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Let's Game!

Omar: I'll do what I can to help y'all. But, the game's out there, and it's play or get played. That simple.

Dennis 'Cutty' Wise: The game done changed...
Slim Charles: Game's the same, just got more fierce.

The FOD Scheduler, Timezones, Live Status, Weekly OT

The Weekly OT #8

July 24, 2016

Post Comic-con. TV and movies are the big thing this week. Apparently, Stranger Things is really entertaining in the ET/Goonies/Poltergeist kind of way. Netflix is also teasing Narcos Season 2, for which I might find myself rewatching season 1. And then there are no less than five? six? new seasons of Netflix/Marvel shows to watch: Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, The Defenders, and the Punisher(?). There is also Wonder Woman, Kong: Skull Island, Fantastic Beasts, and King Arthur by Guy Richie, master of the quick edit (Snatch, and Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels).

And bonus article: Go DiCaprio!

The Weekly OT #7

July 18, 2016

It is mesmerizing. If I were a soccer fan, I would fall in love with this game, and then watching the pros play it, would never be able to go back to that sport again.

And after I watched the pros playing, I did a quick search and the first game I found I have pasted below. Suddenly ALL the cars are following the ball around like a flock of geese. I LOLed hard.

Pokemon Go – We Have To Have A Talk

July 16, 2016

For those of us who haven’t installed (yet), here is what all the hype is about.

In my last class before summer holidays, I gave my students a 10 minute primer on Pokemon Go. It hasn’t even been released here yet, but they needed to understand the technology and be aware of the potential pitfalls (no pun intended) of this kind of game. Like a kitchen knife, it doesn’t need to be dangerous but is proving that it can be. Come September, I don’t want any empty seats because I didn’t speak up. The bicycle/car/train/pedestrian/mobile device per meter ratio in Japan, even in the “country” as they call my area, is simply too high to expect non-injurious play.

Virtual Reality takes people away from each other. Augmented Reality brings them together, and takes them outside for a walk or a run or a mugging. Brilliant and elegant (and historical) game design.

The Weekly OT #6

July 11, 2016

Last week, it was all about Kevin Durant. I wonder what will get our attention this week.

Rare will have a Art of Sea of Thieves event at ComCon. I look forward to any tidbits that we might get from that event. In the meantime, this is a great theme song, “We Shall Sail Together”.

Table 19 gives me a huge Breakfast Club vibe, which is a good thing.

Oh, and there is Noah’s Ark, now open for viewing.

Nintendo is now aiding and abetting. I must not laugh; I must not laugh.

And finally, Frankie Saves Private Newb. The most exciting news for me is that all the servers are at 60Hz. This is a good watch for those interested in the game. I wasn’t able to anticipate BF4 in the same way that I can BF1 because I didn’t have plans for buying a One at launch, and I didn’t want to play the stunted 360 version. This time, with the community enthusiasm and the mechanical and game design changes, I can really look forward to putting a BF game back on the menu.

The Weekly OT #5: Herandar’s BF1 Impressions, The Kevin Durant Trade, and Evolve Goes FtP

July 4, 2016

This week, right on time, and actually scheduled in advance, automatic-like. I figured it out, too. If I need to post early because the thread is getting to heavy, I can call it #4b for example. So, getting better at my job.

The Sandbox

June 28, 2016

The sandbox in and of itself is not entertaining. It is just a big pile of sand. What makes it fun is the quality of the sand and imagination you bring to it. I mention quality because if the box is full of pine cones, dead leaves, cat poop, and glass shards, one spends more time cleaning (and worrying) than playing. Several of the Gears games are such. It might even be argued that GoW:UE (MPvs by Splash Damage) is the only one that had clean sand.

Strictly speaking, GTA4 and RDR are the only representatives of that genre that have I purchased, and neither held my attention. Lately, however, I have come to think of all MPvs games as sandboxes because I am realizing that the developers are giving us a play area, and it is what we do there that makes it fun or not. In fact, some of the sandboxes indeed, have much more than just sand, but as long as there is no cat poop or glass shards, we can use the non-sand objects as stuff to play around, and have a good time (The Division). Other times, there is almost no sand in the box at all – just enough to make tracks, Rocket League, and the fun there is both universal and endless. It is what we bring to the game that makes it work or not.

One of my favorite gaming memories is playing PvZ:GW and us all deciding to go as Gingers. PvZ:GW is definitely not a sandbox game in the open world sense, but when the limitations started to become a little dry, we brought the fun.

Kenny mentioned the other day that Overwatch was “kind of generic”. While I am sure some fans would take exception to that, I think it was an insightful observation. When the developers made the game, like a bunch of elementary school kids in a treehouse, they came at development from three angles: character design (let’s make a robot ninja!), abilities (this guy will shoot spiraling dragons!), and story (Symmetra was an architect that could build cities with “hard light”).  It is everything and nothing at the same time.  And I didn’t fully understand the generic complaint, until I loaded up PvZ:GW2. PvZ has a cohesive universe where, once a person gets their head around anthropomorphic Plants at war with buttcrack popping Zombies, then everything immediately comes together.

Anyway, what I want to say is two things. First, specifically as regards Overwatch , it is definitely generic in the lacking-cohesion/narration sense (something that even TF2 had more of), though I continue to enjoy the gameplay. Second, PvZ:GW2 is brimming with personality and “story”, but it will be how we play that too, that will determine whether or not we are entertained. I just read today what seemed to me an appropriate comparison of GW and GW2. “GW1 was a true shooter (one of the best ever) while GW2 is more of a splasher.”

I am almost ready to make a pact with myself that I will no longer be fiercely competitive – or at least, I will try not to get worked up when I lose.

This last one is a must-watch, by the way.

The Weekly OT #4: Summer Sale

June 24, 2016

In keeping with my promise, being that when the OT thread gets too heavy I will start a new one regardless of how many days have passed, I am starting #4 a couple days early.

Saturday morning, coming in early to open the library and correct a pile of student English compositions before I teach four classes in a row. Not my favorite way to spend Saturday. So, when I did a search for Mark Knopfler’s outstanding “Wherever I Go“, but instead was presented with OneRepublic’s Wherever I Go, I figured I may as well watch. As I did, I couldn’t imagine a more suiting video for the way I feel right now. As proof, I have considered of late buying brightly colored socks and then wearing them mismatched in my slippers inside the school. Give me some color and spontaneity please! Click it. Believe me, the thumbnail is misleading.

Have a good weekend everyone! Hope to play some Rocket League and Overwatch at some point.


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