MJoanne / Member

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MJoanne Blog

Growing Up

A few years ago I lost my beloved German Shepherd, Willie. Willie was very special, and I couldn't imagine replacing him. Well, a couple of years ago, I got another German Shepherd, Bodie, and he is definitely NOT a replacement!. Willie was sweet and gentle, Bodie is... hm... not.

Is There Anyone Here From the Old Days???

I only come to Gamespot rarely now. I haven't found my place in the new community since the changes occurred. I wonder if there are any of the old people around nowadays. Is there anyone here from the old days? I don't know...

Blog about Nothing

I am still getting used to the new Gamespot so, let's see if this blog about nothing works.

Sometimes I want to write about a topic but the process of putting words down on paper doesn’t come easily for me. See, just like that. This is the computer age so I don’t really write with paper and pen any more so this is the process I go through to more accurately reflect what I want to say. I consider writing “screen” instead of “paper” and then replace that with “document”. Then I would try to word it completely differently and end up putting my sentences in a different order. I type and delete, cut and paste, until my thoughts get all twisted and I get myself completely off topic. So what usually happens is that the words in my brain never make it to the page. It doesn’t matter if I want to write a blog, a journal entry, a review or even just make a comment on what someone else has written. My words end up a tortuous mess and I get so frustrated that I usually give up.

Like this bit of writing. I was originally going to blog about gaming. I had planned to compare my reaction to the game Gone Home versus my reaction to GTA V. I thought to tie that in to the comments and discussions to the reviews on Gamespot of both those games. I chose those games because both reviews were written by the same reviewer, Carolyn Petit. But I got all tangled up in that and tried to clarify my thoughts by explaining how I have to put myself in the position of the protagonist in order to like a game. While I was struggling with that, I realized that an individual gamer’s perspective of a game is tied to the personal history and experiences.

So I thought I would change my blog to how the “old geezers” of gaming look at video games differently those who grew up mainly using the PS2/PS3 and the XBox/360. Then I thought to personalize it by explaining how being a “cold war veteran” made me look at Fallout 3 differently than most people playing that game. I had gotten completely bogged down while writing that when I read a blog about survival horror games. And in turn, that reminded me of how important atmospherics can be in a game. Which made me think about Fallout 3 again, which brought me back to how I have to put myself in the position of the protagonist in order to like a game, which circled right back around to my reactions to Gone Home and GTA V.

By this point, I had bits and pieces of around four or five different blogs saved in a document called “blog ideas” but I didn’t have anything worth posting. Very frustrating! And so I have a blog about nothing.

What Gamespot Means to Me

Has Gamespot changed too much? Gamespot used to be a wonderful community, but what has it become? With all the changes, is it still a good community?

I ask this because it means a lot to me. Gamespot means a lot to me. I have said this many times before but I will say it again I have been lurking around Gamespot for ages! I was around years before I became a member in 2004. Then it took a couple of more years before I became an active member and starting posting comments and blogs. I have made many friends here on Gamespot. Most of them, I have never met in person but we have communicated and I feel that they are truly my friends.

One of these, I developed a special relationship with. this Gamespot member lived in Missouri and I lived in the Pacific Northwest. Three years ago today, I moved her out here and today we got married! Yes, I married someone I met on Gamespot! My sweetie, the love of my life wont come to Gamespot anymore, thinking it is too negative and irrelevant. Is Gamespot broken? Has it degenerated into a pit of negativity? I cant think so.

I dont know what Gamespot is or what it will be, but I will always think of it as the place I met my sweetie! I dont know what Gamespot has become but I can't help but think that Gamespot has been and will be again a community of gamers that love gaming!

Horribly Annoyed - More Blame on Video Games

No blog this evening - just a rant!

I can't believe that on Fox & Friends they were trying ONCE AGAIN to link mass shootings with video games! I am getting sick of it! Trying to link playing video games and violence in real life is just the fall back position of people who have no brains! Why not link mass shootings with the purchase of guns! That would make a lot more sense. But, oh no, you can't restrict a person's right to purchase and own guns, but let's set up a system to monitor people's frequency of playing video games!

In case you don't follow the link above, Elizabeth Hasselbeck states that "In a situation as tragic as this we start to spread blame where it possibly doesn't belong. I think we know where the blame belongs..." and then she goes on to say "... in 20-34 year-old men, perhaps, that are playing these video games and their violent actions" are responsible. But she is not the only idiot, her co-hosts also make a lot of stupid correlations between the video games and mass shootings implying that every mass murderer has been addicted to video games. They go on to quote some doctor who says video games need a warning label stating that video games can be addictive and psychologically damaging. But then Elizabeth Hasselbeck makes the most annoying suggestion - monitoring "frequency of purchasing" video games per person and "how often they are playing". But I guess guns don't kill people, video gamers kill people! Don't advocate for gun control, push for limits on gaming!

I am sooooo annoyed!

I Played a New Game

I have been gaming for a long time and as such, my perception of what constitutes a video game might be different from most members of this website. I remember when graphics were very rudimentary, just black and white images or line drawings. And then there were other games with no graphics where storyline was king. Yes, no graphics. For those of you who havent been gaming since the beginning of time, once upon a time there were text adventure games that had no graphics or sound at all! You read text on the screen then typed in commands, and you solved puzzles in order to advance the story. If you got stuck, there was no internet, no websites with walkthroughs or guides or hints of any sort. You had to rely on your own brain, or maybe the help of friends who would play with you (multiplayer in those days were friends gathered in your living room taking turns at the keyboard). There may have been a phone number to call but it would have been available only during normal business hours and long distance charges would have applied. These were some of my favorite games - the Zork series, the Enchanter Trilogy, and, my absolute favorites, Moonmist and Infidel! Then video games advanced and graphics improved and pretty soon the first point-and-click adventure games came out. Simple graphics but, again, the story was the primary lure of these games. You had to click on everything and explore everywhere. Myst is probably the most well-known of this kind of game.

The reason I bring this up is that I recently purchased and played a new game, Gone Home. It was nostalgic, it was moody, and it was emotionally engaging. I Loved It! It reminded me of those old text adventure or point-and-click games. I bought it almost immediately after the game went on sale and played it all the way through. After playing it, I checked out reviews of the game (on several different websites) and was pleased that it received high ratings but... some of the negative comments I saw about this game surprised me. So many people insisted that this was not a real game. As if a game doesnt follow the format of Call of Duty or one of the GTA games, it cant be a real game. I cannot help but shake my head; the people who think this way must be those who began gaming only after modern advances in video gaming and have a very limited viewpoint of what a game should be.

And then there were the comments by people who complained about the rating this game received with comments such as "I cant believe this game got a higher rating than fill-in-the-blank". What difference does it make?!? How does the rating of this game affect their enjoyment of fill-in-the-blank. But what really made me laugh and shake my head were those commenters who stated they had no interest in this game, would never play this game, could not imagine spending $20 on this game, and yet watched play-throughs on YouTube in order to support their negative comments. I dont know about you, but if I felt that way about a video game then I would not care about that game! I wouldnt care what rating it received. I wouldnt care how much it cost. I wouldnt care if everyone else in the world played the game. And I darn sure wouldnt research the game in order to argue with someone who liked the game!

Annoying! Oh, well, I guess it takes all kinds.

Feeling Nostalgic

The very first video game I ever played was Pong. I was in high school and I loved it! The only place within walking distance was a pizza parlor that had several pinball machines and the one Pong machine. I had to walk to the pizza parlor because I didnt have a drivers license and there were no such things as home gaming consoles. Soon the Atari 2600 was released but we never got one before I went to college. Money was tight back in those days so it took several years I could afford to buy an Atari 2600 of my own.

I had to get Pong, of course, and Breakout which was a more advanced version of Pong but tipped on its side. My other favorite games were Space Invaders and Asteroids, Adventure and Haunted House. I even bought ET the Extra-Terrestrial. Yes, the one that was buried in the desert someplace; the game that almost destroyed video games before they even got started. I even had all the possible controllers the joystick, the paddle and a keyboard controller.

I still have all of that stuff around someplace. I never get rid of things.

Is It Too Late to Have an E3 Opinion?

My E3 impression was well... basically, it was BLAH, maybe BLAH with a huge sigh. A couple of games piqued my interest, but there was not a single game that grabbed my imagination and shook it all up. I was shocked that both Microsoft's and Sony's next gen seemed less exciting than Nintendo's current gen! What? The 3DS and Wii U got me more excited that the Xbox One or PS4? ::shakes head::

I have always been a strong proponent of Support Your Local Business. Usually, that has meant supporting the small business owner but I live just outside of Redmond, the home of Microsoft. I try my hardest not to be a fanboy but I cant help it - I have a soft spot for good old M$. A lot of our patients were Microsoft employees, and even some of my coworkers were spouses of Microsoft employees. So imagine my disappointment with this year's E3! I was shocked when I saw Microsoft's Xbox One presentation! The more I saw, the more my heart sunk. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot!

So, I was greatly relieved with the announcement that Microsoft listened to the consumer and reversed the proposed polices regarding used games and the 24-hour online check-ins. I probably still won't be able to afford to get into the next gen gaming consoles, but it made me feel better. :)

But, none of us will know what the next gen will really offer until real gamers have the consoles and start playing games so I can still be optimistic. Right?

I Want This Game!

The Last Guardian!

I am soooo confused! I first saw something about The Last Guardian sometime in 2009. That is right, I said 2009! I saw a really cute video about a boy and a really big dog-like thing. I saw another video in 2010. I remember that because that is the year I lost my sweet German Shepherd and I thought the creature looked alot like him.


And then in the intervening years, I heard various rumors, saw screenshots, and waaaay too many contradictory statements - yes, no, yes, no, maybe. Now, E3 has confused me. First, a Sony exec (Jack Tretton) says that The Last Guardian is on hiatus. Then another Sony exec (Shuhei Yoshida) says that the hiatus term is misleading. I want a real answer!

I really really really want this game! Please tell me what is actually going on!

New Beginnings

Okay, I have reached a crossroads in my life and need to talk it about it someplace so it might as well be here. I am not looking for advice, or sympathy, or anything else I just need to vent.

Yesterday, my boss retired. He sold his practice and the new guy will be staffing the office with friends and family, which means that I am out of a job. I have extremely mixed feeling about it. On one hand, I need to bring in a paycheck so I have to find something that will pay the bills. On the other hand, it will be a relief because my mobility has been severely limited lately (I am amazed sometimes at how exhausting it is to take just a few steps). I am hoping that I can work from home, but I am not sure if I will be able to make as much as I did at my last job.

This has been the first time that I have ever been let go. Even though I wasnt exactly fired, it feels strange. The only consolation I have is that the new guy was there yesterday when all these people came in to the office to say goodbye. People were crying, and I got so many cards and hugs and flowers that I think the new guy was surprised. The negative was that I had so much work to do that I could hardly find time to say a proper goodbye to anyone. Well, like I said extremely mixed emotions.