SKOPY291 / Member

Forum Posts Following Followers
209 310 11

SKOPY291 Blog

The Death of a Gamer

If gaming is a sin: a guilty pleasure, something to be a glutton for, does this mean that there is a special place in hell for gamers? It stands to reason that there would be, as there is a place for all who partake of other fruits of man. But where... where in the lake of fire would a career gamer fit into the pit? Beyond that, what would this sad subject have to endure for eternity?

My take on the whole subject would be something comparable to your worst gaming experience that you could possibly dream up and then toss that out the window, because that would be too easy. For me I would say my I would have to suffer for the rest of existence with the game Pong. Sure Pong isn't that bad but I would have to play it with a controller that only half works. And as I madly twist the controller and the paddle barely moves and then I loose, again and it resets, I look over at the guy next to me and he has a color television with Halo 3 playing. My less than HD T.V. pales in comparison and yet the Halo gaming punk, known only to me as "Skilled_BooB_NooB_Hunter12," seems to think it's okay to yell, scream and point about how much fun he is having and how little I must be having. Oh, why must he do this every time I loose my game? Like clockwork reiterating that I'm just playing Pong while patting me hard on the back and shaking me vigorously because of his excitement.

I hate him.

Damn! I just lost again. It's so hot here... and always on the cusp of intolerable annoyance. I now only pray for reincarnation and that the cruel world will once again call me so I can repent and never play videogames again. I can only imagine how much fun the life of a casual gamer must have in heaven. Sure you'll have your Wii and DS games there... the Japanese are huge in heaven, but you'll also get to play the games you neglected in life from your gaming abstinence. Man, play Halo 3 with Master Chief, screen name: Cortana69baby. It must truly be a fun place to party at. I must work harder to get to this place.

Oh man. Halo 3 called out to me. I couldn't help myself I'm so weak. Well, I will never get to play with Master Chief in the sky.

As a side note: I would like to apologize for the Halo 3 centric nature of this blog posting. It was not my intention to make the "casuals" uncomfortable. I'm not game-racist... some of my favorite games are casual. Really they are.

Bio-Shocked

Well, I spent the better part of two days playing Bioshock on the Xbox 360. I lived, slept, and ate this game. It was the first thing I thought about in the morning and the last thing at night, living life waiting for the next fix. I wanted that fright I got wandering the halls. For a moment I felt like I had a girlfriend during the honeymoon portion of the relationship. This game could do no wrong for me and for once in this current console generation I felt like a gamer again.

Around a month ago I determined that I might not be as young and sharp as I once was. Sure my knowledge about the industry is at an all time high for me and I'm taking in information quicker than I can regurgitate it. But there was something in the way that I was playing games that made things annoyingly irritating. Death lay around the corner but no save points in sight. It is just angering me to no end. Not because the game is hard for me on Normal Mode but because I was truly considering lowering my expectations and changing my war cry to Easy. Unacceptable! This is my problem not the games I must overcome my issues.

So I plucked around playing games and not really having any fun with many of them. I thought perhaps that it might have been because I was trying too hard to catch up on my video game library and playing about five games at any given time. So I reduced it down to one game per system. This unfortunately did not work because I would get bored with one and switch over to a different one and I would be back on my shelf looking for something to do... exasperated. Thank goodness for Mystery Science Theater 3000. I kept playing hoping to get someplace in these games, my only reward was the high definition cutscenes which defined the story and character development.

This actually disturbs me though. I would like to see more in the way of character development throughout the game as a way to keep me interested in what I'm doing. Some games fall flat in this idea when they throw too much information at you or too little and you end up having little clue why you're doing what you're doing. I found that the story in Halo: Combat Evolved had this issue. A particularly shallow game, it had the potential to be better if it found a more compelling way of conveying story. Using communications during gameplay that you could rarely hear or in the middle of combat it made it very hard to identify why I was doing what I was doing.

Then Bioshock hits the stores and I am there, then everything changes for me. My opinions are shifting from one game. I do not know what it is about this game that made me wake up thinking about it. I mean there is not anything special about this game. It is a typical FPS with pretty graphics. Maybe it did lie in that: the graphics, the art style. I had to stop and take pause in each room, enjoy the beauty that was around me. The combat was fun and at times inventive but I doubt it was not enough to make it the only factor. If not that the sounds and story. The story had no real main character development it was all in the little tape snippets and revolved around how a city collapses.

It seems like it was a combination of all these factors and none at all. I cannot really explain what it is that makes it great but perhaps the fact that I know it was great is enough. It was easy enough for me to feel comfortable playing it without going crazy. I always felt like I was making progress no matter how bad I was doing. I know that this is the deciding factor that caused my shift in thought. I finally realized that it was not the fact that I was a bad gamer but that I needed the right type of game. A game needs to be challenging to the gamer and not difficult in order to be fun. Perspective is all that is important. For the first time in my life I have accepted the fact that Easy Mode might not be the death chant I have always believed it to be. I might not be a member of the "Hardcore" anymore, though I certainly go through games like I was one, I will no longer hate the fact that I may be an Easy Mode kind of guy. For once in my life could be a good development. Thank you Bioshock... for making me live and laugh again.

World of Whatever-craft?

Maybe this is a bit sacrilegious of me to say... but I'm going to say it anyway: does anyone really care about World of Warcraft? I mean don't get me wrong this is a huge game and I know this, but do people really play this game for fun or because it is what everyone else is doing? When How many times a week does someone ask me if I play WoW? This is about as many times as someone asks me why I don't download AIM. What is really unfortunate is when I decide I might want to maybe play this game someone asks me again if I play it. And then my interest subsides as quickly as it hit me.

I think I have an aversion to things that seem to be overplayed. I tried Dark Ages of Camelot for a time... and I'll admit it: Star Wars Galaxies. None of these could truly make me enjoy paying a monthly fee to continue the "fun" time I was having. From what I've seen of WoW nothing tells me I'd be anymore interested in this one either.

This is probably a problem that I only have but I just can't imagine that normal mid 20 year old like myself can possibly care for too long. This isn't a party game and when you engage a boss in a group,the organization in most MMO's,seems to dissipate in a quickm'elange of color and opportunistic free-for-all. I think I have an established notion and perhaps I shouldn't do this but it just all seemsso redundant.

I have plenty of other games to play. I just sometimes wish I did care enough to check it out. My pocketbook doesn't agree with WoW either. So how can people just dump endless sums of money into this game?

I hope no one out there thinks I'm bashing WoW. For what it is there are millions of people out there who love this game and I same more power to you. I guessI just don't understand the phenomenon.

In MY day...

Sitting here... enjoying my Japanese made Sony Bravia and the worst connection on any phone I've ever had with Cingular wireless and the computer rubberiness of modern movies... I start to wonder if one day (when I'm grey and even more verbally opinionated) I will say to myself "Gosh, they sure don't make'um like they used to." I hope this isn't the case though I find myself every year with an even cheaper version of my cellphone, yet paying more for it. I love Motorola razors because they show you who wants to be hip what being the only one on their block with one... just one problem: everyone thinks that! I'm floating off topic though. It seems that as I get older things around me just become more unfathomably idiotic and less intuitive. Maybe it is that very age that makes things stupid in my head but it is actually me, but as I sat and watched Spider-man 3 last night I noticed that he looked even gummier in this one then he did in the previous three. 

Perhaps Spider-man 3 needs a new graphics engine. Too bad I'm talking about the movie and not the game...

I just don't understand how things just keep getting more expensive yet yield even less quality. I didn't think that was possible. When I prefer a Rubik's cube as a great game because it won't break in my hands like my previous last two cellphones (which I treated like I would the soft spot on a baby's head) I can't help but notice the failure of a product and their QA departments.

I feel like everything in life that was once great to me is destined to push me away. My generation got the low end of the stick when it came to toys and family television programming... did you see the last two seasons of Full House. This is the car syndrome. Eventually the air you breathe will be of less quality and you'll have to pay for that... don't think that's true... look to those in California and how much the cost of living is there. Ah Cali: you're always on the cutting edge of niche!

As much as I'd like to think that I'm just judging the world on a few silly variables I can't for the life of me shake the thought that to admit to that would make me no better then our low quality government and the shenanigans that they get to do while we work to line their pockets. I love Republicans................... not. Oh and Borat? When I conceded that you were in fact the funniest non movie I'd seen in a year, I died a bit inside. It's a low quality lifestyle that Americans buy into. They might not enjoy it but they tolerate it because  it's a trap that most can't get out of. So we subscribe to buying the cheap stuff and things just keep breaking around us and we just keep buying unwilling to stir the waters of mistreatment. Because of this I feel that over the next 20 years when I'm established better in my life I'll have to admitting with great disdain that "They just don't make'um like they used to."

 

Death becomes it

Arg!!! I knew it was possible, I knew it was! I just never thought it'd happen to me. I mean I was just going to play a bit of face melting Guitar Hero 2 and next thing I know I'm looking down at a red ring. My world stopped... literally the world colapsed and fell into itself. The focal point: my beloved X360. I'm a good boy. What did I do to deserve this? I guess all 360 owners have to deal with this worry.

I collected myself and called customer service. To say that I was amazed at the service is an understatement. Within 5minutes I had a real live person talking to me. Offering me solutions and help... and a free month of Live Gold. Sure it's just a month but everyone could use a few bucks thrown at them when they're worried about their baby girl Xbox. Luckily Microsoft understands this. I hope when my PS3 dies on me for some oddity that Sony is as forgiving. I just find it amazing how the 360 failed a few months before the warrenty wore out. I heard this exact issue (down to the Guitar Hero 2) on the Player One Podcast EP 24, http://playerone.libsyn.com/. I think we have a serious conspiracy: Nintendo holding Wii's, Sony overconfidence, and Microsoft is baking its systems intentionally. Interesting? No? Yeah probably not. But if you hear this later I will take credit for the conspiracy theory.

Oh well. I guess this means I have more time to devote to my PS3. I haven't beaten Fall of Man just yet. I enjoyed that game. Just had to put it down for Crackdown. Now I will have time to play that more. So I guess life isn't as bad as it seemed at the time that Death became my Xbox.

Well until next time: everyone enjoy your systems... while it lasts.

Skopy

PSP for me

Okay... I'm not the most technically savvy person in the world. So if you were to ask me what problems I have with the PSP it wouldn't be a hardware one... and at the moment it isn't even a software issue either. My complaint is that I didn't have the chance to enjoy my semi-used PSP earlier!

Since the XBox 360 I've seen a dramatic increase in my gaming wares. This just seems to be the period in my life where I squander my hard earned cash on everything expensive... I wish I had a cheaper hobbie. I sure hope this new spending spree I see myself in isn't a reflection of a manic depression issue. Oh well. As I was saying I reciently just purchased a PSP from my friend for $150, it included the nice hard case and earphones and 4 games. Sure they weren't the best of games... so I augmented them with Loco Roco and Ratchet and Clank and I've gotta tell you I am not dissatisfied.

I am not having the problems everyone else is having with their PSP, granted it's new to me and I may very well return to my DS in a month or so... but for the moment I am having a lot of fun. As a general rule I do not play portable games for too long and maybe that staves off boredom. I certainly hope that eventually people will relax and give Playstation a chance, lower your expectations maybe. I believe that we can enjoy both the DS and the PSP in mutial harmony. Give peace a chance!

Keep Gaming!

Radiocarbon dating

You know I was watching this show the other day on the History Channel... something called Digging for History... or something like that. I suppose before I commit to naming a show I should probably know what it is called. I digress. The host of the show wears a Fedora... and I personally have never met a one REAL archaeologist that wears something close to this. Now maybe I'm being a bit picky but that really bugged me. I mean is this what they think their target audience thinks all archaeologist look like? No, no, no. I've been on a real dig met several different people on various projects... and most of them are college professors that are fat and lazy and take all the credit of what their students dig up... and they did not even wear hats... they wore long sleeved shirts and pants... of which our intrepid host didn't wear either into a jungled area. I smell a Botfly in his future!

I digress again. My point is that these shows put undo flash and flare to an otherwise unexciting profession. Most of the work revolving around archaeology is research and publication. This is not fun. The exploration is hardly ever as eventful and fruitful as these shows exhibit for us. I understand that it is TV and that is the point but perhaps I am a bit jaded due to my history with practical archaeology.

One other thing I am always irate about is the idea that Carbon 14 is always gleamed as this high tech modern wonder of science that is always right. In actuality this is hardly ever the case. If you don't know what carbon 14 dating is it is a method of dating used by archaeologists to determine the age of an artifact that has carbon. This could be anything organic to a piece of fire pit rock. To have any meaning these items must be found where they were originally left or in-situ. Now my problem with this shows use of carbon 14 dating the other day was just gross (like most of these show). It showed two people going out and taking a full sized shovel to an arbitrary piece of land and then saying after testing it "This piece is from the date we were looking for..." and that is that. No mention that this date at could be skewed thousands of years forward and back due to carbon 14 error. These nice figures of "this is dated from 1436 to 1490" just don't happen with the first adjusted date which is incorrect to a great percentage.

In closing: This show is  accused of pulling a rock sample out of any type of context and dating it. Then telling the audience of the wonders of this dating method, that by my opinion, is a bit over emphasised in all mass media. The only way to get good dating is by having multiple samples at different levels of serration thus giving us a more useful period of time. It is also accused of having a typically stereotypical host and showing history from its own point of view.

If you've made it through this document you must be very patient for a point. I really have no good point other than the fact that archaeology shows are just too saturated with what they think intelligent audiences want and just don't present the information realistically. This is perhaps the reason I also dislike reality TV because it is exaggerated realism.

I never could like generic cereal over the real Coco puffs... suppose I never will.

Making Games for a Living?

Recently I graduated from college with a degree in Anthropology. It is a nice degree to have... paper is very high quality. The only catch to this $30K piece of wood pulp is it is nearly impossible to get a job in something that I want to do. Sure I could work for Sears the rest of my life but... uh... why? I'm not happy with it and the idea of going back to school is to better yourself for a job that you should, technically, enjoy. So after about 6 months of full time work, at Sears in a warehouse making only $7.73 an hour (mind you I've been there for 4 years), and no sign of a good job in sight I bent over and went back to school. It has been about a month now and I'm starting to develop an opinion (hence the blog)... and I've come to the conclusion that this was the best choice I could've made at this point and time.

What is this great new degree program I'm in you, undoubtedly, are saying? It's the Digital Media BA. I could see myself playing games for the rest of my life so why not make them? I know I know a job is a job but still it is the best direction I had at the time as the bills started building up on me. To tell you the truth I'm glad that I gave up my comfortable full time spotlight. 

First classes I've started to take are already beneficial to me. I'm taking courses in basic computer programming and the  Macromedia Studio programs. Along with this I am taking a class on Cinematic expression... this class is an excuse to watch movies and analyze the invisible lines in it. Fun stuff. Next semester is teeming with even better stuff. Along with more courses on cinema I'll be jumping into the world of game development and theory. Shortly thereafter it'll be jumping into actual programs for 3D renders. To say that I'm excited would be an understatement.

Still there is this looming doubt in the back of my mind that worries constantly that I've made a bad long term decision... isn't that what guys do best: worry about our decisions. I've just made a bad situation with bills and loans reaching into $40K range, worse by adding more loans into it. I would also like to go and get my masters after this program in game dev... that's more money. I estimate by the time I'm done I'll be in debt about $75K... and no idea if I'll even get a job! Still with 2 Bachelors Degrees and a Masters to show for it I won't be sitting in a bad place. The idea though stands on the idea that I can get a job. I live in the Sunshine State and have no immediate plans of evacuation... so my only choice for real work is EA Tiburon. In general my thoughts on EA are dubious but I'm willing to regardless.

At this moment in time I'm not sure what the future will hold for this new career path I've chosen, though I'd like to think that I'm being smarter about this one than I did Anthropology. Don't get me wrong about that degree: I'm glad I did it but I just couldn't see myself doing it as anything more than a hobby and by the time I saw that I only had a semester left to go. So now it is this new degree and I'm still wondering if this is another long term issue. And do I really qualify to work with a bunch of kids who have self taught themselves this stuff since they were old enough to hold a mouse? Sure I've been doing tutorials for the past two years learning all I can by myself about 3D engines and post production special effects... but is that enough to catch up to these people? I'm hoping that the degree speaks volumes more... I'm willing to stake the foreseeable future on this. I need a job and I need to get that confidence to stand out and the portfolio that wows.

I guess time will tell if a good degree and portfolio are truly enough to overcome everyone else's life long obsession and my life long hobby. Either way gaming will always be there... whether or not I produce them professionally.

Thoughts, please.

If not: Keep on gaming!

PS3 and Me

Well it's been about a week since I got my PS3 and to tell you the truth it's a bit of a bittersweet thing. I love my PS3 but there are just a few things I think could have been done better if they had just allowed for another month. I understand that Sony had Nintendo and Microsoft breathing down their necks this generation but as far as I'm concerned that does not give Sony the right to slack off. At this moment in time viewing what the technology is currently yielding I believe that this console race is going to be very close and will eventually be won out by that console which has the most creative use of the power afforded them. I think that Nintendo is going to have to catch up a bit and crank out superior games if it wishes to win out those only looking for glitz and glam from their machines... though being cheap doesn't hurt them at all.

Those of you who have PS3s undoubtedly feel as I do that the PS3 shows good polish in some places and in others shows a bit of roughness. The internet is a great feature if you like to squint at the words rendered on page and a slow rate of download. I, at this time, only have Fall of Man and, to be completely honest do not feel as if this is the next gen we're all waiting for.

I know what we all say: "This is the first generation of games on this console." I say this as well but I am not even sure if I'd compare this to a Halo-buster. The idea is solid as is the gameplay and use of the graphics but there is this feeling I have. It's hard to pinpoint. I know that this is just not the right direction gaming needs to be going to. The complexity of particles and details rendered on screen is truly breathtaking at times. Still I ask myself if that is what I am being told next gen gaming is. I hope not. Physics and AI? Perhaps but is that all we are asking of our developers.

Don't get me wrong I think the power that the PS3 and X360 are shooting out should be used to improve all these things. I believe there should be an integration of human intuition and game environment. More than just "feeling" like you're in the world. Character interaction should be more than just typed words to drag you from point A to B. The human should not notice bugs and should be able to adjust the world around them in a way not seen in a sand-box game before. Perhaps I'm stepping too far away from the PS3 era, but I believe that games should now be focusing more on the human equation and less so of the binary. What I mean are we should be forming games around what a human gamer can do and not what the constraints of the programming says that gamer can do. We can start to form our games to be like this. Not just variables anymore. Intuition. Constantly Adaptive Gameplay (CAG). It's not artificial. It's intelligence. Fool me into believing that this game knows I'm there... in a realistic way. Give me a story that is wrapped around the seedy underbelly of society where every door is a real place... a sweatshop maybe.

True this may not mean anything to anyone else because in my mind I've drawn such a thin line between AI and CAG. It may seem like some kind of super sand-box arena but I see it as so much more. It is a way for humans and computer players to express true desires as opposed to prescript ones. Games never need to be finished because someone might never want to play it, but all around him is a bustling world of opportunity. Oblivion has stepped to this boundary. It is the closest thing to real next gen that we have. At one point the AI had to be scaled back because of abnormalities within the game. If I had all the answers of what real next gen gaming was I'd be rich. As it stands for me this would be the best time to start CAG.

At the current time if you're still reading I'd like you to know I love the two systems I currently have and couldn't be any more happy with the current gen of games out there. They should continue to push the limits of realism in games. The PS3 is a great piece of work and I can't wait to play with it some more. It is definitely worth the $800 you pay for it after taxes and games. Then again I'm rich... with love for my PS3.

I hope someone comments... keep'em nice.

If not:

Keep Gaming!

  • 12 results
  • 1
  • 2