so about those things

In spite of the rage in the previous post, my boredom and self-pity won out and I ended up purchasing the game at full price. Since then, I’ve been basically glued to the couch with a controller in hand – turns out, I really like Assassin’s Creed. And London. Probably mostly London. I’m halfway through the game, and determined to finish it before I crack open Fallout 4 (my copy isn’t arriving until Thursday, so as long as I avoid the entire internet, I’ll be fine). This is the first Assassin’s Creed game I’ve ever played, and I’ve been having a lot of fun, mostly because it’s the closest I’m ever going to get to being able to crawl around my favourite London monuments without being thrown in jail/falling to my death. Also, I’ve gotten SO GOOD at assassinating people! This will undoubtedly come in handy the next time I have to go to the mall.

So, um, I’m going to Barcelona in February. Does anyone know how to Spain? I do not know how to Spain. Any pointers you could give me on how to Spain would be greatly appreciated, because I am out of my element here (my element being restricted to anything that is requirement based, London, or assassinating people for fun).

I am excited to see additional parts of Europe! At last, “International Kimli of Mystery” will be more than just Western Canada, the Pacific Northwest, and 20 square blocks of London!

artist's rendition of me in barcelona, totally to scale.

artist’s rendition of me in barcelona, totally to scale.

the king of wishful thinking


While we’re all masturbating furiously at the thought of Valve announcing Half Life 3 tomorrow (background: Valve is making a “big announcement” at GDC15 on 3/3 at 3pm – I personally think they’re going to screw us and announce DOTA3 or L4D3, MAYBE Portal 3 if we’ve been very, very good), I started thinking about my video game wishlist: titles I want to see sequels for, or older games made available on new technology. Some people daydream about winning the lottery – I dream about playing The World Ends With You on iOS8. #dreambig

  • HD Port of Jet Set Radio Future: They did this for Jet Set Radio, so now it’s time to do it for the sequel. C’mon, SEGA. I’ve been very patient.
  • Jet Set Radio Future 2: The Futuring
  • Beyond Good and Evil 2: Goddamnit, Ubisoft. Stop churning out Assassin’s Creed sequels and give me more Jade.
  • TWEWY iOS8 Support: don’t be dicks, Squeenix.
  • Portal 3 because Portal is awesome and more Portal would be More Awesome. JK Simmons isn’t doing anything these days, right? We need more wisdom from Cave Johnson.
  • The return of Cate Archer. This one is depressing, because No One Lives Forever is in limbo and looking very much like it won’t be made available, ever. There are three games in the series, and while I can’t speak for Contract J.A.C.K., NOLF/NOLF2 were so much fun to play (CJ came out in 2003 when my entire life was casting and sleeping and not much else). I and so many others would love to see them made available to play again, but.
  • The return of browser-based Quake Live. When it was released on Steam, it went Windows only, and that sucks – it was fun and easy to fire up a game at work, but now it takes some serious planning because who the hell has Windows machines? My work environments have been Mac-only for the last 4 years. I don’t think I could find a Windows machine in this office if I tried.
  • A new game from Tiger Style, makers of Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor and Waking Mars. They’re currently working on Spider: Rite of the Shrouded Moon, but I want it nooooow. I need a good game to sink my teeth into.

There are probably more, but I have work to do. What about you? What games would you love to see/see again?

video game feels

Did you play Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor? Did you love it, but really wish you didn’t have to play as a spider because spiders are terrifying? Are you still slightly annoyed that, after at least a half dozen play throughs since launch, you don’t actually know what the secret is?

You’re gonna want to go buy Gone Home, sit yourself in front of your computer, and play it all the way through.

I did just that this afternoon, and it was amazing. It gave me feels. It was what more games should be. It neatly wrapped things up (well, most things). It didn’t make me remember a random code I found 8 rooms ago to unlock a shed to get the wrench to open the cover of the well to find the missing puzzle piece. I loved this game.

Seriously, check it out. The voice acting is fantastic, the game tells a beautiful story, and Fullbright did an amazing job with the music, the ambiance, and the setting. I rarely recommend non-mobile games these days (Gone Home is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux) because my computer is little more than a big internet box I use to talk to strangers, but I am highly recommending this one. It’s awesome. I want to hug them all (and then revive my underground ‘zine).

Go play!

guilty pleasure

I’ve been vastly preoccupied over the last three weeks, for what could be the worst reason ever: when I’m not at work or sleeping, I’ve been playing Guild Wars 2.

I have never been a huge fan of MMOs. I tried playing Everquest and World of Warcraft, but it didn’t hold my interest at all. I did, however, get into the original Guild Wars in a pretty big way: not because it was an MMO, but because I could play it by myself. I started playing GW when I was neck-deep in casting and IRC, and I spent every waking moment online talking to or at other people – so I started playing Guild Wars to get away from it all. It was touted as an MMO you could play alone, which truly appealed to me: I had no interest in playing with others since I did that all the time, and I had no interest in meeting people through the game because I already knew too many people. GW1 allowed you to “hire” NPCs to form a party, so you could complete group quests and goals without ever needing to communicate with another person. It was awesome.

In the time between GW1 and 2, I had switched from PC gaming to console and Mac computers. Seriously bored one Saturday night, I decided to see if GW2 (which launched last September) was going to be available for Mac anytime soon. To my surprise, it already was – so I handed over my credit card, made an account, and (some two hours and 18GB later) started playing. I haven’t stopped. GW2 doesn’t have the “talk to no one” aspect I loved about the first game; I run into other people all the time. I still don’t have to talk to them, but eventually I’ll need to start finding people to team up with for the group quests and I don’t wanna. Other people are scary. I can kill all those things myself. I’m enjoying it, though. I’ve only got one character, a level 72 Sylvari Elementalist – basically, I’m a plant who likes to play with fire.


i'm a plant, wearing plants as clothes. it's basically a vegan meat dress.

i’m a plant, wearing plants as clothes. it’s basically a vegan meat dress.

Every once in a while someone says something ominous to me about dragons, but as near as I can tell the goal of the game is Centaur Genocide. No matter what map I’m on, Centaurs are coming at me and making fun of my two legs, which in turn makes me set them on fire. Not personally having anything against Centaurs (or lizards), I feel kind of bad about killing them all. I also feel kind of bad about the amount of time I’ve played – I’ve been playing for three weeks, and I’ve sunk 108 hours into it. That being said, I’m kind of glad I had the game this weekend – it gave me something to do other than lay around pathetically and moan about my death cold. I killed things instead! A much better use of my time, even if it’s training me to be some sort of killing machine who throws fire balls at people in real life.

I’m somewhat ashamed, but not really. This can’t go on forever – I basically plan to finish the map to 100% and be done with it. I’ve got no desire to PvP or start a new character or find out why people hate Centaurs so much – I just want to clear that damn Fog of War off my screen.

Goals! I have them!

Oh, that made me sad. It’s okay though! I’m sick!

all of the fun

I do not know how I can possibly be hungry after last night, but I am awake and starving and could eat all of Denny’s all over again.

Amazing weekend. Don’t particularly want it to end or face the mountain of laundry slowly gaining sentience on my bedroom floor. I want more sweaty music, more laughing with friends, more tall men named Sheldon flirting with me, more accidental running into Steve, more Andy and his amazing band, more Seattle. I want it all .. but I need clean underwear, so it’s back to reality (for now).

I picked Stephanie up in Surrey on Thursday night after a series of unfortunate events that started with my (paycheque-sized) tax refund being held up by CRA because I didn’t file 6 years worth of empty GST/HST paperwork. After getting that sorted out (thanks, Government Darill), I hopped in the Minibator and .. got lost. See, I don’t go to Surrey. It’s absolutely a Vancouver Snob thing. Worse, every time I try to go to Surrey or Delta or Langley, I end up in New Westminster because all bridges are the Queensborough Bridge. I may aim for the other, correct bridges, but each time my brain says “yep, this is totally the bridge to the ‘burbs” and I then I find myself in Wal-Mart with three grubby children and a shopping cart full of off-brand Kraft Dinner and pull ups. I eventually got myself sorted out and made it to Surrey, which was as stereotypical as expected. One Steph later, we were on our way: it was time for Seattle.

The drive down was largely uneventful, if you do not consider apocalyptic weather to be an event. We drove through torrential rain, wind, scary dark freeway times and even time travel fog before coming through on the other side in one white knuckled piece. We were staying with Steph’s sister in Redmond, and we pulled into the belly of the Microsoft beast just before midnight after a harrowing ride.

Steph and I left the house the following morning with no game plan, so we headed to the EMP for the Art of Video Games exhibit. It was neat, but not really worth making a trip for (and that’s saying something, given how much I am in love with video games) .. but the day was saved by the OTHER exhibits at the EMP: the Hall of Nirvana, and the ABSOLUTELY AMAZING horror movie exhibit which you REALLY NEED TO GO SEE. Also, if you’ve never been, there’s a super cool science fiction exhibit (which both of us had seen before so we skipped it this time) that is totally worth seeing. They’re currently setting up the next exhibit on Fantasy and Myth, so if anyone wants to go on a mini road trip in April, museums will happen.

A late lunch at the always ridiculous and delicious Lunchbox Lab followed, and a very brief stop into Pike Place Market – the market is only open until 6pm, and we got there around 5:45. The market itself is nothing new, but we wanted to check out the flowers coz they’re always pretty, and also buy some delicious vinegar from Sotto Voce (which we managed to do with 2 minutes to spare). Wandering happened, and then .. we saw a giant ferris wheel down by the water. With two hours to kill until the show, we decided to go down and check it out: one does not simply see a giant lit up ferris wheel spinning merrily around without further investigation, so we piled back into the Mini and I used my Super Sense to find our way down to the waterfront.

We had stumbled upon the Seattle Great Wheel, all lit up for the opening of the Sounders season. Upon seeing that the seats were in enclosed pods, we decided we needed to go on a ride (we are adventuresome but prone to freezing, and the wheel is right on the water) – call it a consolation prize, because neither of us got to go on the London Eye on our various trips to Europe. Also, the $15 ticket price was a great deal easier to swallow than the £20 in London. The ride was super fun and we got a lot of pictures of Seattle at night from above – would totally recommend, especially if you go during off season because it’s much less busy and you’ll likely get a pod to your group instead of having to share, so then you can totally make out like we and the cute gay boys in the pod next to us did.

Finally, it was time to make our way to Neumos for the show: Astronautalis was opening for Why?, and I will always always drive to Seattle to see Astronautalis play. The venue was crowded as fuck (all ages show), but by pure chance Steph and I managed to get a great spot by the stage just time in for Andy’s set. Also, I poked him twice in the shoulder because I am smooth, and I got a hug. I win. We didn’t stay for the headliner because we were both tired and not feeling the massive crowd, so we made a graceful exit and drove off into the night (slowly, as Pike East is the Granville Street of Seattle and every single person between the ages of 21 and 30 were standing in line to get into a club).

Saturday was a bit rushed, because we had things to do and a deadline to meet back home. We ran important errands (wine, iTunes credit, looking for gnomes) and got out of town around 1pm. More terrible weather on the way back to Vancouver, all the rum at the duty free, and we were back home by 4:45: just enough time to power nap, power shower, and get ready to do it all over again. Steph enjoyed the show in Seattle, so she bought a ticket to come with Ed, Shan and I to see Astronautalis in Vancouver at the Biltmore where we met a coworker who bought my other ticket, and ran into No Fun Steve who was there to see Why?. Fun! I put stickers on my boobs, got right up at the stage for the set (much to the extreme annoyance of the fan girls who planted themselves at the stage for the entire duration of the evening so they could be front and center for Why? – cool but don’t give me dirty looks when I try to get up front for the act I want to see; I will gladly acquiesce my space to you when the act is done), bopped around and generally had myself a great fucking time, as always. Andy and his boys put on an amazing fucking show, and I absolutely adore dragging people out to Astronautalis shows with me because they always enjoy it and then I get to go say hi to the band and they sometimes remember me and yay! Also, shut up – I rarely fangirl out over things, so if I want to be a squealing ninny over this I’m totally allowed because they are my favourite ever, and I will always enthusiastically support the things I love in any way I can.

Also, didn’t accidentally see anyone pee this time. Bonus.

We stuck around for most of the Why? set, then took off before the Biltmore turned into a dance club (that happened the last time we were at the Fortune Sound Club and it was terrifying). The plan was to get tacos, but Chronic Tacos broke our hearts by being CLOSED (apparently for renovations?) so we did the next best thing: fucking DENNY’S, Y’ALL. We ordered ALL THE FOOD (there was so much food), ate it all, then went home: Steph was Rum Drunk and I was Tired Drunk, and we needed to be poured into our respective beds to begin the downward descent into reality and back to a life without daily rap shows and Moons Over our Hammies at midnight.

So much fun. A++++, would do again in a heartbeat. Am a bigger fan of Astronautalis and his band after every single show I see. Love my life, and all those in it.

Pictures coming sometime!

classiest ever.

applied logic

I’ve been a gamer for almost 30 years, and in all that time – during the highs and the lows, the giddiness and the crushing depression, the drama bombs and rampant Benedryl abuse – not ONCE have I ever:

If I can do all these things and more on a daily basis for almost 30 years without a single real world fatality, how can you claim that video games are training us to kill?

Enough scapegoating.

Video games do not create killers.