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Time Crunch

Well, the beginning of the end’s coming.  I’m starting school next week – It’s going to be interesting, because it’s the first time I’ve gone to school in, like, four years.  It’s about time I did it, too.

The only thing is, Big Bro’s sitting there saying, “Hey, in order to get benefits X, Y, and Z, you have to study full time!”

Naturally, I sit back and say, “No problem.”

Well, turns out being a full time student is another way of saying “goodbye to most of your free time if you’ve already got a job”.  Starting Monday of next week I’ll be starting school at 8:00 in the morning and working right after I get out of school, and if I’m lucky I’ll get home at around 10:00 at night.  That’s pretty much a 14 hour shift!  Add eight hours of sleep (If I’m lucky) into that and I’m sitting on a pretty tight schedule.  Luckily,  I’ll be able to keep my job.  My managers aren’t the type of people who resent climbing the food chain, so they’re working with me.

So, time’s going to be a little bit more limited.  I’ll have to sit down and actually study (Since College probably won’t be as easy as High School), too, so even my free time’s not going to be that “free”.

Long story short: Less Video Game time, which amounts to me not feeling like writing in this fangdangled blog I’ve got here as much.  Hopefully I’ll be able to write at least one article every weekend, since I don’t want to let my fans down (Well, fan – He’s a cool guy, you should check out his blog some time).  In the least, I’ll be able to apply some of those new brain cells that the teachers will be injecting into my skull to practicing my writing skills, so the blog’s not something I’m giving up for good.  I’ll just have to devote less time to it than I normally do.  (So, like, five minutes a week instead of six or something.)

In any case, wish me luck.

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Good, Hard, Dumb?

When I was a kid, I spent a huge amount of time on my old-school Gameboy trying to get past level 5 on Super Mario Land.  I was fascinated with how simple it was: Move to the right, jump on things, eat mushrooms.  It was a pattern that, if followed in real life, would lead to ruin – But it was so fun.


Until I finally realized how hard it was for a 5 year-old to beat.  As I mentioned, I just couldn’t get past level 5, much less beat the game.  After a while, I stopped thinking it was fun at all.  So, why was I so fascinated by it?  Was it the challenge?  The plumber?  The mushrooms?

Well, I think it was the mindless novelty of it, actually.

A lot of people spend a lot of time trying to catch the feeling that games like Mario, Doom, and the other second generation video games seemed to create when they were children – Too many of them focus a lot on the difficulty.  While I don’t have to go a whole lot into Shamus’s Do It Again, Stupid to make my point, if you look at a number of older games, that was the “difficult” part of the game play – Extremely punishing for even the smallest mistakes that would cause you to do something over and over again.

Is it fun to be tasered every time you spill some food?  Surely the reward of eating is nice, but every you spill something or drop a Cheerio you wouldn’t be able to finish the meal.  The fact that you didn’t get electrocuted this meal doesn’t make the meal that much more rewarding.

So it definitely wasn’t the punishing game play that a lot of developers seem to think is what we want.

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BrainHex

So, I jumped the bandwagon with a bunch of other blogs and did the BrainHex quiz.  It’s interesting how a few simple questions can come up with so much about you, and here’s what it came up with about me:

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Extra Credits: My Discovery of the Day

I was browsing the inter-web when I found this little jewel: Extra Credits – Which pretty much takes gaming and explains the why of it.  It’s really well put together, and if you’re interested in figuring out some of the deeper cultural and psychological aspects of gaming and game culture, check it out.  The makers do a fantastic job of wrapping up things quickly and with an adorable sense of humor.

I’ma go waste the rest of my evening watching more episodes, now.


Ace of Spades

Do you like Minecraft and First Person Shooters?

There’s a game for that.  It’s called Ace of Spades.

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A Hunter Shoots a Bear

This is pretty clever:

A Hunter Shoots a Bear


Minecraft

I recently bought and started playing Minecraft, a sandbox game made by a Swedish pirate.  Minecraft feels a lot like playing with oversized Legos – You essentially start out in a procedurally generated world and run around punching things to make more things out of, while trying to avoid getting pummeled yourself, shot, or blown up.  I’ve been enjoying it more and more as updates have been coming out, and it’s fun being able to play out an idea or construct something out of materials you’ve harvested from the depths of the earth.

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