Thursday, May 28, 2009

Post Number 47

Just in case you were curiouse. Man it has been awhile since I've done this which upsets me just a little. THere has even been things I've wanted to write but I just haven't been able to set aside the time to write them, this includes now but whateva.

So this will be one of those fun little generic "what have I been up to?" posts that I make every so often. So lets see.

Inbetween this post and the last one I have both started and finnished a book called Everything is Illuminated. If you haven't read it cease your current activities because they are no longer important and go read Everything is Illuminated. It is one of the most starkly beautiful books you will ever read in your entire life. So sad though. One of the sadest things ever. It was exactly the oposite of what I wanted after the Kindly Ones but it had been kicking around my bookshelf for far to long and Sasha did give it to me, and I felt bad about not reading it. So I did. Its a nice quick read too, it will slide right off of the page, into your brain, and deep into your soul where it will cheerfully give it the equivalent of purple nurples for the rest of your life. READ IT.


In other news I decided to seriously investigate getting an e-book reader. My Palm has shit battery life, and the DS has tiny annoying screens. More than that though, I can get some seriously amazing books off the interwebs both leagally and ill. It would also be amazing to be able to carry around a whole theoretical reffrence library with fully searchable text in my bag. That could be increadbly/useful awesome. And hey pirated rpgs ftw!. However, ebook readers have fallen into this trap that I first noticed with the PSP. The psp is a gaming system that does a bunch of extra shit that I don't need it to do. As a result the extra shit goes unused and just ends up costing me more. As a result instead of taking out all that extra crap and refocusing it as a dedicated gaming system you end up with this hodge poge piece of shit that doesn't do anything paticularly well.

No I am bringing this back to ebook readers don't you worry. Most of the ebook readers have proudly proclaimed that they can play mp3!. SO WHAT! Who the fuck cares? Anyone who has the 200+ bucks to drop on something like this already has a decent mp3 player that they are more than capable of using on thier own. They don't need thier stupid ebook reader with a paltry 2gbs of storage to play mp3s. The Sony ebook reader is now the one I am specifically bitching about. When I say 2gbs of storage you might be tempted to point out that there is an micro SD card slot. BUT GUESS WHAT? It won't read cards over 2gbs. But it will play mp3s and take over 30 seconds to load a decent sized pdf file. The Kindle 2 is auto fail because it doesn't even have a micro sd card slot, and the other options are just pretty sad.

The other options aren't much better. What really chaps my ass about all of this though is that they are charging 200 bucks for something that is over loaded with shit speacial features which are essentially worthless. When they could get rid of the speakers, mp3 playback, and some of the extra other crap they ram into the things, and sell them at a more reasonable price. Or better yet they could scrap the crap features and increase the ebook reader's functionablity. Or you know an mp3 player because that is what I really fucking need, another piece of shit mp3 player.

Oh well. I'm pretty upset about it because man o man I could really use a dedicated ebook reader. Oh well maybe in a couple of years they won't suck so much at the moment.

Well I am tired of typing so I am going to do something else.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

yes fine whatever

join in the hilarity

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Summer Times!

So its summer! The time for projects, possibilities, and defiance of the natural order. Of course I live in a hazy sorta perma summer but whatever.

I was going to spend some time talking about The Kindly Ones, but I think I want to write about some other things instead.

Persona 3. Irrationally I started Persona 3 again knowing full way that a game I really want to play comes out tomarrow. Fuck I can be stupid. Still I think I can play both games concurrently and be fine. But yeah persona 3. Persona 3 is one of those games that stands up and says, "look games can be art too". More to the point Persona 3 tells a story that really can't function in another medium. It is the sort of thing that needs that visceral simulous/responce effect of the game player. They are perpetrating these actions which have far reaching implications acrost the game's world.

Okay now to make all of that make sense. Kinda, persona 3 is a wierd game. Okay you are transfered to a new school. You get set up in a strange dorm that is mostly empty. You discover quickly that there is a hidden hour between midnight and one am where showdows come to life an eat people who are diffrent. Everyone in the dorm is diffrent. All diffrent people have a persona they can summon to help them aid in fighting the shadows. Thier persona reflects thier personality. NOW this next part is important. The Main charecter (MC) posseses the ability to summon multiple personas. Not only that but his personas gain power based on the people you associate with.

So you spend part of the game going to school and running around town talking to people. Then at night you go fight deamons in this wierd tower that only you and your friends know excist.

The thing is though is that when you befreind people you do so in a very artificial way. The main charecter has no dicernable center from which he operates. Instead he tells all the people around them the things they want to hear the most so they will like him more. This in turn levels up the deamons inside of his head. Now this would be alright but we do some things of questionable morality. We convince a school mate to keep excercising on a wounded knee to the point of hospitalizing himself, we convince a student make advances on a teacher, we carry out an online relationship with a teacher who hates her job, we also sleep with many diffrent girls.

Now the player is motivated to do this because he gets stronger and stronger head deamons when he does. The game can also be very difficult so it helps. However, these are all people with real problems, who are relying on you as a friend you are just using them for your own gain. After awhile you begin to realize that the MC is a sociopath, and yet it is the fact that he is a sociopath that allows him to progress farther and faster than any of his teamates. Which is slightly frightening and absolutely brilliant. The game very specifically encourages the mc to only give the responces his friends want to hear. Whereas another game called Steambot chronicals gives the player free rieghn on the mc's personality and lets him be an asshole or a nice guy depending on the player's whims. You are rewarded by deliberatly manipulating people to like you. Good stuff.

Unfortunatly it is hard and I forgot to save last time I played like a moron. I'll get back into it though. It is damn near a 70 hour game so I'll admit that I am more than a little intimidated. Oh well.

Next I want to tackle Vampire the Eternal Struggle or V:tes. I really like the game, but I am running into the problem where I can't effectivly build a deck or two. THe reason for this is because it is a 5 player game. If I trick out one or two decks then the other decks would have a much harder time standing a chance. I already have two decks that tend to dominate right out of the box and making them even shineyer would be even more of a pain in the ass. Oh well.

As far at the game goes. NEAT! It really is a brilliantly desighned game. Much tighter than Magic or even Netrunner. The game is basicly an excercise in resource management. It gives you three resources to work with, you hand, your pool, and your vampires. You need vampires in play to do anything other than the most basic of actions. You need to keep cards moving in your hand otherwise you won't be able to do anything but the most basic of actions. So the game forces agression in order to win. I LIKE agression. I also like how combat is not the key to winning. In fact combat has nothing to do with winning. It is just something that happens that may or may not be to your benifit. As a result playing a combat heavy deck requires the most generalized stradigy.

This is due to the pretator/prey relationship. THe way to win is to get points. To get points you must oust your prey, withdraw sucessfully, or be the last man standing. So the source of 99% of your agression will be from one person. One person who you will generally be unable to attack effectivly unless you have a specialized deck. Since there are victory points involved it is understood that you will be ousted at some point, but if that happens you still might win. Which is also something I find neat. It really opens up what decks can do and how they work. Because you need only to earn 3 victory points not murder 4 other players in the face. Whatever, I dunno.

I'm thinking I want to build a "fake stealth combat deck" basicly it uses a lot of cards that lets me control who my blockers are, but it also allows me to make combat an unpaletable experience for my prey. I'll break actual deck talk into a seperate blog entry though so you can skip it if you'd like.

Its nice that it is a little bit more focused than illuminati which is our other social game.

The other problem with building decks is my fairly limited card pool. Even after buying a booster box I have a glut of cards I am not interested in and a gap of cards that I need. Since decks lack a card limit rule I often times need 6 or 7 copies of the same card to get the deck to do the things I need it to do. This becomes even more problematic when most cards do two diffrent things so one card might be useful for 4 or 5 decks. There is also the issue of unusually good distribution. Something I thought I would never ever hear myself complaining about. Yet here I am. :-P Still I am thrilled to death to be playing it and I greatly look fowards to tinkering with the game a whole hell of a lot.

Twitter. I have come to a diffrent conclusion. I used Myspace to keep track of my friends. Now most of my friends no longer use myspace and have switched to diffrent venues. As a result my myspace account is mostly inert and something that I now only check occationally. This has become my new mouthpiece to the world. Now twitter will replace the endless survays I used to fill out for fun. So that is back. I guess. Yeah wierd eh?

Of course if I stop updating it in three weeks and loose interest I'll just figgure something else out. The day I made and deleated my account wasn't a good one. So I am allowed to change my mide. Sue me.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Kindly Ones

So I finnished the Kindly Ones. Holy fuck. 975 page book with paragraph breaks that only excist every 5 pages or so. Fuck you. The book would have to be pretty god damned epic in order to keep my atension for that long. And it DID!!! YAY! Truely an amazing piece of literature that is well worth reading. A word of warning though, keep wiki handy because I had to go back more than once to brush up on my WW2 history in order to keep track of what is going on.

So yeah the book. Holy fuck there is so much to say I don't even really know where to begin. I mean so much shit happens in it. Ye gods. I guess I am just going to make a little list.

Interesting things.

1) The charecter's many dream sequences and hallucinations bring about all sorts avenues of discussion.

2) What the hell is up with dyareha? Hmm I have no idea how to spell it, I know that y belongs there though. Where does its significance with the dreams fall in with its prevalence throughout the book.

3) Comparing the main charecter's dwindling sanity as part of a paralle to the nazi jewish extermination project.

4) Examine the bueracratic absurdities that they applied to "the jewish question" along with their seemingly inability to halt the genocide process.

5) The main charecter as a complete failure to national socialism and as a soldier. In fact he is a terrible main charecter, who is propped up time and time again by both Mandlerbroad and Thomas.

6) Oh and WTF ending. Okay look the main charecter for most of the book isn't a bad guy. He is disgusted by the application of the "jewish question" he struggles to gain better treatment for the folks in Auswitz, and the horrors of war profoundly upsets him to the point of sickness and depression. Compared to his friend Thomas the MC is a saint. This is of course overlooking the fact that he killed his parents but whatever. No one is perfect and he was pretty much insane at that point in the book. But fuck FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK. I hated the way it ended. He wasn't being insane there. He made a cold calculated manuver that was compleatly unessisary. Thomas would of carried him out of germany on his back if nessisary like he did for the whole fucking war. What the MC did was unacceptable. I loved Thomas, and sure I spent 25-100 pages trying to proove he was still alive and not a deranged hallucination but DAMNIT. Thomas is a badass and deserved better than to have his head bashed in by his best friend who he saved time and time again. Fuck you MC no wonder why everyone shits on you.

7) Twins. They are EVERYWHERE in the book, from Mandlerbroad's assistents, to the MC and his sister, to his sister's kids, to the midgets in the halluciation at the end of Staligrad, to... okay well anyway there are a lot of twins in the book and they interconnect thematicly with stuff going on.

8) Oh the relationship between the MC and Hitler and how the MC adopted Hitler as a father figgure. There are also his hallucinations involving hitler and the scene where he bites his nose. Yeah he bit hitler's nose! It was awesome!

9) The whole wierd gender distortion thing he had going on with his sister.

10) The structure of the paragraphs as gramatical unit and how they were broken up along with the information they carried. There is a lot to that topic as the author really makes good use of the elongated paragraphs for all sorts of purposes, which I haven't been really able to track,

11) There is something to all the dead animals in the zoo I can't put my figgure on what it is though.

12) oh and there is something worth writting about the feral children. I think in paticular it is worth going over how there was a pack of female feral children in russia but male children in germany and the relative diffrences between the two.

Anyway it feels like I climbed a mountain, and now that I don't have to carry that big ass book around with me anymore I feel more than a little lost. SADNESS! Oh well. I have some other things I am supposed to be reading so I'll grab a few of those before tackling another big project I guess. Over the next couple of days I might expand on some of these ideas. I just kinda wanted to lay them all out and give them a good think through. Okay well I am going to go do something else.