Jaded's Pub

An idyllic English villageLast night I finished Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture. I wasn’t really sure what to expect going into this experience and in case you’re in the same boat I wanted to describe what it is. This isn’t a review or anything, it’s an explanation.

So here goes. Start with a well-produced radio drama performed by top notch voice actors. Now slice it up so that each scene is in a separate audio file. Now delete a random 1/3 of these files. Take the remaining files and scatter them around a well rendered 3D model of a small English village. Add an amazing soundtrack, and finally set the player free to roam around this village finding these snippets and let them piece together the story for themselves.

And that’s pretty much Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture. There’re no puzzles and there is certainly no combat. It’s all about exploring a village completely devoid of human life and uncovering bits of the story. You’ll get these by finding radios, telephones, and light-based vignettes like this one:

I started off really enjoying this game. (Is it even a game? That’s a discussion for another time.) Then I got a little bit bored/frustrated. There’s no in-game map or compass and I guess I have a poor sense of direction because I kept winding up back at the same place, finding no new story elements. There are in-world maps like you’d find in a nature park or trail system, complete with You Are Here indicators and those do help, but wandering around an empty village could only hold by attention for so long.

The only thing moving in this world are insects and a wisp-thing. Or a ball of light. Or something. You decide when you play what this is. I have my own opinions. Anyway eventually I realized that this ball of light would actually guide me to new locations and once I figured that out my enjoyment of the game came back.

So you wander through this world following, in retrospect, a general path and as you do you encounter the shadows of several people. The story being told is 1 part science fiction dealing with what happened to everyone, and one part soap opera. And you just experience it. You can activate radios and phones, open doors and ‘open’ the vignettes and (aside from moving and looking) that’s all the interactivity here.

The biggest gripe I (and seemingly everyone else) had is the movement speed. You walk pretty slowly. If you hold R2 you can ‘run’ slightly less slowly. I think the slow movement was a design decision based on giving you time to ruminate on what you just saw but still there are times when it gets pretty frustrating. You need to embrace your quiet, contemplative self and just try to go with it.

So should you get Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture? That depends on if you enjoy radio dramas and exploring. If you do this game will be right up your alley. I’m glad I played it though it’s pretty short for a $20 game. (Six hours maybe? If you’re really into exploring you can probably stretch that some.) If money is tight I might suggest waiting for a sale.

Also, and this is a vague spoiler, but if you like your stories to end nice and neatly with all questions answered and all plot lines resolved, be warned that Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture does not tell that kind of story. There’re a lot of questions that you’ll have to come up with your own answers to based on interpreting what you’ve seen. I loved that aspect but I know some folks prefer a nicely wrapped up tale.

Everybody's Gone To The Rapture™_20150811182828


new_character_modelLast night I logged into World of Warcraft for the first time since 2011 (according to my account page).

Was it all the excitement around the new expansion that made me do it? Nope. I paid no attention to the expansion announcement. I know it’s called Legions and saw some squeeing on Twitter about a Demonhunter class and that’s the extent of my knowledge of the expansion. It was in fact beer that caused me to log in.

See Lola and I go hiking on Saturday and yesterday saw a particularly long and tiring hike as well as a couple of shorter walks (the weather was damned near perfect yesterday). By the time we were finished for the day it was 5:30 or so and I had a powerful thirst so I cracked a beer and it was gone in minutes, so I had another. Angela was taking a late afternoon nap so Lola and I continued relaxing on the couch and in due time a 3rd beer was open. I wasn’t up for any gaming so fired up Hulu and noticed they had a Gaming section. Curious I poked my head in there and they had this documentary about World of Warcraft called Looking For Group.

And in the course of watching (and having a 4th beer) I was overcome with a wave of nostalgia. I paused the show and ran upstairs to start downloading WoW “just in case.” About half-way through the show Angela woke up and I stopped so we could have dinner but as soon as that was done I was back to watching. And when it was over I ran upstairs and logged in.

I could, and did, log in with sub-20 characters for free, but noticed I had mail that I couldn’t open, being a freebie character. I also noticed that the character models didn’t seem like the ‘new’ models I’d heard about (though it turns out they are). One thing led to another and I remembered something about Blizzard reclaiming names and to save my names I had to log in my characters (again: 4 beers…in the bright light of morning I’m pretty sure this has all already happened) so I said to heck with it and subscribed for a month, and as long as I was subscribing (and with a vague hope it’d improve the character models) I’d better buy the latest expansion because I want it all! So there went $55.

Then I spent an hour or so logging into every character across the dozen or so servers I have characters on. Because saving our characters that we’ll probably never play is IMPORTANT!

I didn’t actually PLAY the game at all, but walking through Stormwind did feel pretty good in that ‘scratch the nostalgia itch’ way. At least it did until I saw all the changes. I’d forgotten about the cataclysm and that the Azeroth I remembered and at one time loved was gone forever. I was also dismayed to see that (as far as I can tell) the friends lists have been wiped in favor of friending via the battle.net accounts so even if any members of my old guild happen to still be playing, I’d never know it.

It’s true what they say: even in video games you can’t go home again.

So this morning I’m sitting here with a slight headache and a big old truckload of buyer’s remorse. It’s not the first time alcohol has lead me to make bad buying decisions but I hope it’s the last. Of course in the grand scheme of the universe $55 isn’t going to break me.

But now I have a month of time on my account. I can’t decide if I want to play (and potentially ruin all my good memories of the game) or just eat it as a bad decision. I did prod Angela at one time with “You should come play WoW with me” (As an EQ 2 fangirl she’s never played much WoW) and she actually said “Maybe I will.” If she does maybe we’ll roll a couple of panda people or something, and see where that takes us.

I finished The Order: 1886 last night. For the most parted I didn’t like it, but I wanted to talk today about one part that I truly hated.

I can’t really avoid spoilers so if for some reason you plan on playing this game (and I would not recommend it) you might want to skip this post.

To establish a baseline, The Order: 1886 is roughly 50% shooter, 50% Quick Time Events. (If you’re not familiar with that term, think Dragon’s Lair. In other words, segments of the game have you press a specific button in response to on-screen prompts. “Press X now or fail.”)

The ending is one big cut-scene and QTE. At the end of the game Grayson, the character you play as, has been betrayed by a trusted colleague. You’ve gone through a long series of QTE events and now your former colleague, now opponent, is prone on the floor, bleeding, helpless and defeated. Now you have to assassinate him.

Push the Square Button to cock your pistol. Now press R2 to shoot your helpless foe in the head.

Your other option is to quit the game and never finish it. You can’t decide to let him live, maybe see if you can find some solution that lets the two of you go forward. Assassinate him or quit. Those are your options.

Dear Ready At Dawn: That’s a fucked up thing to make your players do and you’ve dropped to one of my least favorite studios because of it.

Now granted you kill a LOT of people up to this point, often (in my opinion) unnecessarily. The main character is pretty much a butcher and a sociopath to begin with. I was already pretty unhappy to be ‘living in his skin’ so to speak. Having the character kill his helpless foe in this way does fit in with his behavior up to this point. You’re playing a complete asshole in this game. I’m not upset so much with the fact that Grayson killed this person, but that I had to pull the trigger. If it had been a non-interactive cut scene (and there are MANY of those in The Order: 1886) I would’ve thought “Yup, Grayson is a sadistic bastard right up to the end. May he burn in hell.”

But making me do it made me feel like shit about myself. I’m kind of disappointed that I didn’t pop out the disk and snap it in half at that point in the game, in fact, but the finish line was so close that my desire for closure overcame common decency.

On the one hand I know it’s silly to feel so strongly about this because “it’s only a game” but I feel like sometimes that doesn’t matter. The Order is a dead-serious game with realistic graphics. There’s no whimsy here. I suppose on some level Ready At Dawn succeeded because it DID matter to me. I was invested enough in the world for it to matter. Plenty of people cry during sad movies even though the people in them are fictitious; fiction can influence our emotions, and that’s what happened to me in The Order. So kudos to Ready At Dawn for making me feel, but screw you guys for making me feel like shit.

Practical ArmorLately I’ve been on a real roller-coaster ride when it comes to Skyforge. I went from not having any idea what it was, to trying it and loving it, to hating it. That took about a week, so my typical timeline!

Tonight I started loving it again. Let’s take a closer look at this affection curve and see what else was going on.

When I was initially loving Skyforge, I had no real idea what I was doing. I was learning the systems (it can be a confusing game) and sharing with my friends as we all figured things out. Everything was good.

Then the game hit a kind of critical mass in my social circles. Everyone was playing it, including my more hardcore friends. They started commenting on how easy Skyforge was (missions are ranked from Very Easy to Impossible and people were saying even the Impossible missions were quite easy), and how quickly you can rise in Prestige (the closest thing the game has to levels) and that got me to examining my own progress. And I wasn’t going very fast. So I started pushing myself. Instead of doing what seemed fun, I was doing what seemed like the most efficient way to gain Prestige. That included taking on Impossible missions, and failing miserably. Then trying Very Hard missions and still failing miserably. And Hard missions? Yup, managed to fail some of those as well.

Now here’s the thing with Skyforge. The combat is action-based. Playing a class well is going to take both know-how of how the class works, and good dexterity when it comes to dodging and stringing together combos. Enemies don’t have a level and neither do you. If you were playing World of Warcraft and you were level 20 and you tried to take on a level 25 named mob and failed, you’d say “Well, it IS 5 levels higher than me…maybe I should level up more before I try it again.” But in Skyforge when you die you don’t have that concrete indicator of your level vs the mob’s level. So you have to figure out what’s wrong. Is the mob just too hard for your character, or do you need to play your character better?

Since it’s not always clear which case you’re dealing with, you fight a boss, die, and try again. And die again. And try a third time, and die a third time. Depending on the kind of gamer you are, this might be really fun, or really frustrating. For me its really frustrating and I’ve rage-quit Skyforge a couple times in the last few days. (It doesn’t help that some of these boss fights can go on for a long time before you die and have to start all over again.)

I was about ready to quit Skyforge, but I’d spent $20 on a month of Premium Time and a sackful of RMT currency. Plus when the game was fun it was REALLY fun.

Today I said “To hell with it.” and abandoned the class I’d been working on (you only get 1 character in Skyforge but you can change classes at will) and start up a different class. I knew this would slow my advancing way down but whatever…I needed a change. Since I didn’t know how to play this class I took on really easy missions. Like “1 shot groups of mobs” easy. But y’know it was kindof fun. I learned a little bit about the class and moved to a higher difficulty area, and it was still fun. I decided to not worry about the “Story Quests” that push your progress forward the quickest, and instead do what was fun.

And I had a ball tonight. I stopped doing the single player missions (which get dead tedious after a few run-throughs) and revisited the “Regions” which are the parts of Skyforge where you’ll encounter other players in open field PvE battles. You don’t need to group to play with other players in Skyforge (though you can). Everyone that gets a hit on a mob gets credit, so groups organically form and disperse around mini-boss mobs and other more difficult content. (Hey that sounds a bit like Destiny!) This is RIGHT in my wheelhouse and my new class has the ability to buff and protect friendlies so I found myself doing some of that as well as fighting. It was a real fun night in-game tonight.

All of which is a long-winded way of me reminding myself, and maybe you, that we shouldn’t let other players dictate how we play a game. If trying to keep up with, or match the accomplishments of, friends makes the game less fun, just let them go and do their thing. If you want to get better then yes, certainly work at it, but give yourself time to build skills and don’t push yourself to where you’re starting to hate a game that you used to enjoy.

I’m glad I remembered this obvious truth before I’d given up on Skyforge altogether. Also, the game is pretty good and F2P. You should check it out! :)

After a certain point, your followers will erect a statue in your likeness.

After a certain points, your followers will erect a statue in your likeness.

results_cardOK I’m going to ask you to take quite a leap with me today.

I read Bhagpuss’ excellent post, Alone Together Or this morning. I don’t know Bhagpuss beyond brushing shoulders in the odd comment thread now and again, but man did this post resonate with me. The basic premise is that multiplayer gaming has changed since the days when it was something new and fresh. That’s the thinnest scratch of the surface of the post because you should really go read the whole thing. But the point is it got me thinking about multiplayer and social and how I never reach out to other players any more.

Read on and I may be able to tie this all together.

So I played a lot of Destiny when it first came out then one day I stopped in that way I do. On Tuesday a game is consuming my every waking thought then Wednesday I find myself totally uninterested in playing it. Lately I’ve gone back to Destiny for a variety of reasons that are of no consequence.

What is of consequence is that I’m really enjoying myself again. There are a LOT of Destiny haters out there and y’know, many of their points are totally valid. It is grindy and repetitive and what lore there is tends to be found on the bungie.net website instead of in the game. My biggest beef was the leveling structure past 20 where instead of gaining experience you had to level via loot, which involved (at the time anyway) typical loot slot machine dances with the RNG.

Anyway what does Destiny have to do with Bhagpuss’s post? The post made me think of playing together alone. One thing I like about Destiny is that it has ‘grouping’ (not in a game mechanics sense, though it has that too, but today I’m talking about grouping via circumstances) with basically no communication possibilities. A lot of people HATE it for that, but y’know I’m a grouchy old fuck who generally doesn’t like talking to people. In Destiny I can’t talk to them (at least not without jumping through some hoops), but I can and do work with them.

Last night I was puttering around in the Cosmodrome. I was on a level 15 character. There were a few single-digit level guys running around, and 1 or 2 level 30+ types. At times this felt a little frustrating because it was hard to get kills, but then (via happy coincidence or the game’s “Director” system kicking in) we were swarmed with bad guys. Suddenly we were all working together to cut down these invaders. The single digit guys got overwhelmed and died, and I did my part to swoop in and revive them. The level 30’s were kind enough to make themselves targets and they soaked up a lot of incoming damage. We all worked together (apart) and got the job done and it was so much damned fun. One of those ‘magic moments’ we all chase.

In my mind, these 4 or 5 people were my temporary friends. They were all reasonable, decent people who were having as much fun as I was. But in truth? Who knows? One of them might’ve been hurling insults at the rest of us. He or she might’ve been a racist or a homophobe or just a huge epeen cursing everytime someone else did something that was wrong in his or her eyes. In fact my experience suggests that in any group of 5 or 6 random people at least one of them is a complete dick.

But not last night. Last night, in my game of Destiny, there were all awesome human beings and I had a ton of fun playing with them.

And that’s why I love Destiny. This week.


I’ve been poking at Call of Duty: Ghosts lately. It’s way outside of my ‘normal’ genre but a while back I took advantage of a $20 deal on it (back when it was still generally going for full price), installed it but hardly played. Y’know, so typical me.

With E3 going on I was looking for something I could jump into and get a quick gaming fix between events so I semi-randomly picked COD:Ghosts.

I’m enjoying the experience. And I chose the word ‘experience’ very deliberately because I’m playing on such an easy difficulty level that it’s not really much of a game. But the spectacle that they put together for the single player campaign is just stupid fun. It’s kind of like an interactive blockbuster action movie I guess.

I’m at a part now where I’m Logan and I’m part of a team (I can’t even remember how the game began… I played the start months ago) but I’m not in charge. So I kind of follow my team around and when team leader says “Logan, do blah blah blah” I look for whatever I can interact with and interact with it. If it wasn’t for the other team members I’d normally have no clue what I’m supposed to be doing, so thanks AI pals!

I had one neat moment today though. We were supposed to be taking out everyone at a checkpoint. “Logan, take the guy in the tower.” says the boss. I aim my gun at the tower but there are 3 dudes. I’m trying to figure out which one I’m supposed to shoot when bossman says “No, the other tower. The tall one to your right.” I pan over and there’s a much taller tower with a lone lookout. I take him out.

And I find myself wondering why we can’t have more experiences like that in games. I mean clearly this was scripted but whomever did the scripting anticipated that I might aim at the wrong tower and put in code to cover that possibility. And maybe that’s why we don’t see more of it, I suppose: a) the conditions have to be right for you to make an obvious, correctable mistake and b) it’s a lot of expense in terms of scripting time to cover the possibility of a mistake.

But in the old days when devs didn’t focus primarily on multiplayer and/or single character single player games, we use to daydream about AI improving and this moment was the kind of thing I hoped to see some day. I mean back then having NPC buddies was the norm, not the exception. And back then computer scientists were a lot more optimistic about how quickly AI would advance.

Anyway, tangent.

The point of this post is to tell you non-shooter fans that if you want some over the top fun and can get a copy of Call of Duty Ghosts cheap, pick it up, set the difficulty all the way down and enjoy the explosions and the spectacle. Our last mission ended when our evac arrived in the form of a submarine breaking through the ice we were driving across in a Jeep. The driver (not me) put the jeep into a powerslide and it went up a broken sheet of ice and came to a stop teetering on the deck of the sub.

Stupid fun stuff.

A few weeks ago I saw a post on the Playstation blog about Wander, a new MMO coming to the PS4 and PC. It’s hook was that it had no combat, which sounded interesting. I decided to give it a try on the PS4 when it came out last Thursday.


TL;DR version of this post: Wander DOES NOT WORK. It is not glitchy or rough. It does not function. DO NOT BUY THIS GAME.

Longer version.

The first time I started Wander I stared at a loading screen for about a minute, then the game world appeared, I heard a voice-over start, and the game crashed. I’d estimate it ran for 8-10 seconds (past the loading screen) before crashing the first time.

I started it up again and found myself in a new location with no voice over and no idea what I was supposed to be doing. I later found out that when you crash and reload, the game apparently assigns you some other player’s game state! The voice-over I’d heard was a sort of introduction/tutorial telling me what I was supposed to be doing but due to the crash I skipped that. And since it was an MMO I couldn’t restart.

An MMO where there’s no way to communicate with other players or customize your avatar in any way, but that’s the least of its problems.

Over the next 40 minutes or so the game crashed 5 times.

When it wasn’t crashing I found these runestones that prompted me to draw a glyph and then speak a word. It seemed like I was supposed to draw the glyph on the PS4 controller’s touchpad, then do a 2-finger tap to ‘speak’ but I never got it to work. Or maybe I did once. One time I did something and then this random word was spoken over and over (with no input from me) until the next crash.

There were other runestones that played an audio clip and those, at least, worked.

And that was the grand totality of interactions in the game.

When the game wasn’t crashing, my character was running into invisible walls, or clipping through walls, or floating above the ground, or moonwalking, or any of a number of other wonky behaviors. Meanwhile there was crazy pop-in of textures and objects.

But here’s the thing with Wander. Say the devs put out a miracle patch and fix all these issues.

It’s still crap because there is no game here.

Imagine starting with an MMO like WoW. Then remove the combat, the crafting, the mobs, all ways of communicating with other players, and all character customization. Then homogenize the world so it all looks like Stranglethorn and remove any of the interesting set-pieces that you sometimes find in WoW. That’s Wander.

But the music in it is pretty good, so there’s that.

When they said it was a non-combat MMO I assumed, stupidly, that they would add something as an alternate to combat. But they didn’t. Well there are these non-functioning runestones that might do something but I don’t know what it could be. The purpose of Wander seems to be to, well, wander and look at terrain that quickly becomes repetitive.

Wander is a horribly broken game that, if fixed, will just be a horrible game. Avoid at all costs.

And SHAME on Sony for making this available in the Playstation Store. Talk about a loss of trust. From here on out I’ll have to assume that every game is horribly broken until I see confirmation from other players that it is not. Sony’s certification process is clearly pointless and useless.

If you think I’m just whining about Wander, here’re some links to show it isn’t just me:

Here’re a few clips I made. I didn’t get many because the game was always crashing on me. In these clips you’ll see my character run, slowdown, stop, walk, run… you have to understand that I am not doing that. I’m trying to run the whole time. I assume she walks because there’s a hidden stamina feature but I don’t know why she stops. When I’m staring at a rune stone it’s because I’m trying to interact with it. The 5 minute clip is boring because there is no game to show. What you see is that the game is. The shorter clips just show off some glitches. They were both captured after the one time I got a runestone to work and you’ll hear a voice saying something like “ahn-may” over and over again. I’m not doing anything to cause that… it happened until the game crashed again.

Fun fact: I have never quit Wander voluntarily. Every ‘session’ has ended with a crash.

This has probably always been true but I just really noticed it for the first time.

A couple months back there was a Star Wars Celebration weekend, where they showed off trailers for the new movie and teased the upcoming game. That put us in a Star Wars mood and over the next month or so Angela and I watched all six Star Wars movies, and I started reading Star Wars comics via Marvel Unlimited. It only made sense that I should go back to playing Star Wars: The Old Republic.

I couldn’t have been happier logging in every night and enjoying the pew-pew of blaster fire and that seductive electronic hum of lightsabers clashing.

Then we ran out of movies to watch, I got tired of the comics and something distracted me (I find inertia is a huge motivator for me in MMOs; when I play regularly I keep playing but if something causes me to take a break it’s easy to drift away) and now I don’t find myself too inclined to log into SWTOR.

At about the same time the new season of Game of Thrones hit HBO and, having set aside comic reading, I went back to working my way slowly through the novels. So instead of a galaxy far, far away I was spending my media time in a pseudo-medieval world. And as it happened, circumstances caused me to log into The Elder Scrolls Online. I wasn’t intending to really play it, but I’d taken advantage of a $20 pre-order of the upcoming PS4 version, and I knew they were going to ‘clone’ our PC accounts onto the console accounts, so I logged in to do some housekeeping and get things orderly for when that happened. (I deleted some lowbie alts, cleared out my bank a bit, and things like that.)

But now I find myself logging in almost every night. I don’t even really do a lot (I’m kind of trying to keep the game ‘fresh’ for the console launch). I’ve been working on crafting writs and slowly working an alt through Betnikh. I do some fishing. Read books and talk to NPCs. But I just find it fun to kind of be in a world that is somewhat similar to that of Game of Thrones.

One of the things I’ve always really liked about The Elder Scrolls Online is that, like me, it doesn’t have much of a sense of humor. Or at least, it isn’t silly. It’s a fairly somber world in a lot of ways. And I think it’s safe to say the same about the Westeros. Not a lot of silly things going on there. I think that’s why out of all the pseudo-medieval MMOs out there, ESO is scratching this Game of Thrones-induced itch of mine.

I’m guessing next fall when the new Star Wars movie comes out, I’ll find myself back in SWTOR, though.

White Orchard
I was looking forward to The Witcher III for a long time, but I’ve learned my lesson, or so I thought. I refused to pre-order the game until reviews hit. When they did they were almost universally positive so I opted to pre-order the digital version so that I could get started early and save 10%.

It took me all of 10 minutes of playing before I noticed a terrible problem with the console version of the game: the text was too small. I thought at first it was just me because my eyes are old and tired and poor (just like the rest of me) but I quickly saw the same complaint from many places on the Internet. (It might not seem too small from these screenshots unless you’re reading this blog on your TV screen 10′ away from where you’re sitting.)

Main MenuNot a single review that I read mentioned issues with text size, though a few did (rightfully) criticize the clunkiness of the UI. And that is the last time I rely on reviews from gaming sites.

There’s a patch coming to the PS4; I guess it’s already out in Europe. It increases the size of the loot pop-up windows which were certainly the place where the ‘small text’ issue was felt most and I’m hoping it helps, but I still am waiting for a more general way to increase text size.

I love so much about the game but every time I play I get an eye-strain headache after 30 minutes or so. It’s just not worth the cost to try to play. At least on the PS4 there’s a built-in screen zoom and that helps but it’s really tedious. Open Inventory, pick an item, Screen Zoom and pan around to check it’s stats, exit screen zoom, pick the next item, Screen Zoom and pan to check stats, etc, etc.

Mind you there are other issues too. The UI in general isn’t very well thought out. For example your gear wears down and has to be repaired. But when you visit a vendor to do those repairs, the UI lists all your gear with no indication of the pieces you’ve actually got equipped. So if you have 6 longswords in your inventory with similar names and stats, but one has stats a tad better so you’re using that one, when you go to get repairs done you have to first examine your character sheet, make a note of the name and stats of the sword you’re wielding, then talk to the vendor and open his repair panel and find that sword and repair it.

And as things stand now, each bit of this process might require a screen zoom.

Main MenuSadly I’ve set The Witcher III aside for now and I fear that by the time they patch out these issues I’ll be involved in something new. I’m kind of disappointed in CD Projekt RED (particularly after I learned that they had the same issue in The Witcher II) but I’m really mad at every reviewer that covered the console version of the game and didn’t make note of the text size issue (and many of these same sites have since run posts about the issue).

It just seems like such a trivial thing to let slip through and mar an otherwise amazing game. It’s a damned shame.

May 13th, 2015 is the 13th anniversary of me starting this blog. Very meta, no? While for the past few years this has been a blog devoted to videogames, you can probably tell from my lack of posts that my enthusiasm for talking about games is waning.

In ye olden days I talked about all kinds of random stuff. TV, books, eating healthy…whatever random thing crossed my mind. And I think it’s time to go back to that. The alternative I guess is just closing down the blog but it seems unlucky to shut it down in its 13th year.

The fact is I just think the gaming community has worn me down. I still like to play games, but too often talking about them leads to arguing about them and that just leaves me feeling bitter and tired. For years now I’ve self-identified as a Gamer who blogged about games and filled his social media friends lists with other people who self identify as Gamers.

But man it’s getting ugly out there.

For the last few months I’ve been removing more and more “gamers” from my social media lists and replacing them with scientists, programmers or in some cases even brands I’m interested in. This has made social media a more passive activity for me, but more enlightening and less frustrating overall. And less time consuming. The other day I got into an argument on social media over the tag line on a can of beer, for god’s sake. Life is too short for that kind of nonsense. I just felt so stupid afterwards; I’d wasted my time and the time of the other people involved in the ‘discussion.’ On the other hand, the next day a cosmologist favorited a tweet of mine and I felt oddly proud of that. LOL.

And while I just said I still like to play games, I don’t think I’m satisfied with just playing games. I’ve been working two jobs for years now and that doesn’t leave a lot of free time, but what time I have I’ve devoted to gaming and just gaming and I’m starting to feel very static because of that. I don’t spend time learning new things anymore and I feel like that is making me stupid.

So my resolution now is to balance gaming with other interests and try to expand my horizons. I’m not even sure what that means in practical terms. I just know I really feel the urge to use my brain for a change. If I come up with any interesting projects maybe I’ll write about them here. And I hope eventually my enthusiasm for games comes back enough that I come up with a post or two about them, too. I’m pinning a lot of my gaming hopes on The Witcher III right now.

But if you have Dragonchasers in a blogroll or have this blog in your RSS reader (hey, I thought I was the last one using an RSS reader!) under the category ‘games’ it might be time to cut me loose and replace me with someone who is more focused on gaming. Life is change and change is life, right? Time to try something new.