Friday, June 4

I wanna shoooooot something =P

What with working on a tight budget and all there's been no spare gil for Red Dead Redemption. This has left me playing embarrassing amounts of Warhammer Online, like a true gaming addict. I think gaming addiction as an idea is a bit like sex addiction. It's natural to want to do it all the time. Well, at least for guys. Even 'The Sims' bores my fiancee eventually. That's what we call our special time. But when I look at my gaming log and realise I have perhaps spent slightly more time over the past week living a virtual life than my actual life I don't feel shame but rather a sense of accomplishment. Not only in regards to rewards offered by the game for such dedicated investment but also in successfully making, if only for a week, my real life into the dream.

Breaking from this existential switcheroo, I've redoubled efforts in preparation of my trip. It's such a huge thing I'm trying to pull off here the lead time is retarded. Look at this, an extract from correspondence with my friend in LA:

Visa is approved, got my passport and flight itiniary.

Got a sizable backpack and doctors appt. for meds.

Travel insurance check, extra for camera, ipod, second testical.

Drivers License test book, driving lesson pending...

Scrounged together some cash (phew) through parentals and frugal Mee Goreng diet.

Painting Furiously! Progressing gradually.

Cat on windowsill wont stop meowing, tried to wind window closed but cat was getting stuck :/

Continuing to try and advertise website, got two responses! Mods are out to get me.

Paid last month of rent, moving furniture/books/stuff to teh country next weekend.

Beginnign exercise regime to be in some kind of health to travel.

Requested release contracts to shoot at conventions.

Bought 16 cans of Mother.

Going to Yarram again to teach media class.

Got a call from work about doing a few more weeks, I asked to be paid they're gonna get back to me.

Practicing Stand-Up comedy on lengthy night-walks like madman.

Looking at booking wetern rail trip to seattle, should be awesome once i figure out where I'm departing from. gg.

Plans going very well for Vancouver!

Met some Arcade junkies from LA.

Buying camera on tuesday, must stick to budget.

Developing a healthy nervous vibration through entire body.

On top of that I've rediscovered the joys of other games, free ones. If you are thinking PoP Cap not quite, rather League of Legends and *gasp* games I forgot I'd already bought but hadn't had time to play while working.

Being now 27, I managed to avoid DOTA altogether. Only now am I learning that there is this whole rich gaming history being cemented at the moment. I suppose I would describe it as Action/RTS but it's really more than that, by which I mean less. DOTA, and therefore both HoN and LoL are one specific game. If Warcraft 3 was D&D, then DOTA is one single instance from one specific campaign. But like Chess, limiting the objectives and environmental variables place a much higher emphasis on skill and increase the weight of each decision. I guess you'd have to play it to really understand any of this gibberish but fortunately you can. For free...

DOTA was a Warcraft 3 mod, Heroes of Newerth is a standalone product that is effectively an official version of DOTA and League of Legends is like a spinoff with many things adjusted to create a game that is similar in feel but identifiably new. The only difference I'm concerned with is that LoL is free to play. The art style is a little eekish but it definitely gives the game it's own personality (much like Blizzards own IPs) and the game is very fun being much more consistent than DOTA and, to the disgust of hardcore RTSers, much easier to get into. I quickly figured out how to use a charming little hero with a huge gun by stacking attach speed and crit% and have been sticking to her whilst occasionally trying to use the nuking-scarecrow I unlocked the other day. After playing a PvP MMO like WAR for so long it was refreshing to be able to play a complete game in 45 minutes, in which time I became accustomed to my character and my enemies, leveled up, bought gear and ground mobs.

Before I sleep each night I read a little of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time saga. Now that he's passed on I read carefully and with reverence, knowing that with each word I read my resource is slowly being depleted. To offset my consumption I've been flipping open the ol' DS to Puzzle Quest, which is basically Bejwelled but somehow fun. I'm not quite sure if I feel alright playing it for any length of time given my contempt for timewasting flash games but it has a levelling system and you gain abilities and can purchase items so I guess it's okay. Turning Bejewelled into the combat mechanism of an RPG is a stroke of brilliance, I wonder what other simple flash games could serve the same sinister purpose?

Finally, Fantasy XIII. This game actually belongs to the friend I live with, the moral ground here is extremely hazy. I suppose, as an industry wannabe, I object to the resale of games. I certainly object to stores like EBGames reselling games (and purchasing second-hand games). You don't see CD/DVD stores offering you $3 store credit for Iron Man 2 Blue Ray or the latest Miley Cirus album (is that who the kids like now?) and those products are much cheaper to produce, assuming that theatre releases cover the expenses of actual film production. I don't mind people selling old games privately, as I don't mind collectors record stores. But undercutting revenue by publicly reselling new release games seems pretty damn evil to me. Particularly as 100% of the resale is retained by the store. So what about if your friend has a new game and they just finished it so they lend it to you? Or as in my case, a housemate or family member owns the game? Legally that's fine, at least you aren't handing cash over to a middle-man, but I feel strange when I pay full price for one experience only to enjoy another for nothing. Oh well, the game itself has yet to live up to the FF experience although I'll forge on because on PATV they said it actually does pick up at around the 30hour mark.

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