If I learned anything from my time working as a legal researcher it’s that truth is far stranger than fiction.
“In July, ex-military dictator Manuel Noriega filed a lawsuit against Activision over his depiction in Call of Duty: Black Ops II. Today, Activision filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, calling it “absurd” in a press release issued this morning.”
“Activision has recruited former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani’s law firm to handle the suit, which they’re saying is frivolous.”
In October of 2012, Hurricane Sandy blew out the power in my region like an exuberant child extinguishing birthday candles. That same event rekindled my love of table top games.
I stayed with my parents through the storm because their town was supposed to receive a less direct hit from the storm than mine. Comically they lost power for two weeks, and my apartment lost it for about 30 seconds.
Each night after the storm my parents and I played a game of Pandemic by lantern light. Pandemic is an easy-to-learn, difficult-to-master cooperative game where a group of people play as a team trying to prevent the spread of four different viruses around the globe. All of the players work together against a relentless board. We were all new to the game, and sitting there in the darkness trying to reason out how we could possibly win as the odds continued to stack against us is one of my fondest adult memories with my parents.
Post Sandy, board games or table top games have pretty much pushed video games out of my life. What I loved most about video games was playing them with other people… Other people who were in the room with me; and that’s not how video games have evolved.
Video games have absolutely become much more multiplayer focused than they were when I was growing up. However that multiplayer has shifted from a friend in the room to people over the Internet. That just doesn’t do it for me.
I want to play games with people I know and love in the same room. Whether I am playing with them to try and outsmart a deviously aggressive board like Pandemic, or against them as I try to outwit them in a game like Cyclades, it’s the in person, human experience that I crave. That I loved about Halo and Halo 2.
I work from home most days, pushing pixels and video conferencing. When I unwind, I want the experience to be tangible.
You can expect more tabletop gaming posts. I’m shocked it took me this long to really write about it.
This is nirvana for a tech, sci-fi, puzzle and game geek.
The L.M.S. Bikeshed
A three-dimensional, three person sci-fi spaceship simulator that makes you feel like you’re in a raptor from Battlestar Galactica, or a runabout from Star Trek, or a whatever other shuttle-craft you want to imagine.
Basically three people assume the roles of pilot, weapons and engineering officers trying to fulfill some random mission while the game masters rain problems on your hapless crew. I’ll stop babbling about this awesomeness. Just watch the video over at Shut Up & Sit Down (my favorite Table Top gaming site).
It’s a strange thing for me to say because I have been a lifelong gamer. Some of my earliest and fondest memories are of playing Nintendo. As a child I sucked at sports (to put it mildly), but video games were the one thing that I dominated. They were a critical part of my life.
The last two years I have spent far more time listening to Adam Sessler pontificate on video games than I have spent with a controller in my hand. The man is brilliant. His take on the video game industry as well as the culture that has emerged around it over the course of my life is more compelling than the time commitment required to play most games.
I eagerly await the weekly episodes of Sessler’s Something and Casual Friday on Rev3 Games, and watch them immediately (Address the Sess is too long).
At the same time, I have a stack of unplayed games dating back nearly two years. I have stopped buying games because as much as I think I want to play them, I don’t actually play them… Except for the few weeks I spent recovering from a horrible case of food-born illness this past Spring. I stopped playing games the week before South By South West 2012, and haven’t played much since. My Xbox 360 is a Netflix machine, and I never bothered unpacking my PS3 when I moved back in September. I don’t miss it. I have no plans to acquire a next gen system.
While this is not one of my finest posts, I needed to take a moment a reflect on both how much I have changed, and how incredible Adam Sessler is. If you find gaming interesting in any way, you should give him a listen.