100 Things

email me

Listen to the Deviant SynCast! [Archive]

TPCQ = Tangential Pop Culture Quote

Why I Link to Amazon

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Victory and Aggravation 

Part of the reason I haven't been blogging much lately is because I've been ensconced in the world of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. To say it's an engrossing game is a pathetic understatement. Tonight, I finished the game. Huzzah!

Of course, I haven't finished 100%, insofar as there are dozens of other missions I can still do -- but they're silly and kinda pointless, so I may or may not get to them. But I do want to use this opportunity to gripe about video games -- in particular, their absurd difficulty.

The final mission in the GTA:SA storyline, "End of the Line," is a grotesquely complicated series of stages, each of which is more aggravating than the last. Trouble is, if you mess up on one little part, you have to do the whole thing over again. (Fortunately, I realized after much gnashing of teeth that I could save halfway through if I failed the second half.)

Driv3r is much the same way -- hair-yanking difficulty on some levels, with no options for making the game easier or skipping a mission which is causing particular rage. Final Fantasy X is the same way. Why are these games designed like this? Because they are designed and beta-tested by fanatics -- people who do nothing BUT play video games. So the rest of us (who just want to relax and have fun after work or school) have to feel inferior to these people or waste our time plodding through impossible missions. (I don't see how it's possible to finish that final GTA:SA mission without using a cheat code. I used it many times.)

So yeah. If any game designers are reading this (yeah right): Make the games diverse and engrossing, but spare us the bone-crushing difficulty. If nothing else, take a tip from the Star Wars games and give us various difficulty levels (not to mention regular female protagonists). And note that True Crime: Streets of LA auto-saves after every tiny part of gameplay. Nice!


I have a five-day weekend. Woohoo! Sure, I've got papers I need to grade. But in the meantime I have scads of free time, and Christie and Garrett and Max are coming in tonight. Huzzah! I get to spend time with them and Diane and everyone cool. Hooray for Thanksgiving!

Let's see. What's been building up in the old bookmark file? In case I haven't recommended the movie Primer enough, here's your chance to watch ten minutes of the film. Ooo, I can't wait til it comes out on video.

Have a look at Where the Wild Things Are -- er, Dance.

Hey, young go-getters! How about volunteering for the "PR challenge of the decade"?
The Washington, DC-based Iraqex . . . is offering 2- to 3-month internships in Iraq, for U.S. citizens with college degrees. The work includes "monitoring of Iraqi media, development of press releases and media material, interaction with Iraqi media for information requests and to pitch stories, and support for media events." Iraqex acknowledges that Iraq is a "hostile environment," but says its "U.S. personnel have lived in the country since 2003 without injury."
Thanks to Diane for the link. She also sent us the next one.

Hey, look -- it's my people! Belarus Accuses U.S. of Rights Abuses:
Angered at being targeted by the United States for its poor human rights record, Belarus hit back with a resolution accusing the U.S. government of disenfranchising voters, abusing prisoners and other rights violations.
Two filthy governments flinging mud at each other. Lovely.

Q. Hey, Eric -- isn't it counter-revolutionary to use such an important historical picture to symbolize your meaningless victory over a silly video game which is filled with atrocious stereotypes and propagation of gang warfare as a way of life for young black ghetto-dwellers?

A. Well, but . . . see, the cop in the game is corrupt. And at the end they emphasize the importance of community and the perils of greed.

Q. Oh. Okay, then.


Check out Karate Monkey! From -- where else? -- MonkeyFilter.

Today I'm listening to: Channel Live!