Posted on October 13th, 2009 in Uncategorized by Doctor Detroit

I’ve done nothing but grade papers for the past two days.  How you doin’?

I have gotten into an unsettling habit of gaming while I am working, often two at a time.  It’s a ménage-a-trois of strategy, violence, and intellectualism.  I don’t know how it got to this—well, I kind of do—but I’m more disturbed by the fact that I am just as productive when my mind is switching back and forth between gaming and working at a fairly rapid pace.  I’m never 100% committed to either thing, and I think everyone wins for it.  So, for those of you who are still undergraduates, you should know that your professors may likely be playing Mass Effect for the thousandth time while grading whatever it is you wrote in 10 minutes the night before.

Maybe it helps me cope with the immediate, often disappointed, reactions I have when I’m grading.  I don’t know.  We need a social psychologist.

Anyway.

One thing I have been wondering lately, kind of as a passing thing, is this: when did video games become as much an artistic experience as a gaming experience?  For example, the first thing I said to Brick when I picked up Street Fighter IV wasn’t OMG KEN or TOO MANY MOVEZ~!!, but that the game itself is absolutely gorgeous.  I plan on replaying Arkham Asylum again soon, both because of the game and the story it tells, and because the artwork is awesome.  When did this happen?  Was there some single event that triggered this?  And how cool is this, anyway?  The incredible coloring and attention to detail that modern games/systems are capable of even makes some of the older games more fun, for someone like me, anyway, because you develop a greater appreciation for what some of the older designers were able to accomplish back when.  Something like Super Mario Bros. takes on a whole new level of coolness when you’re thinking about the friggin artwork.

As I’ve said, this is Brick’s doing.  THANK YOU,

Moving on.

I have to clarify my rant about slasher movies from my last column, because I have to admit that I forgot about how many random things that the Friday series tried to do over time.  Telekinesis is for real.  But they’re ultimately just slasher movies WITH A TWIST~! and not a genuine, thoughtful attempt to make an iconic character something more worthwhile.  You can do it Hollywood (WHO GIVES A WHAT ABOUT A HOLLYWOOD DAMN).

I have to cut this column short, but hey—some content is better than no content, right?—so I’ll end it on a quick recommendation:  if you haven’t seen (heard) it, the Penny Arcade/PvP/Wil Wheaton D&D podcasts are awesome.  I haven’t been involved in any tabletop gaming for years (and when I was, it was only briefly), so suffice it to say, if you are in the closet like I am, it’s a fun way to live vicariously through the more famous geeks.

What are people saying about "Office Hours: 1/2"?

DrDetroit
Re: Office Hours: 1/2

Forgot to link the series I mentioned at the end; you can find it at http://www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4arch/pod

They're on their third series right now, and it's incredibly entertaining, all things considered.
Sasha Kenzan
Re: Office Hours: 1/2

I blame Okami.  That game was nothing more than a giant artgasm.
Axel Night
Re: Office Hours: 1/2

I love the D&D Podcasts.  Been on and off them since Episode #1.  They began as a means of promoting 4th edition before it had come out to build up interest in the product, though Wizards of the Coast very quickly regretted the decision because they somehow weren't expecting the result to be adult content.  They obviously never read the comics in question, just their marketing numbers.  But demand was high and people were loving it, so after a bit of fuss with the PA guys they bit their tongue and let the show continue with a few "you can't talk about killing babies" warnings and the like.  The result gives you a pretty good idea how a "real" D&D game ends up playing out.
DrDetroit
Re: Office Hours: 1/2

I listened to them on my flights to and from San Francisco in August, and have been trying to play catch-up since (even though there are SPOILERZ out already).  I didn't know that Wizards weren't aware of the PA guys beyond their financial numbers, that's pretty surprising, all things considered.
Axel Night
Re: Office Hours: 1/2

They didn't come right out and say they didn't know, but I suspect things.  One of the first few episodes had to be pulled and edited for more than one comment made during it, and neither the PA boys nor Wizards seemed at all pleased with their arrangement at that stage of the game.  It also spawned the exasperated sounding "this is by adults, for adults" warning at the beginning of the podcast.

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