Robin Williams and his daughter Zelda. <3
Gaming is often the way that people deal with depression. I know because I’ve done it. Sometimes I’ll realize I’ve done nothing but submerge myself in a video game for an entire day (or several days). I look around and think, “Wow, I haven’t even been in my own life today.” And it’s a good and bad feeling because I feel guilty for the escapism, but happy that it was blocking me from dealing with everything else.
I can’t let today go by without mentioning Robin Williams. He was a gamer, like us. He loved Ocarina of Time and Half-Life 2 and Call of Duty. This morning I realized that he’s never going to know if Half-Life 3 ever happens, and that made me profoundly sad.
Take some time today and read his Reddit AMA here. And this article at Kotaku. And then maybe go play some games for our fallen comrade.
Over the past week, two different people, who I believe are not part of a conspiracy of asking me eerily similar things, mentioned “not really enjoying shooters” but wanted to know more about BioShock Infinite and other shooting games.
So, I thought I would lay some stuff out there for people who are not necessarily into shooters and where to start if you want to give them a chance. Continue reading
1. Chainsaws (and the baddies who wield them)
Any game featuring chainsaw enemies, but especially Resident Evil 4.
Chainsaws are just scary objects to begin with. They look scary, they sound scary, and once you’ve seen your character brutally beheaded with one of the things, they seem much, much worse. It’s been seven years since I first played Resident Evil 4, and I still jump at the sound of a chainsaw revving.
2. Dreamrunners and Drekavacs
DmC: Devil May Cry
I just played DmC. It’s full of nasty-looking demons. Some of ‘em even wield chainsaws! I quickly became desensitized to grotesque baddies and felt fairly blasé about combo-ing my way through hordes of them…until this guy popped up. Silent mask wearers who stare at you and tilt their heads like a bird are creepy. Silent mask wearers who stare at you, tilt their heads like a bird and then charge at you with two swords are downright terrifying. The Dreamrunner’s more badass counterpart, the Drekavac, amps up the scare factor by wearing a shiny red mask with small leaky-lookin’ holes in the eye sockets. *shudder* Continue reading
Dragon Age 2
You were so promising at the start. I thought I could love you even more than your predecessor. But I got tired of fighting the same bandits in the same areas of the same city constantly and then, when you did that thing to my (in-game) mom? I keep you around and insist I’ll replay someday, but I just don’t know if we’ll be able to work that out.
Dammit, Alan Wake. I thought you’d be a delightful scare, but all you gave me was frustration and confusion. I didn’t enjoy the combat much, and didn’t enjoy the plot and setting enough to keep plugging away at it. Sorry.
Tim Schafer! A million cameos from metal musicians! Jack Black’s voice wasn’t even that annoying! But we just weren’t meant to be. I’m not much of a real-time strategist, and I really hated that part where you have to ride the Razorfire Boars. Continue reading
Dear Half-Life 2 Diary,
…at least I’m consistent. Just like every time I’ve started a real-life diary, I had great intentions. I was going to write something after every notable event! I was going to record every thought and experience, and save it to give to my imaginary future grandchildren when I’m 80. And just like every time I’ve started a real-life diary, I wrote a detailed first entry, wrote a belated second catch-up entry (complete with apologies for lateness), and then abandoned the project to occasionally remember it later with a twinge of guilt later.
But YOU, Half-Life 2 Diary, will be different! So I didn’t keep up with you. Cry me a river. I’m still going to bring some closure to this thing, chapter by chapter. Including the stuff we’ve already covered! You’re my diary; I can do what I want.
I enjoy harassing the Combine guards before they can do real damage to me. I hate City 17. I can’t figure out where I’m supposed to go. Help me, Gamefaqs! Thank the Combine that’s over with. Heeeey, Alyx! You’re pretty.
“A Red Letter Day”
Suit! Kleiner! Alyx! Barney, quit whining. Where’s that beer you were talking about, anyway? I don’t want to know what happened to the cat. Lamarr is adorable! I want a plush Lamarr. Shit, this isn’t going to end well, is it? A crowbar’s better than a beer anyway, Barney. I still can’t figure out where I’m supposed to go. Stupid trains. Continue reading
*Should be a song, right?
I wrote about Alyx Vance for this month’s Girl Talk on The Hairpin. NO LIE, when I mentioned it to my brother Joe, he got a dreamy look in his eye and—with no prompting whatsoever from me—said, “She’s so capable.”
Secret to near-universal adoration? Be a nonchalant badass at every difficult activity you undertake, and look good in jeans while doing so.
Can you even imagine a Paul Verhoeven Half-Life movie? Who would play Gordon Freeman? Channing Tatum? I’m going to think about this all day.
Really long, fantastic interview with Marc Laidlaw here at New Rising Media. Do yourself a favor and check it out!
(Does anyone else get Marc Laidlaw of Half-Life and Mike Laidlaw of Dragon Age confused based on name? And general air of awesomeness? Reading this helped me sort the two out a bit in my brain.)
Dear Half-Life 2 Diary, sorry I’ve neglected you. I meant to keep you updated whenever I played, but when I have some time and my choices are “play more Half-Life 2″ or “sit down and write about playing Half-Life 2,” well, you’re second priority. I know that’s hard to hear, Half-Life 2 Diary, but I’m confident that you’ll forgive me.
When we last left off, I was still waiting to shoot some headcrab zombies. Man…that was a while back. Anyway, I did! And it was great! And I remember thinking that headcrabs, on their own, are weirdly adorable. Their little noises! The way they hop around and scuttle! If they weren’t trying to latch onto my face and turn me into a zombie, I’d just wanna give one a cuddle.
Then some nice people gave me an Airboat. I was dubious, being historically inept at vehicular sections of shooting games. (RIP, Marines I killed with the Warthog.) But, I had a vehicle! And it was almost a holiday. It seemed like a good time to pour a glass of bourbon in celebration, so I did, and then I took a big swig of it, and then I took off down the river. Continue reading