That isnít to say I wouldnít do it again if I was given the chance. I know I would. Iím a weak man.



10. I frequent forums, blogs, and gaming sites more to alleviate loneliness and boredom than to actually discuss video games.

This is the sad truth. I honestly donít give a shit about the plot of most video games, nor do I have any connection to the characters. I care even less about most peopleís opinions on those things, and usually stick around out of voyeuristic curiosity. Donít take that as me saying that you are a car crash or window dressing for me, but then againÖ Ok. Letís not think about this one too hard. It might make things awkward.

P.S. I have screenshots of everything.   read


3:43 PM on 06.08.2011

E3: Just how hardcore is the Wii U?



UhhhÖ for once I wrote this part of my blog last. Usually itís the first bit, and it functions as a warm up for the rest of the blog. Today I didnít need that. What I was trying to get out pretty much came out on its ownÖ like a nice healthy poop. Wait. That came out wrong. Shit. Wait. No. Double Shit!

I guess I could have left that out. Oh, well.

Nintendo has spent the past five years making great games on consoles that I either didn't want to own, or didn't quite measure up to the ones that I already did. By releasing a new console to the market they've opened me back up to their good graces and possibly wanting to own their machines for a larger purpose than playing the newest iteration of their classics. If you couldn't sell me last generation with Metroid, Mario, Donkey Kong, and Zelda, then clearly there is either something wrong with me, your console, or the combination of the two.

Let's talk about how Nintendo hopes to correct this.

Wii didn't have solid catalog of third-party titles. This is arguable of course, but only insomuch as if you disregard all of the cross-platform titles that either didn't make the jump to Wii, or did attempt to make the jump but did so like Super Meat Boy does this through a dozen stainless steel blades. The games are there, but not readily apparent, and when they are because they are ports, it's just too much of a mess to appreciate.

So what did Nintendo promise us during their conference?



Batman: Arkham City, and doesn't that get your blood pumping? Sure, it's not an exclusive, and it will probably show up later than it should, but I am pretty sure that it is a game that appeals to more than just the Nintendo crowd. The same goes for all of the other announced third-party titles like Aliens: Colonial Marines, Darksiders 2, Assassin's Creed, and, forgive me if I cannot forgive you in doubting its relevance to 'Core gamers, Metro 2033: Subtitle Unknown To False Nipple.

If you are looking for exclusives by Nintendo that cater to niche gamers, then you're out of luck. Oh, and for the record I excluded Nintendo Fanboys from the running when qualifying that last statement. That isn't to say that the system won't have niche or hardcore games, but that it is beyond mentioning until it has a year on the shelves and developers have learned the ins and outs of Nintendo's hardware, and it isn't fair to assume what titles they have or will have, let alone to throw in the towel. Weíre still too early in the game to make a call.

We'll just have to move on from there.

The next point of consideration is that Nintendo has stepped up to HD, or at least have told us that they have, so touting out our 360ís and PS3ís graphical superiority may no longer let us dismiss Nintendoís box when buying cross-platform titles. Nintendo even went as far as announcing a few that we know well enough not to be exclusives. So sooner or later we wonít just have XBOX vs. Sony fans ruining the internet with cross-platform game comparison rants.



Keep in mind that they didn't have a functioning demo in HD of any game, first party or otherwise. It's more than likely that they will be showing Wii U again at next year's E3 as opposed to it being on the streets and shoveling Wii U Carnival Games 2 at us. A high definition console does not sell without software, or more egregiously behind the promise of it. That we only saw the tablet in action is telling to say the anything at all, because to the audience that they hope to recapture, it's honestly the least important aspect of their new system. It's a gimmick... again.

I've already said this a couple times in the comments, and I'll probably say it again because I don't think that the people that need to hear it, read it, see it, and actually make an effort to digest it have done so.

The Wii U tablet controller is not enough to sell me a console, nor is it a representative of the actual console's capabilities. As a matter of fact, it might not even be necessary to play most games. That you can only pair one tablet per console pretty much excludes it from a variety of party-style, multiplayer games that Nintendo is known for.

It does have many other assets though, and again I probably have mentioned this elsewhere, but the tablet is pretty, damned savvy for something that at its heart is an input device. Until the situation arises where you or someone else has to share a television, and usually rather unpleasantly decide who gets priority over it, the game transferring option for Wii U isnít going to seem all that impressive. Trust me when I tell you that it is though.



One relationship eroding fight will be all it takes to separate Wii U owners from someone on their XBOX, let alone how the gamer is going to feel when he jumps out of an online match into a forced, rape snuggle during Greyís Anatomy hoping to scrape up the emotional strength to want to get into bed with that frag-blocking fartwhistle.

Another feature that intrigues me, although I know it probably wonít once I get my hands on it, is the capability of the tablet to be used as a drawing device. You may or may not know this, but I love to draw, edit, and create digital and non-digital art. Four seconds of someone drawing Link was enough to pique my interest, and I am not even a huge fan of the Zelda series (Yes, I know that is blasphemy. Iím sorry. Itís just who I am.). The softwareís depth is going to be a large qualifier on just how interesting that is to me, and although I am not expecting something on par with Adobe Photoshop, I am expecting to see more than Mario Paint, and a bit of integrated digital photo editing and media sharing would go a long way.

And here is the part where I may lose a few of you.

The tablet controller is not sold separately.

Let me repeat that.



A device being marketed with such high levels of convergence and usability that it looks like you will never, ever want to put it down, let alone share, isnít cheaply or conveniently replaceable. You break it, and guess what? You just bought a new console, or have to send it in for warrantied service, which we all know is only marginally better than buying a new console.

Just take a look at the damage that has been caused with Wii Motes in the past.

[embed]203322:39204[/embed]

Imagine that on a more expensive scale and then multiply that by the number of families with small children, who were safe enough to play Wii, but absolutely werenít trusting enough towards their tykes to let them own or touch Daddyís iPad. I hope that you can recognize how troubling that makes the Wii U tablet. Itís on the verge of being too hardcore.

Thatís right. I just said that, and it fucking frightens me.

Only time will tell if Wii U is not only a quality machine, but also one that has the goods that gamers want. At this point in time, I can say without a doubt that it will sell. What it does for the people that own it remains to be seen. E3 is no better to gamers than a campaign promise is to voters. Both tend to become obsolete a year or less after we've given both our money and loyalty to our party of choice.

Let's hope Nintendo honors its word.   read


3:17 PM on 05.29.2011

When did I become my dad?



That I am writing this is an indicator that I have nothing better to do. The objective worth of that statement has no bearing on how wildly its connotation can vary, which is to say that it is both meaningless and polarizing. Neither of those qualities is particularly noble, yet here I am. You can hit the back button now.

Itís another Sunday afternoon in late May. The weather in Chicago could be called overcast and rainy today. It could also be called oppressive, dark, hateful, or some other loaded word meant to emphasize how it negatively affects my mood. I suppose that you could do some readings into that on your own, but overanalyzing and repetitious description seem to come naturally to me. Why should I be succinct when I can fire aimlessly and let you check yourself for gunshot wounds?

Video Games have given me much to do when I couldnít be bothered to come up with something better or more productive. Theyíve been a steady source of entertainment in both times of leisure and times where they actively interfered with real life and its sad, stupid responsibilities. For the past couple of months though I have had little motivation to play them, whether that is due to a lack of new games or simply being more intrigued by other things is debatable.

I guess I could tell you what I have been doing or what games I havenít been playing, but really I donít want to be that open. Iíd like to write something about me, yet have it at the same time not just be about me and be a bit more pertinent to a larger audience, and that seems to be a difficult thing because of how esoteric personal experience is, regardless of how universal something like ennui can be.

Sorry, that I am fishing about here. Itís not that I donít want to get from A to B, but rather that I am unsure on how to do it. Although it does seem like a rude and boorish way to come at things, I still have time on my hands, and more importantly I am not trying to just express ideas, but I am also trying to use up the time that I normally would have dedicated to distraction through video games. If only I could be playing one now instead of typing this.



Where did I put my slippers? I can't seem to find them.

Earlier today I slid Forza 3 back into my 360 for the umpteenth time, and it was with poor intentions. I did it to play through the gameís event list, which robust is not enough of a word to adequately describe, and waste a couple of hours driving around in circles to stave off the fatigue I am currently suffering from in less digital arenas. It felt like the gaming equivalent of my poor, old dad playing one of his endless hands of solitaire, and it tore at the dignity and grace that gaming once held for me. Where had my childhood gone, and when did its joyful pastimes become a calculated, soulless time-sink?

Clearly I was doing something wrong.

After a period of time, that was both too long and entirely not long enough, I turned the game off and started writing this. I donít feel any better for it either because what I had started there left with me, and now itís forming its own narrative on both of our times. My partnership in that despicableness would end easily enough if I were to hit 'Ctrl-A' and 'Delete', but where would that put the time I had invested in both of these things.



Hey, Sisyphus. Do you wanna play some video games with me?

I cannot stand waste, and even though I get a strong sense that it is occurring while I game or blog at certain times, there is no easy way to give up on the vain hope that what I am feeling is genuinely relevant and, perhaps more arrogantly, worth not just my time alone.

That is what I look for in a video game, and that I am now sorely missing it is disheartening. While that elusive je ne sais quoi has popped up in many other areas of my life recently, there hasnít been a direct outlet for me to express it. No, Iím not a social animal. Iím like a cricket. Youíll hear me before dusk making music with a crowd of my peers, but I havenít seen most of them face to face, and with the slightest disturbance I will go dead silent. Itís a cowardly lifestyle, but I come by it honestly.

Thunder is rolling outside at a deliberate and idiosyncratic pace that seems to me much more appealing than what I am doing here. My stereo is playing through Lia Ices' Grown Unknown for its third full time, and that it may actually be more consecutive spins due to how arbitrary everything is feeling at the moment. Iím going to turn up the volume, pour myself a drink, and take a nap.

[embed]202328:38862[/embed]

SundaysÖ who needs Ďem?   read


7:47 AM on 05.08.2011

Let me show you what I've done with some crayons



Click here to see the above at its full resolution

Too much coffee. Too much coffee. Too much coffee.

Painting used to be one of my hobbies, and I say used to because I can't do it where I currently live. Its really messy, or at least when I do it right. Most things are messy when you do them right, and I can't currently afford to be right. So I've been messing around in Photoshop lately, and it's been a lot of fun. It's not quite as fun as actually painting, but it is a hell of a lot easier to clean up after, and, beyond time invested, it costs nothing.

Part of me is dying to buy a Wacom drawing tablet, so I can do some serious digital art, but I know that not only isn't my budget, but that I'm a fickle, little shit that will promptly give up on art as soon as I get bored.

Did I mention that it has been almost five years since I last painted?

I was a heavy smoker then and also a vegan. I had to have been thirty pounds lighter and seven times more fidgety. It was a lively time, but it definitely took its toll on me. The smoking I miss more than the vegan diet, although the diet did inspire me to learn how to cook, which I now do well and on a daily basis.

Ok, enough of that. I should probably address what you're looking at above and possibly in the other attached images below.

That is what happens when I make something video game related as an excuse to post a blog and share all of the other random headers that I have made for fellow community members over the past couple of days. It's a desktop wallpaper, or whatever other thing you want to call a picture set to those proportions, that showcases Jade from Ubisoft's Beyond Good & Evil. I wanted to emphasize the title and work with the idea of duplicity between light and dark contrasts, color inversion, and, forgive me for all the things that are wrong with it, grittier imagery.

While time does indeed fly when you're having fun, I did take notice that it only took my five hours to make that image, whereas when I was painting it took me weeks to finish a painting that had an eighth of the detail. Technology is a wonderful and effort trivializing thing.

Below there are a handful of blog header images that I forced on other users via PM this week. Most of them were flattered and took them in good sport, but I honestly felt like I was imposing, even though it was just a gift. Maybe one day I'll figure out why something like that makes me feel guilty.

Have a peek and tell me what you think. Any tips in regard to photoshop, visual composition, or art in general will be highly appreciated.



For Debatoid



For Wolfy



For Caiters



For Man With No Name



For Mr. Andy 'Boner' Dixon



For Occam's Electric Toothbrush, which I enjoyed making so much I kept part of the header image to make another wallpaper.



For Venus In Furs



For Handy



For anyone who wants it



For funktastic   read


4:59 PM on 04.28.2011

Dolphins, Pterodactyls, and Pink Clouds: An Idiot's Guide to Fapping



This is the preamble. All blogs have these now. They are super important. Once one of these punched me in my nuts. It was cold-fricking-blooded. Oh, and if you're looking for something helpful there is a song embedded below to listen to while reading this, or conversely to listen to and not read this. I hope you like one or the other.

P.S. I am naked.

[embed]199905:38040[/embed]

It's good to feel appreciated. It's also good to know that people recognize that you exist. Faps can do both of those. Sure, we like to think that we value our judgement, and that somewhere in our opinion there is worth beyond being average, but let's not discount potential, effort, presentation, and precision.

To put this as bluntly as possible, not every blog is a world-shaker. We are not going to be moved to tears with each and every thought and word thrown out there. That may sound cynical, but in every cynical observation there is a self-evident amount of truth. This is not strictly speaking a factual truth, although in certain cases it is. It's a truth though, one that nags and cajoles us. It forces itself upon us until we've distilled something past the point of enjoyment, and what we are left to swallow is one more bitter pill that has only been fortified by our own smugness.



For the sake of openmindedness, let's try to be a little less cynical when it comes to fapping and commenting on blogs. As members of one of the friendliest, gaming communities on the internet, there's a strong likelyhood that I am already preaching to the choir, but every choir could use new members, and nothing is more beautiful than adding additional voices to harmonize with a chorus. Sure, it's fun to run against the grain once and awhile, but even the most magnificent of bastards needs friends.

Don't miscontrue what I am saying here as a proposal for universal, unwarranted fapping, even though now that I think about it, the concept does seem pretty, darned amusing. Merely consider it an act of deliberate faith towards your fellow bloggers and the Destructoid community as a whole. We exist, and will continue to exist, as long as there is a vital interest in the community's work. Willingness to accept excellence outside of our comfort zones is practically a prerequisite in blogging. We might not see something in its fullest glory without first wearing our own weary-eyed, spam-hating blinders.

That sounds like a lot of work, doesn't it?

Well, it should.

Rome wasn't built in a day, and Destructoid can't give boners to the whole galaxy in five years alone. All great things take time and energy. Let's make something already great even better. Become an active creator of boners, rocker of boats, fapper of blogs, champion of gaming word-speak technology, and all that those things entail. You can do it. I can do it. Your mom can do it.

That's what I said.

That's what she said.

As lofty as all of this sounds, it really isn't. It's easy enough that I, a self-professed moron, can do it, and actually am doing it. (Self-high five? YES!) You can take a ten to fifteen minute glance yesterday's C-Blog Recaps or the sidebar that shows voted up C-Blogs on the mainpage to find some seriously, good reading.

I'm going to do it right now.

Here are three examples of quality blogs, some of which are great even though I don't necessarily agree with them or like the subject. They were all posted today nonetheless!
________________________________



Are People Really Afraid of FUN? by Vincent Pavey



_________________________________



Aaamaazing: Finding Beauty in the ĎStorm by Sidother



__________________________________



Relatable Characters: Why I Love Vivi by bbain



__________________________________



By no means do I consider myself an expert in regard to taste or poignancy, those faps came on the wings of whim, like most inspiration does. Take flight yourself. What's worst that could happen? Maybe you could end up flying too close to sun and set yourself on fire. That's not so bad. Call me a sick, reprehensible ass, but there isn't anything funnier than self-immolation.

Toodles.   read


2:12 PM on 04.22.2011

Monthly Unamusing: Your Mouth, Valve's Wang



Let me begin this by saying that I am a small, hateful person that should be avoided or ignored, and that the opinion expressed in this blog is my own, and has no intention to troll, but rather used to vent some steam so I can go back to hiding under a rock and pretending like one of the most anticipated games in recent memory wasn't just released to critical acclaim and collective ejaculation of the internet. If that sounds bitter, then how much more bitter am I going to be when every last excited person starts putting up a blog, a tweet, or finds some other way to make Portal 2 insinuate itself into every conversation.

There are those of you that I assume are wondering what is wrong with me, and there is quite a bit, but I don't have the time or patience to get into all of that, instead I'm going to keep at what it is you are doing to add to it. More specifically my issue with people that can't contain their excitement, and how it ruins what little joy a dour person, like myself, could get from game by being overwhelmed by platitudes and misappropriated quotes. Just so we are clear in this, it isn't that I am not excited or happy that Portal 2 is here and great, but rather that I hate the chattering, squirrel-faced masses that will geek out on this game to the point where I can't respect the game for the sake of attracting the lowest of gaming lows, which is to say fan boys.

Take that with a grain of salt though, there are many things worth being praised, and the best of those things are always overrated to some extent. That I am worrying about how badly I am going to hate the fans of Portal 2 is only a testament its success. It could reach Star Wars, LotR, Harry Potter, and Twilight proportions. Again I feel conflicted in asking you to curb your enthusiasm because ultimately I love a lot of those things as much as you do and truly wish them the utmost public acknowledgement and critical approval, but all of the wide-eyed, wider-mouthed monkeys out there kill me. In that resentment, I am no better than the worst of hipsters. Frankly, I am disgusted by that, and wanting to hide away something great from the roaring, derpy crowd is no less evil than the crowd itself.

Yet here I am, yelling at the top of my lungs. So instead of me giving you more of that, I would like you to consider something. When you spend the next couple of months, or possibly years, gushing about Portal 2, don't concern yourself with whether or not the game is great, because at this point we all know that it is, but rather how much of a service you are doing the fan base of the game and those that you'd like to win over to it.

Responsibility isn't a concept normally considered when geeking out, as a matter of fact I think the moderation it implies might be the antithesis of geeking out. Although in my heart I still feel that bubbling, joyous glee, and I know that it is a good feeling and one that regardless of how obnoxiously it ends up being expressed that the source from which it came is worthy and right. I don't want to give up on awesome things because of whom they would align me with, and I don't think you do either. We can hope that one day we, myself especially, can unclench our collective sphincters and let loose with our feelings. I'm just worried that instead of hearing funny, little farts now and then that we might be spraying diarrhea all over the place.

So please think about it. Think about about it long and hard before becoming that inner geek. If you truly love the game, then the best thing you can do to show it is be able to make other people love you for loving it.   read


8:16 PM on 04.11.2011

RE: Your role in this game



You should know better than reading this. You really should. I am about to take a fair bit of your time and leave you with nothing show for it.

I'm me.

I haven't properly introduced myself, and I don't intend to. It's not that I don't like you enough to explain myself, but rather it's a lot like having to introduce your retard nephew to your date after unexpectedly bumping into him at the movie theater, except in this case I am my own retarded nephew, and if that sounds awkward to you, then just imagine how it makes me feel.

But for a moment disregard that swollen, pathetic self-loathing, and put yourself in my shoes, or rather in the shoes of yourself if you were me, and not typing this extemporaneously hoping to get to a point. Under the left shoe tongue of my LA Gear lights is where you will find a role, or your role as you to be precise.

Have you got that? Yes? Good.

We can move onto the next buggered up point on this agenda.

That guy on the screen is me/you.

Treat this as a roleplaying excercise. Make me say something. Make me do something. Lead me through the narrative with your own particular tang flavoring me up like bag of Cool Ranch Doritos. Ok, it's not working for you is it? I just keep pushing these words out here, but if this were a video game you'd have a bit more control, and instead of trying to wrangle me you'd be focused upon the game's setting, environment, and character interaction. I suppose the lack of interactivity between you and me is holding us back here, but whatever. My fingers aren't tired yet.

The person typing this is me.



Stop being me for a moment and just be you. I'll be me. I'm all over the place, whether it's in the foreground as an NPC, the background as game mechanics, or somewhere in between as the game's environment. It's a lot to ask for, but I have prepared for a long time to be me. I've been checked, double checked, and triple checked. I'll be checking out me well after you are done with me for performance evaluation purposes. It's scientific like toothpaste.

Now that I have spent about fifteen minutes letting my mind run amok with my fingers, let me try something else, or more of the same if I can't make my mind behave. It doesn't like being told to sit still, you know.

As my solemn promise to you, which if I were actually interested in my peers, or audience if your not so keen on being on par with a self-loathing, mumbling neurotic who can't stop himself from pounding out words and wishing that they'd edit themselves into something more meaningful... ok, I promise to [you/me/mom/baby jesus] that I will at some juncture make an argument or theory that justifies an eighth, perhaps less, of the time that I have take from you in getting there.

Let's begin again. If you can't tell already, I'm more than a little megalomaniacal. It's not because you're bad people either, rather that as a person that spends a large amount of leisure and work time alone I don't often have the benefit of others to bounce ideas off of. Frequently, I make my mind up quicker than I think I should and get the sneaking suspicion that if something were that easy that it couldn't be right. Rome wasn't built in a day, and I want my brain to significantly better infrastructure lest it have the same trouble with tourists, religious fanatics, and, oh, shit. I'm doing it again, aren't I?

I do this a lot. I'm really lonely and talking to myself tends ease my nerves, or at least until I noticed that my nerves have been ease, and then I figure out how I did it and it riles me right back up. Either that or it's the coffee. I drink lots of coffee.

If you haven't forgotten the point, then boffo for you. See those paragraphs up there? I'll be rereading them and refamiliarizing myself with what I thought I was going to blog about when I started typing. Uh, let me look at the clock. I started typing twenty five minutes ago, and it was my noble, or perhaps vaguely interested, but not yet bored intention to write up a blog on a day that was not on the weekend in order to chalk up more readers and to discuss... wow. I paused literally for thirty seconds here. The matter I wanted to discuss was self-awareness of the gamer from varying angles; some of which I haven't actually looked at and might be Dutch.

There are four basic questions that can be asked when determining your identity within a game, and if you answer them the sky will turn into a giant turtle named Phil. He likes when you pet him. Also you'd like to know the answer to these anyway because without them the possibility of forming any sort of narrative involving you as a protagonist are miniscule. Prove me wrong though. That'd be f'ing awesome. I'd love that game. Oh, and sorry about wandering off again. I saw a bird over by the turtle in the sky. I was going to make them fight, but then I remembeedr that I didn't tell you what the four questions were. That's the trouble with already knowing them myself. I assumed that you did too. Woops.

Those questions are...

Who am I? Why am I here? What do I want? How does that affect me?

Again I am going to move backwards to go forwards. If you take a look back, this series of questions can be applied to my own narrative flow thus far in the blog, which is to say that I am not treating this any more seriously than I would a video game, but this is a blog on a video game enthuisiast site, so I guess my tone is right, even though to be honest with you I don't think it is and I may have insulted the lot of you just by opening my big mouth.

Oh, well. Look at all these fancy words.



There should be more of them.

The leap from being that you that is rolling your eyes at my incomprehensibly foolish rambling and the you that is the last hope for humanity in a dying universe, cum space odyssey a la zombie apocalypse, is a pretty fantastic one. I asked you to step in my shoes, but step back into yours again, and then step into Commander Shepard's for a second. It's distant. It's a fantasy, but you have a lot of control there and you actually trusted enough in the designer's artistic vision to pay them for the experience, whereas you are reading this either because you can't play video games right now or you are drunk. Let's assume that you're drunk.

Now that you've loosened up with another shot of Cranberry Schnapps, I'd like to tell you that you are pretty, but along with being pretty, it's time for you accept that place that you once were in is no longer where you thought it was. You're a pretty drunk boy/girl and I am going to take advantage of you. To do that as benevolently as possible I am going have to convince you that you want that to happen. Imagine that I'm whispering at this point and hoping that you pass out to make this easier on the both of us.

Did you pass out?

For those of you that did, if you don't feel sore afterwards it's not because I am a gentle lover, but rather that I am quick and don't like to jostle the sleeping if I don't have to, although I did leer. Yes, I did. I leered like a motherfucker.

Assuming that you haven't passed out, or if were to speak in less metaphorical terms, stopped reading this blog, then its safe to say that you wanted me to convince you of something. You bought the charade and took your role, which hopefully you enjoyed. I know I tried to enjoy it. Hell, I'm still trying to enjoy it, and those are your four questions as would provide them to you. How you approach them is an entirely different story.

I have addressed you directly as a reader previously, and then as someone that I inappropriately inserted into a date rape situation, we can all see that there is difference between the two, both in the audience's choice of roles and in speaker's approach towards them. Had this been written by a more professional voice, my own identity would be obscure, or legitimately minimized, so you, as the primier personality, could step up and shine.

That is what most video game narratives do. While they may have strongly voiced characters that forge the narrative the game, they do not do it without you. We're reminded of this through called out reminders from NPC's when we go idle in an action game, dialog tree options in an RPG, and all sorts of other instances where the game not only asks for, but requires, our direct input. Did you notice that I did that earlier and that I am doing it again now? It's nice to feel like you're wanted, isn't it?



I guess that's a large part of why I like gaming. You're not alone, regardless of what the necromorphs leave you believing in Dead Space. A good video game is a tool to not only get you involved with something more thoughtful, but also to be yourself and experience something beyond just being you. Man, I don't know if I should feel smug about that, or if I should feel embarassed that playing games can be that satisfying. I do know that if there were anywhere that I'd feel comfortable letting that out it'd be here.

The song below has nothing to do with this blog. I just love it and felt like posting it.

[embed]198629:37643[/embed]   read


9:58 AM on 04.08.2011

Aaamaazing: Guilt, I know you.



Hopefully this isn't as overwrought as I think it is.

Finality, the inevitable, time's march, all of these things are signified in the grains of sand as they precipitate from the top from the top of an hourglass. Whether they came from a beach or a desert, or were once more than that, something alive, it doesn't matter given time or in weighing it. These bits and pieces on an elemental level are merely markers, but shatter that glass and let them hold water, breath the air that was taken from them, and let them solidify into something that they once were before time wore it away, and took them grain by grain to mark its own passing.

Cracked open, that hourglass spills out onto the desert, plains, and mountains of the Dying West. The lives outside of the glass toppled it over while running towards Manifest Destiny and the great wideopen. They built roads over it, towns upon, and dug mines into it all with that same naive hope that you can only pity in a child and fear as an adult. They came looking for El Dorado, and what they found was an ocean, sand, and time to measure their regrets. Some handled regret differently than others, and while most accepted their lot, its those that could not and would not who were left struggling, wearing themselves down, grain by grain, trying to take back time while it took them apart.

Marston knew he was damned. He knew it was over, and he knew when he saw his own damned, pitiable fate in the lives of others. Yet he didn't want it for them, and sure as hell didn't want it for himself. The sand left behind him churned and drifted in the wind with the passing day's erosion. The flecks of it stung at his eyes, which held a kneaded squint that protected themselves from inundation. Upon his brow was the weight of this sight. There was no epiphany in it. The apocalypse came running, and in his youth he rode with it, now he could only regretfully observe the funeral and gussy up the corpses with an affected sorrow that no mortician would ever know.

From one funeral to the next, and cared for them like they were living, but they weren't. Here in this dead place, this cold place. Where one man came looking for dreams of riches and California, then the next he'd be buried at a waypost between one ramshackle fort or another in Idaho. Marston helped that man too, foot by foot, inch by inch, he eased him closer to that roadside grave. Not that either of them could fight the end result. One damned hand holding another can only walk the paths they know. It's shameful that they were deluded into thinking otherwise, but tragedies don't happen by themselves, and neither do miracles.

He unintentionally gunned down a negligent father in Blackwater, while trying to serve right by the man's bastard and mother by making a failed man mind his kin. You can't say Marston relished the look on the mother's face, or the on that he'd have to see on his own each day after. It was an act of self-defense, but it wasn't what any of them had wanted. He'd do again though, whether it were to make that painful choice to survive less noblely, or the choice to put himself in a place where he could have another chance dying doing what he thought was right. He'd kill himself and every low man and vagabond that he once ran with for one chance to have things right.

And you know him as well as the devil does, as God does, and his regret does.

[embed]198419:37545[/embed]

What can I say? There's a certain amount of magic required to get anyone's attention and sympathy, whether it is through word, deed, or luck, it cannot be discounted that an audience that cares about a subject is inextricably going to pay more heed to you. Of course, when you gain this through pandering and artifice it can be seen as ignoble, and likewise if you gain it through luck and notoriety, luck's horrid, little accomplice, that the results can also be less than ideal. Writing it up puts me moreso in the former camp than the latter, and believe me I rarely feel noble, but sometimes you have to say the words somewhere contained, safe, and outside of earshot of everyone that really would like to hear it, if only for the sake of catharsis.

I'm sorry. That apology isn't for you, and because it isn't, so it is. You didn't need it, and I forced it upon you, so another is due, yet the sentiment remains the same even if the magnitude doesn't. Which brings us back to the insincerity of self-profession, and if it seems like I am beating around the bush here, it's because I am. This is me in the mirror, giving a pep talk to myself, striking those inopportune phrases that come oh so naturally from my mouth, and praying that the things that are rattling around in this cold, metallic heart resonate loud enough that you can hear them, understand them, and accept them before they finally wear a hole in it and break my maudlin, metaphorical cow-bell.

If only my eyes were closed, my mouth were silent, my ears covered, my hands bound, and my body not so painfully aware of the things that I were taught as virtue, the virtues that I learned on my own, and virtues so obvious that they just were. These virtues exist to balance out the ugliness that I have come to accept in their place, and that is a cold, dark feeling to have.

That blackened emotion, it's my identity. It's not good. You know it's not good as much as I do. I couldn't come to accept it Unless I were willfully perverse, which I think that I am not, it's still not an easy realization. Although if I were to come to it not consciously, then it would hardly seem much better because the truth doesn't hide itself, and as just perfectly as the duality between vice and virtue is there exists no way to room to distance yourself from it. It only makes you hard and clear when you're crossing that line in the sand. Guilt holds no visible grey areas, and the light that it gives off leaves deep, dwelling shadows inside of what it exposes.

Then time, and the forgiveness it brings, comes along and smilingly trivializes it. With a wink, a crocodile's tear, and some patience it makes gravity diffuse from the heavy soils of regret into dusty ash blown hither and thither. It's the hand turning the hourglass. Oh, how heavy that hourglass is, and how tightly the arms holding it wants to crush those transient pains into its chest and feel the form of something a bit more rigid, something time will respect, but time respects nothing. It may forgive, but it doesn't love, it doesn't cry, and it will not be there for you or me. So you must let go with a strong heart, unless time weather it away. Keep your pain on the surface, so the wind takes it. It is not a foundation that you should wish to build upon.   read


12:53 PM on 04.04.2011

I couldn't tell you what's going on, but I like it.



This was supposed to be a disclaimer or warm up to whatever it is that I am parading as a blog below, but seriously if it can't stand to being read on its own, then I just don't know if I should be putting it up in the first place. I will anyway, but come on. I spent a couple of minutes in between cat napping and looking for people to troll writing this. It has to be good, right? Oh, and you can always just hit the play button on the embedded song below that I was going to suggest listening to while reading this and instead read something else. The option is there. I regret writing this already. There's no good reason for you to regret reading it.

[embed]198053:37441[/embed]

I thought that this would be easier. It all seemed to fit in my head, and once it left there it started to unravel. As long as it was a daydream, fantasy, or played out in an environment where I made the rules or could change them to my liking, it remained safe and comfortable, but I know that if I am truly ever going to affect anything, anyone, anywhere in reality that all of my garish, technicolor imaginings are going to have to wake up and put their pants on, unless I can stomach the consequences of running on vapors and drooped drawers.

The concept is frightening. My preferred method of coping is escapism. I don't know what the world holds, and I'm pretty content most of the time to know as little as possible at it and make up the rest. When I do have to learn something new I hope to God that it's not important or intrusive enough to make me rationalize things any further than I have.

Did reality ask me to be part of it? Did it ask me to be self-aware, yet feel so shamefully and helplessly insignificant? I don't think it did, but if you're not me and you have to put up with someone like me saying this, then aren't you playing the tiniest violin and hoping that I'll cut through the existential melodrama and get out with something meaningful? Or are you like me and afraid that it won't help you justify anything, and possibly even unseat your nerves?

All of this is vague, and it seems rightfully so to me. Applying a finite value to raw thought and its fathomless potential is frightening. At times it is like holding a chisel in hand while standing at the foot of a mountain. I know can't climb it, and to carve the whole of it I would have to. Even though it seems as though I could have with the tool to shape it in my hand, do I have the ambition or energy to use what I do have? I suppose I could etch my initials in the side of it, but a couple months of weathering will remove that and I'll feel like I've just signed God's cast.

How does any of this relate to video games? You should have asked this question already, or I should have before fumbling in the dark towards answering it. I should asked it before this train began chugging out of the darkened tunnels of my subconcious through the tidal shores of awareness, and into the meandering hills of my inner monologue. I didn't, yet it still existed without a name or identity known to me, and it appeared as I was looking out into the distance and watching its form emerge slowly while I called back to you and the rest of these things of solid shapes and strong ideas.



But its outline didn't coalesce, and what I have to tell is disconcertingly difficult to me because even though it has no name, no face, and no shape, there is no doubt that it has an identity. It screams it at me in a myriad of tongues and paints it on illusionary surfaces in milky, wisp-like trails. What it is showing me I cannot say to you. I cannot repeat this in the language of dreams. What I write now hasn't that ability.

This isn't about video games, but rather one of their more charming characteristics. They are concrete. I see their parts, but the best of them speak to me in ways that I cannot explain. Of course, you're thinking that I am wrong, and if I were talking about distinct characteristic of the game and not emotional turns, subtle nuances, and a bunch of other vague pretentious shit that I felt while wasting away my free time, you'd have me dead to rights. You don't though.

At any given moment I can get lost in a game, whether it is through concentrating on game play or simply disconnecting from my real world surroundings, and then I am there. I am on that mountaintop, spyglass in hand, staring in the distance at the unknowable. I'm yelling back to you that I see it. I see something beautiful, but the hollow wind that whips above that surreal watchpost will drown out my words until they are inaudible and my mouthing of them merely looks as though I am gasping for breath. It's joy to be in this place, but I can't take you there, and I'll never be able to show you what I've seen.   read


10:38 AM on 03.24.2011

An audioblog about how I read C-Blogs

There have been a few C-Blog FAQs and tutorials made in the past. While they go through how to create a good blog, and that's all well and good, there's still no easy way to truly gauge reader reaction, or even who your audience is in the first place.

Don't watch the video. Listen to the audio while browsing the C-Blog index.

[embed]197159:37220[/embed]

What I'd like to do is to let you in on how someone else reads these blogs. I am not going to be talking about specific tops or blogs, but rather briefly rambling about the things that I do before and after writing snarky, nonsensical comments about someone else's labors. Hopefully, that provided some entertainment or informative value. If it didn't just post something else tomorrow and keep a blindfold on while I do it.   read


8:58 AM on 02.17.2011

BFBC2 Multiplayer: You're all assholes and I hope you die.



I really wish that there were more disclaimers. Sure, I want to believe that I'm not naive, but trust me that's naive too, and what I generally assume about people and their behavior while gaming is either far too charitable, or more likely stupider than they are. So I really need to scale back my expectations and assume that people are either not interested in playing a game the way I would like to play, or vice versa. Does that make them horrible, or make them think that I am horrible? The verdict isn't yet in, and honestly I couldn't tell you who is on trial, but I can tell you that a few more disclaimers telling me what I should expect instead of running on my own would certainly be nice. Heads up, retard.



A few inches down there is a rant that I started on at about 9am this morning, which was three or so hours after I woke up and two after I had seven cups of coffee and mainlined some peach flavored Draino. Some people would have had bacon or read the newspaper, but due to a shortage on both I decided to play martyr and take up slack elsewhere. Someone has to deal with the world's Draino surplus, right? I'm glad that we're agreed on this.

Where was I?

Something about video games and how I hate playing them with other people, but can't stop myself from it, right?

Right.

What are the EXACT goals for me, you, your mom when they play an online shooter? That might vary, but let's assume that all of them have a goal and it is their damnedest need to accomplish it. One guy wants to kill the most folks, another wants to not get killed, some other guy wants to cheap shot people until they are irritated enough to send them hate-filled text messages, and then there is ME. I want to win by the game's objectives. Call me odd or antiquated, but when my TV displays the word "YOUR TEAM WON" after a match, it's a better feeling than anything else because essentially it's the game telling me that my team, of course, I read not as my team, but rather as ME ME ME ME MEEEEEEE, has played the game correctly, and not such much my opponent. It's petty, but it's a game, and games are petty. Fuck you.



Along the way to "winning", I've got all sorts things to do. The least of which is to expect "my" team to cooperate on "winning". We have headsets to coordinate team play, class roles with diverse battle tactics, and a monkey on our backs telling us all to be better than the next guy, even if the next guy is our own teammate and the best player in the game. Needless to say, if you're not engaging in a pissing contest while playing the game, then you're probably doing it wrong, or you're better than me... again, fuck you.

Perhaps I have to much caffeine in my system or my temper is a bit too short, but for the life of me I can't help from getting angry while playing multiplayer games. Lately it's been churning up my pissy, girl bile, and making my neighbors pound on their ceiling with a broom around midnight. Fuck them though, they're negatively affecting my gaming. I fucking know it. They're conspiring with these assholes on my team to make ME lose.



Yes, that is a fucking capital me. I am fucking capital because if anything I am, or you if you're dumb enough to empathize with ME, regardless of any matchmaking or squad pairings completely self-involved by my own concept of gameplay, whether it is to win by game decision or statistical performance. So I am running into walls of gunfire to meet objectives that apparently aren't too interesting to the seven of twelve teammates lackadaisically playing Recon from the edges of the map with no intention beyond picking off someone who happens to be going to somewhere to do something outside of their shitty, fucking, 90 degree, myopic, assfucking, field of view.

[embed]194338:36322[/embed]

I mad, bro? You bet your fucking ass I am mad. I didn't choose to play an squad based play mode with set objectives to run into functional teams while my own has decided that individually they are all Vassili Fucking Zaitsev, so if spawn on top of you while you're camping and happen to C4 your sniping spot or lay a tracer dart on your shag-carpetted head, don't think I am doing it because I am a jerk. That's only part of it. I am doing it because you are actively making me lose. ME! ME! ME!

__________________________

I'm sorry if you read any of the above. There's a reason most people play in a party with their friends, or without their headsets at all. It's angry, obnoxious people like me. Ok, that's a little off. I usually play with my headset off because I think it's extremely discourteous to subject strangers to my anger, not that I managed to turn that corner here, but what do you want. You read this blog, you stupid bastard.   read


6:11 PM on 05.25.2010

Things I Loathe: Red Dead Redemption's "Mowing Them Down" Trophy/Achievement



The following is a comment that I left on Rockstar's website because I can, and I'm reposting it here because I am a self-aggrandizing whore.


-----------------------------------------------------------

First off, I love the game. I'm not at all disgruntled with it, or your company for making it. It's fantastic and well worth the time I have invested in it save for the time that I spent working on this Trophy, which was god awful and I hope to never to do it again.

The trouble with this trophy is that it has many outliers that make it tedious to get and unfun in the process. The other two gun related kill count trophies are much more manageable because simply put you're going to use those weapons all of the time in any game mode, so they will naturally unlock as you play the game in a single or multiplayer setting. This is not the case for mounted weapons, there are only a handful of single player, story-based missions that require you to use them, and replaying those missions does not increase your overall kill count, and within the multiplayer environment these weapons have little strategic use that a rifle couldn't rightly solve on its own.

The monotonous repetition required to get to that arbitrarily large kill count also undoes one of my favorite things about this game, which is being able to explore the countryside, and see a variety of things while shooting the hell out of all of them. A static gun with a limited field of view, sitting on a hill or parapet, does not really add much to this, and again if I weren't stuck instigating Federales and actually able to re-experience the storming of Torquemada, it'd be a completely different story, but I can't and that leaves me feeling empty while riddling away at the slowly spawning, poor bastards that I spent three hours failingly shooting a gatling gun while trying to get this damned trophy.

Maybe I'm just bitter because I'm a gamer who has a silly sense of entitlement that isn't worth much more than $60, if even that, but by God it is my retarded sense of entitlement that makes you put something as stupid as achievements in your games in the first place. They are an extrinsic motivator that does nothing to add to the aesthetic of the game, and if anything can detract from the designer's creative intent by adding objectives to a game that wouldn't exist otherwise. This trophy is a prime example of one. I very much doubt when your designers made this game that they said to themselves while brainstorming,

"I don't think the player will think John Marston is appropriately bad-ass enough without making them shoot 500 people to death with a gatling gun or cannon, and if they really want to be bad ass they have to do it separately between multiplayer and single player because the identity of that bad ass gunslinger is totally different between these two modes."

Of course, you don't think like that, or use such convoluted sentence structures, but the points that I have outlined remain and I am going to find where you live, take off my pants, and cry in your front yard until you appease me.

P.S. You can ignore all of this if you give me free stuff.   read


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