Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Fundraiser Bump

It's been quite a while since I got any comments here (::stares intently at the internet::), so I figured it's a good time to bump it and hope for some more. Please leave a comment so that I can do this whole thing -- I really want to. Hell, I was in the hospital for a week, so I know how much those places totally blow ass...don't you think the kids of the world should get some games while they're there? Comment.

Original post picks up here:

So, here's my proposal to the very few people that read this blog:

If I get 250 unique comments total asking for this (that means not just this post, but it'd help if this was the post. I'll bump it every so often for reminder's sake.) I will play through every single Guitar Hero game IN A ROW in order to raise money for charity. I would be donating to Child's Play because they are fantastic. And... If I raised (somehow) more than 500 bucks before Guitar Hero III is finished, I'd go through Rock Band on drums, including all the downloadable content I currently have (with the exception of "Blackened." I just can't do it. I've tried many times, though I'll do it on practice mode). Otherwise, Rock Band will be excluded. All games would be played on EXPERT, regardless of how badly my hand(s) start(s) to hurt. And! The only time I'm allowed to take a break is after I complete a game. Or I have to go to the bathroom. I think that's acceptable.

I'd lower the number of comments required to do this, but it'd be stupid to do this for a charity, and then get no donations. That's not the point of a "fundraiser," now is it? I need to have support for possibly permanently damaging my hands. I'm not personally going to send this to any news websites (Digg, Kotaku, Joystiq, 1up, etc.). If you want this to happen, it'll happen, I can't force it. But if you send it, I won't stop you, certainly.

Why 250? Well, I figure if each person donates, say, 5 bucks...well, that's 1250 bucks! That's really good! Even 4 bucks a person is decent. Considering the sheer number of people on the internet, 250 isn't asking for much. The fine details would be ironed out after I get all the comments...if I get them. I certainly hope I do. Oh, and how about I'll throw the name of every person who donates in an entry, too (if they want to). Sound good? Cool.

More rules:

- The comment has to say the words "Do the fundraiser." Just any ol' comment won't work.
- No "anonymous" comments. Please leave SOME kind of name.
- For every failed song, I will donate 1 dollar (might not sound like much, but after many hours of playing, GH3 will take its toll, I'm sure).
- For every 100%'ed song, I will donate 5 dollars (and I'll try, I promise).
- The date of all this will, obviously, happen as soon as the 250 comment mark is reached. It'll be a weekend, though.
- Minimum donation of 1 dollar. Makes sense.
- That's all I can think of for now.

If you think about each game, and its length in the music...this would take a while. Probably 3 hours for Guitar Hero, 4 or 5 for Guitar Hero 2, and another 5 for GH3. Then Rock Band is easily 8 hours with all the content I've downloaded. Energy drinks away! I'd be playing the Xbox 360 versions of GH2, GH3, and Rock Band, too. Remember, I'm just one person, not several like the Zelda thing, so I can't really play SUPER long games.

So, charge those PayPal accounts and start commenting! C'mon "internet's ability to do stuff!" Do stuff!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Senior Seminar

Well, this is going to be a good deviation from any normal post that I'd put here. This one is dedicated to my Senior Seminar, and thus will be used purely for my "presentation" occurring Tuesday. What is this all about, then?


Well, for me, just one monster...or monster type, I should say. This semester's Senior Seminar deals with monsters, monstrosities, and everything demon-ish in between. Now, I've been in the hospital for the past week, as some of you may recall, so while my paper isn't even close to finishing itself, at least I can briefly discuss what my monster is here.

My monster is, well, there isn't really a name for it. It's The Thing. Literally the monster from John Carpenter's 1982 film The Thing, I've chosen to examine the creature in-depth and, hopefully, with a bucket or two of intelligence.

What is The Thing?

Well, it's a monster. Duh. But more importantly it's a monster that deviates from the normal things (ha ha!) you tend to see in scary films and literature. This monster is one who appears to be exactly like either you or someone you know. Meaning that until it is exposed (or kills you), there is no way of knowing what is and isn't a Thing.

Why is this monster awesome?

Good question. There is an exorbitant amount really interesting stuff surrounding this monster. From the psychological point of being a possible victim, to the philosophical point of its ability to redefine who you consider yourself to be as a human or a person, this monster absorbs you, literally, and infects everyone surrounding it with total, absolute fear.

Where did it come from?

In the movie, (and the 1938 novella Who Goes There? that the movie is based on) outer space. Yes, that means it's an alien. But before all of the "modern" adaptations of this monster, there had to be something "old" that it came from. Enter the medieval period. Back then, they had a monster known as the Donestre (pictured), which was essentially the building block for The Thing creature. Only the Donestre was clearly monstrous (a unclothed creature with the head of a lion) and thus did not appear to be like a human in any way. So then how is really it a monster? The Donestre would approach travelers and immediately start to speak their language. This calmed the travelers into putting their guard down, at which time the Donestre would attack, devouring all of its victim save for the head. Then, and here's the really odd thing, it would weep and feel sorry for the act it just committed, crying over the lonesome head of its victim.

In my paper, I explore the psychology of this monster, coming to some nifty points about what it is to be a human, and how this monster's remorseful weeping is able to actually thrust it back into the realm of humanity, thus preparing it for whatever victim might come along next -- after all, if it killed someone and kept crying, how would it kill again? How would it re-dignify its humanity? Very interesting stuff.

Back to The Thing.

The Thing, after a nice examination of The Donestre and other monsters slowly spawned from it (friendly werewolves in Bisclavert and friendly giants in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight), I can say with complete certainly that The Thing is completely lacking in all humanity, but yet its very survival depends on the ability to be human.

This means that it is a reflection of our selves in respect to the monsters we consider each other to be. Essentially, The Thing is a physical representation of our fear of ourselves. Rapists, murderers, and people who betray us are perhaps the most feared and hated people in existence. The Thing is all of those things wrapped up in a nice, horrific package. It rapes you by absorbing everything about you and psychically entering your body against your will. It murders you by, well, murdering you. And then it betrays you by turning on every friend and other person around by -- and this is the kicker -- looking like you. Rinse and repeat. Until, of course, it's exposed. Then it looks something like this:

Pretty scary stuff, isn't it? It either looks like you, or...something undefinable. Truly a high form of terror.

Anyway, that's what my paper is on, this is what I'm exploring, etc. So, let me end with two nifty clips that deal with The Thing.

First, a clip from the movie. The clip explains itself nicely, but I'll add some minor comments. At this point in the film, everyone has turned against each other, no one really trusts one another, and MacReady (the leader, played by Kurt Russel) has figured out a primitive test to weed out who is and isn't The Thing. The tension in the air is thick enough to cut with a knife, and the paranoia is very, very rampant. Enjoy:

Second, a clip from Aliens vs Predator 2, the PC game. In this game, you can play as either an Alien, Predator, or human Marine. This can be tied to The Thing because you are placed into the role of the monster. You enter someone as the alien and for the rest of the game are killing humans -- biting their heads off and ripping them to pieces. Yet at the same time, you can switch to the same humans you are drawn to kill and fight off the monsters. It's a very cool game if you've never played it, but here's the opening sequence as the Alien (fast forward to 1:45):

So, there you have it. I'm still doing the paper, but this is what I've been looking at. Pretty cool, isn't it? Especially for a 30-page research paper, anyway.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


So as I'm typing this I'm hanging out at the local hospital--Atlanticare's mainland facility. Well, no, "hanging out" isn't quite right. People don't hang out at hospitals, do they? Ah yes, I've been "admitted." Admitted is the word.

Friday I woke up with a horrible pain in my chest, shortness of breath, and wheezing. I almost passed out in the shower (that's right, I shower). But after lying down for another half an hour, I felt much better. I figured I sat up too fast, pulled a muscle in my chest (diaphragm?). So I went to work... my chest hurt, but it slowly got better throughout the day. Sleeping was a pain, but again, after a little bit, it was okay, and I was knocked out no problem.

Saturday was better, and Sunday even ..more..better. Betterer, if you will. But after Sunday, there was no improvement. There wasn't a change for better or worse, but my chest just...wasn't right. If I could compare it to something tangible...I'd say it'd be like a D cup girl suddenly waking up with B cups---sure you still have boobs, yeah, but it...it just isn't the same. You understand.

So I decided to get it check out. The local doctor I saw said that one of my lungs wasn't getting as much air as the other, and I should go to the hospital and get a chest x ray at the least. So off i skipped to the hospital, wheezing and sputtering all along the way. After waiting only a few minutes at the ER (gasp!) I was taken in and x rayed and gol-ly! I had a collapsed lung.

I needed a chest tube. It was going to hurt. Fuck. Well, I got through all that, and I still have the tube between by 6th and 5th ribs. But I get painkillers every so many hours and some really interesting-looking fluid has been filing this bubbling device sitting on the floor behind me. A note to the world, though...chest tubes hurt, so they weren't lying about that. Even with more anesthetics floating under my skin in the immediate area to make a stab wound feel "casual," it was hellish. Don't want to do that again, I can tell you that.

Unfortunately, I haven't touched a videogame since I've been here. My PSP died and I don't have the charger, and this laptop blows. Not to mention that the painkillers I've been taking have been so intense that...I...oooOOoo...look at the lights....they're...they're beautiful....la...la..la..alalala...

Hm? What?

Oh, yes. Well. Hopefully I'll be out Tuesday. And hopefully by then I can laugh without it hurting. Wouldn't that be nice.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


I beat Assassin's Creed. About god damned time, too. Does it feel good? Well, yeah, I suppose it does. I can see what everyone was in an uproar about over the game's horribly anti-climatic (but still climactic) ending. I don't know...after all the time put into that game, the ending didn't really phase me, so, I found myself thinking "Hm, cool, okay," and then putting the controller down.

Assassin's Creed is a game that makes you very, very aware that you're playing a game throughout the whole thing. The story is compelling and all the assassination jobs are really nifty, but everything in between is just...meh. I swear, if I have to hear another peasant tell me that "all of the city will know of my sacrifice," I'll just snap and start flinging throwing knives everywhere. It's stuff like that that games should at least try to avoid. I mean, I could take the gazillion helpless citizens that need rescuing if they each had something different to add after I helped them. But you can't skip those mini-cutscenes. So by the end of the game, you don't want to have anything to do with the assholes anymore. But again...it's just a game. A very obvious game, too.

And I'll still never understand why in the hell you can't ride your horse with any degree of speed ever not once in the whole game without guards immediately saying, "LOOK! THAT GUY IS FAST! HE MUST BE AN ASSASSIN! I'M RETARDED, TOO! SO LETS CHASE HIM ON FOOT EVEN THOUGH HE'LL QUICKLY OUTRUN US IN A MATTER OF SECONDS!" Sorry for the caps, but that's what I image they always said, I was just always out of earshot to hear it--because I got away....in a matter of seconds.


At any rate. It's still fun. Jumping from rooftop to rooftop like some kind of ancient middle-eastern Spiderman. Carefully gutting people in broad daylight with no one noticing. And defiantly throwing-knifing those idiot rooftop guards whenever they tell you to "leave." That stuff doesn't get old. And man it's pretty, too.

Course, the fighting leaves a lot to be desired...the whole "mash one or two buttons for every singe battle no matter what" idea supposedly died with Street Fighter II or something. But if over-simplicity doesn't really bother you, then it doesn't really matter, now does it? Besides, it leaves room for improvement in the 1000000% inevitable sequel.

So, the positives, I guess, outweigh the negatives.

I'm just glad the thing's over with. Now I can start Mass Effect and never finish it until three years from now. Right?

In other news, I'm up to 11 comments as of this writing for the Guitar Hero charity idea. Not bad. Most of those people are my friends, but still, there's 45 bucks announced outright within those 11. And I didn't even ask for people to announce that, so, cool. You should go comment, and tell all your friends to comment, and they should tell theirs. Obviously, people aren't doing that. My guess is laziness, which....I understand. Still. Do it. I want to play through all those games in a day, damnit, and it better be for something.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Sorry for the Delay

I've been having terrible Writer's Block. Well, no, that's not entirely true. I've been working consistently at my Senior Seminar final paper/thesis, which has happily been devouring all of my creativity (and energy). The damn thing has to be 30 pages long, all told, which really isn't that bad, but it's still a massive amount of research.

Regardless, I've still managed to play a few games, though mainly Rock Band and Call of Duty 4, those being easy to pick up and play without diving into a novel-istic story. I have a story due tomorrow, too, and I still haven't the slightest idea what to write.


At any rate, I'm stuck. I promise to have something intelligent to put here this week after my research's first draft is due. To think, I bought SSBB the day it came out and have played it one time since then...what have I become?