Saturday!

1976 Life Savers TV commercial

Fallout 4 comes out in November (eeeeee!!!!)

It recently came to light that one of my dear (gamer) friends had never played Fallout 3.

Now, Fallout 3 has probably one of the most amazing moments I’ve experienced in gaming. The game, if you haven’t played it, begins in a vault designed to survive a nuclear war. You set up your gender and (future) appearance at your birth, followed by you setting up your stats and skill foci as you travel through childhood and adolescence. After this intro that is so very immersive that it doesn’t even feel like a tutorial for the game, you are given a conflict that ends up with you leaving this vault in which you’ve spent your entire life… and you step outside for the first time.

And after an hour or so of being locked in a vault, the experience of seeing bright sunlight and a sweeping (waste)landscape in front of you is downright breathtaking. You go from claustrophobia to agoraphobia in seconds and the world feels alien and so very pregnant with promise.

The first time you look on the wasteland is one of the most wonderful, perfect, moments in gaming.

(And the best part is knowing that, after you beat the game, the whole thing was merely a tutorial for Fallout: New Vegas? Oh, that moment is even better.)

So… what are you playing?

(Picture is “Untitled” by our very own Will Truman. Used with permission.)

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10 thoughts on “Saturday!

  1. I feel like I went the completely opposite way of my generation and the general current culture when it comes to gaming and stuff.

    I had video games as a kid and during my college years. I owned an XBOX at a time. I even did pen and paper RPGs when it was really uncool to do so. But when I was 29, I got rid of my XBOX and concentrated on law school and never really felt the desire to pick up again.

    I grew out of other parts of geek culture as well.

    Now geek culture seems all the rage and without any cause of dying down. There are people I know from college who talk about their D&D games, past and present. If you asked these people to admit to playing D&D in college, they probably would have taken a shot gun blast to the head rather than admit to liking dungeons and dragons. I also feel perplexed at seeing people in their mid 30s to late 30s getting overly excited about a new line of Star Wars toys. I feel odd that my generation will line up for a midnight release of Star Wars toys.

    So I either just grew out of geek culture early on and/or there is something psychological preventing me from going back and joining in (I’ve never been much of a joiner).

    On the other hand, people marvel at how much stuff I know when it comes to art, history, etc. I don’t have an amazing secret here. I just dedicate my free time to reading and other forms of learning about art. I think most people can get my level of knowledge. There are no special secrets.

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    • D&D (and other tabletop games) are a great way to provide a ritualized social event for people who aren’t that good at socializing in more free-form ways.

      As for Star Wars (and other stuff), it does seem like yesterday’s “middlebrow” is today’s “highbrow” (and yesterday’s “highbrow” is obscure to the point where only weirdoes like it), but a lot of that goes part and parcel with the counter-culture becoming the culture back in the 60’s and 70’s.

      Once you abandon aesthetics in service to a culture-wide “gustibus non est disputandum” moment, you’re suddenly finding that there’s no real reason to ever leave safe/comfortable entertainment spaces.

      Why would you?

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      • Because new things are interesting and I get bored with the same stuff all the time. There are people who can cook on a Sunday and make it last for a week. I also find this boring even if it is time convenient. I can eating the same thing 2 or 3 nights in a row max and then I get bored.

        That being said, I downloaded the Shadowrun game that Zac mentioned because I liked Shadowrun as a kid. We shall see how it goes.

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    • I know a guy who’s spent pretty much his entire adult life with his nose buried in a book (he owned a bookstore until a couple years ago). He knows lots and lots of stuff, and can talk a lot about the lots of things he knows. But he’s impossible to have a dialogue with. The way conversations go are with me (or whoever) saying something about something – anything! – and him saying “did you know that…”, or “actually, the reason that happened was …”, or “to understand what those guys were doing, you need to know what these guys were doing…”, and so on. You get the jist of it.

      Now, knowing a lot of things can provide it’s own source of pleasures, but those are different types of pleasures from doing things with people. Waiting in line to buy Star Wars toys with friends is doing something. Talking about how silly it is to wait in line to buy Star Wars toys isn’t doing anything.

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      • Forgetting how to do small talk and have an actual conversation with people is a down side of too much reading. I’m actually semi-conscious of my reading material because it’s obscure by the standards of people who read a lot. My favorite types of novels are grand, sweeping family epics like the Brothers Ashkenazi or the Cairo Trilogy or the realist books of the 19th century like anything written by Zola. I’m not that much of a fan of what the modern intellegentsia is into.

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  2. I bought a new video card and received a key for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. I played the original Metal Gear way back when on NES (not sure if I completed it, though, it was a friend’s copy), but haven’t played another in the series. I would have preferred the Arkham Knight key they were originally offering, but it had already been pulled from Steam when I made my purchase.

    I found the prologue to be excruciating. It’s no exaggeration to say that for 20 full minutes you’re limited to only watching cut-scenes, moving the camera, and crawling in a straight line. It takes a good hour to get through the prologue and to the game itself. The game itself is good, but I’m not much of a fan of stealth games. And knowing what little I know of the MGS storyline, I’m not finding the protagonist to be a very sympathetic character.

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