Archive for the 'Art' Category
Officer Jerry Watkins

Is anyone else tired of saving the world? How about playing the part of a renegade and/or former black-ops commando out for revenge/the truth?

Someday, I hope to play a game where I’m not saving the world. Someday, I hope that a video game manufacturer can imbue the everyday with some excitement as well without requiring universal stakes. Failing that, I’d just like to play something ordinary but new to me.

For example, I’d like to play the part of Officer Jerry Watkins, a medium-size town cop who plays by all the rules. I want him to be in the middle of an unexceptional career on the police force. I want to conduct a by-the-book investigation of a series of thefts of small electronics and jewelry from some middle class homes in the suburbs. I want to painstakingly follow police evidence procedure. I want to doggedly follow lead after dead-end lead until finally I catch up to the petty criminal responsible for the crimes I’m investigating. I want to arrest him at his apartment after the backup I called for arrives, but I want the backup to turn out to be unnecessary. I want him to come quietly, be convicted of petty theft and to serve 2 years of a five-year sentence before being released on parole.

The overall stakes of the game should be the everyday rivalry between me and Officer Stanton, because both of us can’t get that promotion that the LT mentioned.

Perhaps there could be a subplot where my 14-year-old son is caught shoplifting.

If you draw your gun during the course of the investigation, it’s Game Over.

There should be no soundtrack.

Garden-Variety Portland

Yesterday I went to the Japanese Garden with Andrea, an old friend of mine that I originally met in Gainesville, FL. We walked through the Rose Garden to get there, but all of the bushes there were pruned back for the winter. I can’t imagine what the Rose Garden will look like in the spring.

The Japanese Garden was very peaceful, in spite of the hordes of people and children who were roaming the grounds and shouting at each other. Andrea and I managed to spend a very pleasant few minutes sitting on a covered bench and talking quietly.  While much of the flora was bare for the winter, it was still beautiful.

Today, I went to the Chinese Garden.  It was, to be honest, kind of disappointing after the Japanese Garden.  Two probable reasons are that the winterization hit the Chinese Garden harder aesthetically and that I went to the Chinese Garden by myself.  I’ll have to revisit it in the spring with a friend and compare the two gardens then.

Layer Cake

Spoilers in the full entry. You’ve been warned.


We’ve got spaghetti! And…

Blankets is a graphic novel by Craig Thompson. I started rereading it today during the last few moments of my lunch break and finished it just now.

I could probably recommend it enough, but assuming medical science isn’t going to let either of us live past 200 years old, neither you nor I have enough time. Got a little carried away there; sometimes my praise gets away from me. It’s a fine story and the art matches it well. I’ll leave it at that. Many aspects of the story evoke strikingly similar memories of my own childhood and adolescence, so for me it’s particularly poignant.

For example, Craig relates how he and his brother would walk atop iced-over snow as far as possible without breaking through the crust. I did the *exact* same thing on the sand around Crooked Lake (Lake Calusa, officially) when I was a kid. The sun would dry a similar crust onto the beach after a rain, and I would try (and often succeed for a while) to walk across it without breaking through.

Snuggled up with Torment

I’ve been lamenting the lack of quality in recent games for the last couple of weeks. I keep coming back, in my head, to Planescape: Torment, the best game I’ve ever played.

I realized that I don’t need to pine for it. I can play it.

So I just installed it, and even before I start it for the first time, I’ve done all the little things to make the experience more pleasant. I’ve copied all the files from each of the CDs to the install directory and redirected the game’s config file to look there. I’ve official patched, unofficial patched and addon-to-unofficial patched. I didn’t turn Annah into a leprechaun yet, but I’ve got the files necessary to do so and I’m reserving the right.

I’ve dimmed the lights. I’ve consumed enough caffiene to stun a water buffalo.

I’m ready to become… Nameless.


Shocked, I tell you!

This game has forever secured it’s place in my heart directly below Planescape: Torment, and slightly above other long-time favorites such as Fallout 1 & 2 and the Thief series.

spoiler warning spoiler warning spoiler warning spoiler warning

I just completed BioShock. When the end arrived, I found myself crying a bit in relief that the ordeal was finally over.


the n00z

Ah, yes. The Onion.

Whether they’re working to bring us the facts about a recent study of the effect of multiple stab wounds on monkeys or reminding those of us in uniform why we fight, The Onion is truly great.