Category Archives: Video Games I Want

Texting with Video Games Characters – Part III

[I started texting Gordon Freeman to “catch up.” I’ve decided to be polite and not share his number or address on my blog.]

Me (April 2, 2009 3:10 pm): Gordo! How ya been, buddy!? It’s your ol’ pal, Adam. I haven’t heard a peep from you in years.

Me (April 2, 2009 3:11 pm): Hey, it’s been a minute since I sent my message. Did you get it?

Me (April 2, 2009 3:12 pm): Cause I’m still here… It’s cool though. I can wait.

Me (April 2, 2009 3:14 pm): Hey man, jus checkin’ if you got my three other messages. I can re-send them if you didn’t. Let me know.

Me (May 1, 2009 12:09 pm): Can I at least come by to play games?

Me (June 19, 2009 2 pm): Alright, it’s been a while, and I won’t lie: I was hoping to talk to you about something I’ve been looking forward to.

Me (August 13, 2009 11:00 am): I can’t believe you’d give an old friend the cold shoulder like this!

Me (December 7, 2009 10:26 am): You got some nerve ignoring me after all these years! And after all we fought through together? All I’m looking for is one thing. You know what I want.

Me (December 26, 2009 1 pm): Screw you, Gordon!

Me (March 22, 2010 6 pm): I’m so sorry for what I said to you in the supermarket the other day. I should have put the pineapple down and stopped screaming. You were so stoic in the face of my sojourn from sanity. I didn’t mean any of it. I wish I could take it back. I hope you’ll forgive me.

Me (March 22, 2010 12:30 am): I’ve just been under a lot of stress lately. I haven’t been myself. I got a lot on my mind and a lot I’m looking forward to.

Me (November 19, 2010 8 pm): Did you get the present I left you on your front doorstep? I’m not expecting anything for myself but I got another surprise for you… we’re neighbours now! 😀

Me (February 27, 2011 10 pm): Gordon, you hard at work on smthg?

Me (February 28, 2011 12:15 am): Got any new projects to announce?

Me (February 28, 2011 3:06 am): Please, Gordon, I’m dyin’ here, man! You got any leads for ol’ Adam?

Me (February 28, 2011 4:32 am): Okay, okay. I’ll give you 1 mill for some news about HL3. You know I’m good for it. So please tell me!  And I won’t tell a soul.

Me (February 28, 2011 5:13 am): I’ll take ANYTHING man!!! Come on!!!!!

[Message from Cell Service Provider:] Click to view a report about the last message you wrote.

[My internal monologue at 5:15 am: What’s this? I knew you couldn’t stay mad at me! I knew you’d respond.]

[Message from Cell Service Provider:] The previous message to G. Freeman could not be delivered.

[My internal monologue at 5:17 am: Well, at least I didn’t embarrass myself.]

Me (February 29, 2011 7:03 pm): I was such a fool last night. I’m better than that.

Me (March 1, 2011 2 pm): I’m so sorry for my behaviour the other day. I lost it again. I think it’s best for both of us if I disappear for a while.

Me (October 1, 2017 4:16 pm): I’m much better and care free now! Thanks for asking.

Me (January 1, 2018 2:12 pm): Oh, I see what you’re doing ;). You’re playing that old game where you pretend not to know me. Well, two can play that.

Me (February 7, 2018 6 pm):   … ???

Me (August 9, 2018 7:08 pm): You’re really good at this game, Gordon. You can give it up at any time now!

Me (April 8, 2019 5 pm): It’s my bday today! 😀 Any updates? 😉

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Texting with Video Game Characters

[A security camera’s live feed shows a man snooping around my kitchen and helping himself to some tasty goodies. I recognize the armor.]

Me: Master Chief, you mind telling me what you’re doing inside my fridge?

Chief: Adam, finishing this sandwich.

Me: Nooooooo! That’s my patented peanut butter and jelly stuffed French toast. You know I was looking forward to eating the last delectable morsels of that sandwich. How dare you! I want you out of my sight when I get back to the apartment tonight. Out! Do you hear me??? 😡

Chief: Wake me when you need me. I’ll be taking a long nap.

Me: Ugggh! And leave me to clean up after your peanut butter party. Some hero you are. You save humanity but don’t clean up after yourself. I should have been roomies with the Arbiter. You make me I wish I had never met my video game heroes.

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Play Time the Video Game

Play Time the Video Game¹ and add more hours to your day. One hour playing gives you three more hours to live your life. You can do whatever you want with all that time. But what if you don’t like video games?

You might consider video games unappealing, but you’ll love what you gain from playing this game. While playing, you might, unlike a bad job, have some fun. You wouldn’t do the same dull, monotonous and thankless tasks all day. Unlike a boring job, you wouldn’t stare at the clock all day and long for free time. Instead, you would repeatedly tap A,B, and sometimes pause.

But, at some point, you need to stop playing and spend all that stored up time. You can only reap all the game’s benefits when you stop playing and do something else. You’ll be back for more.


¹ Not to be confused with Thyme the Video Game: The Ultimate Cookery Course.

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Video Games Titles in Victorian Style

I was thinking about the long-winded Victorian era novels titles I’ve seen. I also saw long treatise titles, from centuries ago, appear in library catalogue searches while I was in university. These experiences informed this post.

 

1. In which the player leaves his hometown, travels on horseback on an epic quest to retrieve, with keen interest, the stolen sword of Gammalot, defeat the hideous fire-breathing dragon and rescue the allegedly fairest damsel in distress.

2. In which a mustachioed plumbing tradesman, along with his brother and mushroom friends, travel into a fantasy world full of evil, fanged henchmen, while cleaning coal out of clogged pipes and with a particular focus on saving an honourable princess.

3. Ladies and gentlemen, for your consideration, the developers, of this particular piece of interactive game displayed on an electronic device designed for watching, invite you, if you so desire, to partake in amusing yourself, your friends and family by playing Carnival Games.


What would your list of video game titles done in Victorian style look like?

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I’m Wondering about Video Games

Too often life tries to extinguish my sense of wonder. By wonder, I mean a desire — which never ceases — to know more about a puzzling topic, a desire that sometimes isn’t sated with mere information. Life throws dishes, pots, and dirty laundry at me in an attempt to keep me off this path of wonder. I suppose one can cultivate a sense of wonder while cleaning pots and pans, but this rarely happens to me. Many of my interests, pursuits and activities, though, do allow me to keep my sense of wonder burning brightly even on the darkest of nights.

I love to read, write, talk and reflect about topics such as life and death, beautiful things in nature, history, people, ideas, music, culture, food, entertainment and others. I have so many questions about these topics and will never stop asking because there’s so much I don’t know. Sometimes I just stop and stare, slack-jawed and all, at a beautiful vista in a foreign country. I wonder how that vista was created, how something so beautiful could exist and why it exists. I also wonder about how to live my life, how to treat and help others, and things that are greater than myself. There remains one topic, though, that I didn’t mention — video games.

I wonder, when I play video games, how such a beautiful, imaginary world could exist and why I bother to explore it. I stare in awe at the beautiful digital mountains and valleys, puddles and oceans, seemingly borderless terrain and the limitless skies of fictional planets. Why do we spend time creating digital worlds that mirror our own instead of going out and seeing them first hand? What’s the point of it all — I mean a life spent playing video games?

Who or what put this digital world together and what inspired it? I mean, maybe I could know a bit about the developers of the game by learning about their personalities and experiences, and how that shaped their product. But would I truly get to know the developers and their thoughts about their games, or why their game has heavy trolls who can crush anything but also hurtle thousands of feet in the air after a tiny stick taps their shoulder? Maybe I’m asking too much.

I wonder if these developers took the time to craft a good story. I wonder if the story and characters can tell me something about my life and how I should live it? Or is this a game without a story? Does this game have goals, and what is a goal?

Why do I play video games anyway: is it because I chose to do so or because some external force has pushed me toward them? Why should I continue playing games when I have a kitchen sink full of dirty dishes? I wonder. I don’t have all the answers, but I do know that video games keep me wondering.

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Why I Love No Man’s Sky

For all I know it may not exist. I’ve never seen it, except only on someone else’s screen on the internet. It has no smell and It’s tasteless. Well, the developers seem to have good taste, but you can’t eat the game. Well, I guess you could bite a disc, assuming it’s not a digital download, but then you’d probably have some problems.

Argh! Remind me not to start a post with radical doubt. See what happens? Okay so I won’t doubt that the game exists.

So let’s talk about this game that (a) likely will excite me beyond belief, (b) definitely exists and (c) hopefully comes out on time.

Did you know No Man’s Sky is a procedurally generated game? Now, I learned what that means, but I can’t explain it as well as the developer. I also don’t care too much about how “procedurally generated” works.

After seeing a couple of trailers, though, I fell for this game. I loved flying spaceships in X Wing and Tie Fighter. I loved swimming and discovering life in Endless Ocean. And I just love exploring worlds in video games. I love that No Man’s Sky has spaceships, the chance to explore worlds, and swim in murky galactic seas.

I’ve hoped to find a great spaceship game. I mean, a game where you pilot a spaceship, dogfight with the enemy and dodge meaty asteroids before they flatten you into space marinara. I’m hoping to also roam the galaxy without objectives, just gazing at planets. A free ride.

The game also lets you land smoothly on a planet. I’ll want to explore different worlds on foot, no cookie cutter repeats, please. In other words, a gas giant with blue and black clouds need not apply with his twin brother–an identical giant with red and orange clouds.

I plan to inspect these worlds with an intergalactic magnifying glass. I’m hoping we’ll get to scan flora, fauna and fun creatures. The scanning process from the Metroid Prime series was fun and could be a nice aspect of No Man’s Sky too. However, I’d appreciate it even more if the developer created a novel approach to “scanning” these alien worlds. Of course, I’m hoping, if we catalog these planets, that some dangers will make it a challenging activity. Though they may not include scanning in No Man’s Sky at all. Just a thought.

Then I plan to dive underwater and catalog life there. Like floating in a swimming pool on a warm and sunny day, I could float in an ocean and watch foreign creatures swim. That sounds so relaxing. It will also be a nice change of pace from dog-fighting in space. Don’t forget how tense it will be to swim in poisonous oceans filled to the top with monstrous chimeras.

No Man’s Sky, for me, doesn’t need objectives. I already know what I’m going to do. I’m going to swim in endless alien oceans, explore vast swaths of territory, catalog all life if it kills me (ha!), and fly spaceships in loop-de-loops. I for one will find that refreshing, relaxing and fun. Do you?

Last one in space is a rotten Earth egg! (See, I’m sure they’re will be other kinds of eggs in the game).

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First Person Shooters Are Boring Me

boring first person shootersMy love of first person shooters has plummeted to an all time low. But that wasn’t always the case. When I was a little game fan, I would blast through Wolfenstein and freeze alien scum without a pause. I didn’t even blink. These days my eyes droop at the sight of first person shooters.

I know why I’m bored with them. It takes more than your average run and gun adventure to pique my interest these days. I’d like to take think my tastes have become more refined since childhood. Hold on one second while I munch on this caviar and sip some Champagne. Mmm that’s good stuff.

Now, as I was saying, I’d like new first person shooters to impress me. They have done so in recent years. One of the most impressive shooters from the 2000s was Call of Duty 4. It was an excellent game. But then we saw that same excellent game everywhere, and we saw it with a number tacked on to the end. Then we watched as other companies made the same style of game as well.

Hordes of fans flocked to these military games and still do. Would you believe I once a met a retired professor who told me he preferred shooting games where things “blow up”? I suspect he would have loved Call of Duty. I do like explosions, I thought to myself as he spoke, but I still want more from the games I play.

I would love to find a new first person shooter that redefines the genre and plays like nothing else before it. This is something of a dream for me, but I hope it can come true.

Some games have come close to answering my dreams. Portal is one of my favourite first person shooters of the last couple years. You use a “gun” of sorts, but you don’t shoot bullets or lasers. You shoot portals. You solve puzzles. That’s brilliant and simple!

I also like first person shooters that borrow flavours from other games genres. Add one cup of puzzle solving, stir in RPG stats with numbers flying across the screen, and top with a good story. Mmmm sounds delicious.

I want a bold first person shooter that tears down old conventions, and I want to play it soon. My joystick trigger is getting itchy.

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