A Tale of a Two-Gamer Household

My husband plays WOW and up until last weekend, one of his nightly questions to me, besides inquiring on the status of his pajamas, is “when are you going to start playing WOW with me?”  He insists we would be an unbeatble team because I’m the master of character and resource management.  My standard response to him is that if we both played WOW the household would fall into further disrepair than it already is and I enjoy having a life.  (Yep, we’re the annoying neighbors with the overgrown yard that is now dead.  The city has told us that our yard is a fire hazard.  This was, no doubt, prompted by the complaint of an annoyed neighbor.)   And then comes “Enchanted Arms” and I’m hooked.  Last weekend marked the second weekend of my Enchanted Arms addiction and the second week that I had not cooked, cleaned, or done the laundry.  Waking up briefly from the fog of addiction, I found out that sometime within those two weeks the refrigerator had broken and ice maker was dribbling water onto the floor because the freezer was a nice warm 35-degrees F, and the fridge was at a balmy 55F.  The laundry pile was waist high and  pushing its way out of the laundry room.  Fortunately, my little guinea pig, Snowball, LOUDLY let me know when he was feeling neglected so he was fine (he NEVER misses a meal).  And so last Saturday night, the first of the usual questions my husband asks me came around — “Honey, do I have any bed shorts?”  And this time I answered, “No, you have no clean bed shorts because I’ve been playing Enchanted Arms for the last two weeks.”  And then he asked, “Um, how about some underwear?  Hey! my drawers are empty!”  to which I replied “Yep.  By the way, the fridge is broke”  And then he became silent.  The next morning, bright and early, I set to cleaning up after 2-weeks of neglect.  My husband, without a word, went outside and mowed the dead lawn and cut back the bushes.  When night fell and the laundry was neatly folded and basketed, my husband without a word, carried those baskets upstairs.  Oh, and the kicker!  On Tuesday night he ironed his own shirt!  The fridge miraculously fixed itself.  Apparently something froze and it just needed to be defrosted.

I’m not one of those people who makes a big deal out of female and male roles in a household.  My husband and I do what each of us is good at.  But let there be no mistake, somebody has to check, every once in a while, that the fridge is still working ;p.

Blogging — What to do with Inappropratiate Comments?

I use Google blogger.  It’s not the best blogging tool, but it’s simple enough and gets the job done.  This weekend — excitement, excitement — I got my first comment on my anime and manga blog.  Unfortunately, it was from some snot of a kid (or so I’m guessing from the poor spelling and the general non-mastery of the English language) who left a crudely worded review of an anime series I reviewed and then proceeded to tell me to get another job because I didn’t know what good anime was.  I was crushed!  This kid’s comment was so poorly worded, spelled, and hostile (I guess I poo-pooed his sacred cow) that I couldn’t publish his comment.  Sigh … what’s an adult to do?  He had valid points in his review that I couldn’t deny.  Well … I ended up editing his comment and posting it that way.  I felt kind weird about doing that since it was somebody elses opinion, but I really couldn’t have my blog littered profanity and personal attacks.  Was this an okay thing to do?  Is there some blogging etiquette I should be aware of with regards to inappropriate comments?

By the way, “Kiba” is great for 13-year kids who are just starting to get angsty, but I’m 33 and the degree of my angst is well beyond that of a teenager (I’ve been been this way since the day I was born and I have the 4-month baby picture to prove it — it only builds from disappointment to disappointment …), so of course I thought it was bad … sigh … there’s better anime that has appeal for most age ranges.  “Kiba” is not one of them.  If you want angsty teens check out “Evangelion” or any gundam anime series that tries to take itself seriously.

Gamer Stereotypes Discussed

Here’s a thoughtful editorial from BBC news that discusses gamer stereotypes.  I’m definantly one of those gamers who encloses themselves in a dark room (alienating and neglecting my husband), surrounded by food and drink, for hours (sometimes days, with little nap breaks so I don’t completely lose it — this would be known as the 2-week winter break I take around Christmas time.  I have yet to go so as far as to bring my toilet with me to the sofa, though.)  This is why I only get into games, now, a few times a year, because if I gamed as much as I wanted, my husband would starve to death, the house would become a trash pit, and I would be fired from my job due to frequent absenses.     Anyhow, enjoy this article as it discusses the matter of the myth and the truth of the asocial gamer.

OLED TV Update

I first saw a demostration of OLED screen technology at CES2003.  It was demoed for usage in cellphones and portable devices and promised to be one of the keys to lower power consumption (longer battery life).  It looks like the technology is still a few years off from commercialization in TVs (I think there are a few cellphone handsets that have OLED screens).  Here’s an article from CNET that gives a nice summary of the current status of OLED TV.

XBOX 360: While Her Husband’s Away, Jen will Play

Last weekend was IT maintenance weekend at my husband’s company so for 2-1/2 days I was left home alone to entertain myself.  What did I do?  I played Enchanted Arms on our XBOX 360 and ate Oreo cookies and chips with salsa into the wee hours of the morning.  It was fabulous!

First Thing:  XBOX 360 + 47″in wide screen HD LCD TV = BLISS!!!

Second Thing:  XBOX 360 + wireless game controller = MORE BLISS!!!

I made a little rat’s nest on the sofa, filled it with food and drink and ate and played until I could barely feel my thumbs.

About the game:  “Enchanted Arms” is Japanese style turn-based RPG.  The story takes place in a alternative universe where magic and technology are essentialy one in the same.  The story isn’t very compelling, there’s way too much dialog, and some very annoying fetch-it missions.  I spent a lot of time pushing the “A ” button as fast as possible to get through the inane conversations.  The battle engine, though, is GREAT!  All battles occur on a grid so you position your characters on the grid according to the position of the baddies you want to take out and the range of the skill you want to use.  Extra rewards are given if you are able to wipe out the baddies within one turn. This aspect of battle was most interesting to me.  There are 6-main characters and a bunch of Pokemon-like golems that you can construct to help you in battle.  There’s character stat management a plenty — for me this became a game of giving my characters enough HP to get through battles while boosting their damage potential so I win battles in one round. 

There were a couple of things in the story that lessened the pain.  I discovered the dialog is much funnier if you choose the dumb dialog when prompted for a response from a multiple choice list.  Also, there was one NPC at about 47% of the story that had a face that looked like someone had directly photoshopped it onto a blocky character body (it stood out in stark constrast to the less detailed faces of the main characters and the other NPC’s.)  I suspect his inclusion was an inside joke amongst the programmers and artists who decided to use the visage of a tyrannical slave driving manager as one of the more slimier and roguish villians.  I was rolling in my rat’s nest — it’s something you have to experience to understand just how funny it was.

The XBOX 360:  The console has a lot of features beside video gaming.  Here’s a brief list:

1.  Play DVD’s

2. Download and view media content from the internet — music, movie trailers, movies, anime, game demos

3. Download and play cheap video games

4. Purchase and download extra game features — weapons, items, extra game levels, maps, and the like

5.  The interface for the many features is colorful and easy to use.

6.  HD display compatible upto 1080p resolution

It’s a nice console.  Too bad it doesn’t have and HD-DVD or Blue Ray :(.

Anyhow, I got through 53% of the story this weekend.  I hope to finish the game by the end of the week.