Monday, October 4, 2010

Computer nerding it up this weekend. I got a new computer and installed windows 7. Putting the computer together wasn't terribly difficult, just time consuming. Fitting the cables without blocking airflow or fans was tricky, and half the components I ordered didn't come with screws for some reason.

Windows 7 was a bigger problem. At first everything about it was frustrating. Installing the right versions of programs, and then figuring out where they installed was tricky. And a couple things I downloaded came with trojans and I had to start all over again. Navigating the file system was a pain until I set up the shortcuts I'm used to using. It tries to be very start-menu centered, but I prefer to never use the start menu for anything. Anyway, for a while I could empathize with the frustration my mom feels when she tries to use her computer. I felt like I was battling the OS every time I wanted to do something. But it's all fixed now.

I've been playing a little (tiny bit) of civilization 5. I like the new hex tiles, and I like the new way units don't stack. It almost seems like a tactical game, until you realize that each unit just has a "combat rating" that tells you everything about it's effectiveness in combat. I haven't played any civilization games since civ 2, but it still takes 40 years for your scouts to see whats on the other side of the mountain? And 100 years to raid a nearby city? The time frames for some actions are just way, way off. Also, you'd think they'd have a more accurate model by now than deciding to "research" the wheel. Did the cavemen really do research before inventing the wheel? Okay, so it's not an accurate model of historical development. What is it then? I'm not really sure. It's a kinda fun, totally inaccurate model of how you would plan for a civilization given these circumstances. I'm just incapable of suspending my disbelief enough to think "maybe this is how the Aztecs could have developed had the white man not rained on their parade." Because its all so skewed. It doesn't help that the entirety of combat, when one unit attacks another, is that the units overlap for a moment, followed by some scuffling effects, and then you're shown how much damage each unit took. It's interesting in general, it just doesn't capture the imagination and it's not engaging.

(from an interview with a Gamefaqs faq author)
A lot of recent games have this pathetic desperation for you to "share" them. Skate 3 wants me to upload videos of my pretend self skateboarding in its pretend city. Blur invites me to Tweet my latest race victory - say, what's that sound? Oh, it's hundreds of "unfollow" buttons being clicked at once.

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