The Digi-Cult

A New Religion for a Digital Age

Posts Tagged ‘Jen’

Digital addictions

Posted by 1forfun on November 8, 2008

                               My roommate rcellecently decided she was going to switch her major from English to addictions counselling, and was told jokingly by a friend that to be an addictions counsellor she had to have an addiction of her own, and she does: her cell phone.

 

 

 

And then I thought about it, and I’m really no different. I’m really attached to my cell phone too, though not in exactly the same way. She is afraid of missing a call greenpatchkidnap1or text, but for me, the phone is a security blanket, a lifeline in the case of unusual circumstances. But the addiction doesn’t end there.  We have two tv’s in our living room, one hooked up for movies and video games, and the other hooked up for cable. There have certainly been times where we have been watching a show on tv, one of us is playing a video game, and we both have computers  open and next to us. This all comes back to Sherry Turkle’s article Can you hear me now? In which she discusses the idea of tethered self, the idea that we are so incredibly tied to our technology. With social networking sites  and email, there is always something to update, and conversely always something to check for updates. I’m not sure what the attraction is in always being updated on the goings on of people I rarely talk to. I spend hours on facebook using various applications to kidnap my roommate, or send her plants and fish, while she sits next to me on the couch.

I guess what I’m really wondering is why all these seemingly pointless and excessive interactions have such a hold over me and others, and why I can’t seem to stop-despite how I’ve tried. Not to mention the fact that very rarely do I actually get anything productive done while online.

If anyone has any thoughts, or would like to contribute their own technological addictions, I’d love to hear it.

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Posted in Digital Culture, Groups, Interaction, Websites | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Unthrilled

Posted by 1forfun on October 27, 2008

So, once again, my post is late, but in my defense, I’ve already spent upwards of 24 hours at work this weekend, not exceptionally good for getting other work done. The game I was playing this week is Thrillville on the PS2. Though saying that I played it this week is a bit of an exaggeration, because I lost interest after about an hour.

Now I won’t say that I know much about this game from an hour of play, but it really doesn’t seem like the game would change much over time. The game involves designing and operating an amusement park. You are in charge of talking to guests, doing research and development, maintenance, building rides and attractions, and the other various business aspects of amusement parks. This to me seems like an educational  video game in disguise, and is far too much like work. Granted the minigames seem pretty cool, and there is a multiplayer mode from which you can access them (though I haven’t tried-my second controler is toast) it really doesn’t make up for the fact that the only reward for being good at managing is getting more to manage.

Thats not to say that this type of video game doesn’t have a fan base, I played an almost identical (though simpler) version of this game years ago, and enjoyed it immensely, and games like Diner dash and Parking dash have a certain appeal to them, so perhaps it’s just a bad time for this game, but I just can’t see myself returning to play it again any time soon.

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Boo!

Posted by 1forfun on October 21, 2008

So, I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. I for one have been extraordinarily slow to get back into school and work. One of the pitfalls I didn’t see coming when I was thinking about blog topics was the time it would take. Not only does it involve writing(which is the least of the time spent) but I now spend increasing amounts of time at King of Trade, as well as time playing games. My roommate and I now have two versions of Spyro, and spend a considerable amount of time on both. Just prior to Thanksgiving I bought myself Luigi’s Mansion for the Game Cube. Needless to say that’s what I spent the great majority of the weekend doing. There is something very satisfying about sucking up ghosts.

I also love that this game features Luigi on a mission to save Mario, a departure from the norm.

The game begins with Luigi discovering that he has won a mansion, and he must come claim his prize. Mario was supposed to meet him there, but arrived before Luigi and was taken hostage by the ghosts inside. Luigi teams up with Professor E. Gadd’s Poltergust 3000 to suck up the specters in the  various rooms. The game is very linear, with a clearly laid out path for Luigi to follow. Every ghoul in a room must be captured before the next room is opened sort of thing.

This game is simple enough to figure out, and I’m more than half finished, my issue is related to the controls. the main control stick moves Luigi, while the C-stick controls which direction the Poltergust faces. I’ve never been one to have good coordination in that area. I’ve tried to play Halo and I alwys end up facing the completely wrong direction. This is much easier to control than Halo, but is still hindering my boss fight.

Overall though it is a very amusing game. The developers have created several different types of ghost, some elemental that require an opposing element to defeat, some portrait ghosts which you have to be sneaky enough to catch off guard, some who pop out randomly in the hallways, and of course the classic Boo, who like to play hide and seek in the furniture.

It is clearly a children’s game (rated E for Everyone) but still fun none the less, and still far more apealing than the neverending piles of homework.

Flipull

Flipull is a problem solving game. There are several differently patterned blocks arranged in a square on the screen. You play as a small orange blob, and your objective is to clear the blocks from a ladder on the other side of the screen. You start off with a block to toss at the others, either matching one of the patterns or a blue block which can be used to clear any of the patterns. You throw your block at matching blocks to clear them, and pick up the pattern that is behind the one you just cleared. In later levels there will be obstacles stopping you from getting a straight shot at some of the blocks, requiring more strategy. In the expert mode, there are fewer squares to clear but only one way to complete each level.

Tetris

Probably the classic puzzle game, tetris has had dozens of incarnations. My favourite is the unofficial NES version made by Tengen. trying to fit all the shapes together, each made of 4 blocks and each fitting in different spaces, really made you think fast about where something would best fit, as well as where the next peice might fit. Also, i love the russian dancers who appear down the middle of the screen between levels. The more points you get the more dancers you get, up to six. The top two dancers are women, and dance differently than the men on the bottom four rows.

Dr. Mario

Similar in idea to Tetris, except there are germs of 3 different colours on each level that must be cleared with the pills that mario throws down. each pill has 2 halves, and each half is one of the 3 germ colours. The player must make stacks of four of the same colour to clear the set. Once all the germs have been cleared, the level is complete.

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Generation Gap?

Posted by 1forfun on October 10, 2008

With the Thanksgiving long weekend upon us, I thought I’d talk a bit about family this week. My thought process started off with a conversation I had with my Granny awhile back. She lives in a retirement home, and the board decided they would look into getting a Nintendo Wii for the games room in the building. I thought this was a pretty neat idea, having all these seniors learning to use a game console, and the Wii is the perfect choice, particularly with it’s Wii fit. It has the potential to keep everyone active no matter the weather or other limitations. I have to admit it had the added attraction of being available for my use when I come to visit.

However this also made me realize that I don’t want to be playing video games with my Granny. That’s something I do with my friends, and I somehow the thought just seems odd. My Granny is the one who taught me to play crib and double series and many many other games that I loved throughout my childhood and still love today. These are the types of games that I want to play when i visit my Granny, mostly because of the memories, but also because I have no one else to play many of these games with, because most of my friends aren’t familiar with these games.

I for one don’t think a generation gap is a terrible thing at all. I’m all for my Granny playing Wii fit and whatever other games she wants too, just like I support my Grandma using MSN (always an interesting conversation point by the way) but at the same time, I can’t help but feel that we’re losing out on board games and card games. Labyrinth and Skip Bo, Clue and Monopoly, even solitare and freecell, how many people could even play without their computers? I for one look forward to a Thanksgiving of board games and cards along with good food, because I know come Tuesday I’ll be right back to my electronic entertainment.

 

 

Lunar Ball

This is a pretty awesome version of pool. Aside from having a variety of oddly shaped pool tables, which makes it more difficult to clear, you can also adjust the friction of the pool table, ranging from alot of friction and having to shoot the ball twice to get it anywhere, to almsot no friction, and having to wait two minutes for your cue ball to stop bouncing off the sides. Another thing I like about this game is that you can select a level. This is usefull because it gives everyone a change to try out all the different table designs without having to play through them all everytime.

http://www.nesguide.com/games/lunarpool/    The table layouts start getting weird at about 3 minutes.

 

Pinball

A classic. though it wouldn’t seem like it at first, this game actually features MArio in a bonus level you access by getting the pinball through a particular chute. This game, like arcade pinball, is about getting the most points, which makes the 2 player mode more enjoyable. Pinball is one of those games that requires little skill and little attention to still  be entertaining. Not one I played often, just because you can only play for so long before it becomes too simple, but fun none the less on occassion.

http://www.nesguide.com/games/pinball/

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A touch of Nostalgia pt2

Posted by 1forfun on October 8, 2008

I appologize for the late post, this week has been full of lots of wonderfully dull and time consuming things. I did however make a fun find at King of trade the other day. I found a copy of The Little Mermaid for NES, and my roommate picked up a copy of Spyro, a Hero’s Tail for Gamecube, both of which I look forward to playing for more than five minutes. As far as not having time to game goes, this is not entirely true. As of late, I have been playing some Magic School Bus computer games, particularily Inside the Earth. They are fun and distracting, as well as educational. More often however, I am playing Kitty Cannon.

Yes I am a sick individual. I don’t care. I love the pirahna plants, while my roommate favours the spikes, but either way we both enjoy the splatting sound when the kittens hit the ground. This is a game that involves very little attention and no skill and yet I still find enjoyable. Something about wathcing a kitty bounce aong a field littlered with obstacles and rootiong for it to hit the explosivves and bounce further just amuses me. There are lots and lots of simple computer games like this, your computer probably came witha few of them. How many times have you played solitare. True most people wouldn’t consider these to be video games, but they still have their entertainment value.

As for the NES games that were the staple of my childhood, many of them were also the simple kind cccof game that you could play for five minutes and not have to worry about getting too into them that you couldn’t go off and do homework or whatever. In fact sometimes more than 10 or so minutes would just end in me getting angry.

Arkanoid

This game continues to frustrate me to this day. You play as a small platform that moves right and left across the screen, and your goal is to bounce a ball at multicoloured bricks at the top of the screen to clear them, while catching the ball on each bounce. Sometimes the bricks will release a power up that will give you a special ability like having a longer platform, or having three balls in play at once. Once you clear all the bricks you can move on to the next level. The part the frustrates me so much is the third level. The are gold bricks that can’t be cleared, but the level is set up in such a way that it is vitually impossible to be successful. I’ve never managed to clear the  level, and it continues to frustrate me.

City Connection

In City connection you play as a small car, and your objective is to highlight all the streets in the level. You do this by driving over them, while avoiding obstacles and the police. You can pick up small rectangles aroiund the level that you can shoot at the police and ballons which will help you clear the level. This game, though not as frustrating as Arkanoid, is another that can only be played for so long. Each level is very similar with a slightly different set up and a different background, but the same objective. It really doesn’t matter that you can’t save or can’t play for long since it’s all essentially the same anyways. Still amusing though. Check it out here.

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