Archive for category Games
Behold, the newest addition(s) to the Puddin-family collection of electronic devices. Well, or at least behold as well as you can from the image below, given that it’s shaky-blurry-terrible like it was taken by a toddler in the midst of an F4 tornado:
Now, image quality notwithstanding, I know what you’re thinking: Puddin, that’s an Xbox 360 + Kinect. Those aren’t exactly fancy, new-fangled technology.
Yes, well, I know. In fact, the package I bought yesterday was new something like, um, two calendar years ago. Which, in the particular digital realm of video game consoles, is about as new as your average first-world human finds the concept of human flight, i.e., even the old-timers don’t think it’s a particularly mind-blowing thing. Admittedly, as something of a technophile – especially one with a known affection for video games – this is a decidedly odd way for me to be living my life.
What can I say? I’m not so much the early adopter these days. The rate at which we acquire new gadgets around here is positively glacial.
That wasn’t always the case, of course. Back in The Day*, I picked up new toys that you plugged into wall outlets about as quickly as Lindsey Lohan picks up mandatory court appearances. Afterwards, I’d always just sort of assume the ole’ monthly budget would somehow catch up with the spontaneous allotment of cash.
Once there were children afoot at la casa de Puddin, though, I found that it’s not so much the good idea to press that type expectation on said budget lest the spontaneous allotment of cash for adult toys interfere with things like, you know, diapers and milk. Plus, as I’ve said before, I stopped making time to play video games a long time ago. I may still be a technophile at heart, but as a video game aficionado, I leave a lot to be desired these days.
Case in point: a coworker was telling me he got a Wii-U for Christmas, and the more he talked about it, the more I realized I had no real idea what the Wii-U was intended to accomplish. I mean, sure, I’ve seen commercials where some kid is using a controller with a built-in screen that looks more like a handheld game system circa 1992, but that’s about all I’ve seen.
So how does a newly-proclaimed luddite find himself buying a brand-spanking new Xbox 360+Kinect on the day after Christmas**? I think this tweet, from Tuesday morning (aka, Christmas morning), says it all:
SO glad my @xbox chose Christmas morning to give my son a Red Ring of Death for the first time. Ruining Christmas: Achievement Unlocked
— Jason A. Rust (@jasonarust) December 25, 2012
Yep, that’s right. My (now-former) 1st generation Xbox 360 chose Christmas frakkin’ morning to give us the much-feared Red Ring of Death. And, indeed, Santa had brought Xbox-specific gifts. And if there’s one thing you don’t do as a parent, it’s tell your 10 year-old (who’s just getting used to the idea that Christmas isn’t strictly the purview of jolly, fat elves and magical, flying reindeer) “Sorry, I guess you’ll never get to play that game. Maybe we could return it for a nice sweater.” At least, not when you have the means to avoid it.
In the end, though, it was all worthwhile. The Puddinpop, in the course of his very first game of Madden 13 on the new system, dashed upstairs as I cleaned up after dinner, beaming from ear-to-ear, to tell me that he’d called an verbally audible while playing. That Christmas-morning-style look on his face was worth every penny I spent.
The fact that I can actually change a play in a football video game just by speaking that change out loud is pretty cool, too.
*In this case, The Day being the pre-Puddinette time of my adult life, when much time was spent doing either nothing at all, or entertaining, largely self-destructive things
**Statistically speaking, the second-least likely day to find me near a retail establishment, behind only Black Friday.
I got an invitation on Facebook earlier this week to join in all the merry digital agrarian fun on Farmville 2.
Let me tell you, I was absolutely breathless with excitement when that notification hit my inbox. Either that or I was holding breath waiting for the moment when I would suddenly find myself giving a single flying rat’s ass.
Here’s a hint: it was the second one, and no, the moment never arrived. Luckily, my brain eventually overrode my infantile obstinacy and forced me to resume normal respiration. Which is, you know, fine, I guess. Whatever.
So here’s the thing: I’m not so much a big player of these kinds of social media games. This business of having x amount of energy or what-have-you to expend daily on your make-believe domain just doesn’t really scratch me where I itch.
And never you mind what the doctors say about where I do itch.
I will admit to playing games where you take turns with other people, like Scrabble and Words with Friends – feel free to challenge me to a game. I just never quite got the point of having to log in to a browser-based game for 700 consecutive days for fear of your tomatoes turning black and rotting. I can get that at home, and I don’t even have to check ‘em every day.
I also don’t really get why a Farmville 2 is necessary. After all, it’s a web-based game, meaning they can throw out new updates anytime they like. If you’re a software monkey like me, that’s kind of the whole point of web-based software. You don’t really need those inconvenient sequels. But I suppose this means a second Farmville to shove ads in your face, so what do I know.
What do you think, though? Is one Farmville enough? What about Castleville, Cityville (that doesn’t even make sense), Monkeyville, Fishville, and/or Loserville? Do we really need all these?
Facebook Games: Big Fun or Big Waste of Time?
We welcome your thoughts on the subject in the comments, as always.
Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s the weekly poll:
Have a great weekend, and may all your virtual crops be harvested in time for…whatever.
Unless you live under a rock somewhere out in the wild extremes of Big Sky country where things like electricity and the internet are concepts every bit as whacky and futuristic as teleportation devices and aliens with ray guns, odds are good you’ve heard of Draw Something. It’s the latest fad to hit the social media scene: a social-driven drawing game that’s like Pictionary, for your phone or tablet.
At least, that’s what I hear. I’m not playing it myself, actually.
Now, I’d like to tell you that I’m refusing to play on philosophical grounds because Draw Something knocked Words with Friends down as king of the social media collaborative time-wasting hill. But that’s not really the case. I’m mean sure, I do prefer games based on words, since I’m, you know, a writer and all. The honest truth, though, is not that I’m mad we’ve gone to pictures over words, it’s that when it comes to artistic abilities I’m about as capable as a meth-addicted Tyrannosaurus Rex with an attention deficit disorder.
Yes, my drawings largely look they were drawn by someone with tiny, disproportionate arms flailing about like a spaz, barely able to contain a drawing implement.
In other words, when I try to sketch a smiley face I’m more likely to end up with something that looks like a Rorschach slide. Ultimately, that ends with me screaming the equivalent of “PUDDIN SMASH!!!” and then going off like a rock star in a hotel suite after a 36-hours bender.
Still not sure what I mean? In case you’re missing the point, I’ve developed a couple of handy visuals aids to demonstrate the difference between me playing words games and drawing games.
First, this is me playing a word-based game:
Fun, right? Sure, but what happens, then, when you take all those frolicking letters away and replace them with a drawing tool? Well, keeping in mind that my kindergarten teacher had reservations about sending me to first grade because I couldn’t even color inside the lines, usually you get a scene that looks straight out of a early Steven King novel:
Of course, all this kvetching is actually intended to cover up the real reason I don’t play Draw Something. My phone is too pathetic to play the game, and I’m too cheap to get a better one.
So, for now, I guess I’m going to have to stick with statuses like, “Puddin played L-A-M-E-S-T on a Double Word tile for 20 points”.