Monday, June 28, 2010

Taking games too serious

For quite some time now I’ve been a regular visitor to the forum over at Big Fish Games. I browse through the forum, discuss a bit, help out with other gamers’ questions…

But one thing surprises and agers me every time I meet it: gamers who either think games should not have any supernatural or occult themes or they should not give a gamer any possibly not-completely-moral choices.

The newest of this threads belongs to a vampire-themed game (thankfully without any sparkling vampires) named “Blood Oath”. In the second half of the game, you are presented with a choice: Feed from a vampire hunter who has made your un-life miserable before or do not feed. While it is suggested that you will die when you don’t feed, this isn’t true. You will be saved and still can continue in the game. Still, it obviously is a tough decision – if you take the game too serious.

I never take possibly dying or killing in a game too serious. I’ve played ego-shooters (quite some of them and those quite a lot) when I was younger (I rarely do so these days). I’ve played GTA (though not part four, because up until quite recently my computer wasn’t up to it and it doesn’t run well on ATI graphics cards). I played the infamous great white in the “Jaws Unleashed” game (and it was fun). On the other hand, I never managed to go down the path of the dark side in “Jedi Knight”. I usually end up as a risk-taking close-combat quarter in RPGs. But whether or not I’m doing good (or bad) deeds in a game doesn’t affect my actions in the real world. I rarely drive faster than speed limit (and never much faster). I’m polite to people. I get up and offer my seat to elder people or those who need it more than me in public transport. I lead a good life – well, as good as you can be without being a saint.

But I draw the line between what I do in real life and what I do in a digital world. A game can be reloaded, you can play it again, make different choices and see where that leads you. In fact, to me that’s part of the fun in such games. I like games with dark themes, too. I like spooky and dark stories and games that run along the same lines are far more interesting to me than, say, a bright game with a woman in love looking for the man she loves (and that’s, basically, the second category in which hidden objects games mostly fall). (The “Dream Day” series is the only exception from this rule for me.)

But I don’t tell other people their choice in games is wrong. Everybody has a different taste and not everyone likes what I like (which is probably a very good thing). It gets on my nerves, though, when other people try to do that to me.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Weekend Update

Weekend, weekend, wonderful weekend. (It really is, sunny and hot.)

And this is what I am going to do:

  • DVD to watch: “Bones” season two
  • Book to read: “Bullies, Bastards & Bitches”
  • Game to play: nothing planned, but I’ll find something

I’ll also be writing and doing other stuff. Wonderful, glorious weekend!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Late Discovery

I admit it, I have mostly ignored the series “Bones” the whole time (and it’s been running in Germany for at least four years now). This happened not because I was against the ideas of the series, but simply because of the broadcasting scheme of the station airing the series.

Only a few weeks ago, one of the weekly cases roused my interest – someone taking bones from various people in order to rebuild a metal skeleton with real bones. So I decided to watch the episode (probably from the fifth season) and found it interesting, even though it didn’t seem to have reached a conclusion. (I still have no idea whether I missed it or whether the end really was that open.) Anyhow, I chose to see another episode a few weeks later (the Halloween episode in which they find real mummies in a spook house). I liked it.

So I did the only thing that always works: I found myself the first season and decided to take a look. So far, I’m liking what I see. (And, what’s more, I guess my father will like it, too, once I hand the season over to him.)

I like the main character a lot, despite the fact that I still have to read a Kathy Reichs novel and thus am unable to compare the character to her. I like women who can fight for themselves. I like women who are competent and know what they do and why they do it. And I can identify easily with a woman who finds it more difficult to deal with living than with the dead, even though I do have people skills.

I also like the team around her, the cast of the show. It’s well balanced and the combination – of abilities and character traits – makes sense.

So, despite the fact that I thought I had seen enough CSI lookalikes by now, I really am intrigued by “Bones” and will continue to watch it.

EDIT: I've found out by now that the episodes I referred to are from season 3 (first episode, starting the Gormogon arc, and fifth episode, the Halloween episode of the season).

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Weekend Update

Is it Saturday again? Yes, it is.

This is what I’m going to do this weekend:

  • DVD to watch: “Knight Forever” season 1, part 1
  • Book to read: something about feminism
  • Game to play: “Blood Oath”

It looks like it will be a great weekend, weather’s good and everything is planned out.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Bye-bye Eva

After ages of trying to get through Eva Herman’s “Das Eva-Prinzip”, I’ve decided just cut my losses and let it be. I wanted to read the book and write some scathing posts about it in this blog and “Feminism Wow!”, but I simply can’t bend my mind enough to read it without becoming terribly aggressive. So I put the book online at amazon for whomever to grab.

It’s been about four years now since the book was first published and Ms. Herman has by now mostly disappeared from the public. Maybe she has heeded her own advice, baked a few apple pies and just keeps her mouth closed (although I pretty much doubt it will last).

So I say farewell to Ms. Herman and her book (well, I will, the moment someone buys it from me and I can send it off) and move on to better topics.

Edit: After I’d written this, but before I could post, the book actually got bought, so I can really say bye-bye now. Bye-bye Eva!