Forgetting That Things are Supposed to Be Fun

6 06 2010

I have a bad habit of giving myself assignments that I know I won’t be able to keep up with.

When I originally started this blog, I did it with the intention of posting a new post for every calendar day of 2010. I would miss a post here or there, making up for in within hours.

That was, at least, until I started to get busy. Coming home from work and crashing onto my bed led to me missing days at a time. These days turned into a month.

I made an effort to catch up, posting things that I’ve written on other sites and making sad excuses. I didn’t really catch up.

What happened after reminded my of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. Let me explain.

I managed to make it to the end of Uncharted 2, right to the fight with the final boss. The lighting engine in my TV broke and I used it as an excuse to take an Uncharted hiatus.

Every time I would put in a different game, I could feel the ghost of Nathan Drake haunting me. His stay in purgatory I imposed on him caused me to feel an unnecessary guilt every time I played anything other than Uncharted 2.

That’s what happened to this blog. I knew that the amount of posts I needed to write in order to catch the “post a day” quota was becoming insurmountable. Not to mention, in order to keep with a stylistic theme, I also needed to find a picture to go with the story.

Well, no more. If I make my quota of 365 posts by the end of the year – then so be it. If not, we’ll all live and go on with our lives. The deadline has been counter-productive. If ignoring it can lead to some productivity, I’ll embrace it.

What can you expect on here now is posts about whatever happens to be on my mind – whenever they happen to come up. It’ll probably still be quite often though. No worries about word counts. No worries about the date of the posting. Just uninhibited me.

Hope you like it.

(I did beat Uncharted 2, by the way.)

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Day Twenty-Six – Trophy Unlocked

26 01 2010

There was a time when I wasn’t playing video games very much. I just got, as my brothers and I have coined, “video gamed-out”. Everything began to feel pointless. I would beat game after game and get no sense of satisfaction from the exchange. I played so many games beginning to end that eventually, I just stopped all together.

I was enjoying the new-found free time I had. I started reading books. I was writing a bit. I had time to go to the gym and get a workout in. Then, like Michael Corleone, I got pulled back in.

The elusive Platinum trophy really means nothing, but provides a rush like no other when obtained.

The Xbox 360, created by Microsoft, caught my attention as the first console to usher in the HD era. That was enough to draw me in, with its seductive and colourful visuals. What made me stay was an odd sound and on-screen acknowledgement of my progress called achievements. In reality, I’ve done nothing but played a video game to kill time as I always had, but now I had something to show for it. A list of all the games I’ve completed.

Were it not for my enmity towards the Xbox 360 as a console, my gamerscore would be a triumph of sorts. However, gamerscore was not enough to convince me to pay for the ability to play online or to bear with the faulty console. I moved on to the Playstation 3, and for many months, my virtual successes once again felt hollow.

Game after game, I would wait for some type of acknowledgement in the form of a score. Sony eventually heard my silent prayers and created what they would call “Trophies”. Rather than a numerical value, the trophies were split between Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. My sense of accomplishment renewed and my time again wasted, I would spend hours to get my fix and be acknowledged for my achievement.

The Playstation 3’s trophy system added another level to the ever addictive, yet useless system of rewards. A system of Levels. With each trophy, I would become closer to the next level. It is essentially a class system. These trophies were no longer achievements on their own, but a stepping stone towards the ultimate goal of classifying myself above my peers.

Now, as a Level 8 on the Playstation Network, I see look down upon those at their mere Level ‘s and Level 6s and realize that I’ve been out foxed by the video game consoles. The experience was nothing new, yet I was enamoured with a false sense of accomplishment from my very first trophy. I should feel cheated of my time and of my youth…

…but I am only a few trophies away from Level 9.





Day Eleven – 3D is a Gimmick!

11 01 2010

Chalk up another issue I have with Avatar. technically, it hasn’t really done anything directly, but it seems like being a successful 3D movie has opened the door for everyone to try their hand at it.

I realize 3D televisions and media players have been in development for years. It only makes sense to make TVs 3D at some point, otherwise the Blu-ray/DVD marked can’t get any of that Avatar cash. Not to mention the countless animated children’s movies, but now they are plans to show the FIFA World Cup in 3D. And that’s just the beginning, as the World Cup will help launch ESPN 3D.

Has everyone forgotten 3D is just a gimmick?

All This Money Wasted on 3D Tech Could Be Used to Upgrade the Broadcasts We're Already Equipped to Receive, Rather Than Another Gimmick

It’s neat. That’s about it. There is no benefit to watching a sport in 3D. You get absolutely no new information when the sport pops out of the screen. A film could use it to draw focus, not only to part of the screen, but the field of vision. A sport doesn’t have this benefit. Everything on-screen at any time is as important as the next thing. That’s the #1 reason people get dizzy at the movies, they don’t know how to focus on what the film-maker wants them to.

3D still hasn’t mastered quick movement. Avatar probably did the best job of avoiding the blur when the camera would pan, but it didn’t correct the issue entirely. I don’t see how a cameraman who can rarely keep the action on screen will be able to move without causing world-wide motion-sickness.

I should worry too much. I doubt I’ll watch the World Cup, but I definitely won’t in 3D considering they won’t reach Canada by then.

That doesn’t mean I’m safe, though. Sony seems to be really excited to jump into 3D gaming. They have a couple demos running at CES already. Why do I need to see my game in 3D? Will having my gun in Call of Duty directly in front of me have any affect on the way I play? I highly doubt it.

3D is a parlour trick. It’s not really 3D. You can’t see around the things popping out from the screen. All 3D does is add a layer of depth that is there anyway, it just makes it “pop”.

To be fair, I enjoy 3D in limited amounts. It’s fun for the odd occasion, but it’s beginning to look like it’s going to attempt a take over. A take-over that will fail. People aren’t that excited about 3D. The group that saw Avatar, much like the ones that saw Titanic, are the same group of people over and over again. I had a friend who saw Titanic eight times in theatres. I saw The Dark Knight three times last year.

Yet, I only bought one copy of The Dark Knight on Blu-ray. The same goes for the Avatar fans. They’ll only buy one TV. Only one copy of the Blu-ray in 3D. Only one pair of goofy glasses to sit in front of their new high-tech TV. Not multiple, like a movie ticket.

People have barely made the transition to HD and now they’re expecting a jump to 3D so soon? My brothers and I had to force the issue with our parents and bought them a flat-screen. They still don’t watch the HD channels, though. They can’t be bothered. Now you want them to put on glasses?

I can’t wait for this to crash and burn so these companies can worry more about providing quality content rather that more gimmicks.