Video Games I Have Played in the 21st Century: Lord of the Rings Online

To prove that I’m a legit geek…

Ha! Just kidding! I’m a man so I don’t have to prove that I’m a legit geek because my lack of a vagina means that the He Man Women-Haters Club isn’t going to question me… or threaten to rape me while claiming they’re doing it for the good of video games. What I’m saying is that the only people who can’t see that they’re frothing loons is them.

… my first video game system was the Atari 2600. Or was it the Vic20? I can’t remember it was so long ago. This means that I’m writing this from the perspective of someone who was old enough to catch Pac Man fever.

Anyway, I’ve been playing the not-actually-free-to-play Lord of the Rings Onlne… Let me tell you about that: They mean “Free if you want to repeat the first ten hours of the game roughly sixty times to grind Turbine Points to buy quests with.” It’s the same shit they pull on FaceBook. Such is modern video games.

I do think it’s a pretty game. Even if you will quickly find yourself in a position where you’ll have to bust out the credit card to keep playing it might be worth it just to walk around sight-seeing. 

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^ Sunset over Bree. Not shown: Damned swarms of bears. ^

As you get older, games seem to get faster and more unfair due to not being slow as your reflexes so you play less of them. Also, getting a job kind of cuts into your sofa time. I haven’t been as gamey as I once was, so I’ve moved into playing MMOs where you can just sort of stop and the game kindly remembers where you were for you. 

For the most part these games are build around the idea that the average player is going to be moving only as fast as it takes them to move the cursor and click the “fight” button. Then you sit back and let the game take care of all of that stuff for you. It’s not nearly as spoon-feedy as your average FaceBook game but you don’t need to be some sort of reflex monkey to get through them. I like that because last year I tried to play The Legend of Zelda after two decades and I think it made me cry at one point.

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^ Not-Link ^

LotRO is in that sweet spot between the really old school MMOs where you take six months to level and you basically have to treat them like a second job, and the newer games like Neverwinter which is just a Playstation game where you sometimes see other players buying potions. If you’re one of those people who only want to talk to others via idealized avatars, but you find Second Life too boring, LotRO will do you well. And if you’e like me and see games as a way to unwind after work and talking to other people is exactly what you don’t want to do, it’s great as well. You can’t play everything the game has without help. But you don’t need to play that stuff either.

I’d say that if you’re looking for a moderately-paced MMO with heaps of things for you to do, not-actually-free Lord of the Rings Online is a game you may want to look into.

Just be warned: Every Hobbit in Middle Earth is a lazy dumbass and you will be doing things like walking two meters to get stuff out of barrels for them.

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^ Pictured here: A Hobbit waiting for you to wipe his bum for him. ^

The Geeks Are The Bullies Now

http://www.standard.net/Police/2014/10/14/Utah-State-University-student-threatens-act-of-terror-if-feminist.html

http://www.businessinsider.com/gamergate-death-threats-2014-10

http://www.msnbc.com/the-reid-report/watch/sexism-and-the-battle-of-the-gamers-341581379929

I’m pretty much ready for these gamergate shitstains to take a fast bus to Fuckoffville, never to return. Thankfully they’re the only people who can’t see their insanity. As the news articles above show, the rest of the world picks up pretty quickly on the lunacy simply by paying attention to the words they use and the actions they take.

Also, when Breitbart takes up your cause, it’s guaranteed that you’re wrong. 

Unfortunately, this problem isn’t restricted to video games. Atheism has a big problem with the uppity-women-hate as well. Comics always has had it. Cons recently had the problem with the “fake geek girl” nonsense surrounding cosplayers. And you can’t swing a stick here in Korea without hitting some hyper-conservative douchnozzle and knocking his trilby off of his head.

My tribes are no good. Need new ones.

While down in Busan last weekend I met up with Ryan Estrada and Mark Zink and we had a Sip & Draw (Like a Drink & Draw but with coffee instead) at Haeundae Beach (Google it). These are most of the images I managed to knock out based on suggestions using my ball point pens and small sketchpad.

I note that I got more simple as I went on and ended on a meme. Which makes sense since my brain also got more simple as I went on.

I’m due to meet the indefatigable Ryan Estrada this week so I decided to crack my stiff fingers and shake the cobwebs out of the drawing side of my brain just so I can try to keep up.
Drawing old people is easy in a way. All you need to do is put in enough lines in roughly the right spot and people will buy it. Youth and beauty is hard because beauty is generally defined by it’s sameness and it takes a lot of effort to not same-face everyone while maintaining the look of the conventionally attractive. You need to be subtle with your line to pull it off. Or at least be good at using transparent layers in Photoshop.
Drawn with a ballpoint pen because I like drawing with ballpoint pens.

I’m due to meet the indefatigable Ryan Estrada this week so I decided to crack my stiff fingers and shake the cobwebs out of the drawing side of my brain just so I can try to keep up.

Drawing old people is easy in a way. All you need to do is put in enough lines in roughly the right spot and people will buy it. Youth and beauty is hard because beauty is generally defined by it’s sameness and it takes a lot of effort to not same-face everyone while maintaining the look of the conventionally attractive. You need to be subtle with your line to pull it off. Or at least be good at using transparent layers in Photoshop.

Drawn with a ballpoint pen because I like drawing with ballpoint pens.

So, Kill the Moon…
Since it’s return in 2005, Doctor Who has always been about the relationships the Doctor has with his companions and the people he meets. The monsters are completely secondary to this. While that does lead to some clunkers overall it has worked for the show. 
That hasn’t changed this series. What has changed is that the Doctor is being written as even more the member of a species of nigh-immortal space gods that he is. That’s why they could get away with a blatant anti-abortion narrative because the cold, alien Doctor made Clara cry.
(I’m thinking of making Tumblr my spot for more geeky musings. This is one of my many first shots at it. Image from the BBC.)

So, Kill the Moon

Since it’s return in 2005, Doctor Who has always been about the relationships the Doctor has with his companions and the people he meets. The monsters are completely secondary to this. While that does lead to some clunkers overall it has worked for the show.

That hasn’t changed this series. What has changed is that the Doctor is being written as even more the member of a species of nigh-immortal space gods that he is. That’s why they could get away with a blatant anti-abortion narrative because the cold, alien Doctor made Clara cry.

(I’m thinking of making Tumblr my spot for more geeky musings. This is one of my many first shots at it. Image from the BBC.)

A story about life in Korea just for Tumblr…

I was stopped today by a Korean fellow who wanted to know about my Yashica Mat.

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He was quite polite, but he had the nastiest B.O.. If you’ve been to Korea, you’re familiar with it: The trifecta of cigarettes, soju, and kimchi stewing on a hot, late summer day. He asked to see how it worked and though my eyes were watering, I allowed him to look through the viewfinder. 

In doing so, he bumped up against me, transferring his nastiness to my arm. Some minutes after he said goodbye, I picked up his nose ghost lingering. I assumed the ever present wind in Gunsan would blow it away as I biked towards home.

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I assumed wrong. I may have to bathe myself in hydrogen peroxide.

(This is a mirror post)
As a creative person (and everyone else, really), there are two… and only two… reasons why you should work for free:
- It’s part of your online business plan. You’re providing free content in the hopes that your readers will visit your online store. (Webcomic method) Or that their clicks will be enough that the advertisers will give you a lot of cash. (YouTube/ Adsense method) So while you are providing free content, you are not working for free.
-You firmly believe in the goals of the organization you’re providing content for. For example, I drew the image above for a government organization that helps foreigners adjust and get through life as new arrivals in Miyakonojo. They do good work and I was glad to pay them back with some free art.
You never, never, never, EVER do it for the exposure. Doing it “for the exposure” is the preferred method of flimflam artists and IP thieves for getting your work. I’d say denying these creeps should be the first priority but that’s just the cherry on the sundae. Also, the only exposure you get is as a chump who will work for free.
But you shouldn’t be doing it simply because you worked really hard and your labour has value. You should be paid for it.
This brings me around to why I wrote this: The local convention, Alleycon, is looking for volunteers to write a short story for an anthology they’re going to publish. It seems as if all of the money is going towards funding the convention. I’d say this falls under condition number two. If that’s something you think you’d like to do, you should do it.
However, if a large money-making convention like SDCC puts out the same call, feel free to tell them to pony up the cash or go get fucked. Not only for yourself, but to serve as an example to your fellow creators.

(This is a mirror post)

As a creative person (and everyone else, really), there are two… and only two… reasons why you should work for free:

- It’s part of your online business plan. You’re providing free content in the hopes that your readers will visit your online store. (Webcomic method) Or that their clicks will be enough that the advertisers will give you a lot of cash. (YouTube/ Adsense method) So while you are providing free content, you are not working for free.

-You firmly believe in the goals of the organization you’re providing content for. For example, I drew the image above for a government organization that helps foreigners adjust and get through life as new arrivals in Miyakonojo. They do good work and I was glad to pay them back with some free art.

You never, never, never, EVER do it for the exposure. Doing it “for the exposure” is the preferred method of flimflam artists and IP thieves for getting your work. I’d say denying these creeps should be the first priority but that’s just the cherry on the sundae. Also, the only exposure you get is as a chump who will work for free.

But you shouldn’t be doing it simply because you worked really hard and your labour has value. You should be paid for it.

This brings me around to why I wrote this: The local convention, Alleycon, is looking for volunteers to write a short story for an anthology they’re going to publish. It seems as if all of the money is going towards funding the convention. I’d say this falls under condition number two. If that’s something you think you’d like to do, you should do it.

However, if a large money-making convention like SDCC puts out the same call, feel free to tell them to pony up the cash or go get fucked. Not only for yourself, but to serve as an example to your fellow creators.

A couple of Doctor Who fan art pieces I did  year or so ago. Tom Baker is my Doctor. And despite how bad a lot of his episodes have been, I enjoyed Matt Smith in the role.

Today is The Day of the Doctor. I don’t want to seem like a Gloomy Gus but I think it’s important to note that multi-Doctor episodes are usually horrible.Time Crash was saved by the fact that it was as long as a Bugs Bunny cartoon.

That doesn’t mean that TDotD will be horrible. It may be the best episode of Nu-Who. But I’m going to be watching with “Hope for the best, expect the worst.” in mind.

3:50 pm, my time it seems…

UPDATE: Well, glad to be wrong. :D

konicaiii on Flickr.
Always tell yourself the following at all times; “It’s not the camera, it’s me. I’m the one sets the setting or chooses the film. I’m the one who composes. I’m the one who zooms. I’m the one who picks the subjects. The camera is just the tool I do it with. Some are better built than others but when all is said and done: It’s not the camera, it’s me.” And this way you won’t be a gear asshole. Except if it’s broken. Then it’s the camera, not you. Unless you broke it. Why don’t you treat your gear better? That shit is expensive.

konicaiii on Flickr.

Always tell yourself the following at all times;

“It’s not the camera, it’s me. I’m the one sets the setting or chooses the film. I’m the one who composes. I’m the one who zooms. I’m the one who picks the subjects. The camera is just the tool I do it with. Some are better built than others but when all is said and done: It’s not the camera, it’s me.” And this way you won’t be a gear asshole.

Except if it’s broken. Then it’s the camera, not you.

Unless you broke it. Why don’t you treat your gear better? That shit is expensive.