Monday, February 28, 2011

Alienation Wave

Yesterday I met with some old friends. Host's idea was to talk while playing xbox and drinking beer, so I had to ruin everyone's mood by continuously refusing to play with them. I've never liked neither owned consoles (that's why I speak of computer games instead of video games), but normally I would fit in just fine. I would also talk mostly about gaming stuff. Now I feel alienated. Yesterday's meeting was kinda boring for me. Only the lawyer friend (who earns more now than I probably will in ten years) understood me, since had not drunk until we were in high school.

I don't have anything to talk about anymore. Looks like gaming was the last normal thing about me.

PS. Note to self: running 500m for the bus during a cold, winter night is not good for your lungs.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Organ solo

I listened to the organ solo from Dead Man OST again. By the way, it's a great movie and the soundtrack is a kickass piece of music.

The organ solo starts with a slow, high-pitched sound that reminds me Modoc in Fallout 2. Its music theme also started with a slow, high-pitched organ sound. I think Modoc was the most stylish among all f2 places, partially because the music. Well, at least until it was all covered in excrement, then it became... too stylish.

Game music is also an interesting issue in general, I shall return to it.

The organ solo from Dead Man (second half of the video):

Monday, February 21, 2011

Game dreams

Recently I was dreaming, or daydreaming (I just cannot tell - isn't it funny?), about Diablo 2. It wasn't a great game, yet I commited a lot of my life to it. And it is important to me because it shows the two ways a PC gamer can take: single or multi. When you play d2 in single player mode, you are a loser, trying to feel the game's dramatism, which is really trashy. You follow the story, which is painfully schematic. You treasure items, which wouldn't be worth picking up on That was me. Second way is multiplayer, especially bn. There you become a player, you save time, skip quests, go only to places with best exp to time ratio or item dropping chance. You enjoy the item market and try to profit. That was also me. Path one is substituting your life for your game, creating inner life, while path two would be treating the game as a part of your life, an extension. Even a way to socialize.

Right now I'm really nostalgic about the single part. I dream of searching all the tal rasha's tombs, out of sheer curiosity. I dream of the moment I first saw rain over the meadows of act I, and I told to a friend: "wow, that wasn't in d1". By the way, that friend was just sitting next to me while I was playing, occasionally letting him play for a few minutes. We used to play a lot like that, or together in turn-based strategy games, which allowed hot seat, because he did not own a pc for a long time. But more on that later.

The point is: we're most nostalgic of the times when we were the lamest. Now, from the time perspective, I'd call my early d2 experience... innocent. Funny, isn't it?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The game that made me a gamer

So around 1990-91 I was occasionally playing some out-of-date games like Bushido or Alley Cat, then one evening I walked in on my parents, all excited,  sitting in front of the computer (actually, they were just sitting in front of the monitor, but you get the point), watching the intro to Prince of Persia, and then struggling with the first level, learning their way around the game. I joined the team, we switched, I jumped some ledges, tried hard to pass the first guard without getting the sword, then let my father play again. It was his idea to pick up the sword, then we fought the guard and found some mysterious door. As I remember it, we tried to open it for hours (it was probably just minutes), searching the whole level for a clue or a switch. I had to give up, and the next day my mother told me that they finally found a switch, opened the door and entered it, but surprisingly it did not mean winning the game. It just meant getting into level two. God, that was exciting :)

Then we played some separately, but I remember that beating level 3 required the combined force of my family - well, except for my sisters, who were just spectating. In time, I was more and more commited to the game, while my parents were less and less, so they only got interested when there was something unusual, like the fat, well-fencing guard on level 6.

I don't remember how long it took me (us) to finish the game, but it was years. I must have stopped playing at several occasions (some hard riddles or duels) and gotten back to it a few months later. One of those occasions was certainly level 8, which I remember as the hardest in the whole game. I couldn't solve the final riddle, someone had to tell me to lower the sword.

I played it many times after finishing, tried to do it without killing anyone (I think I found that impossible) or with least kills. It was the first game that told a story for me, a story in which I took part. I fell in love with games and it lasted many years.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Beginning

I started playing computer games when I was four or five. My father used to play them back then and one time I tried too. The earliest game I remember was Dig Dug, but it was some less popular version of it so nowadays I can't find any screencap. It was probably some sequel or clone, since the original Dig Dug was made in 1983 and I played mine no sooner than 1990. If you are not familiar with the dig dug concept, the internet is full of old games' descriptions.

During the first years of my gaming adventure I didn't choose my games, I just played whatever I could find at home and understand. I've had some fun with Space Commanders, which was a Space Invaders clone. I tried tetris, but I think it was too difficult or too boring (no fighting) for me. I've seen, but did not play, some arkanoid-type game. Back then we had a CGA graphics card, so everything was displayed in just 4 colors. Why cga around the year 1990, when even vga was available? Well, not for home computers affordable in central europe.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Two Pyramids

Last night I caught myself thinking about a funny paradox I found in my behaviour, and the general idea behind it. There is this picture I found among various internet jokes some time ago. I mean, this one:
I naturally remembered it when thinking yesterday, because the thing I want to present is also a three-way choice between personal traits. I didn't bother to draw a new triangle, so I used the above as a template.

 This one is not meant to be funny or strikingly accurate, it's more of a problem I observe. Let's call the image pyramid of expectations, because it represents what we expect another people to be, so that we can fit them into one of the common stereotypes, such as the examples. It's not a law that would always be true, it's more like a tendency.

And now the funny paradox: having this in mind, I often hide the fact that I care so much about the world. I learned that once people know it, they tend to overlook either my success or my logic. So caring is best shown when your succesfulness and logical thinking are already proven. Still, people will perceive you less normal.

I'm also pretty sure this mechanism is really connected to revealing the fact that you care and not to me overcompensating social rejection or being in other way narcissistic. I'm only narcissistic in my spare time.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Yeah, the name's kinda stupid. I can almost hear criticizing voices speaking about today's youth being unable to communicate with already existing words. Do you really think that combining two words into one will make you unique? Well, I don't. But I also didn't want any numbers in the blog's title and all the normal words were probably taken. This one just looks good enough for me.

As the title suggests, I feel nostalgic about computer games, which have been my main hobby (and, in time, addiction) for about twenty years (that would be something around 82% of my life). Quite recently I've decided to quit playing, but the games I played are still part of me. Such feeling gave me the impulse to create this place, where I can peacefully think and write about them, but also about many other stuff that comes into my mind - mostly life and excuses to avoid it. I also like to draw stuff in ms paint, and some of my drawings are so bad, they deserve to be shown to a wider public. One day I might show some here.