The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 11
This entry is inspired by Game Informer's Moments series. I experienced a moment today in Borderlands 2 that ranks up there as one of the best I've played in a game this year. Unlike many moments, this one wasn't necessarily scripted, but rather one of those instances where player agency and control create a moment unique to that player's experience. Such examples come to mind like using oddball tactics to orchestrate chaotic mayhem in Halo or creating something from nothing in Minecraft.
You've done it before. You're playing a game that's really not all that great, but you just want to know what happens next. So you suffer through the terrible controls, janky graphics and mundane level design to get to the next cool part or to see where the story takes you. You might replay the same frustrating section over and over or slog through hours of worthless side quests just to get to see the story progress. Despite its flaws, you're still strangely compelled to play this game.
Being in the city and using the public transportation, I've noticed an interesting trend. A huge number of people wear headphones everywhere. My first thought about this was that people should take the headphones off and actually try to talk to their fellow train-riders. But then I remembered that people are annoying and I'm probably not the only person who relishes that half hour train ride where I have nothing to entertain me but my thoughts and some music. In Connecticut, I would drive everywhere with music playing loud, singing along. Here, in San Fran I don't have that ability, but at least I can listen to a few tunes.
This blog is going to focus on an idea I got today while I was playing Borderlands 2. But rather than give away the idea in the first paragraph, I'm gonna make you wait. Today was another day of staying home, writing and playing Borderlands 2. I wrote up a neat little article in an attempt to figure out why EA is releasing Mass Effect on PS3 despite owning the IP for over four years. I'm not going to go into that since I already wrote that up, you can just read it here.
I didn't write a blog yesterday because there simply wasn't all that much to say. That and once I was done recording The JACKED UP Indie & Mojo Show and playing Borderlands 2 for a couple hours, I just simply forgot. Today, however, was a day of Borderlands 2. I am now in crunch mode on the game trying to play it as much as possible to finish to write the review for The Game Effect. Sure, I took some time out to do laundry and research a news story (props to Jeremy for the idea in progress), but for the most part, I spent the day grinding through Pandora.
Yesterday's blog was definitely a bit on the negative side. I was complaining about having to play a game for review. Rightfully so, firedude3663 called me out on it. Well the problem with writing a game for review for a small site is I make about an hour's worth of money for the thirty plus hours put into playing the game and reviewing it. But I digress...
Today was a normal Sunday. Only as opposed to a usual Sunday for me, today, I was in San Francisco. However, I wanted to talk about reviewing games on a deadline. I have been reviewing Borderlands 2 and it has been especially trying for multiple reasons.
Today I realized something about myself. I am not a hipster. I was as surprised by this as you probably are. I listen to LCD Soundsystem. I eat organic food if it's the only option available. I watch Paul Thomas Anderson movies. I live in San Francisco now... That's all you need to be a hipster right? Apparently not.
Well that was quick! My love affair with RPGs in sheep's clothing that I mentioned yesterday has come to a screeching halt... or at least hit a bit of a speed bump. Today was a frustrating one in the world of gaming as well as the world of real stuff that normal functioning human beings who contribute to society do. Got all that? Good.
Well, since I didn't write an entry yesterday, I'm sure two of you were worried I didn't make it to the best coast safely. I almost didn't, but thankfully, I arrived early Wednesday morning at around 12:30 am after a long day of travelling. And when I say long day, I mean LOOOONG day. It was 12:30, but for me it felt like 3:30 since my body was still on eastern time. The hours leading up to that landing in SF were not fun. Tornado warnings and terrible winds and rain caused about a half hour of turbulence for my first flight, which in turn, caused me to throw up all over my nice sweat shirt. I think I may have had a minor anxiety attack. I'm not afraid of flying but when I feel like I'm on a roller coaster for thirty minutes straight... my stomach can only take so much. Then the second flight was delayed about three hours, so I had plenty of time to let my stomach settle and wait. And wait. And wait some more. But my last flight, from Philly to the bay, long as it was, was peaceful and quiet.
Here I sit in Bradley International Airport in Hartford, CT and I've changed my mind. I don't want to move to San Francisco. I don't want to go through with it. I am sitting at the gate waiting for my flight that's been delayed by rain and I am overcome with sadness but also excitement.
This is the story of a man in his late twenties, whose life has taken many twists and turns, many of which have felt out of his control. When an old friend offers him a chance to start over in a new place and foolishly follow his lifelong dream of writing in the video game industry for a living, the young man grasps the opportunity. After years of living in the shadow of his siblings, after wandering through much of his twenties without much direction, he decides to re-take control of his life and take a huge risk. This is the story of a man leaving the life he knows and those he loves to follow his dream in the home of Riceroni, Chinese food, Harvey Milk, and the Rock (the prison, not the wrestler/ actor).