Gaming Disks

One of my very best friends, Radutron as he goes by, e-mailed me around Christmas asking me to list my favourite video games growing up and to write a short blurb about why I chose each one. A couple of weeks later I received a package (we live far away from each other now) and opened it up to find that list in the form of floppy disks. He had custom printed labels on each of them with my chosen games logos and on each disk there is a text file with my blurb of why I chose it. He did not want to frame them and then ship them as the glass could break in transit but planned on sending me a gift card as well to have them framed. While I appreciated his offer for the second portion of the gift, I told him I’d like to try and custom build a frame. Eventually that did not happen as building a frame is extremely finicky work and my woodworking skills are nowhere near there yet. But I did end up buying a frame and spent my time trying to neatly space the disks in an even fashion and put them a chorological order of release date.

This is definitely one of my favourite gifts I’ve received over the years and now hangs on my wall as a minimalistic piece of art that recalls memories of endless hours spent gaming.It covers games from my early childhood to, well, even last night I played a game of CS:GO.It’s creative, simple, and has personal meaningful to me.

As a side note, you’ll notice these are all PC games as primarily I’m a PC gamer. There are plenty of console games that hold a place close to my heart such as the original Legend of Zelda, Gunstar Heroes, Mortal Kombat III, Goldeneye 64, Final Fantasy VII, etc. But to stick with the floppy disk theme I had to choose PC games.

If you’re curious as to why I chose those games, here are what the text files on them say:

1) Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
This is a game I can always come back to. A nice mix of tactical teamwork, utility and FPS skill keeps me always entertained. It’s a game I can pick up and play one hour and call it a day or play competitive matches hours on end.

2) Skyrim
While it’s not without its flaws, this is great game all around. Countless hours can be spent roaming Skyrim and discovering (and rediscovering) a well detailed landscape. Also a massive amount of quests can keep you busy if you’re a completionist. While compared to a couple of its predecessors it seems to be dumbed down a bit in terms of combat and simplicity of the quests, I can’t say I’ve played them and can fairly compare them.

3) Left 4 Dead 2
As a big zombie apocalypse fan this one is a must. Great coop gameplay and very a frantic and hectic pace (those hordes are super fun!) kept me entertained for way too long and this one is really the game that got me to like FPS games. One of the first games where I found an adaptive AI (the director) that kept the game quite fresh not matter how many times I replayed a campaign.

4) Diablo
As a kid this game was a big staple of my childhood. Diablo first introduced me to so many great new concepts such as non-turn based RPG combat and excessive violence (not sure if that’s a good thing). Surprisingly for a fairly linear RPG I found myself going back to this one quite often when I was young.

5) Rollercoaster Tycoon
One of the very first games I got when I was still a kid and barely introduced into PC gaming. Also my first introduction into tycoon style business management games. While a bit on the easy side, as a kid I still found the city/park/transportation games to be an instant favourite of mine. This game eventually lead me to many of games of the genre but I still haven’t found many that compare to it and find myself installing this one from time to time after nearly 20 years.

6) Starcraft
Again another from my early years of PC gaming and my first introduction to RTS games. Also one of my firsts when it came to multiplayer, both in terms of coop (against AI) and competitive, plenty of hours spent with friends from school playing this late into the night. This one also brought a little something else to the table for me as it was my first introduction to creating something for a game with the map editor and full scenario editor.

7) Civilization 5
Always trying to take over the entire world. Not just a domination victory, but I wanted every single tile on the largest map possible. While I did like Civ4 (which was my first introduction to the Civilization series) I absolutely loathed unit stacking something which was removed from Civ 5. Although conquering the world was the long term goal, I always found myself restarting games because I loved expanding my empire in the early stages the most.

8) Nox
This game was simply fun. While it followed the same style of game as Diablo (as in it was a non-turn based RPG) it was less violent and more humorous. A big difference as well, which made it truly enjoyable for me, was the fast pace of it.A fast paced RPG you can almost fly through the whole thing with a smile on your face because it was just simply a very fun game.

9) Borderlands 2
When it comes to preorders I’m heavily against them (see the new SimCity). Borderlands 2 was one of only two games I’ve ever preordered and fortunately I was not disappointed. As a big fan of the first one, I wanted basically an expansion to it with a new feel. The game engine felt a bit better, the weapons were crazier, and the skill tree of each class could keep the game fresh for plenty of playthroughs. And let’s not forget the great art style that made me feel like I was living in an action packed comicbook.

10) Fallout 4
I never finished Fallout 1, 2 or Brotherhood of Steel. And I while I loved the hell out of Fallout 3, I only played it on Xbox and never ended up going through New Vegas (I know, I know, that’s a crime). But I absolutely can’t leave this without at least one Fallout game. Based on the Skyrim engine it has a familiar feel to me in a very different setting. I absolutely love the Fallout world regardless of which specific game, a post apocalyptic world after the bombs dropped coupled with a 1950s (yet futuristic) feel is highly unique and captivating for me. Though the game had similar flaws to Skyrim, and even more complaints (see dialogue wheel) I still found myself playing this one from time to time though the first time through was pretty great.

Data is Beautiful: My Simpsons shitposting over 1 year

Shortly after New Year’s 2017, I discovered what is known as shitposting, specifically Simpsons shitposting. Generally these were screenshots and edited pictures that would combine two classic or recognizable gags (usually from older seasons) to make one really stupid joke. As a kid, I basically grew up watching The Simpsons twice daily so almost every single joke I understood and had a good laugh about. If you’re not a big Simpsons fan, many of these shitposts will go over your head, but to die-hard fans since the show’s inception they’re quite hilarious.

After browsing the subreddit and some dedicated Instagram accounts, I found myself coming up with some ideas here and there that I found funny but never saw made. I thought to myself, why don’t I just make it and post it on the subreddit to see what happens. Sure enough, on February 2, 2017 I made my first post over there, a simple two frame strip involving a Valentine’s billboard and Moe’s “old fork in the eye”. As of today it sits at a 99% upvote rate and a total of 343points. The subreddit itself is a smaller one, as of today it’s just under 34,000 subscribers and I noticed there are many posts that are under 100 points. I considered it a big success that I was able to hit 349 especially given it was my first attempt.

Over the course of 2017 more ideas popped in my head and I ended up making many shitposts. On February 2, 2018, exactly 1 year to the day after my first strip, I posted my 52nd shitpost averaging anexact 1 shipost per week. I have a good laugh making them and I hope the readers there and on here have a good nostalgic laugh too so I continue to make them. Success of each post has varied, and I’ve found there is no formula that works, which may not be a bad thing though. Sometimes the ones that make me laugh the most and I worked on the hardest end up not gaining many upvotes, and sometimes the ones with the least amount of effort put in gain the most praise.

So out of sheer curiously, I’ve decided to plot out my Simpsons shitposting success. If you haven’t seen any of these but are a big Simpsons fan, I’ve got all of these stored here under their own category on the right. Enjoy!

Goodbye 2018

Originally I had intended to do a sort of “year in review” style post related to my blog but after some mental gymnastics I decided to scrap that idea. However there is one thing I’d like to mention relating to my content and frequency of posts. In short, I’ve learned that trying to create (somewhat) interesting content is that I may be trying to do a bit too much at once. I’ve got a big ass list of ideas such as short stories, video game related videos, miscellaneous videos, gaming showcases, paintings, sketches and drawings, various crafts, original music, and plenty of Simpsons shitposts (like a scary amount of those) I’d like to eventually finish. I find myself bouncing back and forth between a lot of these on a near daily basis. And where my mind and energy focuses one day, may not become the focus of them again for weeks on end. I hope to complete them all one day and to at least make sure I’m doing as such, I’ve decided to set aside dedicated time on a regular basis to ensure I’m progressing.

Ok I somewhat lied, I’ve got a second note about my content (ok perhaps it’s an excuse). This blog ultimately is a place for me to share whatever the hell creations flow out of my cranium. Although, much of what I think up I don’t have the skills or experience to just slap together a finished product. So this blog is also a learning tool for me, well, not the actually blog itself. But when I think of something up, I find myself having to learn as I go along, which ultimately is a by-product of the process that is important to me. Though unfortunately, it does tend to slow my content production down a lot.

There’s a third thing. Yes I know, I originally wrote this to be one point and here we are at number three. I find myself falling prey to my pessimistic thoughts too often when I’m working on something creative, like a sketch or craft, or even a stupid gaming video. I find myself often thinking that it simply “won’t do” and I’m trying to be too much of a perfectionist. I’m really trying to ignore this voice in my head. Even when it’s not something I may be happy with, someone out there might enjoy so I should just stop criticizing myself and finish it rather than set it aside and never to return to it because I’m doubting myself. Ultimately this issue does also cause major delays in my content creation, but I really have to learn to ignore those thoughts.

For 2019 I truly do hope I can get to finishing some higher effort content this year and that I learn plenty along the way.

Oh and one last thing:

592008

Keeping it toasty

With the cold weather settling in, I decided I was in the mood for a toasted pizza sub. I was a little low on time and had to run back to the office before I could eat it, so I was running the risk of having it cool down before I got back to work. Well when I put it down in the passenger seat, I couldn’t help but have a little chuckle to myself about using the heated seat to keep it warm.

Well, I like my pizza sub warm. So I put the damned heater seat on. I don’t think it worked very well, but I like to think it may have helped keep the sub one degree warmer by the time I got back into the office.

That’s a lot of figurines…

This fall I was in Toronto again and my friends and I were doing a little bar hopping one night. I can’t quit remember the name of this place, but man did they want to let you know you can REALLY drink a lot here given the wall of Maneki-neko figurines. Or possibly they wanted to let you know this was a good place to get lucky? Either way I was a bit struck when I went in. Sorry about the vertical video, I wasn’t entirely sober when I whipped out my phone to take a clip.

Goodnight, sweet iPhone

Back in 2008 when the iPhone 3G launched in Canada, it’s no surprise it was highly in demand. Even when working a low paying office temp job, I couldn’t help myself but to splurge on buying one almost right away. The reviews from the earlier US launch and the possibilities of the App Store had the tech junky in me going mad. Well, that was years ago and it has long since been replaced as my phone, but I did manage to find a way let it have a place in my life. Since around 2011, it has been the radio in my office and frankly, my favourite coworker. Rather than shove in a drawer and forget about it, I loaded it up with all my music, plugged in the USB cord, and have had it in every office I’ve worked in. This DJ has been spinning tracks on repeat for nearly 8 years nonstop during the work week for me, even after I dropped it badly during one move.

But alas, all good things must come to an end. One day I noticed that my favourite DJ was putting on some weight or possibly sick and feeling bloated.

Sure enough, this DJ was showing signs of a terminal disease. Along with cracks along it’s back, I also noticed that the bloating was not an illusion but indeed it had began to expand and the DJ was much thicker than it had once used to be.

After doing a bit of browsing on the subject, it appears to the battery is on its last legs and it’s a lost cause. The bloating became so bad that it had ruptured the back of it, though I never noticed since it always sat face up. As much as it had pained me, fear of it exploding or starting a fire and burning down the office forced me to discard it. So I bid you a fond farewell DJ 3G, you’ve served me far more than I ever could have imagined. Lastly, since I cannot stand working in a silent office, I’ve since kicked off the dust of an old family member and have put DJ 5S to work now.