Collaborative gaming

Portal 2 introduced me to a new shiny world with a new jargon all of its own.  I learned about push to talk and  in game chat clients and how to play with someone else.  I also set up my  steam account (though it may have been earlier).

It isn’t that simple, in that you have to look at joint aims not just your own.

The picture shows the Logo for Aperture Laboratories, the fictional site of the Portal game

Aperture Science We do what we must because we can. For the good of all of us. Except the ones who are dead.

Portal 2 was – like the first version – very funny and again it was a puzzle – you needed to engage your brains.  It wasn’t like the FPS, I reasoned, where you just go around on a killing spree.  I now think that I had hugely underestimated most computer games.  If it really was just point and shoot then people would pretty soon lose all interest in them.  So we played Portal 2 and found that we talked about it, shared jokes about it, laughed together at it, and when we finally finished it together it was a huge high for us both.  At long last I saw the point of games – doing them together.

But Portal 3 is a long way off, and so I returned to Transport tycoon, Bioshock and Civ5 whilst  Beloved turned to Assassins Creed and other titles.



Our concert on the Methel stage

The Traveling Bilberries is the name of the band which I play in.  I am mainly a lyricist and theorbo player.

Tonight we did our first proper concert although we have performed a couple of times so far.  Here is the video of the concert.

I do want to post about making music in Lotro but that can wait – but at the moment I am exhausted and not really ready for a huge discussion on creativity and virtual  music making but I do want to post  his.  I have after-gig exhaustion and the usual high which will mean a crashing low tomorrow.

I was slightly disappointed by the number of attendees at our gig, but pleased about how it went – except that I made two errors; twice as many as anyone else – oh how annoying!  Tomorrow I will be so down about those errors.

Gaming is OK, really!

There was a point in my life where I realised that all the sexism and violence that I had seen in computer games were actually having little or no effect on the actual tendency to commit violence in the person I was most worried for – my son.

He played Tomb Raider and I had real problems with this partly because a hypersexualised mannequin was the heroine. That was the game he chose to show me to prove that games weren’t sexist – it has a female in the lead! I knew in the back of my mind that the others he played were probably much more questionable but I never asked and he never told.

Yet he grew into an OK bloke, who is not sexist or racist or homophobic.

I knew also that my partner was a gamer too, and I could see he was playing violent games as well, but he was the mildest and most reasonable person I know. Now here’s a thought – maybe I ought to try violent games as a substitute for real violence to help me get rid of my anger? That wasn’t my reasoning then, nor now, but is worth thinking about.

A 'no guns' sign

I don’t like guns.

There was a point where I grew interested in what my beloved was doing in these games. I suppose my first game where I actually killed something would have been Doom. We started off by Beloved trying to show me how atmospheric it was to have headphones on and be running through corridors. So I had a go, and that led me to play for quite a while, and yes, I did actually enjoy killing the aliens. But you see, that was the point, as long as it was aliens it was OK. It didn’t mean that I would be killing the next door neighbour. I still have this fear of de-humanising real people – I know it is the first step in creating a real enemy, and I don’t want any part of that. And then there were people in Doom and that shook me a little, but I figured that they were aliens too, so that was all right.

I went back to Transport Tycoon and other sims in my virtual world and ignored the games paraphernalia that came into the house – the driving wheel, the joysticks, the flight game controllers, with names like thrustmaster. I knew that they were never for me.

I think Bioshock was the first game I actually wanted to play but I already knew that I wouldn’t be able to. The platform games I had tried in the past led me to decide that fps games and I wouldn’t mix. I am dyslexic and have very poor hand to eye coordination as well as very little patience with anything or anyone that I don’t teach. Put me in a classroom and I never lose patience with a learner, anywhere else and I will lose my rag very quickly. But Bioshock was lovely; beautiful and I wanted to wander round that world. I tried it and struggled but then there was Portal.

Now around this time my Beloved decided that what would bring us closer would be if we could game together.  Portal 2 had just come out and he wanted to play it anyway and this collaborative game would be ideal to allow us to play together.  So I tried to play Portal.

The image shows a slice of lovely cake with the familiar Portal comment that "the cake is a lie"

One of the best phrases to ever come out of a game!

Oh at last! A game designed for me. I think that was the very first game I ever completed (with one bit of help on a bit that was a too difficult – where you had to jump and I couldn’t get it). I cried at the ending, I really did and only partly because it was the first game I had finished (apart from sims).  Now I was ready for Portal2  and gaming with another person.

Google Chrome and Linux

I really, really want to play with Google Chrome, but it isn’t available yet for Linux.  I know I could go and play in Windows, but I don’t want to set it up on there, get addicted to a new way of doing things and then have to keep rebooting my machine.

My beloved has downloaded it but it didn’t do what he wanted without configuring it.  “It ain’t Firefox”, is what he said “I am still working well with an unconfigured Firefox!”

I love Firefox, but I have it configured, I use various add ons, and will use more when those add ons catch up with Firefox 3.  I loved the add on which made each tab an icon so that all my bookmark folder fitted on the one screen (smartbookmarks).

I go back to work (if the doctor allows) on Wednesday, so I could have done with playing with it whilst I am still off.

That is supposing there is a Wednesday – assuming that we are not all subsumed in a black hole.