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Tycho / 22 hours ago

I’m given to exaggeration.  Example: I once said that mice were “way, way smaller than voles,” and got an earful from the Rodent Liberation Front, Friends of the Mouse and the Vole Association.  But I am not exaggerating and am in fact being circumspect with my language when I suggest that redemption arcades are a spectacularly bad investment.

I’m not sure I would have thought the new Daredevil show was possible before I’d seen the new Daredevil.  I thought the same thing about The Flash, I guess.  If I hadn’t been forced to sit on ice and not move for a couple days, I still wouldn’t know that The Flash - against every natural law - is a worthy investment of one’s dwindling lifeforce.  Still can’t watch Arrow.  After the Crossover episode before, I decided I wanted to be an Arrow fan but I only got a couple episodes in.  It’s not for me.  And I’m not saying that I don’t like it!  I’m saying that they made it for someone else, so me not wanting to watch it sorta makes sense.

It’s about the parenthesis, the containment membrane, in either of the last two cases.  They cleverly play around with this idea even in dialogue: The Flash and Arrow are from different towns, and these towns have different rules.  Given the thesis for Flash, they’ve actually constrained themselves substantially.  I don’t feel like Arrow makes sense even according to its own rules.  I’ll dip a toe back in when the seasons ends, maybe I missed something.  But let’s talk about Daredevil.

There is an ongoing debate about whether or not Agents of SHIELD has improved or that those who hurtle in its orbit are suffering from that Stockholm Syndrome that is firmly associated with geek shows.  We want our tastes recognized so badly that we are often willing to endure the lash.  Dollhouse had two - I repeat, two - watchable episodes, and people are still leaning bouquets against its cursed stone.  We allow for qualifiers to scaffold that which is connected with our passions; a show may be “good for a comic show,” which is another way of saying “bad.”

You have Netflix, I feel very confident of this.  If not, you know someone who does.  Here’s what’s going on with Daredevil.  I don’t really have to say much, and after I say it, I’m just going to step back.  Daredevil is a comic show that you can watch without feeling like an asshole.

(CW)TB

Tycho / 3 days ago

This is the last strip in this series, at least, I think it is; ol’ Gribbz gets home tomorrow, and it may be that something has occurred to him in the intervening period.  Judging from the response to it and other content in this vein (something my associate alluded to in an earlier post) we, uh… hm.  It seems like there is a huge group of people that nobody is talking to about this stuff, and they really, really want to know it.  Complicating matters is the fact that, in their situation, to ask the question is to fail!  You’re supposed to know it already, and if you don’t, that’s one more thing you’ve fucked up this afternoon.  The only way for you to learn it is for someone else to volunteer it.  Wheels are in motion.

I try not to let my first feeling about something be my only feeling.  My initial read on the Saurids, for example, is that they were amphibious reptilian bipeds.  That isn’t a good example I guess because that all ended up being true.  But, let’s say we were talking about Mortal Kombat Easy Fatality Packs.  These are packs for Mortal Kombat which allows players to execute Fatalities easily.  On the surface.  But is that what they actually do?  Yes.

I think I need to have my, uh… metaphor thing calibrated.

One hearkens back to the environment fighting games hatched in, an agar plate of teenage anguish in which all manner of dark creatures grew, and when I think about a person beating you in the arcade and then putting in another quarter to do a Fatality, or to perform some other literal or figurative emasculation, I try to imagine this person escaping with their life.

Fatalities are not about pressing buttons, and to make them so is what I would describe as a “profound inversion of meaning.”  Fatalities are - in the tradition of Ulysses Everett McGill, Geralt of Rivia, Sherlock Holmes, or Marinus Bicknell Willett - about knowledge.  They are about knowing what buttons to press.  Offering such shortcuts is the true shape of the medium as it stands, and pretending that it’s not, like, a genius move just trades one falsehood for another.  We need there to be a place where we can discuss techniques like this in a measured, technical way free of shaming language - except that men and women of moral vigor shun such practices, and those who take them up are in league with the horned devil.

(CW)TB  

Some fun Games!

I took two awesome games with me on our spring break trip to Oregon.

Spirit Lords

This game is a combination of Diablo and Pokemon. Maybe that’s all I need to tell you? It’s FTP so you have to put up with “energy”, a bunch of different kinds of currency, and (the mechanic I hate the most) Powering up the monsters you’ve collected by feeding them different monsters you’ve collected.  I don’t know why that one drives me so crazy but I really hate it. Despite all the FTP bullshit Spirit Lords is super fun. The various Spirits you collect slot into your character and grant you special abilities. They fall into certain categories like defensive, movement, or offensive. You take these powers into a Diablo style dungeon crawler that’s beautiful and honestly fun. I’ve been playing a bunch of Dungeon Hunter 5 recently and I actually prefer the combat in Spirit Lords even though (or maybe because) it only requires one finger to play. Since it’s free there’s not much need for me to go on and on about why I dig it. Just go grab it for yourself.

Implosion: Never Lose Hope

Now this game is a different story. This is a $10 purchase, which for an iPad game is a good chunk of change. I bit the bullet and picked it up based on the reviews I read. Man this game is killer. First of all it’s so refreshing to play a game that doesn’t require an internet connection. I was able to play it on the car ride which was nice. Overall Implosion feels like a game I might have played on the original PlayStation. It looks and feels like a “console” game if that makes sense. Since it isn’t FTP there’s none of the bullshit, it’s just a great game that you can play as much as you want. You upgrade your character by playing the game rather than via micro-transactions. This is just a great action game with solid controls, beautiful graphics and an engaging story. Honestly I feel like $10 is a steal.

We were in Seaside Oregon which is a little beach town that happens to have the best arcade I’ve ever seen. Last time I visited I saw TANK TANK TANK for the first time. This time I was able to play the Star Wars Battle Pod.

Holy shit this game was fun. You sit inside that little pod and a projector above your head throws the video onto a huge concave screen that wraps all around you. You use a throttle and joystick to control various Star Wars ships depending on the scenario you choose. I flew a Snow Speeder, a Speeder Bike and an X-Wing. The gameplay is mostly on rails and has you using the joystick to target enemies and shoot them down. The experience is a thrill though as the action surrounds you and pod hits you with bursts of air at just the right times. Each time I got out of the pod I wobbled a bit Like I’d just come off a roller coaster. If you ever see one of these in an arcade, drop a couple bucks and give it a go.

-Gabe out

Monday Sketchdump!

We’re spending Spring Break down in Oregon right now so I just have a few doodles for you today.

I ended up finishing this CTS sketch and I posted it last Monday. I had a lot of requests to offer it as a print so that’s what I did. You can buy it right here in the store.

Also, today’s comic is based on my experience at a PTA meeting last week. I wrote a big post about it that got me more comments than anything else I’ve ever written or drawn. Thanks to everyone who wrote me to comment on it. I think helping educate parents and creating resources for them is something you’ll see more of from Penny Arcade in the future.

-Gabe Out

Tycho / 5 days ago

Like the man said, he spent some time at an Honest To God PTA Meeting (H2GPTAM).  He told them about a lot of stuff, stuff so rudimentary about our ways that you would be insulted if I tried to tell it to you.  But that’s where you have to start.

If you grew up when we did, being a “gamer” - the kind you would put in quotes to indicate an explicitly demarcated class of person - almost required that you were acquainted with what might as well be necromancy.  There is a lot of shit that goes on behind televisions, it’s already more than what most people want to deal with.  But if you start talking about Java and Mods and Firewalls and shit people get the shakes like they’ve been snakebit.  I can tell you that trying to make children that are better for having known you is so difficult that I don’t know if I can do it, but I know about Mods.  I know about Java and ports.  If I didn’t know about Java and ports - to say nothing of Youtubers or Let’s Plays or Skins or DLC or Steam or Free to Play -  it wouldn’t merely be the run of the mill impossible that it already is.  This would be the kind of impossible that goes to Hopeless University, and gets a Doctorate in crafting insuperable barriers.

Even if they wanted to tell you what they were doing in there, half the words they’d use to do so wouldn’t make sense.  In many cases, the only crime you can pin on these moms and dads is that they had the grim, grey misfortune of parenting the first generation of cyborgs.

I have a lot of sympathy for that person.  And I think there’s something we can do about it.

(CW)TB  




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